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Mythbusting in Political History
in Politics

By VaulkVaulk 740 Pts
It comes to my attention recently that there exists a popular but quiet following to the belief that, at some point, the Republican and Democrat parties switched sides...more specifically on matters of Racial Equality.  Call me naive but I had never heard something like that and had no idea it existed as an ideology.  That said I've done my homework and found the necessary evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the switch is a myth, the Democratic Party did not suddenly, or even over time, gradually become the Republican Party and Vice a Versa.  It's simply not true but I can respect the attempt to pull this one off, it has to be incredibly inconvenient to admit that your Party has championed Slavery, Jim Crow laws, Segregation and Black Codes.

It seems that the confusion begins with the Civil Rights Bills of the 1950s and 1960s.  It seems that Republicans were cast as the opposition to Civil Rights.  The issue here is that the public records for voting counts don't reflect that Republicans were against it.
CITATION
Civil Rights support by party
Civil Rights votes by region
Democrats actually filibustered (Obstructed the legislature) the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and attempted to deadlock the voting until the Republican Minority Leader led the fight to end it.  Now I've taken into account that SOME Democrats helped push the bill through the House of Representatives and the Senate and ultimately it was Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson who signed the Bill into Law.  I was almost surprised to see this because it stands as a contradiction to the idea that Democrats opposed Racial equality...until you do your homework on L.B.J.

President Lyndon B. Johnson is attributed with saying...some really disgusting things about Black people.  Unfortunately for the purposes of this debate, not many can be verified and thus aren't worthy of citing here.  There is one statement made by L.B.J. that is acknowledged even by Snopes as being accurate:

"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".

While his sentiment is nasty, the statement about the Civil Rights Act is actually accurate.  The Law did virtually nothing to solve the serious issues facing Black Americans at the time and merely issued a blanket freedom that wasn't worth the paper it was written on.  It did serve as a stepping stone in the charge for racial equality but inn today's America the Civil Rights Act has done little to solve racial inequality, residual effects from racist policies and practices still exist and Black America still suffers from it. 
CITATION
"The legacy of the Civil Rights Act’s failures abound: America is still hemorrhaging from the racism of police bullets, health disparities and environmental catastrophes. The black unemployment rate has been twice the white unemployment rate for 60 years, segregation is on the rise in public schools across America, and an unprecedented number of black and brown bodies have been mass incarcerated as a result of the war on drugs". 
After the passage of the act, Americans quickly confused the death of Jim Crow for the death of racism. The result: They blamed persisting and progressing racial disparities on black inferiority.

So if L.B.J. was Racist (And he was) and the Democratic Party was the party of the KKK, Slavery, Jim Crow, Black Codes and overall Racism...how is it that Republicans are painted as the party of Racism?  With the fact remaining that Martin Luther King Jr. was a solidified Republican...it's confusing.  The answer is difficult to understand but I'll try to break it down.

It's not that any one Republican government official suddenly became a Democrat or Vice a Versa, it's that the South gradually started voting Republican at one point and the North began gradually voting Democrat.  Mind you this was AFTER the a Democratic President suddenly championed the Civil Rights Act after being such a devout Racist.  What would racist voters do if their favored government officials suddenly did a 180 degree turn on the political position that most of them voted them into office for?  I'd wage that they'd go as far as to change parties.  Now, it wasn't that the Civil Rights Act was what turned the South against the Democrats or minorities against Republicans. Those patterns, as Trende showed, had been developing for a while. It was, however, a manifestation of these growing coalitions. The South gradually became supporters of the conservative party, while the north became supporters of the liberal party. 

Now yes, Barry Goldwater was a Republican presidential nominee that ran against L.B.J. and many have touted that he was a devout racist and that because he was nominated by the Republican Party as a Presidential nominee that this equates to the Republican Party supporting Racism.  In truth, Barry Goldwater was likely psychotic but still, I defer to M.L.K. and the NAACP on this one
CITATION
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said that although he did not regard Senator Goldwater as a racist, the Senator “articulates a philosophy Which gives aid and comfort to the racists.”

Roy Wilkins, executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said Negroes “generally will be disappointed at the nomination.”

“Senator Goldwater himself is not regarded as a racist in their minds,” he said, “but they note with dismay that among his supporters are some of the most outspoken racists in America.

Goldwater was definitely a mistake and it cost the Republicans a great deal of support at the time and rightfully so.  More care and consideration should be leveraged when making a final decision on who will lead a political party in the race for Presidency.  That said, he wasn't a white guy who ran on a platform of "Let's make em slaves again".

