Being a libertarian, I am writing this from a pretty neutral stance. However, as I get older and learn more, my stance in the center is leaning slightly right. In any event, I figured I’d drop some facts on the masses in regards to the two big political parties’ race relations. The issue of race is one of the reasons why I tilt slightly to the right. As liberal professors tend to tweak their history lessons in favor of their political affiliation, conservative politicians tend to feel the wrath of non-caucasians. Is this wrath even warranted? Well, let’s fire up the flux capacitor and step into the DeLorean.
In the early days of the Republican Party, way back in 1854, they ran on the platform of abolishing slavery as well as fighting social, political and economic injustice. The Republicans at this time were a third party, as politics were dominated by the Democrats and the Whigs. The Democrats had very strong pro-slavery policies. No Republican ever owned a slave contrary to popular political slander spouted by liberal professors.
Then a man came along by the name of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s stance on race is a shaky one and something I am saving for a later blog, however, his involvement with the Republican Party is what brought them to national prominence. During the election of 1860, Lincoln and the Republicans defeated Stephen Douglas and the split Democrats to gain the presidency. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president in United States history.
Lincoln then led the Northern Union forces to victory over the Southern Confederacy in the Civil War. One of the results of this war was that freedom was given to all of the slaves in the South. The Republican’s leader had defeated the primarily Democratic regime and abolished their pro-slavery policies. This event led to the assassination of Lincoln at the hands of John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer.
Shortly after the Civil War, it was the Republican Party that ushered in the first Civil Rights Act. It was also the Republicans that passed the 14th Amendment, which gave constitutional rights and equal protection to blacks by overruling the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857. Shortly after that, the 15th Amendment was brought forth. This amendment gave blacks the right to vote. When it came time to vote on it, it passed. The Republicans were 98% in favor while the Democrats were 97% against it.
As Republicans continued to support equality and justice for black Americans, the Democrats, in 1868, had the party slogan “This is a white man’s government”.
Now let’s go forward in time to the next big civil rights era in history: the 1960′s.
Lyndon B. Johnson, who had just succeeded John F. Kennedy, after his assassination, championed in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Johnson, a Democrat, was challenged for the presidency in 1964 by the Republican Party’s candidate, Barry Goldwater. When the discussion of Civil Rights came up, they had slightly differing views. Johnson was for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, whereas Goldwater was opposed to it. This single event had a long lasting effect on black voters in America and it permanently turned the tide. However this change was truly nonsensical and unwarranted.
When looking at the reason why Goldwater was opposed to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it makes sense.
Goldwater, who was very vocally for racial equality, integration and civil rights in general, was only opposed to this Act simply for the fact that it stripped away the rights of private business owners by forcing them to serve all people, whether they wanted to or not. He felt that a private business, no matter how they felt about any group of people, had the right to refuse service to anyone they wanted within the walls of their own business. To force them otherwise was an attack against their freedom, whether they were bigots or not.
In regards to the Act itself, Lyndon B. Johnson was not the author of it, in fact no Democrat was. The author was Everett Dirksen a Republican senator from the State of Illinois. When it came time to vote on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 27 out of 31 Republicans voted for it, while 21 Democrats, including Al Gore Sr., voted against it. The Act passed despite the lack of enthusiasm by President Johnson’s own party.
Ever since the election of 1964, the Republicans have had this stigma of being racist. Goldwater’s stance against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forever put a black eye on his party. The Democrats have used this as a weapon every election since and now blacks generally align with the Democratic Party. If it wasn’t for the black voter, the Democrats wouldn’t win the vast majority of the elections that they do. The numbers don’t lie. The Democrats also wear a sheep suit, that being the one that presents them as the party who gives back to those in need while the Republicans are painted out as rich, selfish, uncaring bigots who don’t fight for the civil rights of those below poverty level. Now this game has been going on so long that these perceptions are unjustly forced onto the parties by a generally liberal driven media and education system. The masses take whatever information is fed them as gospel without checking the facts for themselves.
Today however, it seems as if the people are waking up. Everyday it seems, I meet more and more African Americans who are either Republican or libertarian. In any event, they are much more conservative, at least fiscally. There are more blacks running for Congress and the Senate as Republicans this year, than ever before.
Is it a sign of things to come?
I leave you with two quotes.
Deroy Murdock: “The Republican Party and conservatives generally have spent the last 147 years trying to liberate black Americans and make them self-reliant, while Democrats and liberals have spent most of that time either trying to hold blacks behind or making them dependent on big government solutions. While the Right generally has tried to create a society built on equal opportunity where race matters less, the Left usually has tried to amplify the importance of race while apportioning power and privilege on the basis of skin color.”
Byron York: “For years Democrats have portrayed themselves as the sole guardians of civil rights, not only because they support the cause but also to obscure the fact that for so many years the Democratic Party was an obstacle to civil rights. Now, of course, Democrats depend on receiving 90-plus percent of the African American vote in presidential election years. Even with that vote, they lose, and if they received even slightly less than that, they would never, ever win. So their survival depends on the need to portray Republicans as racists, or at least as insensitive to civil rights. I think that message is often megaphoned in the media, and so Republicans find themselves constantly on the defensive.”