Dixiecrats = GOP? No.

UPDATE: Hah! Quite by accident I came across another excellent article – brilliant, in fact – on the absurdity of GOP turning racist overnight in the sixties.  This time it’s by Kevin D. Williamson, “The Party of Civil Rights,” at NRO.  Check it out.

Came across this wonderful blog post giving some good, historical detail and sound analysis on why it’s nonsensical that the party of Lincoln, who for the entire nation’s history stood on the side of civil rights, would all of a sudden, in 1964-1965 just POOF turn into a bunch of racists. It’s written by a black conservative by the name of Bob Parks who writes at Black & Right.  Read his About Me page.  He’s an impressive fellow.

So! I recommend it highly.  Click here or read it below.


The Dixiecrat Myth

The left is quite annoyed that myself and others dare link the racist, segregationist past in this country to Democrats, at that flies in the face of everything they claim to champion, when it comes to civil rights, racial tolerance, etc.

The Democrats’ own website, to this day, attempts to take fraudulently credit for the civil rights movement and legislation, and when called on it, the recitation is the same: “we’ve grown”and “don’t forget about the Dixiecrats”.

Defensive liberals claim the Dixiecrats, as a whole, defected from the Democrat Party when President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (no thanks to Democrats), and became Republicans which they claimed were more accepting of segregationist policies.

Well, I decided to get some opinions on the matter from some historians.

I contacted Professor Larry Schweikart of the University of Dayton for advice. Larry and I worked on a documentary based on a chapter on Ronald Reagan from his best-selling book, A Patriot’s History of the United States.

The idea that “the Dixiecrats joined the Republicans” is not quite true, as you note. But because of Strom Thurmond it is accepted as a fact. What happened is that the **next** generation (post 1965) of white southern politicians — Newt, Trent Lott, Ashcroft, Cochran, Alexander, etc — joined the GOP.

So it was really a passing of the torch as the old segregationists retired and were replaced by new young GOP guys. One particularly galling aspect to generalizations about “segregationists became GOP” is that the new GOP South was INTEGRATED for crying out loud, they accepted the Civil Rights revolution. Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter led a group of what would become “New” Democrats like Clinton and Al Gore.

Larry also suggested I contact Mike Allen, Professor of History at the University of Washington, Tacoma (who also appeared in the Reagan documentary) for input.

There weren’t many Republicans in the South prior to 1964, but that doesn’t mean the birth of the souther GOP was tied to “white racism.” That said, I am sure there were and are white racist southern GOP. No one would deny that. But it was the southern Democrats who were the party of slavery and, later, segregation. It was George Wallace, not John Tower, who stood in the southern schoolhouse door to block desegregation! The vast majority of Congressional GOP voted FOR the Civil Rights of 1964-65. The vast majority of those opposed to those acts were southern Democrats. Southern Democrats led to infamous filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The confusion arises from GOP Barry Goldwater’s vote against the ’64 act. He had voted in favor or all earlier bills and had led the integration of the Arizona Air National Guard, but he didn’t like the “private property” aspects of the ’64 law. In other words, Goldwater believed people’s private businesses and private clubs were subject only to market forces, not government mandates (“We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”) His vote against the Civil Rights Act was because of that one provision was, to my mind, a principled mistake.

This stance is what won Goldwater the South in 1964, and no doubt many racists voted for Goldwater in the mistaken belief that he opposed Negro Civil Rights. But Goldwater was not a racist; he was a libertarian who favored both civil rights and property rights.

Switch to 1968.

Richard Nixon was also a proponent of Civil Rights; it was a CA colleague who urged Ike to appoint Warren to the Supreme Court; he was a supporter of  Brown v. Board, and favored sending troops to integrate Little Rock High). Nixon saw he could develop a “Southern strategy” based on Goldwater’s inroads. He did, but Independent Democrat George Wallace carried most of the deep south in 68. By 1972, however, Wallace was shot and paralyzed, and Nixon began to tilt the south to the GOP. The old guard Democrats began to fade away while a new generation of Southern politicians became Republicans. True, Strom Thurmond switched to GOP, but most of the old timers (Fulbright, Gore, Wallace, Byrd etc etc) retired as Dems.

Why did a new generation white Southerners join the GOP? Not because they thought Republicans were racists who would return the South to segregation, but because the GOP was a “local government, small government” party in the old Jeffersonian tradition. Southerners wanted less government and the GOP was their natural home.

Jimmy Carter, a Civil Rights Democrat, briefly returned some states to the Democrat fold, but in 1980, Goldwater’s heir, Ronald Reagan, sealed this deal for the GOP. The new ”Solid South” was solid GOP.

BUT, and we must stress this: the new southern Republicans were *integrationist* Republicans who accepted the Civil Rights revolution and full integration while retaining their love of Jeffersonian limited government principles.

And what did Malcolm X say about the “Dixiecrats”…?

I’m sure the more learned Democrats will have issues with these explanations.

Oh well.

Reich's Jiggling Load of Booger Snot

Over at The Daily Beast, Robert Reich (pronounce:  “Ryssssshhhhhhhhhhh-eh”) posted yet another jiggling load of booger-snot I just had to comment on.  If you have a couple of minutes of your life you are willing to waste on him & never get back, go ahead and read it, but suffice to say it’s the usual “Tea Party conservatives in the House are racist” baseless inanity we’re going to see exponentially more of in the coming months.  Below is the comment I left beneath the article he entitled: “The GOP’s Dangerous Divide – White Southern Radicals are Threatening to Take over the Party Once and For All.”

DEMOCRATS, of the southern variety, were so sure that dark-pigmented PEOPLE were PROPERTY, they picked up weapons against their countrymen to KEEP that property – An irony considering how HOT they all are NOW to strip the rest of us of our inanimate property in the name of “social justice.”

DEMOCRATS started the KKK as their terrorist arm to abuse, frighten, harm, and kill dark-pigmented people, both Democrat & Republican, and those who supported dark-pigmented people.

DEMOCRATS filibustered the civil rights acts of 1964 & 1965.

DEMOCRATS like Al Gore Senior, JFK, RFK, LBJ, FDR, Wilson and many MANY others now DEIFIED in the Democrat party held UGLY, demonstrably, provably, RACIST views of dark-pigmented people.

DEMOCRATS did not field a dark-pigmented member of the Senate or Congress until DECADES after Reconstruction. ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHO WERE BLACK WERE REPUBLICAN until then… AND THOSE MEMBERS WERE POSSESSED OF THE DIGNITY OF MAN AND OVERWHELMINGLY *OPPOSED* TO RACE-BASED POLICY OF ANY KIND. See the speeches of Rainey, and Cain, just for starters.

DEMOCRATS are the party of BIG GOVERNMENT and BIG GOVERNMENT is the ONLY ENTITY who can deprive a man BY FORCE of his FREEDOM or his MONEY. NO COMPANY ON AMERICAN SOIL EVER FORCED a man to do something he did not VOLUNTARILY agree to do. ONLY GOV’T does that.

So STUFF your facile reasoning, and sophomoric attacks.