Many Democrats Claim That Republicans And Democrats Switched On Racism
The true history of US Civil Rights is well documented. Beginning in 1854 to the presenta period of 161 yearsthe Republican Party has been the single, most powerful activist group against racism and for civil rights in America. This is not my opinion, it is historical fact. What is also historical fact is that the Democratic Party opposed virtually all Republican civil rights legislation from 1854 onward. Even worse, their opposition manifested in some of the most vicious, evil, pro-slavery, anti-Black, anti-women, and anti-Native American behavior imaginable.
Yet when confronted with their horrendous civil rights history Democrats now claim that Republicans and Democrats switched on racism and civil rightsthat the Democratic Party shed their 100+ year history of anti-Black, anti-women, pro-White policies and that Republicans decided to completely reject their core pro-civil rights principles to suddenly become racist, anti-women bigots. In other words, regarding civil rights, they say the two parties flipped.
A Quick Summary Of How The Major Parties Changed And Switched With Some Visuals
Above was an overview of the main points, below is a more detailed;summary of points that will help one understand the party switches of the different party systems. After the summary are some images and videos which help tell the main points of the story:
Also consider the following general notes about the party platforms in any era:
- Northern City Interests : Federalists, Whigs, Third Party Republicans, Fourth Party Progressive era Republicans , Fifth;Party Democrats , Modern Democrats.
- Southern Rural Interests : Anti-Federalists, Democratic-Republicans, Third Party Democrats, Fourth Party Progressive Era Democrats , Fifth;Party Republicans , Modern Republicans.
NOTE: Saying there is way too much ground to cover to say it all in a consumable bite is an understatement, so if you are looking for specifics use command find or our site search.
TIP: The Confederates wanted free-trade and states rights, meanwhile the northern Republicans wanted a debt-based economy with modernization and protectionist trade. Things have changed considerably, but not every plank changed. What happened was complex.
Below some images that might help tell the story without me even having to say another word:
A map showing realigning elections and Presidents who represent major changes in the U.S. parties. We can see something happened, that is empirically undeniable, but what?
The Fifth Party System And The The New Deal And Conservative Coalitions
Now that we have clearly illustrated the above factions and ideologies, we can move on to the last round of changes which happened from roughly the 1930s, to WWII, to the 1960s, to the 1990s as the FDR supporting Progressive Social Liberal New Deal Coalition faced off against the Socially Conservative anti-New Deal Conservative Coalition .
From the 1930s to the 1990s, from Hoover to Goldwater, to Nixon, to Reagan, to Bush, the Conservative Coalition;drew southern solid southDixiecrat conservative Democrats out of the Democratic Party via their southern strategy. By the 1990s, this resulted in the modern American social conservative and sometimes classical liberal;Republican party. Likewise,;the New Deal coalition,;which opposed the conservative coalition, drew progressives into the Democratic Party and out of the Republican party under FDRs New Deal, LBJs Great Society program, and Clintons New Democrats. This resulted in;the modern American social liberal, and thus necessarily traditionally classically conservative in terms of authority;party during the same time.
Although the tension between these two factions starts in the 1930s with the New Deal, it comes to a boiling point over issues like States Rights, the Second Red Scare, and;Brown v. the Board of Education following WWII in the late 40s and 50s.
We have undertaken a new order of things; yet we progress to it under the framework and in the spirit and intent of the American Constitution. FDR
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Looking To The Classics And Factions For Proof
One good and not-so-divisive way to explain history is to look at the classics, especially those who focus on state-based political factions over political parties.
Classic works of this sort of political history, like V.O. Keys Southern Politics in State and Nation , make it very clear that the Solid South had historically always voted lock-step for the Democratic Party . Of course, the voting map over time, actual recorded history, and so much else tell this story too, but a well respected book like this is a great secondary source!
Today the Solid South is with the Republican Party and today old Socially Progressive Republicans like Teddy arent in the party .
