Democratic Party (United States)

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You've got to be optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one. ~ Will Rogers

The Democratic Party (DNC) is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Republican Party. Members of the party are referred to as Democrats. The first U.S. president who was a Democrat was Andrew Jackson. The most recent U.S. president who was a Democrat is the current one, Barack H. Obama II.

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Quotes[edit]

I am not a member of any organized party; I am a Democrat. ~ Will Rogers
When Democrats rush up to me at events and insist that we live in the worst of political times, that a creeping fascism is closing its grip around our throats, I may mention the internment of Japanese Americans under FDR, the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, or a hundred years of lynching under several dozen administrations as having been possibly worse, and suggest we all take a deep breath. ~ Barack H. Obama II
Neither West Point nor the Democratic Party have been good schools in which to learn justice and fair play to the negro. ~ Frederick Douglass
The Democrats just never learn. Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies. ~ Bill Maher
We can make this thing into a party, instead of a memory. ~ Will Rogers
Democrats are in the saddle! ~ John Jacob Rogers
Democrats must tag along as best they may, no matter what ill may betide. ~ John Jacob Rogers
The anti-war movement in America evaporated because Democrats, inspired to protest by their anti-Republican feelings, stopped protesting once the Democratic Party achieved success. ~ Linton Weeks
What amazes me even more is how successful the Democrats have been at rewriting their own sordid past; blaming the GOP for the crimes they themselves are guilty of. But that's an old leftist tactic; always blame the enemy for the very same crimes they themselves are guilty of. This tried-and true tactic puts the other side on the defensive. ~ Brent Parrish
Let's not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last forty years. The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are 'progressive'. This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. ~ The Wall Street Journal
The Democrats have never apologized for slavery, segregation, or the destruction of the black family. When an individual becomes utterly dependent on another person or group to provide all of their emotional, spiritual and physical needs, that individual has given away all of their power. They are allowing another person or persons the ability to pull the proverbial rug out from under them at any given moment. It is a form of slavery, plain and simple. Furthermore, the dependent individual is held down, unable to rise above the level of the person or persons to which they have become dependent upon. I call that evil. ~ Brent Parrish
Herman Cain, as a successful, articulate, and aggressive black businessman, deeply frightened the Democrats. From their bag of tricks they produced the sort of thing familiar from the treatment of Clarence Thomas, namely old charges of sexual harassment. ~ Kelley L. Ross
The Democratic Party was incensed and bitter over the fact that slavery was abolished in America. Since the Democrats could no longer keep blacks in literal chains as slaves, they invented virtual chains to enslave black Americans. Welfare and the ghetto; the liberal plantation. ~ Brent Parrish
Having hanged black men during segregation, often for bogus rape charges, Democrats now are content to smear their political prospects with harassment charges. ~ Kelley L. Ross
I knew that however bad the Republican Party was, the Democratic Party was much worse. The elements of which the Republican party was composed gave better ground for the ultimate hope of the success of the colored man's cause than those of the Democratic Party. ~ Frederick Douglass
Pro-slavery impulse still governs the Democratic Party, the party of government sinecures. It is the party that wants to use political power to tax us not for any common good, but to eat while we work. ~ Harry Victor Jaffa
With us the two great divisions of society are not the rich and the poor, but white and black, and all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected. ~ John C. Calhoun
Support for slavery remains ingrained into the DNA of at least some in the Democrat party. ~ Greg Conterio
The Democrats are still the party of slavery. They are still the party of Jim Crow. They are still the party of racism. They just changed their rhetoric, and their policies to appear to be something they're not. ~ Matt Bruce
The Democrats have moved to the right and the Republicans have moved to a mental hospital. ~ Bill Maher
We deny... that all men are created equal. It is not true. ~ Benjamin Tillman
Rioters were mostly Irish Catholic immigrants and their children. They mainly attacked the members of New York's small black population. For a year, Democratic leaders had been telling their Irish-American constituents that the wicked Black Republicans were waging the war to free the slaves who would come north and take away the jobs of Irish workers. ~ James M. McPherson
Southerners, supported vociferously by the Democratic Party of the north, were deeply opposed to any equality for the former slaves. ~ Eric Foner
The whole Democratic press... thought it horrible to keep U.S. troops stationed in the southern states, and when they were called upon to protect the lives of negroes, as much citizens under the constitution as if their skins were white, the country was scarcely large enough to hold the sound of indignation belched forth by them. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
The northern and southern Democratic Party command you to suffer. ~ Thomas Nast
Activists don't really object to police brutality or to the kinds of practices that now disgrace American law enforcement. They simply want the brutal police to be on their side rather than on the side of capitalism and America. The final proof of this was that all the misconduct and the corruption of the police was perfectly all right when the Democrats controlled Congress and the Presidency from 2009 to 2011. Nothing was done about it. ~ Kelley L. Ross
Dixiecrats accepted white privilege, because to them, that was their birthright. ~ Brad Matthews
For one hundred years the Democrats didn't want civil rights for black Americans to pass. But, they sure want to make you think they did! ~ Brent Parrish
Democrats gave us the KKK, Jim Crow, lynchings, poll taxes, literacy tests, and failed policies. ~ Allen Bernard West
The history of the Democrat party is one of slavery, secession, segregation, and now socialism. ~ Allen Bernard West
The idea that citizens do not automatically belong to the militia, and that they do not have the right to keep and bear arms, unless they belong to the National Guard, passed seamlessly from the segregationist Democrats to the gun control Democrats, and so continues. ~ Kelley L. Ross
If race hate disappeared tomorrow, the Democrats would never win another national election. The Democrats supported slavery. The Democrats concocted the Trail of Tears. The Democrats created Jim Crow. The Democrats founded the KKK. The Democrats fought civil rights and integration tooth and nail; and the Democrats never apologized for any of it. ~ Lawrence D.
Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson
The most appropriate apologist would be the Democratic Party, which was always the key supporter of slavery, secession, and segregation. So it would make more sense for it to apologize than the United States itself; which put an end to slavery at the cost of much blood and treasure. ~ Roger Clegg
The party of lynching. The party of the Ku Klux Klan. The party of Jim Crow. The party of Bull Connor. The party of segregation. ~ Charles M. Phipps
Songs such as 'Nigger Doodle Dandy' reflect the racist tone of the Democrats' presidential campaign in 1864. How did Republicans counter? In part, they sought white votes by being anti-racist. The Republican campaign, boosted by military victories in the fall of 1864, proved effective. The Democrats' overt appeals to racism failed, and anti-racist Republicans triumphed almost everywhere. ~ James W. Loewen
I'll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
Sorted alphabetically by author or source

A[edit]

  • Are DemoKKKrats determined to wreck the USA to get revenge for losing the Civil War? Democrats started the KKK. They lynched blacks, established segregation, and filibustered civil rights legislation. And they did NOT switch parties, Robert 'KKK Kleagle' Byrd was still an old time DemoKKKrat the day he died in 2010. Today, after every one of their racist policies failed, DemoKKKrats are out for revenge for losing their slaves after the Civil War. Is that why DemoKKKrats are still trying to wreck the USA, the way Reconstruction wrecked their beloved old antebellum south?

