Paved With Good Intentions, by Jared Taylor
The election of Bill Clinton has, among other things, confounded predictions that racial division would ensure Republican control of the White House for at least the rest of this century. Race, in fact, was a non-issue in the campaign; white concerns about welfare, crime, affirmative action, the behavior of the urban poor, and other racially tinged problems were far overshadowed by apprehensions about the country’s economic condition, fear of the budget deficit, and nervousness over the rising cost of medical care.
If anxiety over American decline was principally responsible for pushing race and other social issues to the margins of the campaign, Clinton’s shrewdly plotted strategy must be given credit as well. He deftly neutralized the welfare issue—which some observers early on saw as the central question of the election—by promising a bold program to curtail welfare as a “way of life.” He repeatedly invoked the theme of Americans exercising personal responsibility in their private lives if they were to benefit from the generosity of the government. And he treated Jesse Jackson in a manner that, given Jackson’s prominence in the Democratic party, could only be described as humiliating, accurately calculating that the alienation of Jackson would not cost him the loyalty of other, less controversial, black leaders.
About the Author
Arch Puddington is director of research at Freedom House and the author, most recently, of Lane Kirkland: Champion of American Labor.