Democrats and the Race Card


Civil Rights

We condemn bigots who inject class, racial and religious prejudice into public and political matters. Bigotry is un-American and a danger to the Republic.

We deplore the duplicity and insincerity of the Party in power in racial and religious matters. Although they have been in office as a Majority Party for many years, they have not kept nor do they intend to keep their promises.

The Republican Party will not mislead, exploit or attempt to confuse minority groups for political purposes. All American citizens are entitled to full, impartial enforcement of Federal laws relating to their civil rights.

We believe that it is the primary responsibility of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions, and this power, reserved to the states, is essential to the maintenance of our Federal Republic. However, we believe that the Federal Government should take supplemental action within its constitutional jurisdiction to oppose discrimination against race, religion or national origin.

We will prove our good faith by:

Appointing qualified persons, without distinction of race, religion or national origin, to responsible positions in the Government.

Federal action toward the elimination of lynching.

Federal action toward the elimination of poll taxes as a prerequisite to voting.

Appropriate action to end segregation in the District of Columbia.

Enacting Federal legislation to further just and equitable treatment in the area of discriminatory employment practices. Federal action should not duplicate state efforts to end such practices; should not set up another huge bureaucracy.

Republican Party Platform on Civil Rights, 1952, when Eisenhower cracked the Solid South





One political party for over a century and a half has routinely used appeals based on race to win elections.  The other party, throughout its history, has stood for civil rights for all Americans and denied that government policy should be based on racial discrimination.  The first party is the Democrat Party and the second party is the Republican party.  To get around this simple fact of American political history, some Democrats, especially in election years when the polls are against them, routinely attempt to portray Republicans as racists, in an Alice in Wonderland inversion of the truth.  The latest hilarious example of this mendacious and bold faced attempt to rewrite history is on display at Politico in an article entitled Race and the Modern GOP.  This recycles the claim of an evil Republican strategy to appeal to white racists in the South who switched en masse to become Republicans.

The problem with this is that it is a liberal fable. It didn’t happen that way. The first breach in the solid South was by Eisenhower who ran on a platform of vigorous support for Civil Rights for blacks. Segregationists retained complete control of the Democrat parties in the South and enjoyed electoral success throughout the period in question. The South changing to Republican had to do with the rise of the cultural issues, an influx of northern Republicans following wide spread use of air conditioning and the rapid economic development of the South, and the anti-military hysteria and isolationism that seized control of the Democrats in the wake of Vietnam.

My co-blogger Paul Zummo had an excellent post on this subject :

Along these same lines, Trende postulates that if any real realignment occurred, it took place during the Eisenhower administration. The Eisenhower coalition, as he puts it, pushed the GOP to decisive victories in seven of nine presidential elections. Moreover, the solid Democratic south began shifting towards the Republican party at this point. In fact the south’s gradual shift towards the GOP had begun as early as the 1920s, but the Depression halted Republican advances here. Once the New Deal had ramped up, the Republicans again began making inroads. Republicans began being truly competitive in presidential elections during the 1950s, then started making inroads in Congressional races in the 1970s and 80s, and are finally now the dominant party on the local level.

Trende’s thesis effectively destroys the notion that Republicans only began being competitive in the south once Nixon deployed the “southern strategy” to woo racist southerners after the Civil Rights Act. As already mentioned, the GOP vote share in the south had been incrementally creeping up in the 1930s, with GOP vote shares moving out of the 15-20% range and inching up towards parity slowly and surely. In fact the GOP vote share in the south did not noticeably increase during  the 1960s, but instead crept up in the same incremental 1-2% annual range. Where Republicans really started making dents were with younger southern voters, as older southerners continued to cling to the Democratic party even though the national party’s values no longer matched their own. Considering that younger voters tended to have much more liberal racial views, the transformation of the south into a Republican stronghold has to be explained by something other than racial matters.

Even though Trende doesn’t come right out and say this, if anything the changing electoral map can just as easily be explained by the Democrats pursuing a northern strategy. As the Democrats began appealing to elite northern voters by pushing a more liberal agenda, this drove southerners and midwesterners away from the party. This trend would continue until Bill Clinton pursued a much different strategy, crafting his agenda to appeal to suburbanites and middle income whites. Clinton and the New Democrats were able to rip into Republican strongholds by advancing a more moderate platform. The end of the Cold War, as well as the rise of the Evangelical right, fractured the Eisenhower coalition, allowing the Democrats to win presidential elections.