B[edit]

  • The Democratic Party was born in 1932. It gave the country four deals. These were the New Deal; the Fair Deal, which was the New Deal with hardened arteries; the New Frontier, which was the New Deal with a face lift; and the Great Society, which was the New Deal with hardened arteries, a fallen face lift and a Vietnamese accent. … The Democratic Party is a party of principle. It will sacrifice anybody to remain the principal party of the United States.
  • What would happen to the Democratic Party if they were to lose the election this year? The same thing that happened to it the last time it lost. It would sit in the wings until the Republican Party wiped itself out again and the return with the New Deal. As long as nobody cuts the cards, it can go on forever.
  • I was always raised to think that Republicans were about limited government, about individual liberty, about fiscal responsibility, about balanced budgets, about a wariness of military adventures abroad, about responsible encouragement to business. There's a whole list of things I thought the Republican Party was all about, and these guys that presently occupy the White House, are categorically against every single one of those things. So if they're Republicans, I'm not. But I'm really not a very comfortable Democrat. I mean the Democrats in the last elections proved themselves to be a bunch of dithering pussies... and it was pathetic. So I'm just waiting until one party or the other actually gets a moral compass and a backbone.
  • The public school system, that systematically fails to educate everyone, but especially minorities, is little more than a vassal of the Democratic Party, and serviced by the teachers union. In spite of the overwhelming evidence, both the Democrats and the unions steadfastly refuse any attempts to reform it, as that would mean removing their control of it. Now, why would they so vehemently resist changing it?
  • I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side.
    • Robert C. Byrd, letter to Senator Theodore Bilbo (1946), as quoted in When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History Of Racial Inequality In Twentieth-century America (2005), by Ira Katznelson, Norton. p. 81. Also quoted in "A Senator's Shame: Byrd, in His New Book, Again Confronts Early Ties to KKK" (19 June 2005), by Eric Pianin, The Washington Post, pp. A01.
  • It is necessary that the order be promoted immediately and in every state of the Union. Will you please inform me as to the possibilities of rebuilding the Klan in the Realm of West Virginia. I hope that you will find it convenient to answer my letter in regards to future possibilities.

C[edit]

  • With us the two great divisions of society are not the rich and the poor, but white and black, and all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected.
  • If every negro in Mississippi was a class graduate of Harvard, and had been elected class orator ... he would not be as well fitted to exercise the rights of suffrage as the Anglo-Saxon farm laborer.
  • The most appropriate apologist would be the Democratic Party, which was always the key supporter of slavery, secession, and segregation. So it would make more sense for it to apologize than the United States itself; which put an end to slavery at the cost of much blood and treasure.
  • Democrats spent the first century of this country's existence refusing to treat black people like human beings, and the second refusing to treat them like adults. After fighting the Civil War to continue enslaving black people and then subjecting newly freed black Americans to vicious, humiliating Jim Crow laws, and Ku Klux Klan violence, Democrats set about frantically rewriting their own ugly history.
  • The wealthy slaveholders who controlled the federal government. Democrats acting on their behalf insisted that America’s primary principle was the constitution's protection of property, and they pushed legislation to let planters monopolize the country’s resources at the expense of the working.
  • If one were to listen only to contemporary civil rights leaders in this country, one would come away with the impression that slavery was a uniquely American sin. You also would get the clear impression that it was eradicated by the Democrats over the ongoing objection of the Republicans, but that is another story for another day. Slavery as an institution still exists today, although it's practice is mostly restricted to Islamic cultures. It also has taken many forms throughout history. In czarist Russia for example, serfs were regarded as being 'part of the land'. If a parcel of land or an estate changed hands between owners, the serfs who lived-upon and worked that land went with it. They were not legally allowed to leave and go elsewhere, and rarely permitted to seek other occupations. Regardless of the details of how slavery was legally managed from one culture to the next, the defining principle was always the same: as a slave, your labor belongs to someone else, and can be compelled. This recalls the very definition of liberty. Does your labor belong to you, or does someone else have the 'right' to either take the product of that labor, or compel you to perform it? There may be varying degrees of this claim to your labor, but the crucial point is this, if it is the right of someone else to decide how much of your labor they own, they effectively own all of it. How much of your labor they avail themselves of is entirely up to them. During the escalating conflict over slavery that preceded the Civil War, slavery was the driving political influence of the major political parties of the south, with the southern branches of both the Whigs and the Democrats vying for who was the better defender of the 'peculiar institution', and both demanding absolute control over the national party when it came to matters involving slavery. But while the Whigs disintegrated as a party in the mid-1850s, the southern Democrats cemented their influence over the party nationally, and the Democrat party unequivocally became the pro-slavery party, with its northern members deferring to the south on all such matters. While many northern Democrats were not actively pro-slavery, their views were articulated by their party plank in the 1864 election which called for withdrawal from the 'failed' war and the implicit accommodation of slavery. Fast forward to today, and apparently support for slavery remains ingrained into the DNA of at least some in the Democrat party.
  • Like it or not, health care, education, housing, and food are all either services or tangible items which come from the labor of real people, people who many Democrats believe should be compelled to toil without compensation to provide for the 'rights' of others. To put it more simply, people like Harris-Perry are calling for certain people to be forced to work without compensation for the benefit of others. Anytime you designate a good or service that must be produced by someone to be a right, you make the producer a slave. There are no two ways about it. Either your labor, and the proceeds therefrom belong to you, for you to decide how to use, or they belong to someone else, and they decide what, if anything, you are allowed to keep. You are either free, or you are effectively a slave. Harris-Perry and the Democrats are clear where they stand on the question.
  • There are parallels between the 1890s and today in voter suppression laws motivated by white conservatives' fears of growing minority strength at the ballot box. In the 1890s, the suppressors were Democrats.

