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The Forum

A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics

Ed. by Disalvo, Daniel / Stonecash, Jeffrey

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.397

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.476
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.331

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Volume 14, Issue 1


White Populism and the Transformation of the Silent Majority

Joseph Lowndes
Published Online: 2016-04-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/for-2016-0004


Since 1968 a racially-defined conservative populism – what Richard Nixon called the “Silent Majority” – has been a durable part of Republican political identity. Yet across this era the GOP has continued to move away from protecting the rights and livelihoods of the very middle and working-class whites through which they built the modern party. For decades these whites have been experiencing falling or stagnant wages, the deterioration of collective bargaining, and the largest wealth gap in US history – an economic reality that was made worse by the Great Recession of 2008. Today the Silent Majority that made the rise of modern conservatism possible over the last half century is no longer a reliable element of national Republicanism. A combination of downward economic pressure, demographic changes, and political abandonment by GOP elites has created deep rifts that have destabilized the Republican Party and left its future uncertain.

About the article

Joseph Lowndes

Joseph Lowndes is an associate professor of political science at the University of Oregon. His primary research concerns race, populism, and conservatism in U.S. politics. He is the author of From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism.

Published Online: 2016-04-22

Published in Print: 2016-04-01

Citation Information: The Forum, Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages 25–37, ISSN (Online) 1540-8884, ISSN (Print) 2194-6183, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/for-2016-0004.

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©2016 by De Gruyter. Copyright Clearance Center

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