Historical relevance of the Republican Party continues to impact political decisions
Sanford takes a long view in explaining how the Republican Party rose to power. As he discusses the salience of North Carolinians' negative memories about Republicans, Sanford expresses the importance of historical memory in political decisions.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Terry Sanford, [date unknown]. Interview A-0140. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- WALTER DE VRIES:
...But you had, in '72, in the primaries, the favored
candidates - so-called establishment candidates like Taylor, Senator
Jordan, even in the Republican party for governor -
all of them, in a sense, upset and overturned in what were anticipated
to just normal kinds of victories. Do you think that that had any
impact, say, first of all in the Democratic party? And do you think this
kind of thing's going to continue in the future in this state?
Ticket-splitting, so that . . . and also where the two parties are
really competitive now for certain offices.
- TERRY SANFORD:
Well, I think it's good that the parties are competitive, and I think
that would be as good a place to mark that turn as anywhere else, though
obviously it's been developing. Outside that we almost had a two party
system when people grew old enough and there were enough young people
that they couldn't remember second-hand tales of Sherman coming through
the South. They had to be third-hand tales, and Hoover carried the
state. There were some other factors, but at least it was respectable to
be a Republican for the first time. And then Hoover fixed it so as long
as anybody could remember the depression we wouldn't have a two party
system, and as they grew too old to . . . for enough people to remember
that, they began to bring on the rise of the Republican party. And that
began in '60, really. Nixon got 59 plus per cent of the vote, Gavin got
45 per cent of the vote. And it certainly has reached that point of
fruition now that Holshouser and Helms being elected. And we'll continue
to see it, so it's a very significant if not traumatic year.