D[edit]

  • No, today's Democrats are no different from the Democrat party that has remained intact since about 1830. Claiming the parties switched names at some point is imbecility. Democrats encourage bigotry and have re-institutionalized segregation. If race hate disappeared tomorrow, the Democrats would never win another national election. The Democrats supported slavery. The Democrats concocted the Trail of Tears. The Democrats created Jim Crow. The Democrats founded the KKK. The Democrats fought civil rights and integration tooth and nail. And the Democrats never apologized for any of it. You joined that organization. You opted to be associated with such a long and sordid history of violent racism. That says a lot about you.
  • I don't believe you, Kyle. Non-Democrats don't go to such lengths to defend Democrats. For instance, I don't much care what you claim about Republicans. The narrative you espouse is ludicrous, that the parties switched names. A six year old wouldn't buy it. History is quite clear. You have chosen to associate with an organization that has openly supported slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow, lynchings, rapes, church bombings, etc., etc., and that is still dependent upon race hate for its very existence. The fact that you have made such a choice is very telling. I know I'd never join such a group.
  • All efforts of the abolitionists or others made to induce congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences.
  • Demand the abolition of the Freedmen's Bureau and all political instrumentalities designed to secure negro supremacy.
  • I knew that however bad the Republican party was, the Democratic party was much worse. The elements of which the Republican party was composed gave better ground for the ultimate hope of the success of the colored man's cause than those of the Democratic party.
    • Frederick Douglass, as quoted in Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1941), chapter 47, p. 579.
  • No, sir, th' dimmycratic party ain't on speakin' terms with itsilf. Whin ye see two men with white neckties go into a sthreet car an' set in opposite corners while wan mutthers Thraiter an' th' other hisses Miscreent ye can bet they're two dimmycratic leaders thryin' to reunite th' gran' ol' party.

F[edit]

  • The vast majority of white southerners, supported vociferously by the Democratic Party of the north, were deeply opposed to any equality for the former slaves.

G[edit]

  • Many participants in the anti-war movement, people who went to rallies or gave money or were involved in some other way, were Democrats, and once they saw Democrats in power they felt the job was done, and that a Democratic-led government would end the war without such a need for outside pressure.
  • Many leaders of the anti-war movement were Democrats and were not well positioned or strongly inclined to battle with those Democrats in government who were continuing the war.
  • The anti-war movement was too closely tied to the Democratic Party and that it would've been better to have more of an independent identity.
  • One thing has struck me as a bit queer. During my two terms of office, the whole Democratic press, and the morbidly honest and 'reformatory' portion of the Republican press, thought it horrible to keep U.S. troops stationed in the southern states, and when they were called upon to protect the lives of negroes, as much citizens under the constitution as if their skins were white, the country was scarcely large enough to hold the sound of indignation belched forth by them for some years. Now, however, there is no hesitation about exhausting the whole power of the government to suppress a strike on the slightest intimation that danger threatens.
  • Now, the Democrats have a different plan. The Democrats say that, 'If you have health insurance, we're going to make it better. If you don't have health insurance, we going to provide it to you. If you can’t afford health insurance, then we'll help you afford health insurance'. So America gets to decide. Do you want the Democratic plan, or do you want the Republican plan? Remember, the Republican plan. 'Don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly'.

H[edit]

  • Democrats were a major constituency in the anti-war movement during 2007 and 2008, during which time between 37 percent and 54 percent of anti-war protesters thought of themselves as Democrats. In contrast, members of third parties were relatively less common in the movement, falling between 7 percent and 13 percent of participants. However, after Obama’s election as president, Democratic participation in anti-war activities plunged, falling from 37 percent in January 2009 to a low of 19 percent in November 2009, and registering 22 percent in December 2009. In contrast, members of third parties became proportionately more prevalent in the movement, rising from 16 percent in January 2009 to a high of 34 percent in November 2009, and registering 24 percent in December 2009. Since Democrats are more numerous in the population at large than are members of third parties, the withdrawal of Democrats from the movement in 2009 appears to be a significant explanation for the falling size of anti-war protests.
  • The antiwar movement aspired to create a transgressive politics that challenged the institutions that generate war and imperialism. Yet, because it depended so heavily on the party in the street to mobilize support, it found itself caught up in the institutional, party-driven system that many activists saw as the cause of the problems that it mobilized to solve. In 2001, the antiwar movement began with an eye toward becoming an independent political force, yet it lived in the shadow of the Democratic Party. The Democrats and the antiwar movement struck a useful alliance from 2003 to 2006. The antiwar movement helped to demonstrate grassroots support for a key party issue and the party helped to provide activists, resources, and legitimacy for the movement. By early 2009, however, it was abundantly clear that Democrats were no longer interested in this alliance. Abandonment by the Democrats gave the movement the independence it desired, but also stripped it of its capacity for political influence. While Obama's election was heralded as a victory for the antiwar movement, Obama’s election, in fact, thwarted the ability of the movement to achieve critical mass.
  • Surveying the fall in support for the governments of Barack Obama, New York City's progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio, and France's Socialist President François Hollande, a diagnosis of the current crisis begins to emerge. The political left can win elections but it's unable to govern. Once in office, the left stumbles from fiasco to fiasco. ObamaCare, enacted without a single vote from the opposition party, is an impossible labyrinth of endless complexity. Bill de Blasio's war on charter schools degenerated into an unseemly attack on poor New York minority children. François Hollande's first act in 2012, like a character in a medieval fable, was to order that more tax revenue be squeezed from the French turnip. Mr. Obama's approval rating is about 43%. Mr. de Blasio's has sunk to 45% after just two months in office, and Mr. Hollande hit the lowest approvals even recorded in the modern French presidency. The left inevitably says their leaders failed them. The failure looks self-inflicted.
  • Rather than resolve the complexities of public policy in the world we inhabit, the left's default is to simply acquire power, then cram down what they want to do with one-party votes or by fiat, figuring they can muddle through the wreckage later.
  • Making the unworkable work by executive degree or court-ordered obedience is one way to rule, and maybe they like it that way. But it isn't governing.
  • To those who say, 'My friends, to those who say that we are rushing this issue of civil rights', I say to them we are 172 years late. To those who say? To those who say that, 'this civil-rights program is an infringement on states' rights'? I say this, The time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states' rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.