This isnt to say that some of the more progressive Dixies, Bryan followers, and even economically minded Southern;Bourbons arent in the Democratic Party, they obviously are, just look at Carter, Clinton, Gore, and Bernie .
Likewise, the GOP have their constants. The;conservative Federalist pro-business faction, the neocons be they switched Bourbons, Gilded Age post-Reconstruction Republicans, or traditional Federalists, and the Federalist War Hawks are still in the Republican Party, as are the nativists;of the north Know-Nothings.
However, despite what didnt change, a ton did, including the party platforms, key factions, and a large swath of the voter base.
Modern Democrats know this well, they lost the 2016;election and didnt get one state in the Southern Bloc for Hillary .
Adams And The Revolution Of 1800
Shortly after Adams took office, he dispatched a group of envoys to seek peaceful relations with France, which had begun attacking American shipping after the ratification of the Jay Treaty. The failure of talks, and the French demand for bribes in what became known as the XYZ Affair, outraged the American public and led to the , an undeclared naval war between France and the United States. The Federalist-controlled Congress passed measures to expand the army and navy and also pushed through the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Alien and Sedition Acts restricted speech that was critical of the government, while also implementing stricter naturalization requirements. Numerous journalists and other individuals aligned with the Democratic-Republicans were prosecuted under the Sedition Act, sparking a backlash against the Federalists. Meanwhile, Jefferson and Madison drafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which held that state legislatures could determine the constitutionality of federal laws.
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Democrats Wanted To Entice Western Settlers With Money
Democrats thought they figured out a strategy. Republican federal expansions in the 1860-70s favored big businesses in the Northeast, such as banks, railroads and manufacturers. Yet small-time farmers who had gone to the West received very little.
Both parties tried to exploit this frustration, by promising the little guy some of the federal monies. Democrats stuck with this stance favoring federally funded social programs and benefits while Republicans were gradually driven to the opposing position of smaller, hands-off government.
The Myth Of The Republican
When faced with the sobering reality that Democrats supported slavery, started the Civil War when the abolitionist Republican Party won the Presidency, established the Ku Klux Klan to brutalize newly freed slaves and keep them from voting, opposed the Civil Rights Movement, modern-day liberals reflexively perpetuate rather pernicious myth–that the racist southern Democrats of the 1950s and 1960s became Republicans, leading to the so-called “switch” of the parties.
This is as ridiculous as it is easily debunked. ;;
The Republican Party, of course, was founded in 1848 with the abolition of slavery as its core mission. Almost immediately after its second presidential candidate, Abraham Lincoln, won the 1860 election, Democrat-controlled southern states seceded on the assumption that Lincoln would destroy their slave-based economies.
Once the Civil War ended, the newly freed slaves as expected flocked to the Republican Party, but Democrat control of the South from Reconstruction until the Civil Rights Era was near total. ;In 1960, Democrats held every Senate seat south of the Mason-Dixon line. ;In the 13 states that made up the Confederacy a century earlier, Democrats held a staggering 117-8 advantage in the House of Representatives. ;The Democratic Party was so strong in the south that those 117 House members made up a full 41% of Democrats’ 283-153 advantage in the Chamber.
So how did this myth of a sudden “switch” get started?
It would not be the last time they used it.
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The Republican Sixth Party Strategy Where The Tea Party And Alt
Everything noted so far leads up to one other thing that needs to be discussed on its own .
After Voting Rights 1965 it wasnt just a matter of switching the South, it was a matter of taking that 1930s conservative coalition to the next level and the Republicans;switching themselves .
No social conservative faction was strong enough on its own to win an election, not after Voting Rights, but together, under a strategically planned big tent, the social conservatives and establishment conservatives;could create a siren-like;Frankensteins monster;to push for free-enterprise; and socially conservative values against the progressive state an increasingly progressive Democratic Party .
This story involves:
The Powell memo, the southern strategy, the John Birch Society, the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan, Norquist, Roger Aisle, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Fox News, Reagan, Right-Wing Radio, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, and a vast;right-wing conspiracy aimed at getting;the many different social conservative and establishment conservative factions to adopt;each;others ideology .
