Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Race matters

This column by Clarence Page, attempting to talk about the GOP and race, shows how mired in a confused past liberals are on this issue. The political world has gone way beyond this sophomoric level of discussion; Joe Fabrici down the street knows more about how to think about race and politics than this self-proclaimed liberal deep thinker: the issue has nothing to do with whether the government is the enemy or not.

Discussions - 18 Comments

Just a tiny little flaw or two in the article:

Barry Goldwater’s opposition to that Civil Rights Act turned black voters heavily in favor of Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and simultaneously lost Southern white voters to Johnson’s party ...to join...fierce resistance from Southern Democratic senators like Robert Byrd of Virginia, a former Ku Klux Klansman, and Al Gore Sr., of Tennessee, father of the future vice president dixie-crats all.

So, because of the vote of one Republican, they joined the party of the dixie-crats who tried to filibuster and then voted overwhelmingly against the voting rights act? Uh uh.

I believe it was Fannie Lou Hamer who said she and all the colored people she knew joined the democrat party simply because they knew they would have zero political power in the south if they joined the Republican party. The south was virtually 100% democrat at the time and they joined the democrat party to have power in local elections, certainly not because of the dixie-crats, who were overwhelmingly racist, and certainly not because of the Republicans who were far less racist.

Mr. Page is historically inaccurate to use the claim that the Republican party was the party of "white flight" as the basis for blacks joining the democrat party. "White flight" refers to bussing. When courts tried to force white children to attend inner city schools, far from their homes, white people moved to the burbs to put their children in schools where they wouldn’t have to be bussed. This great migration became known as "white flight." Mr. Page is wrong in referring to "white flight" as a reason blacks became democrats for 2 reasons:

1. Democrats were at least as active in leaving the cities for the burbs as Republicans; and,

2. "white flight" came along after the democrat party already had a lock on the black vote.

So, if it wasn’t because of Barry Goldwater and wasn’t because of "white flight" why did northern blacks overwhelmingly become democrats? And what can the Republican party do to get the black vote?

I think northern blacks became democrats for 3 reasons, the first 2 being far more important than the third:

1. The democrat party actively recruited them while, either out of an idea that active recruitment of blacks would be inconsistent with color-blindness or just plain stupidity, the Republican party did not;

2. The democrats offered far more entitlements than the Republican party did, creating a dependent class which had no choice but to look to the democrat party to perpetuate the dependency; and,

3. Perhaps out of a desire to vote as a bloc, northern blacks joined southern blacks who had already registered democrat.

So, what does the Republican party do? Exactly what it is doing. Continue to get out the message that Republican values, pro life, pro family, strong on national security, color blindness, are the values of the growing middle class of Americans of African descent.

Uncle Guido - I think it is actually that the DemocratIC party is the one of tolerance, being open minded and accepting of all regardless of gender, race or religion. This is the reason that more black voters are attracted to the DemocratIC Party platform.

Of course there are Republicans that feel the same way, however, I don’t think that is what the Party leadership represents. My view is that the GOP is still the "good old boys" party that might be marketing itself to more diverse voting blocs for votes - but it is just marketing - not substance.

I think it is actually that the DemocratIC party is the one of tolerance, being open minded and accepting of all regardless of gender, race or religion.

That’s the spin the democrats have put on it, with tremendous success. But look at how they have tolerated the intollerant: ACLU, CAIR, NOW, MECHA, ANSWER and on and on.

And is that why so many blacks were on Bill Clinton’s Cabinet, Nick? The fact is, the Democrats pretend to be the party of "tolerance." What they actually believe in is supplanting civil society with government control (which of course would put them in charge). They see their "mascot groups" as simply means to that end.

Uncle Guido, it’s not just spin. The definition of "liberal" is being open minded and accepting of those that are different from you. It is really one of the main reasons I have become to identify myself as a Democrat. I feel conservative on fiscal policy and liberal on social issues. My perception is that this is where the Democratic party is.


Like I said, there are many average voting Republicans that are the same way, but I just don’t feel the Republican party platform is in the same place. One great thing is that our society as a whole is moving in the direction that is accepting of all regardless of gender, race or religion. It is my opinion that the Democratic party is the political party that pushes these issues.

