Email Ken Stallings   When Did the Republican Party Turn?

  General Aviation


  Ferret Chronicles

  Flight Sim downloads


The critical part of this column is the question mark in the title.  The point being that it's a question with only one answer.  Truth is the Republican Party never has "turned," which means it has never turned away from the critical issue that birthed it in 1854.  That core mission of the Republican Party, to place individual liberty, above the state, was then and has remained, the lynchpin philosophy of the GOP.  That truth has remained firmly in place until today.

A brief history lesson is in order.

That seminal moment in 1854 was the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.  That bill was sponsored by Democrat Senator Stephen A. Douglas (yes of the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debates), and was signed into law by a bungling Democrat President Franklin Pierce.  The law was a terrible blunder because in its text was the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, which had established that all territories north of the 36.5 degree latitude line were barred from enacting slavery.  Under that compromise, Kansas territory must become a free territory.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act replaced this geographical barring of slavery with a concept termed "popular sovereignty," in which the decision of slavery would be put up to a local territorial referendum, vice decided ahead of time as under the Missouri Compromise.  As a direct result of this myopia, a mini civil war erupted in Kansas, as two competing interests (pro-slavery and anti-slavery) sought to ensure a territorial voter majority.  The conflagration, named Bleeding Kansas, was literally the establishment of ballot majority by murdering the opposition!  The widespread violence directly led to John Brown's revolt and ultimately to the American Civil War.  This is why Franklin Pierce is widely regarded as among the most failed Presidents in American history.

The Republican Party's original platform was a firm stance against the further expansion of slavery into any new American territory.  In this effort, the Republican party recruited many former members of Whig party as well as so-called "Free Soil Democrats," who primarily resided in the northern states.  The Republican Party was founded on the concept that no man can abridge the inalienable rights of others.

With that established, one can now ask the question if the Republican Party ever turned away from that philosophy.  Many in today's leftist media would have people believe that some magical transformation took place, that changed the northern Republican party into a pro-segregationist expression, resulting in an instant reversal where Republicans in the northeast suddenly became Democrats, and Democrats in the southeast suddenly became Republicans.

In looking at this assertion, one should ask to see the facts showing when and how this transformation supposedly happened.  In truth, it never did.  It's all a propaganda lie.

No one can argue that the first Republican candidate for President, Abraham Lincoln, was anything but morally repelled by slavery.  Nor can anyone argue that the Republicans of the 1860's to the end of the 19th century changed.  We can see a long line of Republican Presidents who advanced the causes of racial inclusion of blacks into good paying federal jobs.  This did change rather suddenly, but by the orders of Democrat President Woodrow Wilson, who may have been a Princeton professor, but who was an unabashed racist, and staunch New Jersey segregationist.  Wilson fired the entire White House service staff, who were black, and then went about erecting civil service hiring policies that made it impossible for blacks to earn the same federal jobs that they held since the end of the Civil War.

So, those facts take us through World War I.

The rise of the segregationist south started after the Civil War, but reached the height of its evil during the Jim Crow days following Woodrow Wilson.  Democrat newspapers championed these segregation laws, and fully supported making blacks in America a second-class citizenry, existing at the charity of white masters who held firm to the real power.  One of these Democrat segregationist newspapers was the Raleigh News & Observer, founded by Josephus Daniels, a Democrat segregationist who eventually became Secretary of the Navy under Franklin Roosevelt's administration.

These Jim Crow laws flourished from the Wilson administration days all the way through to the 1960's.  These laws were constantly opposed by Republicans in the federal government.  Dwight Eisenhower became the first, and so far only, President to activate federal troops to march into a state to restore federal law.  He ordered the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock, Arkansas to ensure that the local government no longer violated the recent US Supreme Court ruling in Brown versus Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court ruled that segregated school systems were un-Constitutional.  This ruling was violated by Democrat Arkansas governor Orval Faubus, who activated Arkansas National Guard troops to deploy a blockade around a Little Rock high school, preventing nine black children from attending classes.

In reply, President Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10730, which federalized the Arkansas National Guard, removing them from the governor's orders, and also ordered the Secretary of Defense to employ both National Guard and active duty troops into Little Rock to take control of the situation, and as Eisenhower put it in a national speech, "to defend the rule of law and prevent mob rule and anarchy."  The troops personally escorted the nine black children from their homes to their classes, and back home again, marching with the children with rifles fixed with bayonets.  They also forced at bayonet point the dispersal of the protestors who tried to prevent these nine children entering the school.

