Saturday, February 01, 2014
An Effective Big Lie, But a Lie Nonetheless
Wait, I argued, the Democrats were the slave owners and the very reason the Republicans came into being as a political party is that the Whigs refused to go anti-slavery (so that party rapidly went away) and the Republican policies on race were fervently and essentially pro-black, anti-slavery, pro-freedom. They still are. The first Republican elected to the Presidency ended slavery with unanimous Republican votes (the Northern Democrats overwhelmingly opposed it and the Southern Democrats were not in DC but in Richmond at the time, thank God). The 13th Amendment was followed by the 14th and 15th, which again got unanimous Republican votes and which were unanimously opposed by the Southern Democrats (recently returned to the House and Senate from the Confederacy. Fortunately, there were very few Democrats, from area, in Congress then, so the Constitutional Amendments passed and were ratified. All the blacks were Republicans for nearly a century after slavery ended (at least into the 1930s when Republicans suffered long term overwhelming defeats) and it was the Democrats who thwarted for a century the 14th and 15th Amendments with Jim Crow laws and an armed terrorist branch of the party, the KKK, all Democrats.
That's ancient history, the sports guy says, we're talking about the last 50 years. We're talking about now. Things changed.
What's the evidence you have, I ask, that the Democrats suddenly, after 350 years of racism, changed their collective minds about blacks; and the Republicans, who for 150 years had supported freedom and full civil rights for American blacks, just as suddenly decided to hate blacks and work to make them less than full citizens?
He was not sure how it happened, but the proof was that most blacks are Democrats and very few were Republicans any more, so there must have been a change.
Granted, I say, but you're ascribing to the Republicans a mind set change for the worse because of a change in the party allegiance made by other people. You can't use a decision by blacks, no matter how widespread, as evidence of a decision by Democrat whites to no longer hate and oppress blacks and by white Republicans to begin to hate and oppress blacks.
Things changed, he insists. The South used to be solidly Democrats and now it's solidly Republican, so the location of the racial hatred was the same and the parties merely switched belief systems in situ.
Democratic racism was not confined to the South, but how, tell me, did the switch take place? Proportionally more Republicans (sadly in the distinct minority in Congress then) voted for the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and for the Voting Rights Act in 1965 than the overwhelming majority of Democrats; was that the change you're talking about?
No, after that. The Democrats all switched, somehow, to helping blacks and the Republicans took over the role of the former Democrats and hated and hindered the black Americans, like segregationist (and Dixiecrat) Strom Thurmond, who switched parties.
He was the only segregationist who did switch. The died-in-the-wool segregationist all were Democrats, not a Republican among them, and all but Strom died as Democrats. That's the change: The virulent racist Democrats died and we got better as a society and racism became a very real social taboo in every party. The party switch in the South only started in the '90s and had nothing to do with race or racial politics.
What did cause it, he asks? There were a host of reasons. For example, I say, the South is more pro-free market and more patriotic than the North and certainly more patriotic and pro-free market than the Democrats since 1968. The Democrats disappeared in the South more because of changes in the Democrat's foreign policy, becoming ever less anti-Communist, and moving ever more to Socialism (and Statism) domestically. It had nothing to do with race.
Yeah, he responds, but that doesn't account for the party switch by black Americans. Certainly they know what party welcomes them and which one doesn't like them.
I have an explanation for that which is on a par with your theory of switching each party's racial animus for no apparent reason. What's that, he asks?
Mass Stockholm Syndrome.
That's ridiculous, he responds.
No more ridiculous than your supposed, magic switching of the parties on race.
Then trivia started.
I hope to continue the conversation about the current racial animus of each party.