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Painting Dixie RedWhen, Where, Why, and How the South Became Republican$
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Glenn Feldman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036847

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036847.001.0001

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M. E. Bradford, the Reagan Right, and the Resurgence of Confederate Nationalism

M. E. Bradford, the Reagan Right, and the Resurgence of Confederate Nationalism

(p.291) 12 M. E. Bradford, the Reagan Right, and the Resurgence of Confederate Nationalism
Painting Dixie Red

Fred Arthur Bailey

University Press of Florida

This chapter tracks the extraordinary influence of Texas literary figure and political philosopher Melvin E. Bradford on the development of modern conservatism and the Republican appeal in the South. Bradford's aversion to all forms of egalitarianism—including racial—deeply influenced his work, and that of other key southern conservatives, as Bradford became a theoretical rock star for the political right during the 1980s. The author of scores of popular and professional articles, Bradford was also an accomplished orator who supported conservatives from George Wallace to Ronald Reagan and, in return, was rewarded with celebrity and a position in the Reagan Administration. The chapter argues that Bradford's case for an ordered society premised upon the supposed innate inequality of mankind (based on a faulty understanding of the American Revolution and the Civil War) was highly influential to a host of neo-Confederate and other modern conservative and Republican thinkers, especially in the South.

Keywords:   Melvin E. Bradford, Vanderbilt Agrarians, League of the South, Neo-Confederacy, Ronald Reagan, Equality, Voting Rights, Texas

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