While the South may indeed be more Republican than it once was and the North may indeed be more Democrat...that does not equate to the Democrat Party taking up the mantle of equality while the Republican Party dawning the cape of Racism.  The Republican Party was created for the specific purpose of defeating Slavery expansion...the Democrat Party opposed that.  Both parties have made movements towards racial equality (One could argue that it's still not enough) but nothing...and I mean absolutely nothing can change the history of the Democratic Party.  The Democratic Party is not a party of slavers anymore...and that's because of concessions that Racial inequality had to end...not because they suddenly became morally righteous.  Had they held onto their political positions, we wouldn't have Democrats anymore, their party would have died with the death of segregation and Jim Crow.  They adapted with the times and stopped pushing racist agendas.


And before anyone says it lol.  I'm not a Republican, never have been, never will be.  I've never voted in any government election and likely never will, never registered to vote and have no political affiliation.  This is a 3rd party account of what it looks like to view this issue without any dog in the fight and without any favor for either side.

Happy_KillbotMayCaesarsmoothieAmpersand
"If there's no such thing as a question then what kind of questions do people ask"?

"There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

"Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stup!d".





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  • VaulkVaulk 740 Pts
    P.S.  This is how you post a debate.  Posting a single line and linking a video is not an argument.
    smoothieMayCaesarZeusAres42SkepticalOne
    "If there's no such thing as a question then what kind of questions do people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stup!d".


  • AmpersandAmpersand 776 Pts
    edited February 8
    I take it you didn't read your source where the table comes comes from as it specifically points out:

    "Once you control for region, it turns out that Democrats were actually more likely to support the 1964 Civil Rights Act"

    In fact it then goes on to explain that geography is a better political indicator than party, which is the second part of your table that you don't mention.

    "In this case, it becomes clear that Democrats in the north and the south were more likely to vote for the bill than Republicans in the north and south respectively. This difference in both houses is statistically significant with over 95% confidence. It just so happened southerners made up a larger percentage of the Democratic than Republican caucus, which created the initial impression than Republicans were more in favor of the act.

    Nearly 100% of Union state Democrats supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act compared to 85% of Republicans. None of the southern Republicans voted for the bill, while a small percentage of southern Democrats did.

    The same pattern holds true when looking at ideology instead of party affiliation. The folks over at Voteview.com, who created DW-nominate scores to measure the ideology of congressmen and senators, found that the more liberal a congressman or senator was the more likely he would vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, once one controlled for a factor closely linked to geography.

    That's why Strom Thurmond left the Democratic party soon after the Civil Right Act passed. He recognized that of the two parties, it was the Republican party that was more hospitable to his message. The Republican candidate for president in 1964, Barry Goldwater, was one of the few non-Confederate state senators to vote against the bill. He carried his home state of Arizona and swept the deep southern states – a first for a Republican ever."

    The democratic party of the 1960's was a two-headed beast, with northern liberal voters and conservative southern voters. It was a a contentious party and the civil rights act that you've highlighted is in fact the answer to your question as that's what split off the conservative racist southern voters for them to be picked up by the then influecne the Republican party for years to come.. 

    In 1964 after pushing through the civil rights act was pushed through Storm Thrumond - noted segregationist - left the democratic party in protest and joined the Republicans. In 1964 after pushing through the civil rights act, the traditionally democratic strongholds of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Louisiana. I mean just compare the maps from Eisenhower's elections to Johnson's

    ElectoralCollege1952svgElectoralCollege1956svgElectoralCollege1964svg

    Those states that were real democratic strongholds, being among the few holdouts in Eisenhowers two landslide victories. So when Johnson has his landslide for the Democratic party, you'd expect them to be easy wins that go massively democratic - if everything else is equal. They don't though and are in fact now the lone Republican holdouts in a sea of blue. Why? Because the Republicans pivoted in the 1964 election and went with their racist right-wing.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1964/07/19/archives/as-the-republican-party-enters-a-new-era-the-nominee-for-64-the-new.html

    Give that article a read, it gives a contemporary overview of the Republican primary and how there was a battle between the liberal and the racist right wings of the Republican party and the Republican party won. A notable quote:

    "In the field of civil rights, Senator Goldwater has convinced most observers that he personally is opposed to segregation in any form. .... large segments of his following are opposed to desegregation and his backers hope to capitalize in two areas: in the South where they hope that many Democrats, disaffected by President Johnson's vigorous action on civil rights, will swing over to the Goldwater column; in the North where they hope that the discontent caused by racial unrest will swell the Republican figures."

