A Critique of today’s Republican Party?
Op/Ed by Ayesha Kreutz
Mon, Nov 28, 2011
Over the years there has been a concerted effort, on behalf of many, to rewrite political history, especially when it comes to that of the Democrat Party. After finding this out, I set out to find the truth and answer a question that has been on my mind. Is the Republican the same party it once was? In studying the history of the Republican Party, I have to admit that I found myself rather impressed. The Republican Party was formed for the purpose of abolishing slavery and it succeeded with Lincoln as its first president. President Lincoln, the first Republican president, won running on the platform of ending slavery and of being for equal rights. In response, the Democrats promptly started a Civil War because they’d rather dissolve the Union than give up their slaves.
In 1854, the anti-slavery Democrats, Whigs and Free Soil Advocates of Emancipation formed the Republican Party to fight slavery. Six of the nine planks on the original platform dealt with black equality and civil rights. At the same time, the Democrat Party argued that the abolition of slavery “would lead to the unhappiness of the people.” They obviously weren’t considering blacks as part of “the people.”
Democrat-appointed judges came up with the Dred Scott Decision. The first civil rights acts from 1866 through 1875- including the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments- were all passed by Republicans, against the will of the Democrat Party. But this fact is rarely talked about in history classes. In fact, schools I grew up in act like Civil Rights all started in 1964.
I look at these facts and many others, and I have to wonder, why did I not know? The 13th Amendment got all 118 Republican votes in Congress and only 19 of 82 Democrat votes- meaning 77% of the Democrats voted against freeing the slaves. This fact, when comparing the platforms of the two parties, makes me ask: should I, should blacks, vote for Democrats or Republicans? Are we voting for our values? Since blacks are not all the same, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Yet the black vote is more overwhelmingly tied to the Democrats than that of any other group. Nearly 90% of all blacks vote for Democrats, leaving themselves overly susceptible to being taken for granted by the party they vote for and ignored by the party they vote against.
Inevitably people bring up the “Dixiecrat” issue and Kennedy’s 1964 Civil rights act, but upon further examination, I again found a few things that got me to thinking. The history and formation of the Dixiecrats is quite fascinating, but is by far the easiest to refute if one studies history honestly. I won’t get into the whole “Dixiecrat” history right now, maybe at a later point, but I will quickly answer the question “Where did the Dixiecrats go?” Contrary to legend, it made no sense for them to join with the Republican Party, which is the party of civil rights achievements. The answer is, they returned to the Democrat party and rejoined others such as George Wallace, Orval Faubus, Lester Maddox, and Ross Barnett. Interestingly, of the 26 known Dixiecrats (5 governors and 21 senators) only three ever became Republicans: Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Mills E. Godwind, Jr. The segregationists in the Senate, on the other hand, would return to their party and fight against the Civil Rights acts of 1957, 1960 and 1964.
The issue of President Kennedy isn’t as simple as that of the Dixiecrats, but an issue of political brilliance so I do want to dive into that history which I will do in a moment but first let me look at “What has the Republican Party done for the black community lately?” Well, after more self motivated research, as this was not information offered to me by schools or the mainstream media news outlets, I again was left with a slew of information that gave me GREAT reason for pause from my initial thinking. While it seems that the Republican Party has given up its mantle as the party of small government to an extent, which I honestly do not think is a good thing, I did find some statistics, policies and bills put forth by Republicans that were interesting. Let’s first consider these little tidbits:
While over 80% of Americans support the following propositions, only 13% of Democrats voted to allow voluntary prayer in schools, only 21% of Democrats voted to allow the public display of the 10 Commandments, only 5% of Democrats voted to allow free speech for churches, only 15% of the Democrats voted to protect marriage, and only 17% of Congressional Democrats voted to keep “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. While the Republicans are for these ideals along with the majority of black voters, the Democrats prove that they are not democratic by voting against the majority.
Another item of particular importance to blacks was President Bush’s faith-based initiative that put church-based social services programs on an equal footing with secular programs when competing for government grants. President George W. Bush appointed more blacks to high-level positions than any president in our nation’s history and spent record money on education, job training, small business development and health care. But with that said during President Bush’s tenure…….
Oh, sorry I ran out of space so stay tuned for part 2. I will continue to study up on this subject, as well as go over the Kennedy issue and I invite you to not only do the same but share with me what you find as I expect all who read this to hold my feet to the fire and make sure I have not only my facts straight but that it is the TRUTH.
PART 2 ———————–
I ended last time writing about some of what President Bush did, but let me go back for a second. There are some significant things in history we should look at. Karl Marx once said: “A people without a history are easily controlled,” and I see Americans so willing to be controlled today that I have to wonder, is it because we do not really know our own history? What do you think? Back to the subject at hand….
After initial flurry of successfully passed Republican-passed Civil Rights amendments and bills, the Republicans ran into a dry spell. They continued to offer civil rights bills to protect blacks in 1945, 1947, 1949, 1954 & 1957. One was an attempt to abolish the poll tax restricting the blacks’ right to vote. But the Democrats killed them all through filibusters.