The definition of "liberal" is being open minded and accepting of those that are different from you. It is really one of the main reasons I have become to identify myself as a Democrat.

Actions speak louder than labels. Democrats are not open minded because they say they are and their actions say otherwise. Nick, if you are truly open minded, and I’ve no doubt you are, you will soon see that the party of tolerance is, in act and deed, intolerantIC. You will also see that the intolerant party, or more accurately the party labeled by the Democratic party as the intolerant party, the party of Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Steele, Ken Blackwell, Lynn Swann and the great civil rights activist Jackie Roosevelt (named after Theodore Roosevelt not that other guy) Robinson, is color-blind and far more tolerant than the party that lays claim to the label.

Ken Mehlman went before the NAACP in 04 and offered a typical Repub "apology." I can hardly wait until he does it again!

"...is color-blind and far more tolerant than the party that lays claim to the label."

The obvious conclusion would then be that African Americans are just stupid. Of course obvious conclusions aren’t always valid, but it does fit well with the those who swallowed the Bell Curve(embraced by so many on the far right) and the fans of vdare.

Why is that the "obvious" conclusion? Having become dependent on affirmative action and other entitlements, isn’t it (narrowly) rational for blacks to vote for Democrats?

In 1928, Hoover carried 5 of the 11 states of the former confederacy. Perhaps it was Smith’s Catholicism/Anti-Prohabition views, but the states in question (TX,FL,NC,VA,TN) aren’t the most reactionary states of the deep south. It’s not inconceivable that had not the Depression intervened, the solid south would have started breaking up. Jump to 1952 & 1956 Ike replicated Hoover’s accomplishment (minus NC both times though coming close and adding LA in 56). In 1960, Nixon did less well but still took TN & VA and came very close in TX. This is all happening before the important Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s. After the bill? The states Goldwater took in 1964 were essentially the ones Hoover/IKE/Nixon had lost (LA the exception) but the states Nixon won in 1968 were the same ones he, Ike & Hoover had already won (adding SC). The deep South went for Wallace. Nixon won the whole South in 1972, but that was a 49 state sweep. Ford lost the whole south save VA in 1976. (Carter was the favorite son, but by 76 no one was confusing him with George Wallace). And all of those Southern democrats who voted against the 64/65 legislation? They remained Democrats to the end and I don’t recall any Democrat in the 1970s/1980s refusing the perks of majority party status simply because it was based on the likes of such not entirlely reconstrcted segregationalists.

Tidy synopsis of above post:

1) The deep south did not become generally republican in presidential races until 1980 and it did not become generally republican in congressional races until 1994--a bit late to be blaming it largely on 1960s era legislation.
2) The least reaction/racialist parts of the south made the move first and started before the 1960s.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. It is nearly impossible to distinguish the goals of the Republican Party and the goals of wealthy White males. That is why most Blacks are Democrats, and why most Black Republicans (like Clarence Page) sound like apologists. Bush can window dress all he likes, but Condie and Lynn Swann (Oooohhhh!) cannot outvote millions of Black Democrats who can see through the tokenism. Who knows how Colin Powell will vote after being forced to lie to the world for Bush????

Guido: Who are you to call the ACLU intolerant? Because an organization fights for individual rights, and stands for everything you hate, you think you can make that stick? To fight against prejudice is to be anti-prejudice. To fight against discrimination is to be anti-discrimination. To fight intolerance is to be anti-intolerance. I don’t know what intellectual deviants you think you appeal to, but no one with a brain really buys that approach.

Since when is Clarence Page a Republican?

OK, Fung, if the Republican Party represents only white men, what does the Democratic Party represent? Unions? Black folks? Hispanics? Women? Lots of masters...has it benefited any of them in a substantial way?

So, the question remains: why have African-americans voted overwhelmingly fo r democrats for so long?

So, the question remains: why have African-americans voted overwhelmingly fo r democrats for so long?

Because old habits die hard. Republicans did virtually nothing for blacks after Reconstruction, but blacks continued to vote overwhelmingly Republican until 1936.

How about this one: "Jews live like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans." Why is that? Why do white Southerners vote for "the party of Lincoln?" And if Fung is correct that the GOP is a white man’s party, how do we explain the voting preference of your typical Minnesotan?

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