Democrats have always been ready to use race-baiting as part of their election strategies. Only the colors have shifted, not the underlying principle that government may treat Americans differently on the basis of race.

The consistent theme of the Democrat party is using government power to discriminate among Americans based on race and the reliance of the Democrats on blatant racial appeals as a result of this policy. The segregationists of a half century ago in the South, George Wallace, Orville Faubus, Lester Maddox, Bull Connor, J. William Fulbright, et al as a group were fairly typical Democrats, and in their use of racial appeals for political purposes they were part of a long and dishonorable Democrat tradition that continues to this day.

More to explorer


  1. Rahm Emanuel Eric Holder and Badrock Obama have shown Americans what the “Chicago Way” is all about. They are the biggest meanest racist that have ever entered into politics.

    Lyndon was a prophet.

  2. The differences in the parties is becoming less over time. Both spend beyond their means and refuse to protect life. A third party is not the answer either. For now, it is a game to see how long the American people will remain duped. Meanwhile, our sons and daughters will have less opportunity except for military service. Some who choose this path will be sent to a strange land in the middle east and may never return. The machine grinds on focused on taxes and soldiers. This was the state of Rome before the fall.

  3. “and refuse to protect life”

    Untrue. But for the Democrat party legal abortion in this country would be a thing of the past.
    As for Rome, the Republic fought far greater wars than the Empire and imposed far heavier burdens on the Roman cititzens due to the wars, both in taxes and military service. In the later Empire the military forces were numerically less, but they were staffed by barbarian mercenaries, expensive and unreliable, the citizens of Rome long having lost their taste for military service. When people forget how to fight, or lose their willingness to do so to protect their countries, then they are headed for foreign conquest.

  4. Don, if you are waiting for republicans to reverse abortion on demand, good luck. The neo-conservative movement in the party has other priorities. Lip service is all that is given to the protection of life. Many voters have been hoping in vain for decades now. Reagan even promised change and swung a block of catholic voters over. The promises were evidently empty. Hoodwinked again!

  5. Rubbish Rick. I assume you are bone ignorant of the hundreds of pro-life laws passed by state legislatures since the Republicans took control of them in 2010.

    It is the Democrats who view abortion as a sacrament and who fight tooth and nail for it. Next time you comment here, actually research a subject before you bother typing worthless tripe in the comboxes.

  6. Pacem, Don and Rick,
    The battleground of the US abortion horror is the federal judiciary. It must be filled with pro-life appointees. Enter peace and justice dem caths (democrat first, catholic somewhere down the deceit chart). As long as US Senate Dems have sufficient votes (What 34 or ?), they have blocked each and every GOP pro-ilfe (extremist!, women’s health!) judiciary appointment. And, when (far too long) the murderous dems controlled the WH and senate, they filled the courts with baby-murderers.
    You twice elected a man as president who had no experience at anything. Here are Obama’s methods: Claim ignorance. Blame subordinates. You are a racist!

    Your half-baked ( you tip your hand with buzz words like “neo-con”) contentions are no more logical than the race card. It appears as if you are one of those that believes: throw against the “wall” a suffiecient number of clots of spucatum tauri and some of it will stick.
    Bless your heart. and thanks for helping to wreck America!

  7. Pacem indeed!

    When Newt had control of the House of Representatives, he had a chance to promote pro-life causes. These causes took a back seat to other priorities, specifically those of the neoconservative movement.
    Reagan promised catholic voters action on the abortion issue. This evaporated after he was elected. Look at who he appointed to the supreme court if you need more proof of the points I am making. I am happy to supply you with sound research on the topic.
    I admire your zeal for the pro-life cause but you need to see the truth of the matter before real progress can be made. Both parties care a whit about this issue. One is promoting total moral chaos and the other is promoting total war in the middle east with your tax dollars and more debt. Both usurers and sodomites are in the same circle of Dante’s inferno. This describes the political parties aptly I believe.

