Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
A look back on political party history
Published on February 3, 2004 By Draginol In Republican
The Republican party hasn't changed nearly as much as the Democrats were. The Democrats bet the farm on slavery in the 1860s -- they wanted to protect it. They lost. So then they became the party of white power. Woodrow Wilson was incredibly racist for instance and undid many executive branch reforms brought in by Teddy Roosevelt and Taft. The KKK, the Jim Crowe laws, the seperate but equal schooling, seperate drinking fountains were all laws passed by Democrats over the objections of Republicans.

The first African American congressmen were Republicans.

But over time, overt racism is just a loser of an issue. Sensibilities change and Democrats like Woodrow Wilson and his contempoaries arguing that this country was for the white race sounded more and more ignorant and hateful. It was a lower of an issue. Of course, it took Democrats a long time to figure that out as Wilson was only one of two Democratic presidents since before 1860 (Wilson was elected in 1913 so picture only having 2 Democrats in office in a perid of 53 years).

So the Democrats found a new strategy -- rather than being the party of the white man they would become the party of the downtrodden.

The change began with the election of Franklin Roosevelt. He was earnestly trying to save the Republic but was also a shrewd politician. He was the first President to recognize the true power of the recently passed amendment allowing federal income taxes. He began teaching the masses, particularly the lower classes that democracy could be a tool in which they used the power of the ballot to confiscate the wealth generated by the upper classes. It wasn't hard given the inequalities of the time (people who argue that there are greater differences between the rich and the poor today than at any time in history be charitable, wrong).

He was much more subtle and I believe more honorable in his intentions than later politicians would become. In those days (1930s to 1945) you could work hard and still be in poverty as millions of Americans of that era could attest to. I mean really working hard (full time working in a dangerous mine or mill or factory where you could die at any time and still be living in poverty). And people who cry about Enron should read up on the great depression in which millions of regular Americans suffered while a few percent of the elites walked away just fine.

So the earliest programs were about taking some wealth from the highest echelons of income earners and providing some benefits and services for those who were honestly trying to make their way in the world. Hence the term "New Deal".

Later Democrats recognized even greater opportunity by looking at the trends. Those who ended up being dependent on government help were overwhelmingly supporting them. No matter how well constructed, some percentage of people will always end up dependent on some goverment service. By pushing through programs that "assisted" the less fortuntae, they could create more and more dependents that would increasingly serve as their base.

And so here we are today with 90% of African Americans supporting the political party that literally fought to the death to keep them enslaved. Siding against the party that was largely formed (largely to free them whose very first President did free them (I'm not arguing that Lincoln was some sort of abolutionist, I am only arguing the facts here).

Democrats switched their strategy of white power to a strategy designed control of the less fortunate through the growing percentages of government dependents. Slaves of the government if you will. So I suppose, depending on how one looks at it, the Democrats haven't changed so much after all. They are still about keeping large segments of the population down in slavery. It's just that now they use much more flowery language to attain it.

Comments (Page 2)
on Feb 06, 2004
Luna, you're right: to be neutral you have to be split down the middle, but you can alos split half a brain, too, you know effecting greater chaos.

From stevendedalus [I sign this because I think Brad has changed me to oops! ]
on Feb 07, 2004
I read your original post, Brad, but didn't have time to read any other comments.

I feel as if you are either just extremely partisan and want to find anything to make Republican mean good, or either you just don't know history. Maybe its something else entirely, but I disagree with a great deal of what you said based on fact - not just my opinion. Mind you I'm going by the original post showing your opinions, and nothing else.

Fact #1: The Democratic party has always been considerably more factionalized then the Republicans. In 1860, the party convention officially split into two camps - Northern Democrats and Stephen Douglas; then the Southern "Dixiecrats" split off with Breckenridge.

Of course you had the new liberal Republicans - which at that time they were liberal.

And then John Bell ran as well in 1860.

The fact is, Stephen Douglas and the Democrats believed in popular sovereignty - a compromise. Breckenridge and the Southern Dixiecrats were absolutely racist idiots. Republicans were the radical new progressives out to banish all forms of slavery in America at this time.

Over time, things changed. FDR was hardly a Dixiecrat, he was a northern liberal Democrat. Woodrow Wilson, growing up in Virginia, was more of a mix then anything.

But by the time 1960 rolled around, the Democrats clearly put forth their progressive image. With FDR and the New Deal in the past, JFK and LBJ built on this. LBJ - being from Texas - was ironically a fairly progressive guy. He allowed for civil rights to pass in 1964, and he knew it would transform the party and the nation's politics for decades to come.