    After that the Republicans lent hard into courting white voters with race baiting tactics. To quote an interview with Republican strategist Lee Atwater:

    "Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry Dent and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [Reagan] doesn't have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he's campaigned on since 1964 [...] and that's fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster...
    Questioner: But the fact is, isn't it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?


    Atwater: Y'all don't quote me on this. You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

    Even if you try and show that "Hey, if you ignore all the other factors like geography more republicans as a percentage voted for Civil Rights" the problem is even if you were right, that's a post-facto justification and people at the time didn't see it that way - especially with how the parties developed. If you can't see the Republicans suddenly putting forward segregationist and race baiting candidates for president, admitting they campaigned on coded anti-black rhetoric and the deep south states suddenly throwing their support behind the Republicans as signs of a switch, exactly what would qualify? Do the Republicans need to make an official statement saying "We are the racists now"? How blatant does it need to be?

    Edit: Also that's some very selective quotation in the last citation, where you misquote the author to make it seem like the Civil Rights Act was useless rather than just not progressing far enough and avoid all references to things like institutional racism (which you don't believe to exist). You can't take the conclusion of someone's argument if you reject their reasoning for how they reach it. The only reason a conclusion is valid is if rationale behind it is correct - which in this case judging from your past posts you do not.
    piloteer
  • VaulkVaulk 740 Pts
    edited February 8
    @Ampersand

    I think that if the Republicans had created the KKK, Jim Crow Laws, Black Codes, or filibustered the Civil Rights Act...that would give reason to think they were the party of Racism.  The article was a good read and the major points I took from it were this:

    1. Goldwater refused (For whatever reason) to denounce the KKK.  This was a huge mistake and his opponents capitalized on it by doing it themselves.
    2. Goldwater was a radical conservative.
    3. Goldwater made campaign promises to sign the Civil Rights Act into law but made it clear that it should be the States' purview to regulate how the law is implemented.
    4. MUCH of Goldwater's fan base were racists who hoped to basically fly under the radar if he won.
    I've added a concession to my argument that specifically covers Goldwater.  It was a huge mistake and it costed the Republican Party huge momentum.  M.L.K. and the Executive Director of the NAACP both went on the record of saying that they did not believe that Goldwater was a Racist.  I suppose it wouldn't matter that, at the time, MLK was a devout Republican supporter.

    Now, was he a racist?  Likely so.  I'm not here to tout the Republican party as the gold standard in the U.S..  I'm merely pointing out and making the case against the idea that the two parties shifted paradigms in regards to Racial Equality.

    Additionally, the geographical residence of a government official isn't justification (At least not by today's standards) for their political beliefs.  A Republican government official supports and represents the Republican party regardless of where he/she resides.  The argument I'm making here is in regards to the Parties and their political stances on racial equality. The individual hometowns or home states of the government officials in question that represent their parties is irrelevant to the fact that Republicans supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to a degree larger than the Democrats and the Democrats filibustered the bill.  

    I'm curious, how did you arrive at the conclusion that the geographical residence of party members is anything more than an interesting side note in regards to what party voted for and against the Civil Rights Act?


    "If there's no such thing as a question then what kind of questions do people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stup!d".


  • @Vaulk

    Are you conceding or not, you leave it a bit vague. You say "I think that if the Republicans had created the KKK, Jim Crow Laws, Black Codes, or filibustered the Civil Rights Act...that would give reason to think they were the party of Racism" but the entire point of the debate is to discuss the idea that the Democratic party did all those things and then switched to being the antiracism party so. To show that this happened you'd need to show that the Republican party started championing racist policies and won over the racist vote, which is exactly what I've done.

    So are we just chatting now or are you actually arguing? Only if you're still trying to debate, nothing you said contradicts the points I raised about how the Republicans took over as the party of racism? For instance you make an argument that Goldwater wasn't personally racist but that doesn't rally matter when you concede that he supported racist policies, was selected as the Republican candidate on the basis of those racist policies and won over the support of racists in the deep south with those racist policies.

    The question here is when did the Republicans switch over to becoming the racist party and the Democrats the Anti-racist. We've identified that point.

