The Republican Party, the Democrat Party and Race

Retired Professor Carol Swain, currently running to be Mayor of Nashville, gives us some basic history about the Republican Party which will come as an immense revelation to too many Americans brought up in a country where almost all of academia, entertainment and the media play the game of protect the Democrat Party uber alles.





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.  A 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.




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  1. The ‘Southern Strategy’ discourse is one of the hoarier of the political myths partisan Democrats trade in. When it’s peddled by glib juveniles, it’s maddening, but it’s most disgusting when it’s peddled by people who haven’t any excuses: Paul Krugman and Thomas Sieger Derr, I’m looking at you.

    The thing is, however witless Republican political practice is, Republican discourse has as its point of departure the notion that people are basically socially competent and can take care of themselves navigating goods and factor markets. Where they cannot, it’s in the realm addressed by the production of conventional public goods or it’s due to phenomena which are not discretionary and predictably arise for the broad mass of the population over the course of the life-cycle.

    If your self-understanding is influenced by your implication to ‘help’ various abstract collections of people, or if you fancy you’re wise to the world and shall ‘unmask’ all the corruption underneath the smiling face in front of you, the themes of a Ronald Reagan speech are anathema to you.

    It was a generation ago that Michael Kinsley noted (reading the 1984 Democratic platform) that the party seemed to suffer from social hypochonria. Actually, social hypochondria is about what you’d expect from the party of human service professionals. We need a new program, social workers and others to run it, and some cash to spend on our clients. Just the other day I saw an absurd news article which contended that large numbers of college students were malnourished. There are two sorts of people who are malnourished in this country: drug addicts and vagrants, and in both cases a deficit of ‘resources’ is not their primary problem. Slum neighborhoods are shot through with the obese, as is the population of fast-food employees. Journalists see that every day, then write up some inane piece on ‘food insecurity’.

    The reality in this country is that the black population is composed of wage earners who might benefit from some impersonally-administered subsidies but really don’t need to be pestered by Lisa Uglyshoes, MSW or Carol Passiveaggressive, MEd; that the black population differs from the remainder primarily in its exposure to street crime and school disorder; that the guilds for which the Democratic Party is the electoral vehicle have no intention of sequestering the incorrigibles and hoodlums making other blacks miserable because the suggestion that bad blacks are responsible for injuries to ordinary blacks is one they cannot bear emotionally or process intellectually. Neither is the notion that their clientele are and should be subject to impersonal standards of conduct that are favored by and aren’t much questioned by Joe Blow off the sidewalks of Dixon, Illinois, rather than the floating standards trafficked in by their own clerisy (for whom it’s just horrible horrible horrible that you should hold the ‘disadvantaged’ accountable for anything).

    Conjoined to this is a notion implicit in much of the discourse of gentry liberals and black motormouths: ordinary (white) people are peasants, and are getting above their station when they put forward standards which professional people or blacks should be expected to adhere to. Ultimately, ‘racist’ in our time means a refusal to defer.

    /rant off.

  2. The Democrat Party is the anti-God Party (pro-abortion, same-sex “marriage” and transgenderism) and should be renamed for what it is – the Calumny Party. Look it up; you’ll find it in the 8th Commandment. This from a south Chicago born Catholic and former Democrat whose eyes and mind were open when he joined a right-to-life organization to get “pro-lifers” elected to Congress and st legislatures, and the only candidates were Republicans back in the mid ’70s.

    Oh, by the way, Catholic Democrats are the reason abortion remains legal. They are the largest single group in the Calumny Party, still, some 45 years post Roe v. Wade….so much for their “belief” God is the creator of life; and their praying for God’s “will be done on earth” standing before Jesus in the Holy Eucharist in every Mass, praying the only prayer Jesus ever taught us.

    Now, if they joined the Nazi Party or the KKK they would commit a mortal sin against the 5th Commandment. But joining the pro-abortion, anti-God Calumny Party, they do not commit a mortal sin against the 5th Commandment. Explain that one, U. S. Bishops, especially, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops who recently “directed all parishes to refrain from activities with Texas Right to Life, the state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization.” (American Magazine 4/2/18)

  3. It looks like the parties are…well, living according to their names.

    Democracy– build up a group, take away stuff from those outside of it.
    Republican– you can’t run over this group’s rights for the rest, working to try to figure out the best compromise that balances all the different rights.

    So you’re going to get the folks who want what someone else has over on the left, and folks who want to protect their own on the right.

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