Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields discuss The Long Southern Strategy at Clinton School and Clinton Foundation program tonight

44765473Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields will speak tonight about their book The Long Southern Strategy tonight (September 19) at 6pm.  The program, a joint presentation of the Clinton School and Clinton Foundation, will take place in the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center.

The Southern Strategy is traditionally understood as a Goldwater and Nixon-era effort by the Republican Party to win over disaffected white voters in the Democratic stronghold of the American South. To realign these voters with the GOP, the party abandoned its past support for civil rights and used racially coded language to capitalize on southern white racial angst.

However, that decision was but one in a series of decisions the GOP made not just on race, but on feminism and religion as well, in what Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields call the “Long Southern Strategy.”

In the wake of Second-Wave Feminism, the GOP dropped the Equal Rights Amendment from its platform and promoted traditional gender roles in an effort to appeal to anti-feminist white southerners, particularly women. And when the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention became increasingly fundamentalist and politically active, the GOP tied its fate to the Christian Right. With original, extensive data on national and regional opinions and voting behavior, Maxwell and Shields show why all three of those decisions were necessary for the South to turn from blue to red.

To make inroads in the South, however, GOP politicians not only had to take these positions, but they also had to sell them with a southern “accent.” Republicans embodied southern white culture by emphasizing an “us vs. them” outlook, preaching absolutes, accusing the media of bias, prioritizing identity over the economy, encouraging defensiveness, and championing a politics of retribution. In doing so, the GOP nationalized southern white identity, rebranded itself to the country at large, and fundamentally altered the vision and tone of American politics.

All Clinton School Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats by emailing or by calling (501) 683-5239.


Exhibit celebrating the work of sculptor Jose Sacal opens at Clinton Center

José Sacal: A Universal MexicanA new exhibit is now open at the Clinton Presidential Center.  José Sacal: A Universal Mexican is presented in celebration of the CCIX Anniversary of the Independence of Mexico and National Hispanic Heritage Month

This exhibit is displayed in partnership with the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock and the José Sacal Micha Foundation.

José Sacal is undoubtedly one of the most prominent representatives of contemporary sculptural art. Known for his experimentation and freedom, Sacal recognized no boundaries in his sources of inspiration and was not afraid to find new meaning in old forms.

José Sacal: A Universal MexicanJosé Sacal: A Universal Mexican includes two groups of the artist’s work: sculptures inspired by other works of art and portraits of historical figures. In his works, Sacal finds the essence of each character or work. It can be a detail or an object, but the rest is something deeper. By recreating them, Sacal gives them a new meaning and establishes an artistic dialogue at a higher level. In his intelligent observation of art and history, Sacal reveals himself as a universal Mexican.

José Sacal: A Universal Mexican is sponsored locally by Arvest Bank, Arkansas Tech University, Centennial Bank, Hope Credit Union, ISTI Plant Services, Morelos Supermercados, Bank of America, First Community Bank, First Security Bank, and The Ramirez Law Firm, PLLC.

Get a #SharkWeek Selfie at the Clinton Center

Shark Week

It’s Shark Week! Celebrate this popular summer TV tradition by taking a photo with Greta the Great White Shark in the Clinton Center’s Washed Ashore exhibit.

Greta is 16 feet long and made entirely of plastic debris collected from beaches. Explore the rest of the exhibit and see more than 20 giant sea life creatures, all made from beach toys, flip flops, bottles, and more!

Remembering when Buzz Aldrin appeared in Little Rock

Forty-four years after being the second man to step foot on the moon, legendary astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin spoke in Little Rock. His appearance was sponsored by the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton School of Public Service.

He and Leonard David, veteran space journalist and co-author of Dr. Aldrin’s book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration” were in conversation in Little Rock on August 14, 2013 inside the Robinson Center Music Hall.

Aldrin was engaging, enthusiastic, opinionated and an overall wonderful speaker as he spoke about space exploration and his experiences. A video of his appearance is available here.

Selected into the NASA in 1963, Dr. Aldrin developed docking and rendezvous techniques for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit, which was critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs, and are still used today. He pioneered underwater training techniques, as a substitute for zero gravity flights, to simulate spacewalking and during the 1966 Gemini 12 mission, he preformed the first successful spacewalk. On July 20, 1969, Dr. Aldrin, along with Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world.