Essentially, the Conservative Coalition in their fight against Communism and liberal democrats since WWI, but especially when their hand was forced post 1965, have created the modern right-wing populist political machine to counter the lefts own political machine .
Better Understanding The Changes In American Politics
Above we summarized the switching of ideologies and platforms;between the parties by looking at the party systems and Presidents.
Below we explore;details, clarify semantics, answer questions, present curated videos, and illustrate some of the key telling moments regarding the changes described above.
Please consider sharing your insight below, our summing up of the history of American politics is an ongoing effort, see the videos for supplemental content from other authors.
For deeper reading:
- Also, see a breakdown of each party and President and how they would be placed on the left and right.
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Hold Firmly To Righteousness
Leaders for generations have wisely recognized that the quality of our government depends more upon the quality and character of our leaders than about any other factor. And they also understood that we were responsible for choosing leaders of character and righteousness. Just as Frederick Douglass reminded voters of this truth based on Proverbs 14:34, so too did the Rev. Francis Grimke.
Francis Grimke was born to a slave mother in 1850 in South Carolina and served as a valet in the Confederate army until Emancipation. After the war he attended Lincoln University, Howard University, and Princeton Theological Seminary, then became minister of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., the same church earlier pastored by the Reverend Henry Allen Garnett.
Grimke was also one of the forces behind the formation of the NAACP. And in a sermon delivered on Sunday, March 7, 1909, Reverend Grimke admonished his hearers on their civic responsibilities based on Gods righteousness.
The Parties Change Course
After the war, the Republican Party became more and more oriented towards economic growth, industry, and big business in Northern states, and in the beginning of the 20th;century it had reached a general status as a party for the more wealthy classes in society. Many Republicans therefore gained financial success in the prosperous 1920s until the stock market crashed in 1929 initiating the era of the Great Depression.
Now, many Americans blamed Republican President Herbert Hoover for the financial damages brought by the crisis. In 1932 the country therefore instead elected Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt to be president.
The Democratic Party largely stayed in power until 1980, when Republican Ronald Reagan was elected as president. Reagans social conservative politics and emphasis on cutting taxes, preserving family values, and increasing military funding were important steps in defining the modern Republican Party platform.
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Democrats Adopted Socialist Ideas From Europe
Then in the early 1900s, the Democratic party adopted the expanding progressivism and socialism of European countries. In the 1930s, Democratic president Franklin Roosevelt won reelection on the strength of the New Deal, a set of Depression-prolonging reforms. Roosevelt won in a landslide against Republican Alf Landon, who opposed these massive expansions of federal power. So, the Democratic Party quickly became the party of big government.
People sometimes argue that, the Democratic Party then became the party of big government and that the Republican party of big government became rhetorically committed to curbing federal power. How did this ideology switch happen?
How The Republicans Became Socially Conservative
The Fourth;Party Republicans;began;to change when;the Progressive Republican Theodore Teddy Roosevelt broke;from the party in 1912 . Following the break, the Republicans;increasingly embraced social conservatism;and opposed social;progressivism .;From Harding to Hoover, to Nixon, to Bush they increasingly favored classical liberalism regarding individual and states rights over;central;authority. This attracted some socially conservative Democrats like states rights Dixiecrat Strom Thurmon. It resulted in a Southernization of the;Republican party and drove some progressive Republicans from the party over time.
TIP: See History of the United States Republican Party.
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Moving On And Notes For Skeptics
With the above said, any shorthand way to describe how changing factions led to what we can call changing parties;it is bound to leave out key details, as the full story is as complex as American history.
Below we tell the long and complicated history of the American parties and party systems in order to illustrate the changing platforms, parties, members, and factions and to find out what did or didnt change. The idea is to prove a point , it is to accurately portray our history.