J[edit]

  • Pro-slavery impulse still governs the Democratic Party, the party of government sinecures. It is the party that wants to use political power to tax us not for any common good, but to eat while we work.
  • The Democratic Party was, and still is, a pro-slavery political party. Now we simply need to help those in slavery understand that they are in slavery.
  • Near the end of the Civil War and after his re-election, Abraham Lincoln made the abolition of slavery in America his top priority. During the 1864 presidential campaign, the Republican Party platform resolved to abolish slavery by constitutional amendment. The Republicans had gained a large number of seats in both the House and the Senate in the 1864 election, and party leaders felt they had a mandate for abolishing slavery. However, Democrats in both houses of Congress fought this amendment ferociously.
  • Democrats are no longer satisfied with keeping blacks enslaved. Today they want everybody enslaved, and the Democrats have gotten much, much better at convincing those in slavery that they really are not in slavery.
  • I'll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years.
    • Lyndon Baines Johnson, said to two governors regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to then-Air Force One steward Robert MacMillan. As quoted in Inside the White House (1996), by Ronald Kessler, New York: Simon and Schuster, p. 33.
  • These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don't move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there'll be no way of stopping them, we'll lose the filibuster and there'll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It'll be Reconstruction all over again.
  • I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.

L[edit]

  • Do you really feel yourselves justified to break up this government unless such a court decision as yours is, shall be at once submitted to as a conclusive and final rule of political action? But you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union, and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, 'Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!' To be sure, what the robber demanded of me, my money, was my own, and I had a clear right to keep it, but it was no more my own than my vote is my own, and the threat of death to me, to extort my money, and the threat of destruction to the Union, to extort my vote, can scarcely be distinguished in principle.
  • Songs such as 'Nigger Doodle Dandy' reflect the racist tone of the Democrats' presidential campaign in 1864. How did Republicans counter? In part, they sought white votes by being anti-racist. The Republican campaign, boosted by military victories in the fall of 1864, proved effective. The Democrats' overt appeals to racism failed, and anti-racist Republicans triumphed almost everywhere. One New York Republican wrote 'The change of opinion on this slavery question ... is a great and historic fact. Who could have predicted ... this great and blessed revolution?' People around the world supported the Union because of its ideology.

M[edit]

  • The Democrats just never learn: Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies. When Van Jones called the Republicans assholes, he was paying them a compliment. He was talking about how they can get things done even when they're in the minority, as opposed to the Democrats, who can't seem to get anything done even when they control both houses of Congress, the presidency, and Bruce Springsteen.
  • The Alabama Democratic convention [instructed] its delegates to walk out of the national convention if the party refused to adopt a platform pledging a federal slave code for the territories. Other lower-South Democratic organizations followed suit. In February, Jefferson Davis presented the substance of southern demands to the Senate in resolutions affirming that neither Congress nor a territorial legislature could 'impair the constitutional right of any citizen of the United States to take his slave property into the common territories.
  • Rioters were mostly Irish Catholic immigrants and their children. They mainly attacked the members of New York's small black population. For a year, Democratic leaders had been telling their Irish-American constituents that the wicked Black Republicans were waging the war to free the slaves who would come north and take away the jobs of Irish workers. The use of black stevedores as scabs in a recent strike by Irish dockworkers made this charge seem plausible. The prospect of being drafted to fight to free the slaves made the Irish even more receptive to demogogic rhetoric.
  • Black Americans, in that era, were in solid support of the Republican Party. This was the party that fought the northern and southern Democrats to pass the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Although President Andrew Johnson tried to bamboozle Frederick Douglass to the Democrat side by making false or empty promises, he did not succeed. Douglass was no fool and was not going to let Johnson use him to gain the support of the Negroes in his effort to be 'elected' president. Frederick Douglass and other prominent Blacks threw their support to Ulysses S. Grant for president.

N[edit]

O[edit]

  • When Democrats rush up to me at events and insist that we live in the worst of political times, that a creeping fascism is closing its grip around our throats, I may mention the internment of Japanese Americans under FDR, the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, or a hundred years of lynching under several dozen administrations as having been possibly worse, and suggest we all take a deep breath. When people at dinner parties ask me how I can possibly operate in the current political environment, with all the negative campaigning and personal attacks, I may mention Nelson Mandela, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, or some guy in a Chinese or Egyptian prison somewhere. In truth, being called names is not such a bad deal.
  • Democrats and Republicans are far apart on a lot of issues. And I recognize there are folks on the other side who think that my policies are misguided. That's putting it mildly. That's OK. That's democracy. That's how it works. We can debate those differences vigorously, passionately, in good faith, through the normal democratic process. And sometimes we'll be just too far apart to forge an agreement. But that should not hold back our efforts in areas where we do agree. We shouldn't fail to act on areas that we do agree or could agree just because we don't think it's good politics, just because the extremes in our party don't like the word "compromise." I will look for willing partners wherever I can to get important work done. And there's no good reason why we can't govern responsibly, despite our differences, without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis.
  • The difference between American parties is actually simple. Democrats are in favor of higher taxes to pay for greater spending, while Republicans are in favor of greater spending, for which the taxpayers will pay. In foreign policy, Republicans intend to pursue the war in Iraq but to do so with a minimal number of troops on the ground. This is not to be confused with the disastrous Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld policy of using a minimal number of troops on the ground to pursue the war in Iraq. Democrats intend to end the war, but they don't know when. Democrats are making the 'high school sex promise', I'll pull out in time, honest!

P[edit]

