The parties from 50 years ago are not the parties of today

“More Republicans supported civil rights in the ’60s than Democrats did!”

I hate that argument, and anyone who says it should be ignored. They clearly know nothing about history.7546-004-7F54297C

First and primarily, it wrongly assumes that the Democratic party and the Republican party are exactly like they are now.

The Republican party was originally the liberal party, fighting against slavery (with Lincoln) and income inequality (with Teddy Roosevelt). But that morphed, and we went through a long period where each party had liberals and conservatives. There were conservative Democrats (mostly in the south) and liberal Republicans (mostly in the north).

The civil rights movement in the ’60s was largely led (in our government) by President Lyndon Johnson (a Democrat) and mostly fought by George Wallace (a Democrat). There were people in both parties on both sides of the issue.

What you can say with certainty was that it was the liberals from both parties that supported civil rights in the ’60s while the conservatives from both parties fought against it.

Today, there is a parallel: liberals are the ones supporting gay rights and conservatives are the ones against it. It just so happens that our parties no longer look like they did 50 years ago — now all the liberals are in one party and all the conservatives are in another.

This is actually a very bad thing, because it discourages compromise. Our government would get a lot more accomplished if we had liberals, moderates, and conservatives in both parties. We can mostly blame gerrymandering for the divisiveness we now have in America.

But the other reason to ignore this comment is because it so stupidly tries to distract you from the real issue:  What do Republicans support today? Usually, a conservative will use this argument when they’ve been attacked for supporting racist policies. “Oh yeah?” they reply. “Well, we were right 50 years ago!”

That certainly doesn’t mean you’re right now.

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10 thoughts on “The parties from 50 years ago are not the parties of today

  1. Yeah, I especially hate it when they bring out “We were the party of Lincoln!”. Dude, that was well over 100 years ago, and back then that made you so far left you were off the side of the chart. If you guys were the same equivalent party today, you’d be frickin’ full-on socialists.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The current state of things disgusts me so much… we need to get rid of the two party system, create term limits for ALL (no more career politicians), get big money out of politics (lobbyists are killing progress), and make sure that religion does NOT pervade or dictate our laws (not to mention provide FREE health care for all). When I meet people from Europe, they think most of us are loony tunes here. Murica! harumph!

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    • I agree on term limits — two terms for a Senator and six for a representative are good enough (12 years total for each).

      What we need mostly is for a better Supreme Court that will rule that (a) gerrymandering unconstitutional; (b) money is not speech and corporations are not people; and (c) the 1st Amendment prohibits any government support of religion (You know, exactly what it says).

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    • Really? No. The Republican party of the 1950s was pro-union, pro-social security, pro-minimum wage, pro-equal pay, etc., all the Social Justice stuff. Sometime in the 1970s they did a big flip, and now they’re anti-all that stuff. So yeah, the Republican party of yesteryear ISN’T anything like the Republican party of this era, and it’s the Democrats who have taken on the mantle they discarded. This was an EXPLICIT CHOICE, David, starting with the Southern Strategy. This isn’t even controversial; the only reason the Republicans ARGUE it is that it means they’ve gone from being the Party of Lincoln who supported the work to free the slaves, to being the OLD Democrat party, that was fighting AGAINST him.

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      • An American History or Political Science professor will agree to that. It’s not controversial in the slightest — it’s pretty much accepted history from any reading of history. The kind of person who denies historical facts when it disagrees with their own personal views is like the holocaust deniers.

        If only we had someone here who had a degree in Political Science with a minor in American History, and maybe even a law degree which concentrated on the political side of Constitutional Law, and then perhaps even taught American History and Political Science at the College level. They’d be able to set us straight.

        Oh wait. Hey, that’s me!

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    • David, that would be Trump’s side. Though using that term is, by itself, pretty judgmental. A lot of the people that would be covered by that are people in desperate straits through no fault of their own, who cling to Trump because they believe he will somehow reverse the decay they’ve seen around them. It’s not true, of course — Trump cares not one whit for anyone but himself — but they blame the Democrats for their problems, so anyone who’s NOT a Democrat is their only hope.

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