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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Terry Sanford, [date unknown]. Interview A-0140. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

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

...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.
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.