    Image without a caption

    The civil rights act also marked the second big shift towards democrats for black voters who recognised that the democrats where the ones pushing for these policies that the Republicans had done nothing with it - even when Eisenhower was President and Republicans had control of the senate and congress they didn't do it - it wasn't a priority for them. The 1948 bump you see by the way? That was due to Truman who has positioned himself as strongly civil rights - calling for equality in state of the unions and requesting legislation from the Republican controlled congress which they turned down, such as:

    -Establishing a permanent Commission on Civil Rights
    -Strengthening existing civil rights statutes.
    -Providing federal protection against lynching.
    -Protecting the right to vote.
    -Establishing a Fair Employment Practice Commission.

    1948 also being the year that Hubert Humphrey gave his speech at the democratic convention in favour of civil rights which caused dozens of southern delegates to walk out:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nwIdIUVFm4

    Vaulk said:

    I'm curious, how did you arrive at the conclusion that the geographical residence of party members is anything more than an interesting side note in regards to what party voted for and against the Civil Rights Act?


    I didn't. You did.

    Guessing you didn't actually read your first citation and just took the image from it?


  • Honestly, I have never seen this discussion as relevant in any way other than historical one. Both parties have changed significantly over the last century and a half. What matters is what they represent now. The fact that the Democratic party used to champion slavery, or that the Republican party used to champion federalism, should not affect how people vote - or even how they think about these parties - today.

    That said, the identity politics have run through the Democratic party for as long as it existed; this seems to be a defining feature historically of this party that has never gone away. The Republican party has evolved more dynamically, and I cannot pinpoint a single feature that distinguishes it from the Democratic party through its existence.

    I also would like to add that Civil Rights act is not a pro-equality act; it is a common misconception. Instead, it is an anti-business act, damaging enterpreneurs' rights, while not addressing actual inequality of opportunity at the time in any way. Which party supported/supports this act more should not be used as a metric of which party is less/more favoring of discrimination by race, gender, etc.
    Vaulk
  • AlofRIAlofRI 547 Pts
    I sometimes write long arguments, but here, let me just say, it is a mistake to call the party of Trump and McConnell and Barr … REPUBLICANS.
    In that party, any resemblance to actual Republicans, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
  • VaulkVaulk 740 Pts
    @MayCaesar

    I think you accurately summarize what I did not in my original post, an interesting way of viewing the overall differences between the parties.  Additionally your view on the Civil Rights Act is spot on, there's not many who know that and it's even harder to find research, reporting or documentation on this fact.  Many republicans resisted the Civil Rights Act citing that it represented an overreach of the Government into the private sector despite it being viewed as a transportation vessel for racial equality.
    MayCaesar
    "If there's no such thing as a question then what kind of questions do people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stup!d".


  • VaulkVaulk 740 Pts
    @AlofRI

    Fair enough.  Actually if you wanted to cut down to the core you could say that it never will resemble the original party.  Democrats were the original Republicans (Democratic Republicans) from the age of Washington.  The Republican Party is the youngest of the traditional parties today.
    AlofRI
    "If there's no such thing as a question then what kind of questions do people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stup!d".


  • AlofRIAlofRI 547 Pts
    Vaulk said:
    @AlofRI

    Fair enough.  Actually if you wanted to cut down to the core you could say that it never will resemble the original party.  Democrats were the original Republicans (Democratic Republicans) from the age of Washington.  The Republican Party is the youngest of the traditional parties today.
    The names they choose (chose), are the names they went by … only. Just because some called themselves some version of Democrat or Republican does not mean they were related to todays parties. The platforms then are unrelated to their platforms now. A name is a name in name only, so to speak. The Lincoln Republicans have no relationship to the originals, they're just using their name. The originals would be appalled. The same would be true of some original parties calling themselves Democrats. What we have now …. is what we have now, not then.
  • VaulkVaulk 740 Pts
    @AlofRI

    I think we agree on just about all of what you said.  The only caveat I'd add is that while the parties of yesteryear aren't the parties of today the history is still critical.  An organizations origin, foundation or principles have an impact (Of varying degrees) on what they eventually become.

    Mind you I only focus on the origins in this debate because of an apparently popular (Yet fictitious) mindset that, historically speaking, Republicans were the party of Racism.
    AlofRI
    "If there's no such thing as a question then what kind of questions do people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stup!d".


  • Vaulk said:

    Mind you I only focus on the origins in this debate because of an apparently popular (Yet fictitious) mindset that, historically speaking, Republicans were the party of Racism.
    They weren't prior to the mid half of the 20th century, but since then they very much have been as I have shown.
  • Just remembered this thread after coming across a pertinent passage in Nixonland.

