“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.
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.