You delight in informing a young black man that Martin Luther King was a Republican and seeing the utter shock in their eyes
Perhaps you should tell that young black man the whole story. About half of African Americans were Republican back then, with a majority of them being in the south in opposition to the "Dixiecrats", racist white southerners who voted primarily for the Democratic party. The epic shift occurred after the passing of the Civil Rights Act by LBJ, and the subsequent courting of the white racist vote by the Republican party as part of Nixon's "Southern Strategy".
Well, I could, but it woudn't be your concept of the "whole" story. It would include the complete story of how the so called southern strategy was at first laid on Goldwater's door step due to his vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act which was proclaimed as "proof" he was racist and that his appeal to states rights was futher proof that he was in favor of the continuation of Jim Crow type laws. Then I would have to include that the reality to this alleged "racism" was Goldwater's efforts to integrate the Arizona National Guard before Truman even integrated the National Armed Forces and that Goldwater voted for all previous civil rights legislation and only opposed the 1964 Act on two provisions relating to property rights that he felt were unConstitutional, believing that private businesses and clubs were subject only to market conditions, not through government intervention.
Then I would have to address the alleged racism of Nixon appealing to the exploitation of white voters built on racial tensions when the reality is that because of Nixon's stance on civil rights George Wallace felt compelled to enter the 1968 race as a third party candidate, which Nixon said that “The deep south had to be virtually conceded to George Wallace. I could not match him there without compromising on civil rights, which I would not do.” If you will remember, it was Nixon that appealed to Eisenhower to appoint Earl Warren to the Supreme Court, that it was Nixon that was in favor of sending troops in to integrate Little Rock High, that Nixon, after being elected virtually eliminated the idea of separate but equal in the scholls in the south, going from 68% of black students attending segregrated schools when he entered the Presidency to just 9% within 5 years.
I would then have to complete your whole story with the lie that all former Dixiecrats moved to the Republican party, when the reality is that only Strom Thurman changed parties while the other major Dixiecrats, Fulbright, Wallace, Gore and Byrd remained loyal Democrats till the end.
For a post script I would then add that the epic shift in blacks voting Democrat really began with FDR and that LBJ's reward of blacks shifting was due primarily on his ability to sell the idea that it was only he and the Dems that pushed through the 1964 Act, even though it was mostly wriitten by the Republicans.
So, as it is today, great marketing led to the shift in voting stance by blacks moreso then great reality.
I am aware of all of this, but it is at least, irrelevant, and at best, overly generous. Nixon and Goldwater did adopt the southern strategy, particularly in the general election, as a pathway to the needed electoral votes to win the presidency. It doesn't mean that they were racists, it means that they were opportunists. The Democrats getting 90+ percent of the black vote wasn't a result of marketing on behalf of Democrats in the least. The Republican leadership at the time was fully aware that that would be the consequence of adopting the strategy, but chose to go forward with it because it meant a solid majority in the South that a coalition of blacks and liberal whites could not come close to overcoming. The Democrats didn't take black votes away from Republicans. The Republican party willfully tossed aside their record on civil rights in favor of political expediency.
It's not that it is irrelevant that's irrelevant, it's that it has been rendered irrelevant that is relevant. So what you are saying is that a pathway to the needed electoral votes was adopted utilizing a strategy that the democrats had used since the days of Woodrow Wilson and FDR and were trying to run from and that LBJ had already conceded for a generation. The Southern Strategy, I know you will find hard to believe, was a strategy built on economic principles, built on appealing to an already changing demographic in the Peripheral South and letting Wallace have the deep south.
by Patrick J. Buchanan – December 30, 2002
How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless child.
Lear’s reflection upon ingratitude comes to mind as one reads of the squabble among neoconservatives over who among them was first to stick his nail file in the back of Trent Lott.
Charles Krauthammer enters a claim for the Kristol-Bennett crowd, while Jonah Goldberg of National Review and cashiered Bush speech-writer David Frum insist they, too, played supporting roles.
Whether Lott may have been innocent of any hate crime, or whether they might have had a moral duty to step in to stop a lynching of one of their own – even had Lott blundered – seem to be thoughts that never once intruded upon these tiny minds. Yet their collusion in ruining Lott, their relish in the pats on the head they are receiving from the left, confirm the su**CENSORED**ion: Neoconservatives are the useful idiots of the liberal establishment.
With Lott gone, Bill Kristol is now collaborating with the New York Times in its rewrite of the history of the 1960s, a decade of liberal debacles, to credit racism for the Republicans’ success.
“Lott is really virtually the last of the products of Richard Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’ to be in major positions of power in the Congress,” Kristol assures the Times. “With his leaving, you will have cleared out people who … have a somewhat compromised image to the country as a whole.”
Now, as a co-architect of the Nixon strategy that gave the GOP a lock on the White House for a quarter century, let me say that Kristol’s opportunism is matched only by his ignorance. Richard Nixon kicked off his historic comeback in 1966 with a column on the South (by this writer) that declared we would build our Republican Party on a foundation of states rights, human rights, small government and a strong national defense, and leave it to the “party of Maddox, Mahoney and Wallace to squeeze the last ounces of political juice out of the rotting fruit of racial injustice.”
In that ’66 campaign, Nixon – who had been thanked personally by Dr. King for his help in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1957 – endorsed all Republicans, except members of the John Birch Society.
In 1968, Nixon chose Spiro Agnew for vice president. Why? Agnew had routed George (“Your home is your castle!”) Mahoney for governor of Maryland but had also criticized civil-rights leaders who failed to condemn the riots that erupted after the assassination of King. The Agnew of 1968 was both pro-civil rights and pro-law and order.
When the ’68 campaign began, Nixon was at 42 percent, Humphrey at 29 percent, Wallace at 22 percent. When it ended, Nixon and Humphrey were tied at 43 percent, with Wallace at 13 percent. The 9 percent of the national vote that had been peeled off from Wallace had gone to Humphrey.
Between 1969 and 1974, Nixon – who believed that blacks had gotten a raw deal in America and wanted to extend a helping hand:
* raised the civil rights enforcement budget 800 percent;
* 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
* 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 percent, increased U.S. deposits
in minority-owned banks 4,000 percent;
* raised the share of Southern schools that were
desegregated from 10 percent to 70 percent. 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.”
The charge that we built our Republican coalition on race is a lie. Nixon routed the left because it had shown itself incompetent to win or end a war into which it had plunged the United States and too befuddled or cowardly to denounce the rioters burning our cities or the brats rampaging on our campuses.
Nixon led America out of a dismal decade and was rewarded with a 49-state landslide. By one estimate, he carried 18 percent of the black vote in 1972 and 25 percent in the South. No Republican has since matched that. To see Kristol colluding with the Times to rewrite that history to make liberals heroes and Republicans villains tells us more about him than about the era.
And where were the necons, when Goldwaterites and Nixonites were building the New Majority? Going all the way with LBJ.