I would say to the skeptics: we;can have a real conversation here about what did or didnt change in each party, but the history presented here, the changing;Congressional seats over time, the changing;voter base of the parties over time, and;more;show that there are;many very real and important changes to discuss.
Sure today we all want to identify with;Lincoln the First Republican President, but does this not do a disservice to the half of the nation that succeeded in the name of States Rights and small government;in response to that Republican won;election?
Of course, if there is one bonus in everyone trying to appropriate Lincoln, it is that perhaps we will all heed his advice that a;house divided against itself cannot stand .
To see a visual of how this all results in the red and blue states switching, simply watch the video below. For an alternative viewpoint, check out the story of William Jennings Bryan, the father of modern American left-wing and right-wing populism .
Dinesh Dsouza Gives An Inaccurate Reading Of The Big Switch Myth: His Version Of History Is A Myth
Dinesh DSouza decided to make a movie about how the Democrats didnt change and how Northern ghettoes are proof of modern slavery .
This argument shows a lack of an understanding of American history .
Northern ghettoes are a problem because lots and lots of reasons . Their problems stem from things like: the nature of capitalism and classism, a push-back against busing and integration, the great migration, immigrant rather than a history of slavery, and even less heartwarming truths of obstructionist factions in both parties .
Northern Ghettoes like South Side Chicago;arent a product of the Confederate ideology, they are a product of economic inequality. It isnt because Socially Liberal Progressives and Neoliberals are racist and have racist policies, it is because aristocracy + oligrachy + capitalism + the welfare state = economic inequality for economic minorities .
This is very different than Southern Slavery where the less-thans were known by skin color rather than pocketbook size.
This is to say:
- The party with the outwardly hurtful policies is generally the party with the Social Conservatives in it .
- The party with the policies that are economically hurtful is typically the business wing of both parties, always. Not all factions of a given party, but generally the dominate establishment;factions; as those are always the factions;with the most money and thus the ones least likely to create policies that dont help their class first.
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Three Factions Of Modern Republicans To Oppose This
Although conservatism is complex, it is defined well as an opposition philosophy to liberalism. Through this lens, there is a type of conservatism that stands against for;brand;of liberalism. Modern American conservatism wants to conserve, which means not being progressive on a given issue and which by its nature is not conservative. Thus we get modern social conservatism which says no to social programs and federal power, except when it upholds conservative social values.;There is also a;more liberal version that;we call libertarianism. It is against all uses of state power for any reason and is a form of radical classical liberalism, combined with;traditional classical conservatism, which is willing to use federal power to keep order, but not inherently against social programs. These factions can be said to become;allies;the conservative coalition mentioned above, although the establishment of both parties tends to favor aspects of traditional classical conservatism.
TIP: When either party uses government power, they are traditional conservatives, when either party deregulates and lets the private market and individuals handle it, they are classically liberal. More than one ideology uses classical liberalism, and more than one uses classical conservatism, as all political ideologies grow out of these foundational ideologies.
A Response To The Claim Welfare Is Equatable To Slavery
In the 1850s, inequality in the Northern big government cities, northern immigration in the big cities , and African slavery in the small government south all existed side-by-side. and in ways, so it is today . Northern cities still favor bigger government, and they still have problems of racism and inequality, Rural South still favors small government . This does not make the North of today equatable to the slave economy of the South of yesterday however.
There is this idea that welfare is equatable to slavery in this respect, as in both cases a societal structure is providing basic essentials for a class of people . This argument, often presented in tandem with the claim the parties didnt switch/change is essentially a red herring that misses the nuances we describe on this page .
The southern conservatives who held slaves and fought for the Confederacy essentially switched out of the Democratic party starting in the 1960s, and even continuing to the modern day , in response to LBJs welfare programs . In other words, if the southern conservative had wanted to oppress a class of people with welfare, one would logically assume they wouldnt have switched out of the Democratic party over time in response to welfare programs.
Today it is a Southern Republican who flies to Confederate flag, today it is a Republican who champions small government in America. Yesterday, it was a Southern Democrat.
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