  • It has always floored me how the Republican Party seemingly allows the Democrats and the left to paint them as racists. What amazes me even more is how successful the Democrats have been at rewriting their own sordid past; blaming the GOP for the crimes they themselves are guilty of. But that's an old leftist tactic; always blame the enemy for the very same crimes they themselves are guilty of. This tried-and true tactic puts the other side on the defensive.
  • It has always appeared to me that the Democratic Party was incensed and bitter over the fact that slavery was abolished in America. So, since the Democrats could no longer keep blacks in literal chains as slaves, they invented virtual chains to enslave black Americans. Welfare and the ghetto; the liberal plantation.
  • For one hundred years the Democrats didn't want civil rights for black Americans to pass. But, they sure want to make you think they did! The Democrats have never apologized for slavery, segregation, or the destruction of the black family. When an individual becomes utterly dependent on another person or group to provide all of their emotional, spiritual and physical needs, that individual has given away all of their power. They are allowing another person or persons the ability to pull the proverbial rug out from under them at any given moment. It is a form of slavery, plain and simple. Furthermore, the dependent individual is held down, unable to rise above the level of the person or persons to which they have become dependent upon. I call that evil.
  • Despite what Obama says, racism is not passed along in DNA through the generations. If that were the case, America wouldn't be the tolerant, multi-racial country it is today. Yes, America, like the vast majority of the rest of the world, at one time participated in slavery. While the sin of slavery is not justified, it is important to acknowledge that the sin of slavery isn't a uniquely American sin, but rather one of mankind throughout the course of history. Further, owning slaves is not a sin unique to white people; in fact, black Africans sold other blacks into slavery, and still do today. Slavery is uniquely human, but societies and countries that respect human dignity, like America, have stopped the horrifying practice. America had the dignity to end slavery through a civil war and has since moved forward to correct wrongs with the civil rights movement, affirmative action, legislation, popular culture and much more. Institutional racism is no longer prevalent in the ways the left claims. Obama, elected twice by American voters, is black, as is former Attorney General Eric Holder and current Attorney General Loretta Lynch. There are a number of blacks serving in the U.S. Congress, including Republican Senator Tim Scott and Congresswoman Mia Love, Utah. The likes of Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé are business and pop culture icons. Look around the world and you'll find that America is the most tolerant and open society on earth. The World Values Survey shows India, not the United States, is in fact the most racist country with a class system. The same survey has shown for years that Americans are among the least racist in the world and therefore are the most tolerant. Do racists exist in this country? Of course they do. Is their racism sanctioned by the government and celebrated by fellow citizens? Absolutely not. In fact, the Charleston shooter, who I refuse to name, told friends he felt isolated and alone in his evil, racist views. That's a silver lining. As a society we have corrected many of the wrongs of slavery and racism, the individuals who have not corrected their racist views are an innumerable minority roundly and strongly condemned by the rest of society. The Charleston shooter’s feelings about race are the exception, not the rule, in this country. This is demonstrated by the response in Charleston of blacks and whites holding hands and coming together, not apart, to honor the memory of those who were killed. America isn't a racist country, not even close, and it certainly isn't a 'white supremacist' society. The left falsely saying so promotes not progress but division. American history includes slavery and racism, but its current status and future as a whole does not. The people who lost loved ones at Emanuel AME Church have forgiven their killer. It's time the left does the same with America for her long past sins.
  • The Democratic Party; two centuries of slavery, secession, segregation, and socialism.
  • After the Civil War, there was a period of heavy violence in the South. White Democrats attacked blacks and white Republicans. Military historian Stephen Budiansky's book The Bloody Shirt details the violence and the guerrilla war waged by Southerners desperate to assert white supremacy. Southern newspapers waged war on Republican Party officials. 'Upstanding' citizens aided the Ku Klux Klan and other insurgents who burned black schoolhouses, incited riots, assassinated public officials and beat and whipped blacks who tried to take part in civil society. It was a period of partisan political violence. After this period, from the 1870s on, violence in the South continued. In Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida, the Democratic Party relied on groups such as the White Camelia to terrorize, intimidate and murder blacks and white Republicans in an effort to regain power. The campaign worked and Democrats were swept into power in the state legislatures. White Democrats then passed laws making voter registration more complicated; a move to further exclude black voters from the polls. In Mississippi, Democrats passed the Mississippi Plan to control the 1876 election and used armed militias to murder political leaders, hunt down community members, and to intimidate and turn away voters, successfully suppressing black suffrage and civil rights. More than 85 percent of the post Civil War period lynchings occurred in the South. After the creation of the Jim Crow laws in the 1890s terror and lynching were used to enforce these laws and a variety of unwritten rules meant to control blacks and assert white domination.
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People organized support from white and black Americans and ran a national campaign to get a federal anti-lynching law passed. In 1920, the Republican Party promised at its national convention to support an anti-lynching law. Representative Leonidas Dyer, a Missourian Republican, sponsored an anti-lynching bill in 1921 and it was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in January 1922. A Senate filibuster by southern white Democrats defeated the bill in December 1922. With the NAACP's help, Representative Dyer spoke across the country in support of his bill in 1923, but the Southern Democrats filibustered it again. From 1882 to 1968 nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress and three passed the House. Seven presidents between 1880 and 1952 petitioned Congress to pass a federal anti-lynching law. No bill was approved by the Senate because of the strong opposition from the Southern Democrats. In 1934 Senators Robert Wagner and Edward Costigan drafted the Wagner-Costigan bill to require local authorities to protect prisoners from lynch mobs. Like Dyer’s bill, it made lynching a federal crime. Virtually all southern Democrat senators blocked the Wagner-Costigan bill by using a filibuster to prevent a vote on the bill. There are many other examples that could be given to show that the white southern Democrats were the driving force behind lynching and disenfranchisement of blacks. The Civil War may have ended in 1865 but the war against Republicans and blacks continued, even intensified in guerrilla fashion. Whenever an effort was made to put a stop to the lynching, that effort was always thwarted by white Southern Democrats.
  • Carson says the Tea Party would love to see 'you and me' hanging on a tree. Saying that at the Congressional Black Caucus Job Tour leaves no doubt he was meaning other black people. Carson is either completely ignorant of his own party's history or he decided long ago to sell himself and black people out to the party of lynching. The party of the Ku Klux Klan. The party of Jim Crow. The party of Bull Connor. The party of segregation.

R[edit]