  8. “When Newt had control of the House of Representatives, he had a chance to promote pro-life causes.”
    Which the Republicans did, and which Bill Clinton vetoed:

    “Reagan promised catholic voters action on the abortion issue.”

    And he kept that promise. Reagan constantly pushed pro-life legislation despite the fact that he never had a Congress controlled by the Republican. In 1984 he wrote abortion and the conscience of the nation:

    “I am happy to supply you with sound research on the topic.”

    If you were a faithful reader of this blog you would realize just how laughable that offer is. Reagan made three Supreme Court appointments: the first was Sandra Day O’Connor who voted pro-life as long as Reagan was in office; Antonin Scalia who has led the fight against Roe on the Supreme Court; his third pick was Judge Robert Bork, who would have supplied the fifth vote to over turn Roe. His nomination was defeated in the Senate by the Democrats led by Ted Kennedy. His second nominee Douglas H. Ginsburg swiftly withdrew due to questions about marijuana use. The third nominee Anthony Kennedy got through the Senate. His voting record on abortion has been mixed. Upholding Roe but also upholding various restrictions on abortion, including the partial birth abortion ban.

    Your argument that there is no difference between the parties on abortion is rubbish.

  9. Rick, I think you are largely right about Newt, but wrong about Reagan. He did everything in his power to assist the pro-life cause, including appointing federal judges who due diligence suggested would be faithful to the constitution and therefore hostile to Roe. That is not a predictable process, but he did well overall but disappointed at the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, conservative jurists tend to give greater weight to the doctrine of stare decisis than their liberal counterparts, making reversals of decided cases more difficult, and Reagan appointees O’Connor and Kennedy were influenced by that. That was not true of Scalia and would not have been true of Bork, both of whom were already on record as being critical of Roe (O’Connor and Kennedy were more circumspect in their opinions, which is common among judges). Just a lazy effort at examining Reagan’s actual actions on abortion (see executive orders and foreign policy decisions, the two areas he actually had power over) demonstrates that his opposition to abortion was genuine.
    And your description of political parties is the same tiresome claptrap that one hears from the pure and uninvolved. The truth is that political parties are by nature big tents composed of uneasy coalitions. The GOP includes many who are passionately pro-life and even more who are uneasy about abortion but view it as a secondary issue to the economy and national security. The Dems include many who view abortion as akin to a Sacrament and even more who are uneasy but want to preserve the option. As Don had pointed out in the past, the abolitionists of Lincoln’s era formed similar imperfect alliances within the GOP, but those alliances were not evidence of a lack of passion or sincerity. Even Lincoln, as much as he abhorred slavery, would have tolerated it indefinitely in necessary to preserve the union.
    Yes, some Republican candidates are indifferent to abortion but simply check the right boxes to win primaries; some are sincerely pro-life and even lose elections because if it. The bottom line is that for the most part the party does a pretty good job given the legal and political constraints (have you even followed what’s going on in Texas?). But because the Supreme Court cheated in Roe, we’re all stuck at playing small ball. It is exceedingly difficult to get a reliably anti-Roe judge appointed to the High Court, and gauging such reliability is perilous given that it is widely understood to be inappropriate for judges to signal in advance how they’ll rule on matters likely to come before them.

  10. Like I said in the beginning, America will remain duped for a long time to come. It is by design so do not feel bad about it. The machine grinds on seeking only taxes and soldiers. Consider Rick Santorum who works for the American Enterprise Institute now. He is supposed to be a solid catholic. He gave a speech at ND after he left office that had one theme – bomb Iran. He could have focused on the holocaust here in the USA – infanticide. But he new gets his $ from the AEI. Connect the dots and it should start becoming clear. These virtuous republicans are puppets of the movement mentioned earlier.

    To be fair, you might see significant pro-life legislation in our lifetimes. This is simply due to the opposition not reproducing. It has little to do with the republican party.

  11. “He is supposed to be a solid catholic. He gave a speech at ND after he left office that had one theme – bomb Iran. He could have focused on the holocaust here in the USA – infanticide.”

    You don’t know much about Santorum do you? When he was in the Senate his major focuses were the fight against abortion and the threat posed by Iran. The video below is from 2006:

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