In a move of seemingly politically genius in 1963, President John F. Kennedy reintroduced the civil rights act that he had voted against as a Senator in 1957. It’s likely that Kennedy knew that, in order to win the black vote, he would have to court it despite his previous opposition to civil rights. In doing so, he promised new civil rights legislation and declared that he would end housing discrimination with a “stroke of the pen.” A few weeks before the 1960 election, Kennedy broadened his black support by helping to secure the release of Martin Luther King, Jr. from an Atlanta jail, where he had been imprisoned for leading an anti-segregation demonstration.
Once in office, though Kennedy moved slowly on civil rights issues (taking 2 years before acting) because he feared he might alienate Southern white Democrats. Eventually though, racial violence became too much to ignore, and Kennedy’s administration filed 28 suits to protect black voting rights starting with the famous 1963 civil rights act. But in keeping with the tradition and the spirit of the Democrat Party, Democrat Senators Howard Smith, Al Gore Sr. and Richard Russell worked hard to keep the civil rights bill from a vote. Nonetheless, with the help of Republican Everette Dirksen, it came to pass. Dirksen broke the filibuster led by Albert Gore Sr. (D) and Robert Byrd (D) (former Kleagle of the Democrat-Party’s social group the KKK). That’s right, all KKK members were Democrats.
While Kennedy was better than most Democrats, as far as his treatment of blacks, his reluctance to be on the right side of Civil Rights and the fact that it was politics that brought him there, history still leaves a bit of a cloud over his record.
Let me get back to some present day “history”.
During President Bush’s tenure, more than 1,200 community health centers opened or expanded nationwide, which helped provide treatment to nearly 17 million poor people. The number of people covered by affordable and portable Health Savings Account-eligible plans increased 35 percent from 2007 to 2008, and $10 billion was spent for Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance for the poor. Also, the number of uninsured children under the age of 18 declined by 800,000 from 2001 to 2007, according to a federal survey. Black Americans also benefited from President Bush’s tax cuts that were provided to all Americans who pay taxes. The child tax credit was doubled to $1,000 and 13 million low-income earners were removed from the income tax rolls completely. Poor blacks received an additional gift of $1,658 per family under the Earned Income Tax Credit program.
While these are not always looked on as positives when we consider the budget and the debt, it is a far cry from the racist monster some make Bush out to have been. Especially when we again look at the fact that President George W. Bush appointed more blacks to high-level positions than any president in our nation’s history. Obama’s only comparable claim would be that he has appointed a record 210 openly gay or bisexual professionals to full-time and advisory positions. Which of these is more beneficial to the black community and for that matter which is more Christian like?
Anyway next subject topic. When the economy is growing, creating more jobs and business opportunities, blacks prosper as well as all Americans. When President Bush took office in January 2001, our economy was in recession and was then hit hard by the attacks of September 11, 2001 and then two other historic natural disasters. Thanks to President Bush’s tax cuts, our economy experienced a miraculous recovery. The tax cuts were responsible for the longest run of uninterrupted job growth — 52 straight months, or six straight years — with 8.3 million jobs created. Prior to the economic downtown in 2008, GDP grew by more than 17 percent from 2000 to 2007, a remarkable gain of nearly 2.1 trillion dollars.
The root of our current economic troubles was not deregulation by the Bush Administration, but the failure of the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which President Bush attempted to subject to more regulation. By the time Congress finally acted in 2008 to provide the oversight President Bush requested, it was too late to prevent the crisis that had its genesis in the 1970’s.
And the list goes on, not just for Bush, but for Republicans in general, and in learning just these few facts I had to ask myself: Why are Republicans, who have from their inception championed civil rights for blacks and women, called racists? And even though they are called racists, why do they still continue to champion those causes and fight for equal opportunity for all? I believe these questions deserve some deep reflection. Have we as a people been deliberately brainwashed as some have claimed or are we truly voting our values?
Again I run out of space so I guess there is a part 3. Please continue to look up the history presented here and correct me if I am miss-informed.
Critique of today’s Republican Party–Part 3
If I were to ask you if you believed the following, what would you say?
Do you believe…
1. In equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.
2. That America must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
3. That the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.
4. That the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations, and that the best government is that which governs least.
5. That the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.
6. That free enterprise and that encouraging individual initiative will continue to bring this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.
7. That Government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money that they earn.
8. That American values are what we should turn to as we try maintaining our national strength and pride, while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.
If you find yourself in agreement with all or the majority of the above propositions, then I have to ask you, as I asked myself: Why are you not voting Republican? These are the fundamentals of the Republican Party.
What has happened to keep us from voting our values? Why is it that 90% of blacks vote one party? We are the only group of people for which this is so and thus the only people whose votes are almost completely taken for granted.
After researching this subject, I think I have a good idea on what happened and how we can solve the problem. I will write on that another time.