  • I think it is much easier to be a good member of the Church and a Democrat than a good member of the Church and a Republican.
  • When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, slow down, it's too early. Let's wait. Things aren't bad enough. When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote, some insisted slow down, there will be a better day to do that. The day isn't quite right. When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today.
  • We challenge as unwise the course the Democrats have charted; we challenge as dangerous the steps they plan along the way; and we deplore as self-defeating and harmful many of the moves already taken. Dominant in their council are leaders whose words extol human liberty, but whose deeds have persistently delimited the scope of liberty and sapped its vitality. Year after year, in the name of benevolence, these leaders have sought the enlargement of federal power. Year after year, in the guise of concern for others, they have lavishly expended the resources of their fellow citizens. And year after year freedom, diversity and individual, local and state responsibility have given way to regimentation, conformity and subservience to central power.
  • Democrats routinely engage in rank racism toward black Republicans, calling them 'sellouts', 'House Negroes' and worse. This racist name calling is the despicable tactic Democrats use to demean black Americans.
  • Look no further than the devastated black communities that Democrats have run for the past 50 years and destroyed.
  • We Democrats believe that America can overcome any problem, including the dreaded disease called AIDS. We believe that America is still a country where there is more to life than just a constant struggle for money, and we believe that America must have leaders who show us that our struggles amount to something and contribute to something larger, leaders who want us to be all that we can be.
  • The southern Democrats are in the saddle and the northern Democrats must tag along as best they may, no matter what ill may betide.
    • John Jacob Rogers, remarks in the House (2 May 1913), Congressional Record, vol. 50, p. 42
  • I am not a member of any organized party; I am a Democrat.
    • Will Rogers, P. J. O'Brien, Will Rogers, Ambassador of Good Will, Prince of Wit and Wisdom (1935), chapter 9, p. 162. "Rogers was a lifelong Democrat but he studiously avoided partisanship. He contributed to the Democratic campaign funds, but at the same time he frequently appeared on benefit programs to raise money for the Republican treasury. Republican leaders sought his counsel in their campaigns as often as did the Democrats". Id., p. 162
  • We can make this thing into a party, instead of a memory.
    • Will Rogers, letter to Al Smith regarding the Democratic Party (January 19, 1929); in The Autobiography of Will Rogers, ed. Donald Day (1949), p. 197
  • You've got to be optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one.
    • Will Rogers, Good Gulf radio show (24 June 1934), Radio Broadcasts of Will Rogers, ed. Steven K. Gragert (1983), p. 92
  • In the 26 major civil rights votes after 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over eighty percent of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 percent of the votes.
  • In order to break the racist ways of southern Democrats, it was Republican President Eisenhower who sponsored both Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act and it was an LBJ-led senate who fought tooth and nail against them. Ike finally signed a watered down civil rights bill.
  • Many like to hold FDR up as one of the more progressive presidents that helped champion the plight of the poor, one of the first to implement social justice for all. This social justice and equality excluded one of the poorest segments of the population at the time, discrimination in housing, transportation, public accommodations and the armed services went virtually unchecked by the Roosevelt administration. It was not until twenty some years later that a real effort was made to change this, but the efforts to do so may have led to the breakdown of the family unit and created even greater dependency on the government by those in the African American community. What it did, as LBJ pointed out, was insure that African Americans would be compelled to vote Democratic for generations to come by not giving a hand up, but by giving a hand out! He did this through what is called the 'Great Society' and the war on poverty. As we know today though, that war has virtually been lost despite the billions thrown into the battle. Today we have some of the highest poverty rates in America, and we have one of the highest amount of citizens dependent on food assistance through programs such as food stamps. As a progressive program this has developed into an utter failure, even if it was perceived initially as a compassionate response to some of the ills that faced many in this community. Corruption and waste is rampant, along with abuse and increasing dependency.
  • Democrats want your money. Before Democrats came to dominate American politics in 1932, they had always been the party of local political machines and corrupt political patronage. They still operate the same way. They want your money to buy off their constituencies and make people dependent on government, them, for the necessities of life. They will say that they want to end poverty, provide health care, et cetera, but poverty declined from thirty percent to thirteen percent of Americans between 1950 and 1965. Since then, after the Democrats have spent something like five trillion dollars, estimates vary, the poverty level is virtually the same as it was in 1965! They have perpetuated poverty; and don't let anyone tell you that the Vietnam War drew off all the money that was needed for the 'War on Poverty'. The Vietnam War was winding down as the 'War on Poverty' was gearing up, and there was no lack of money. Don't let anyone tell you that we need a Marshall Plan for the cities. American cities, by this point, have suffered from many Marshall Plans, and all it has done is destroy them. Don't let anyone tell you that Ronald Reagan took away all the money we needed to end poverty. The federal budget ballooned under Reagan, and most of the increases went to social spending and entitlements, including public housing. The Democrats still controlled Congress under Reagan, and he went along with most of their spending. Everything the Democrats do gives them more power, you less, and does not help one bit the things they claim to be concerned about, unless being kept in poverty on the public dole is a life you prefer. Democrats cannot give any economic justification for their programs (like nationalizing health care) without parroting now discredited socialistic clichés. Democrats still love their glory day gimmicks of the New Deal, which only served to perpetuate the Great Depression, not end it. Democrats cannot acknowledge the tax-cut driven prosperity of the 1920s, 1960s, and 1980s, even when the tax cuts of the 1960s were proposed by John F. Kennedy and implemented by Lyndon Johnson! John Kenneth Galbraith, who advised John Kennedy not to cut taxes, and who has admitted that is is a socialist, still represents mainstream Democrat, and news media, opinion.
  • African Americans comprise the least number of left liberals and the highest number of libertarians. The result that African Americans comprised the least number of left liberals and the highest number of libertarians might raise some eyebrows, since it is commonly assumed, when they vote 80-90% Democratic, that black Americans are staunchly liberal, statist, and far from any kind of laissez-faire libertarianism. Of course, as historic and continuing victims of statism, African Americans should be libertarians, and perhaps they are, without realizing that the Democratic Party does not well serve their preferences.
  • The idea that citizens do not automatically belong to the militia, and that they do not have the right to keep and bear arms, unless they belong to the National Guard, passed seamlessly from the segregationist Democrats to the gun control Democrats, and so continues.
  • Buy a gun. They hate it. As Machiavelli said, 'There can be no proper relation between one who is armed and one who is not'. Statists know this instinctively. As I have noted, it is better that you be killed by criminals than that you should be able to defend yourself against the state. The left makes a big show of disliking the police, and I think that they do dislike actual policemen; but the existence of the police is absolutely essential to the leftist vision of political life. The SWAT teams that break into your house in the middle of the night, with a no-knock warrant, and shoot your dog, and perhaps you as well, are authorized, not just by Republican drug warriors, but by Democrat drug warriors and Democrat congresses also.
  • The best that Democrats could do with an example like Seung-Hui Cho is to try and use it to rebuild their case for 'gun control', meaning the disarming of the citizens, as in Britain. After devastating Supreme Court decisions against them, the 'gun control' movement pretty much fell into a shambles, until 2013. Nor was the Virginia Tech shooting hopeful material for rebuilding it. Incoherent laws had made it easier for Cho to buy guns, when he was not eligible to do so for psychiatric reasons. On the other hand, Virginia is a state where most citizens can get concealed carry permits. But Virginia Tech did not allow guns on campus, even for those licensed to carry them. Not even the ROTC. So Cho did not need to worry that any of his victims might shoot back. When it was proposed that a state law override the university prohibition, the university president sputtered that there might might a tragedy if guns were allowed on campus! Well, sir, the tragedy happened already. Mister Cho didn't care whether you had a prohibition or not.
  • Herman Cain, as a successful, articulate, and aggressive black businessman, deeply frightened the Democrats. From their bag of tricks they produced the sort of thing familiar from the treatment of Clarence Thomas, namely old charges of sexual harassment. Having hanged black men during segregation, often for bogus rape charges, Democrats now are content to smear their political prospects with harassment charges.
  • What has happened to the Democrats is that they have become the Party of Government, where all of their purposes are to promote the interests of government, as opposed to the interests of citizens.
  • A man died over cigarettes because Bill de Blasio and his tax-and-spend Democrat friends wanted those taxes. In the aftermath of the Garner case, New York police have stopped enforcing the laws against the sale of untaxed and loose cigarettes, 'loosies', on the streets. It is not clear whether this lack of enforcement is the result of decisions of individual policemen, the police department, or even a quiet word from the mayor's office. Also, the new leftist campaign to stop arrests of low level, 'quality of life', or 'broken window' offenses may have something to do with it. This project reflects the desire of the left to roll back the policing policies of recent years, i.e. under Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, so that the city can return to the high crime and shooting-gallery regime that developed in the '60s and '70s. Crime, after all, is the protest of the oppressed against capitalism, and it doesn't matter that minorities, then and now, are disproportionately the victims of such crime. In other words, white New York liberals, with their security guards and fortified apartments, don't mind that gangsters gun down black people, or just the poor, on the streets. I mean it.
  • Activists don't really object to police brutality or to the kinds of practices that now disgrace American law enforcement. They simply want the brutal police to be on their side rather than on the side of capitalism and America. The final proof of this was that all the misconduct and the corruption of the police was perfectly all right when the Democrats controlled Congress and the Presidency from 2009 to 2011. Nothing was done about it, even as the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, added many more IRS agents to hunt down young people who had not signed up for government mandated health insurance, and incidentally to hassle conservative, or even pro-Israel, groups, who were applying for tax-exempt status, to the point of desiring the prosecution of such groups, apparently just for existing. Democrat senators wrote open letters endorsing and urging these practices. The poster-child for the level of insolence, arrogance, and irresponsibility involved is former IRS supervisor Lois Lerner. Now, Richard Nixon was going to be impeached for trying to suborn the IRS to political purposes; but today the actual use of the IRS by Obama and the Democrats for disgraceful political purposes earns no more than a shrug, with a perfunctory whitewash by the Justice Department. So obviously, the principle, as we have seen, is that when you do something, it is an abuse that is a threat to constitutional government, while when we do it, it is just fine. That is the problem at issue.
  • There are always a few questionable police shootings in the news, and every so often someone dies in police custody under suspicious circumstances. It has been a long time since riots have occurred over such things. So, why now? Well, my theory is that it is frustration with Barack Obama. After six years of an Obama administration, Obama has done next to nothing for black people. He has paid off various leftist constituencies, but things for African-Americans have only gotten worse. Worse unemployment. Worse poverty. Worse income. Worse education. Baltimore, like Detroit, dominated for decades by Democrats, has lost population, lost business, lost jobs, and sunk further into poverty, all in a state where the ruling class lives high on the hog in the counties around Washington, D.C.
  • No Democrat is going to say that Obama has done nothing to help black people, much less nothing but help them become more dependent on the government. And, to the extent that black voters are deceived by the Democrats, they may not even be prepared to say this themselves. But it's the truth. And the sense of frustration and failure 'in the community' is evident. After the riots, the Democrats, including the whole city government of Baltimore, and President Obama, had nothing they could say but that they just needed to spend more money, after they have now been spending trillions of dollars on 'anti-poverty' programs since 1964, all of them failures.
  • The victory of Barack Obama in 2008, with the Democrats seizing strong majorities in Congress, led to a fairly open program to begin building socialism in the United States.