    That August was a watershed in American history. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the "party of Lincoln" was identified by the public as the part more favourable to the aspirate of negroes. The Democrats' situation was complicated: they simultaneously began winning the allegiance of black voters by dint of the New Deal and relied on South segregationists for their majorities. But by the early 1960s, with Goldwater conservatives in the ascendancy among Republicans , and Northern liberals in the ascendancy within the Democratic coalition, a crossover point had been passed. Decades later, two political scientists crunched the opinion poll numbers and identified 1958 as the key date at which both parties were judged equally Negro-friendly. After that, the two parties diverged. The trend had been plotted through contingent accidents of history: John F. Kennedy's decision to phone Coretta Scott King with words of support as her husband sat in jail in Atlanta on the eve of the 1960 election, sending troops to integrate the University of Mississippi in 1962, introducing a sweeping civil rights bill in response to the violence in Birmingham in 1963; and Nixon sending Barry Goldwater to campaign for him in the South in 1960, then the selection of barry Goldwater as the new Republican nominee. The evolution was uneven, plenty of Southern Democrats were still segregationists, plenty of Republicans  championed civil rights - such as John Lindsay, who as a congressman pushed for a civil rights law to the left of JFK's, then was hailed as the saviour of the post-Galdwater GOP when he won New York's mayorality in 1965. The first black since reconstruction likely to be a senator, Attorney General Ed Brooke of Massachusetts, was a Republican. George Romney won and rewon the governership of Michigan buy championing civil rights. one official party brochure pointed in 1965 to LBJ's "failure to enforce civil rights legislation" as a reason to vote Republican.

    The long, hot summer of 1966 was when the national Republican party changed its mind

    Manny Celler had been shocked by the vituperative response of Minority leader Ford at his July motion to rush the civil rights bill to the floor. Evans and Nivak reports that Ford had been coming "under heavy, concealed pressure from liberals and moderates... not to put the Party's stamp on an amendment to strip the housing section from the administration's civil rights bill." But in a statement on August 2, that was exactly what Ford's House Republican Policy Committee did. Ford began the Press conference with a flourish towards the GOP's historical leadership in "the fight for justice and progress and human rights." He then declared, whoever, "Respect for law and order is basic to the achievement of common foals within our nation," and blamed the open-housing struggle for law and order's decline. "Since its inception, it has created confusion and bitterness. it had divided the country and fostered discord and animosity when calmness and a unified approach to civil rights problems are desperately needed."

    And so on the first anniversary of the riots in Watts, twenty-one months after the 1964 Johnson landslide, Goldwaterism became official House Republican policy on civil rights.

    The republicans were only following the lead of the public. Millions of voters were newly equating Republicanism with preserving their homes, and voting Democtaric with surrendering them. In California, people who'd voted Democrat their entire adult lives were pledging fealty to Ronald Reagan. In Chicago, John Hoellen, a George Wallace-style backlasher and one of the city's few Republican aldermen, was mounting a surprisingly strong challenge against Roman Pucinski - an unheard-of-threat to the invincible Daley machine. Pucinski plunged forth to save himself by urging court-ordered restraints on civil rights marches. Hoellen did him one better by proposing that Martin Luther King be taken into immediate custody. In the Saturday Evening post Stewart Alsop recorded his pleasure that two "men of genuine ability" were contending for Illinois's Senate seat, and that both "Courageously maintained stands for open housing" - but had to admit that "Percy benefits from the backlash nearly as much as the backlasher Hoellen... In a system accustomed to a straight-ticket voting, many an angry white voter will simply pull the Republican lever."

    As for Senator Douglas, he got more and more letters like this:

    "While you sit on your butt in Washington martin Luther KIng is violating everything I bought and paid for. That jackass percy is beginning to look good to me."

    And at that jackass Percy's headquarters, certain ideological adjustments were being considered.

    Wanted to quote it as it's remarkable how similar it is to my analysis of the situation, although Perlstein puts more of a focus specifically on the housing components of the civil rights act. Overall though it's basically covered my points exactly, with the Republican Party definitively losing its status as a protector of racial equality in the 60's following the 1964 civil rights act when the party reacted by adopting Goldwater's racist ant-integration point of view. The full book goes into much more detail about the characters policy, history of events and is well worth a read if anyone wants to truth of the situation instead of the OP's propaganda.

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3202 Pts
    @AlofRI

    You do see some parallels, however. I think I was a bit careless with my claim on the lack of distinct differences between the two parties that have been present throughout the whole history; there is one that I thought of recently, and it is tied directly to the names of the parties.

