The Southern Strategy turned the bigoted Southern Dems to solidly GOP today.
See Southern Strategy.
If “racist Democrats became Republicans” I respond with, like who? The racist Democrats we immediately think of were those who turned the hoses on to blacks, blocked them from entering white schools and voted against the Civil Rights Acts during the 1960′s.
They include Al Gore Sr, George Wallace, Orval Faubus, Bull Connor, Ross Barnett, E.H. Hurst, Jim Clark, Frank Dixon, Benjamin Travis Laney, Herman Talmadge, Happy Chandler, Leander Perez, Ross Barnett, Carroll Gartin, John C. Stennis, Fielding L. Wright, Bill Beeny, Cy Bahakel, Preston Parks, Hugh Roy Cullen, T. Coleman Andrews, William J. Fulbright, Adlai Stevenson, John Sparkman, and many more.
The FACT is that the racist Democrats did not become Republicans. Most stayed Democrats and a few joined the American Independent Party. The FACT is that Republicans appealed to the Democrats who were (1) fiscal conservatives, (2) federalists, (3) anti-communist, and (4) anti-racist. The fragmentation of the Democrat during the 1960′s led to a series of political losses from which they’ve been unable to fully recover.
To better understand the type of Democrat that switched political affiliation to the Republican party in the 1960′s, primarily in the South, I will use actual examples:
Claude R. Kirk, Jr.
(Florida, ’60) – a former Marina and self-made success, he was pro-federalism and pro-capital punishment; he headed the “Floridians for Nixon” campaign; elected governor of Florida in 1966; later returned to Democrats and then back to the Republicans; only blemish on his record was his anti-busing stance which some called anti-segregation; however, Kirk’s chief of staff during that time, Lloyd Hagaman, explained that Kirk was fighting “forced busing” of schoolchildren, not segregation or desegregation.
(California, ’62) – 40th President of the United States; No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
(Louisiana, ’61) – At the time of his death was known as “Louisiana’s Mr. Republican,” he earned accolades such as “Medalion Award for Distinguished Community Service” and “Humanitarian of the Year” was beat in a Congressional race in 1961 by a Democrat, Waggonner, who had once been president of the segregationist Louisiana Citizen’s Council.
Jack M. Cox
(Texas, ’62) – Former Texas State Representative; ran in several elections in the 1960s and lost; No racial bias or controversies whatsoever
James D. Martin
(Alabama, ’62) – Lost a Gubernatorial election to George Wallace’s wife, Murleen Wallace, who carried all Alabama counties except for the predominantly Republican Winston County in north Alabama. George Wallace could have easily won a second term had he been constitutionally eligible to do so, but his wife ran because he could not. The Wallace’s elections were strengthened because of their opposition to desegregation.
(South Carolina, ’62) – Congressman; No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
(Mississippi, ’63) – ran for Governor; this is an interesting one. He ran as a segregationist, as did his Democrat rival, but his opponent called him “a closet integrationists.” He lost, but he got the “black vote.” He showed that a Republican could obtain black support though there were relatively few African American voters in Mississippi during that time.
(Georgia, ’64) – Congressman and Secretary of the Army; No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
James F. Byrnes
(South Carolina, ’64) – He was opposed by the KKK; directed massive amounts of state money into black schools; passed a law prohibiting masks being worn other than on Halloween to curb the KKK; sought to modify Jim Crow laws in order to curb racism
Charles W. Pickering
(Mississippi, ’64) – As a young prosecutor in the sixties, Pickering worked closely with the FBI to pursue the KKK in Mississippi. In 1966, he testified against Klan member Sam Bowers, who was being tried for the murder of civil rights activist Vernon Damer. After testifying, Pickering and his family needed FBI protection. The Klan later claimed victory when Pickering. He ran successfully for 2 terms to the state legislature. Later, as a federal judge in Mississippi who defended the civil rights of blacks for years and defied the Ku Klux Klan back when that was dangerous, Democrats unfairly depicted him as a racist when he was nominated for a federal appellate judgeship in 2001.
(South Carolina, ’64) – Senator; as a Democrat and Dixiecrat (notice they were not known as “Dixiecans”), he was pro-segregation; however, as a Republican he saw the error of his ways which was manifested in many of his actions. He appointed Thomas Moss to his staff (the first black appointment by a member of the South Carolinian congressional delegation). He voted to make the birthday of MLK a federal holiday. And he presided over the Judicial Hearings that put the second black Justice on the Supreme Court. Furthermore, he had a relationship with a black woman which resulted in a daughter which he supported financially for his entire life.
(Pennsylvania, ’65) – Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat. As a Republican, he supported affirmative action and voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1991. He received a 76% rating from the NAACP in 2008. On immigration, Specter supported a “pathway to citizenship” and a “guest worker program” which opponents call amnesty. He introduced Senate bill S. 2611 (the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006) in 2006.
(Louisiana, ’65) – State legislator; a rarity in Louisiana at the time, worked toward getting more black voter participation; was also a Kiwanis member.
(South Carolina, ’66) – A dairy farmer the lost two U.S. Senate campaigns — defeated by Democrat Fritz Hollings — and was a member of the Rotary Club. No racial bias or controversies whatsoever. No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
Thomas A. Wofford
(South Carolina, ’66) – A write-in candidate for State Senator; No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
Len E. Blaylock
(Arkansas, ’66) – a gubernatorial nominee and Arkansas Republican State Chairman (lost to Clinton); No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
(Arkansas, ’66) – As a Democratic member of the Arkansas House of Representatives for 4 years, he witched from Democrat to Republican while an state Representative to run for Attorney General of Arkansas; ran against a Democrat segregationist; was a friend and supporter of Bill Clinton; No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
(Texas, ’66) – switched from Democrat to Republican while a state Representative before successfully running for Texas Senate. Was considered more of a Big Government Republican. No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
William E. Dannemeyer
(California, ’67) – Was a superior court judge before returning to the California State Assembly; has some radical views, but he has nothing in his background that supports that he was ever opposed to Civil Rights, segregation, etc.
(Louisiana, ’67) – A former state auditor that lost the bid to be state Treasurer; No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
William Reynolds Archer, Jr.
(Texas, ’68) – Member Texas House of Representatives 1971-2001; No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
(Texas, ’68) – A former Texas Attorney General;No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
James L. Bentley
(Georgia, ’68) – Comptroller General of Georgia; Beloved by the people; No racial bias or controversies whatsoever.
Then there is the illogical conclusion that so-called racist Democrat-turned-Republicans decided to stick with the Republican Party even after experiencing very pro-black Republican leadership. In fact, between 1969 and 1974, Americans saw Nixon raise the civil rights enforcement budget 800%, doubled the budget for black colleges, appointed more blacks to federal posts and high positions than any president (including LBJ), adopted the Philadelphia Plan mandating quotas for blacks in unions, and for black scholars in colleges and universities, invented “Black Capitalism” (the Office of Minority Business Enterprise), raised U.S. purchases from black businesses from $9 million to $153 million, increased small business loans to minorities 1,000%, increased U.S. deposits in minority-owned banks 4,000%, raised the share of Southern schools that were desegregated from 10% to 70%, wrote the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1975, “It has only been since 1968 that substantial reduction of racial segregation has taken place in the South.” Clearly, this was not the record of racists and no argument can be made as to why true racists would support a political party with such a record. Nixon won re-election in 1973 based on his record… and it wasn’t because he received votes from George Wallace, Orval Faubus, Bull Connor and the rest of the racist Southern Democrats.