It was the Democrats which passed and enacted Civil Rights on the Federal level in the 60's, with some Republican support. Dixiecrats and conservative Republicans voted against Civil Rights. Progressive Democrats AND Republicans voted in congress to allow it to pass; but the Dems had control at this time.

What happened thereafter? All the old south Dixiecrats quickly turned into Republicans. Strom Thurmond changed parties, and became Republican during this. So did virtually every other southern Dixiecrat.

So which party of today has the old south in it? Ironically - its the Republicans. The Republicans haven't been liberal since 1860 if you ask me...

So the entire basis of your post has no merit if you really do believe Republicans are the party of progressives and the Democrats are hte party of racists.

The fact is - both parties have a lot of backwards social hicks in them. The Dems happen to have fewer in 2004, though. And that's a fact.
on Feb 07, 2004
By the way, your idea that the government keeps people down and Democrats have made slaves out of these people are ludicrous.

The living conditions of this nation have been enhanced so greatly through the New Deal and Great Society programs, it cannot be understated how GOOD this has been overall for the nation. Has there been massive wastes and misuses? Sure - everything needs reform and fixing from time to time. But overall, the good that has been done through these true revolutionary American leaders has been tremendous.

I think you can disagree in a civil manner without being off the wall and reversing the entire argument back to calling those who legitimately see a role for gov't in economics and social justice as the slave-holders of modern day.

That is just ludicrious, at best. Brad - the fact is - if you actually understood history and respected it, and you were actually alive during the depression, you'd been begging for the government to do something yourself. When you can't even feed yourself, something has to be done. Government has a legitimate role. And the reason why we've not had an economic depression since the actual real depression of the 30's is because of these government programs keeping that from happening.

Its not called slavery, its called common sense if you ask me.
on Feb 16, 2004
I was watching a "American Experience" program the other night on PBS called "Reconstruction-The Second Civil War".
It stated that 6 days after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant, President Lincoln (Republican) was assassinated. His vice president, Southern Democrat Andrew Johnson, becomes president. The show was very clear in telling the truth about the Republican party being completely responsible for the 14th Amendment, the 1866 Civil Rights Act and the Supplemental Freedman's Bureau Bill. It clearly explained how the Democrat party called themselves "the party of the white man". It explained how both the President (Southern Democrat Andrew Johnson) and the Democratic party fought tooth and nail against any civil rights for black men. It was shockingly accurate and stated that the President vetoed the 14th Amendment, the 1866 Civil Rights Act, and the Supplemental Freedman's Bureau Bill. All of these were designed to extend protection to Southern blacks. The Republican controlled congress overrode the president's vetoes making them law. I agree completely with your article. I still for the life of me can not figure out WHY roughly 90% of blacks vote for the party that wanted them to remain slaves. Republicans have fought for them, not Democrats. They are hypocrats.

on Feb 16, 2004

The republican party has long been majority dominated by White Men. I have no problem with White Men, being one myself. While it was a "republican" who freed the slaves, going off of current political definitions of the parties, Lincoln would have been a democrat.

Very unlikely. First of all, Republicans are the ones who favor a color blind society. That is the view that most closely matches Lincoln's.

Democrats were the party of white supremacy for a good century after the Civil war. It was only during Johnson's administration that the tide really turned. Most people forget that while Johnson passed the 1965 Civil Rights Act, it passed because of Republicans over the objections of Democrats. 

Anyone who has seriously studied the politcal history of the United States knows that it has always been the Republicans who have delivered more rights for minorities. Which is kind of like real life, conservatives tend to be the ones who actually DO constructive things rather than bitching pointlessly about things.

Let's look at the score card show we?

Republicans supported over Democratic objections:

[X] Fighting against the Fugitive Slave Law
[X] Freeing the slaves
[X] Giving blacks the right to vote
[X] First black Congressman
[X] Integrating White House Staff (undone by President Wilson btw)
[X] Opposing Jim Crowe Laws
[X] Opposing Poll "taxes"
[X] Sending in Federal Marshals to investigate Lynching
[X] Passing the 1965 Civil Rights Act (signed by a Democrat - LBJ in the same way that Clinton passed welfare reform)

And on the Democratic side they've got...Reverse discrimination in the form of affirmative action. And what is the reasoning behind Affirmative Action? Because Democrats don't think blacks are good enough to be able to get jobs or into colleges on their own merit. So in other words, Democrats really haven't changed that much, they still look down on their fellow Americans. 


on Feb 16, 2004
This is a silly historical discussion since the views of both parties in the current age do not match those views. As an avid watcher of the West Wing, I'm reminded of a quote from one of the episodes, "If all the democrats switched to the Republican Party and voted to change the platform, boom, everything would change."

And that's more or less what happened.

on Feb 16, 2004
integration of the military under truman is conspicuously absent.