S[edit]

  • This war against women started a long time ago with old Democrats who took over the Republican Party, which was, before that, the very first to support the Equal Rights Amendment. Even when the National Women's Political Caucus started, there was a whole Republican feminist entity. But beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, right-wing Democrats like Jesse Helms began to leave the Democratic Party and gradually take over the GOP. So I always feel I have to apologize to my friends who are Republicans because they've basically lost their party.

T[edit]

  • The whites have absolute control of the State government, and we intend at any and all hazards to retain it.
    • Benjamin Tillman, as quoted in Pitchfork Ben Tillman, South Carolinian (1967), by Francis Butler Simkins. Louisiana State University Press. OCLC 1877696, p. 144.
  • We deny, without regard to color, that 'all men are created equal'; it is not true now, and was not true when Jefferson wrote it.
    • Benjamin Tillman, as quoted in Pitchfork Ben Tillman, South Carolinian (1967), by Francis Butler Simkins. Louisiana State University Press. OCLC 1877696, p. 144.
  • How did we recover our liberty? By fraud and violence. We tried to overcome the thirty thousand majority by honest methods, which was a mathematical impossibility. After we had borne these indignities for eight years life became worthless under such conditions.
    • Benjamin Tillman, as quoted in "The Question of Race in the South Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1895" (July 1952), by George B. Tindall. The Journal of Negro History 37 (3): 277–303. JSTOR 2715494., p. 94.
  • We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be the equal of the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him

V[edit]

  • There is no use to equivocate or lie about the matter. ... Mississippi's constitutional convention of 1890 was held for no other purpose than to eliminate the nigger from politics. Not the 'ignorant and vicious', as some of the apologists would have you believe, but the nigger. ... Let the world know it just as it is.
  • In Mississippi we have in our constitution legislated against the racial peculiarities of the Negro. ... When that device fails, we will resort to something else.
  • The only effect of Negro education is to spoil a good field hand and make an insolent cook.
    • James K. Vardaman, as quoted in The Warmth of Other Suns (2010), by Isabel Wilkerson, p. 40.