    Democratic Party has always favored democratic ideals more than republican ideals. These ideals should not be confused: democracy is associated with a more direct rule of the majority, while republic is defined by a rule of the law with some strict guidelines. 
    You see that throughout the history of the party its platform heavily involved pro-democratic proposals: changes in the voting system diminishing the influence of the Electoral College, weakening of the Constitution in order to expand legislative power so the legislators can better comply with the popular opinion, etc.

    Republican Party, on the other hand, has been strongly in favor of the more traditional for the US republican ideals. While it has mostly been in favor of strong federalism, it nonetheless respected the Constitution and its basic amendments, defended the Electoral College system, advocated for strong state rights and so on.

    So these parties' names are not random or just for show; they describe something fundamental about their values. Note that originally the dichotomy was different: the main debate back then was between federalists (Federalist party) and supporters of a more decentralised state-based system (Republican-Democratic party). Federalism won over when the Civil War was concluded, so that debate was closed, and now it was a struggle between democratic and republican values, which continues to this day.
    AlofRIVaulk
  • AlofRIAlofRI 547 Pts
    MayCaesar said:
    @AlofRI

    You do see some parallels, however. I think I was a bit careless with my claim on the lack of distinct differences between the two parties that have been present throughout the whole history; there is one that I thought of recently, and it is tied directly to the names of the parties.

    Democratic Party has always favored democratic ideals more than republican ideals. These ideals should not be confused: democracy is associated with a more direct rule of the majority, while republic is defined by a rule of the law with some strict guidelines. 
    You see that throughout the history of the party its platform heavily involved pro-democratic proposals: changes in the voting system diminishing the influence of the Electoral College, weakening of the Constitution in order to expand legislative power so the legislators can better comply with the popular opinion, etc.

    Republican Party, on the other hand, has been strongly in favor of the more traditional for the US republican ideals. While it has mostly been in favor of strong federalism, it nonetheless respected the Constitution and its basic amendments, defended the Electoral College system, advocated for strong state rights and so on.

    So these parties' names are not random or just for show; they describe something fundamental about their values. Note that originally the dichotomy was different: the main debate back then was between federalists (Federalist party) and supporters of a more decentralised state-based system (Republican-Democratic party). Federalism won over when the Civil War was concluded, so that debate was closed, and now it was a struggle between democratic and republican values, which continues to this day.
    In my opinion the "weakening of the Constitution" is coming more from the computerized Gerrymandering of voting districts (in the favor of one party), the blatant attempt to make voting difficult for "certain people", the obvious trend to give tax breaks to those who USED TO create good paying jobs, but now take more and more profit for themselves while keeping working class income on "the straight and narrow". Since the well meaning Reagan gave the power to corporations (by destroying the unions), the conservatives have weakened the American worker thus weakening democracy. WE, the PEOPLE, are supposed to make the decisions under the Constitution, NOT … the FEW with the money. Money IS power, and it is un-democratically being directed to a Republic that may soon resemble too many OTHER "Republics", like, The Republic of Iran, the Union of Soviet Socialist REPUBLICS, the "Peoples REPUBLIC of China, The "Peoples Republic" of Cuba, The "REPUBLIC" of South Africa, etc., etc..  A "Republic" is not necessarily a GOOD thing, unless it sticks to democratic principles! Those "Republics" mentioned, along with many others, were/are NOT good places for WE, the People … as OURS was INTENDED to BE! It IS a great place for those with the money to support the government that supports THEM! The FEW. It is happening here! Capitalism, unregulated, begets an oligarchy, every time. A republic with a "small government" is ideal for those who wield the power (money) …. it's MUCH EASIER to control, MUCH cheaper to buy! Keeping "WE, the People" in charge is NOT weakening the Constitution, putting THEY, the ones with the most money in CONTROL of it, IS.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 3202 Pts
    edited March 23
    @AlofRI

    Gerrymandering does not contradict the Constitution, actually, albeit can be seen as an unintended consequence of it.

    Considering that the number of regulations has been growing steadily since early 1900-s, I do not see how "unrestricted capitalism" is something to worry about. I would love it if the US was moving towards unrestricted capitalism, as it was supposed to be in the Founding Fathers' design, but that just is not happening.

    Regardless, I was talking about the dichotomy between democracy and republic, not about who is responsible for American societal ills. My personal outlook is that democracy is dangerous, and I do not want to put my fate in the hands of the mob; I also dislike Lincoln and his collectivist "we the people" quote, but that is just me.
    AlofRI
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