Consider these brilliant and famous folks, and remember that they are or were Republicans: LL Cool J, Chuck Norris, Walter E. Williams, 50 cent, James Earl Jones, Congressman Tim Scott, Dr. Timothy Johnson (founder of the Frederick Douglass Foundation), Brue Willis, Alveda King (Niece of Martin Luther King Dr.), Karl Malone, Lynn Swan (former Steelers player), Sammy Davis Jr., Don King, The Rock, Congressman Allen West, Susan Lucci, Thomas Sowell, Robert Duvall, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Tony Danza. And while the list goes on and on, who can forget that Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman were Republicans, as were just about all blacks in America before 1950. Those who lived through history had a first-had memory that it was the Democrats that formed the KKK. It is Democrats who would sit in the voting booths with blacks holding a shotgun to the black man’s head so as to make sure he voted Democrat.
Today, it is kind of the same. If you are black and dare try to vote Republican, you are ostracized & bullied. You’re called a race trader or some other slur or have some high tech lynching performed on you, but if you just vote Democrat and take the little bit of the table scraps handed to you with the dignity of a begging dog, all is well. Hmmm… I suppose this explains so much revisionist history. Shouldn’t we, who so pride ourselves about our history, really know it and try connecting the dots? And, this is not to say there are not many great well, meaning Democrats, I know many.
Did you know that the Affirmative Action was a Republican-Party-Sponsored Policy, authored by Arthur Fletcher? Fletcher also gave us “The mind is a terrible thing to waste” slogan for the United Negro College Fund and the “Philadelphia Plan,” which enforced equal employment and business opportunities for minorities. Fletcher was appointed by President Nixon to be assistant secretary of wage and labor standards in the Department of Labor and again by President George H. W. Bush as chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR).
Nixon and Bush, like most Republicans, believe that Faith, strong family values, self-help programs and black economic development are the principal paths towards complete freedom and black empowerment. Yet for this belief so many call them racists, even though they continue looking out for the well-being of the black man. I have to admit, I think this fact is appalling.
The unpopular (even among most blacks) and unfair quota system of Affirmative Action we have today was not the original intent of the policy. It was crafted as a merit-based program to counter the actions of Democrat President Woodrow Wilson, who, after he was elected in 1912 (along with the Democrat-controlled congress), kicked blacks out of Federal government jobs and then prevented them from obtaining federal contracts. President Wilson was also famous for showing D. W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation” movie at the White House. This movie glorified the KKK, and is considered by some to be the inspiration for the second wave of the Clan–remember, an organization of Democrats.
Something else to think about- unlike the planks of the Democrat Party, the planks of the Republican Party have hardly changed since the party’s founding. Although recently (last 30 years or so), the Republican establishment has repeatedly compromised so much with Democrats that the party lines too often seem so blurred that we can barely tell the difference between the two parties. But again, is the Republican Party the same today as it was then?
At first glance I would say yes, except for its willingness to compromise with an organization (the Democrat Party) that in 1866 formed a national group called the Ku Klux Klan to regain control. And who can forget that, until as recently as the 1960’s, the Democrats have openly advocated for segregation? Even in today’s educational system, they wish to keep blacks in failing schools and fight tooth and nail against school-choice. It is Republicans who fight to get blacks the freedom of going to the school of their choice. It is the Democrats, beholden more to the teachers’ unions than to blacks, that want to keep blacks in dangerous “schools” that will happily graduate blacks functionally illiterate. An illiterate black has trouble finding a job and therefore is more likely to live off the system that the Democrat Party grifts for profit at the expense of the same people the system was supposedly meant to help.
And if that surprises you, do some research on Malcolm X, his feelings about Planned Parenthood (originally the Birth Right Review) and about blacks and the Democrat Party. It is fascinating.
Truth be told, when I look at many of the policies of the Democrats, I am offended that they do not think we are capable of succeeding on our own, that they have driven the spirit of the black man down so much that we honestly believe that the taking scraps of welfare is a fitting and acceptable lifestyle. I have bigger and better plans for my children, I want to leave my children a legacy like that of many whites so that we too can build an empire, so that my taxes are going to help others and it is not that we are just living off the tax dollars of others. This is our time, as a people, to arise and again take our place in history as 21st century abolitionists (www.tfdf.org).
If it were not for Republicans and Conservatives, blacks would still be slaves, but because history was rewritten and reinvented by Democrats, 90% of blacks vote for the same party that enslaved them and that whipped them a century and a half ago. And they vote against the party that fought a civil war to end slavery. The world just ain’t right because of this. We, as a culture, need to take a hard look at our community and ask some very serious questions as we do some soul searching.
There are many ways in which our public education system has failed us, and this is one of them. If you’re wondering why things rarely get better, then take a look at the party that has held control of your neighborhood for the last 20 to 30 years, and you just might have your answer. Wherever Democrats reign, people are feeling pain.
“Freedom is essentially a condition of inequality, not equality. It recognizes as a fact of nature the structural differences inherent in man, in temperament, character, and capacity and it respects those differences. We are not alike and no law can make us so.”
– Frank Chodorov
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