W[edit]

  • We shall continue to maintain segregation in Alabama completely and absolutely.
    • George Wallace, first gubernatorial campaign (14 February 1958), as quoted in George Wallace: American Populist (1995), by Stephen Lesher.
  • Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever!
  • You're not supposed to say this in polite company, but what went up in flames in Baltimore Monday night was not businesses and police cars. Burning down was also the blue-city model of urban governance.
  • As order starts to return to the streets, and the usual political suspects lament the lack of economic prospects for the young men who rioted, let's not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last forty years. The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are 'progressive'. This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960, Baltimore was America's sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isn't in the top 25. The dysfunctions of the blue-city model are many, but the main failures are three. High crime, low economic growth and failing public schools that serve primarily as jobs programs for teachers and administrators rather than places of learning.
  • Of late the progressives have been making a comeback, led by Bill de Blasio in New York and the challenge to sometime reform Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. This week's nightmare in Baltimore shows where this leads. It's time for a new urban renewal, this time built on the ideas of private economic development, personal responsibility, 'broken windows' policing, and education choice.
  • I never use the words Democrats and Republicans. It's liberals and Americans.
    • James G. Watt, in a statement of November 1981, quoted in New York Times (10 October 1983); also quoted in Energy and Environment : The Unfinished Business (1986) by Congressional Quarterly, Inc., p. 91
  • The anti-war movement in America evaporated because Democrats, inspired to protest by their anti-Republican feelings, stopped protesting once the Democratic Party achieved success in Congress in 2006 and then in the White House in 2008.
  • The Democrats, the party of collective subjugation and individual enslavement. Then physical, now economic. The first black members of the U.S. House and Senate were Republicans. The first civil rights legislation came from Republicans. Democrats gave us the KKK, Jim Crow, lynchings, poll taxes, literacy tests, and failed policies like the 'Great Society'. Republican President Eisenhower ordered troops to enforce school desegregation. Republican Senator Everett Dirksen enabled the 1964 civil rights legislation to pass, in opposition to Democrat senators Robert Byrd, a KKK Grand Wizard, and Al Gore, Sr.
  • Who are the real racists? So far, thanks to a Republican Party that is ignorant of its own history and gave up on the black community, Democrats have fifty of those two hundred years under their belt. The problem with today's Republican Party is that it has forgotten its own history and raison d'etre. Individual liberty. The party must come to realize that GOP also stands for 'Growth, Opportunity, Prosperity' and articulate how it stands, as its history and founding clearly demonstrate, for the individual pursuit of happiness as opposed to the progressive socialist Democrat lie of a collective guarantee of happiness. So, happy 160th birthday to my party, the Republican Party. I am a strong conservative and I hope Republicans recommit to those fundamental principles which established this party, the historical antithesis of the Democrats.
  • Southerners who defected from the Democratic Party in the 1960s and thereafter did so to join a Republican Party that was far more enlightened on racial issues than were the Democrats of the era, and had been for a century. There is no radical break in the Republicans' civil rights history. From abolition to Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, from the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964, there exists a line that is by no means perfectly straight or unwavering but that nonetheless connects the politics of Lincoln with those of Dwight D. Eisenhower. And from slavery and secession to remorseless opposition to everything from Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1875, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, there exists a similarly identifiable line connecting John Calhoun and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Supporting civil-rights reform was not a radical turnaround for congressional Republicans in 1964, but it was a radical turnaround for Johnson and the Democrats.
  • By 1940, Democrats for the first time won a majority of black votes in the north. This development was not lost on Lyndon Johnson, who crafted his Great Society with the goal of exploiting widespread dependency for the benefit of the Democratic Party. Unlike the New Deal, a flawed program that at least had the excuse of relying upon ideas that were at the time largely untested and enacted in the face of a worldwide economic emergency, Johnson's Great Society was pure politics. Johnson's 'War on Poverty' was declared at a time when poverty had been declining for decades, and the first Job Corps office opened when the unemployment rate was less than five percent. Congressional Republicans had long supported a program to assist the indigent elderly, but the Democrats insisted that the program cover all of the elderly, even though they were, then as now, the most affluent demographic, with 85 percent of them in households of above-average wealth. Democrats such as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Anthony J. Celebrezze argued that the Great Society would end 'dependency' among the elderly and the poor, but the programs were transparently designed merely to transfer dependency from private and local sources of support to federal agencies created and overseen by Johnson and his political heirs. In the context of the rest of his program, Johnson's unexpected civil-rights conversion looks less like an attempt to empower blacks and more like an attempt to make clients of them.
  • If the parties had in some meaningful way flipped on civil rights, one would expect that to show up in the electoral results in the years following the Democrats' 1964 about-face on the issue. Nothing of the sort happened. Of the 21 Democratic senators who opposed the 1964 act, only one would ever change parties. Nor did the segregationist constituencies that elected these Democrats throw them out in favor of Republicans. The remaining twenty continued to be elected as Democrats or were replaced by Democrats. It was, on average, nearly a quarter of a century before those seats went Republican. If southern rednecks ditched the Democrats because of a civil-rights law passed in 1964, it is strange that they waited until the late 1980s and early 1990s to do so. They say things move slower in the south, but not that slow.
  • In many cases segregationist Democrats were thrown out by southern voters in favor of civil-rights Republicans. One of the loudest Democratic segregationists in the House was Texas' John Dowdy.
  • Segregationist Democrat George Wallace, running as an independent, made a last stand in the old Confederacy but carried only five states, while Republican Richard Nixon, who had helped shepherd the 1957 Civil Rights Act through Congress, counted a number of former Confederate states among the 32 he carried. Democrat Hubert Humphrey was reduced to a northern fringe, plus Texas.
  • Republican ascendancy in Dixie is associated with the rise of the southern middle class, the increasingly trenchant conservative critique of communism and the welfare state, the Vietnam controversy and the rise of the counter-culture, law-and-order concerns rooted in the urban chaos that ran rampant from the late 1960s to the late 1980s, and the incorporation of the radical left into the Democratic Party. Individual events, especially the freak show that was the 1968 Democratic convention, helped solidify conservatives' affiliation with the Republican Party. Democrats might argue that some of these concerns, especially welfare and crime, are 'dog whistles' or 'code' for race and racism, but this criticism is shallow in light of the evidence and the real saliency of those issues among U.S. voters of all backgrounds and both parties for decades. Indeed, Democrats who argue that the best policies for black Americans are those that are soft on crime and generous with welfare are engaged in much the same sort of cynical racial calculation President Johnson was practicing when he informed skeptical southern governors that his plan for the Great Society was 'to have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years'. Johnson's crude racism is, happily, largely a relic of the past, but his strategy endures.

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