So, that takes us to the end of the 1950's, with the Republican party firmly standing against Democrats' efforts to maintain racist, segregationist policies.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy, through his younger brother Robert Kennedy's efforts, championed the Civil Rights Act.  One of the first actions by Kennedy was to invite Senate Minority Leader, Republican Everett Dirksen, and Majority Leader Democrat Mike Mansfield to the White House.  Both voiced support for the bill.  Despite the efforts of Democrat Emanuel Celler to sponsor the bill through the House Judiciary Committee, where Celler was the committee chairman, the bill was held up by other Democrat House members, primarily Democrat Howard W. Smith, from Virginia.  It was largely the shocking assassination of President Kennedy that removed these political roadblocks in the House and advanced the bill to the Senate.

President Lyndon Johnson strong armed barely enough fellow Democrat House members to join the largely unified support of House Republicans, to secure this passage.  Then, in the Senate, like in the House, Republicans allied with northern Democrats to overcome the wholesale opposition by others in the Democrat party.  A Senate filibuster was initiated by two Democrat Senators, Richard Russell of Georgia and Robert Byrd of West Virginia.  Additionally, Democrat Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina worked to oppose the bill.

Nevertheless, a coalition of Democrat Senators outside the southeast, joined nearly all Republican Senators, to override these filibusters and pass the legislation, whereupon President Johnson signed it into law on July 2, 1964.

So, now we are into the mid 1960's and the Republican party supported the Civil Rights Act and ensured its passage into law.  Just to illustrate the point, in the House, Republicans supported the bill by an 80% to 20% margin.  Democrat House members voted for the bill by a 61 to 39% margin.  In the Senate, it was nearly the same, with 82% of Republicans supporting the bill, with 69% of Democrats voting in support.

The one development that the leftist media points to is the party switch that Strom Thurmond made from Democrat to Republican in 1964.  He did this coincidental with Barry Goldwater's run against Lyndon Johnson for the Presidency.  These same media types try to label Goldwater as a segregationist because he opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  However, they ignore Goldwater's consistent support for other civil rights legislation.  Goldwater's opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was rooted in his views that it was an overreach of federal authority, which is also why he opposed Eisenhower's use of federal troops in Arkansas.

Goldwater represented the libertarian nature of the Republican party, which elevates the rights of the individual supreme to the power of the government.  Most famous in revealing this philosophy was Goldwater's 1964 Presidential inauguration speech, where he said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.  And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."  Goldwater may have infamously lost the election to a wholly corrupted Lyndon Johnson, but his principled view of the individual above the state guided many future Republicans, most notably Ronald Reagan.

Reagan ushered in a new age of government turning away from usurpation of liberty and instead worked to expand personal freedoms.  While that philosophy focused not on race, but instead upon individual liberty, the core philosophy remained the same -- to champion the person over the state.  What Reagan started has continued today. 

Today, we see a rise of socialism within the Democrat Party, with many national leaders openly calling for the wholesale control of the economy by the state.  One cannot have a state controlled economy and remain a nation of liberty.  Socialism by its definition is the elevation of the state above the individual.  The Republican Party remains against it because the Republican Party continues to champion for the person above the state.

Further proof of the success of unleashing the individual from the control of the state is in how Donald Trump's policies repatriated an estimated $1 trillion in previously overseas business capital, stashed abroad to avoid onerous federal taxation laws.  The return of that capital fueled a boon in hiring, as well as significant economic expansion, such that we now have the best hiring environment in American history for women in general, plus blacks and Hispanics.  There is no more example of human empowerment than a social system that allows one to freely earn meaningful employment in his chosen endeavor, and work his way to achieve his own personal dreams.

In terms of being a force for individual liberty, starting with its desire to end slavery, and in promoting a fair and impartial employment system for blacks in federal service, to championing the civil rights movement, and currently supporting individual liberties over government power, the Republican party has always remained in the camp of the individual over the state.

The Republican Party never did turn away from its original principles.  If our mainstream media told the truth, it would have to lead with this truth; the Republican Party never turned, not ever!  And once they summoned the courage to tell that truth, they should quickly focus on why the Democrat party has so consistently tried to shackle human beings to various forms of oppressive government bondage, from slavery to today's efforts to mire people into racially charged camps, often forced to endure second class economic status.

There is no greater human example of bondage than socialism, a condition that has not only enslaved billions of people, but directly resulted in the violent deaths of millions, often the result of evil social policies that forced people to live against their own freewill.  Any system that allows a few power brokers to dictate terms of live to the people, is an example of governance working on the slavery model.  Today's Democrat party is the home of the American socialist movement, which is a fact entirely in keeping with that party's historical ties to slavery in all its forms.

-- Ken Stallings

This column is copyrighted under provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and all rights are reserved.  Please do not re-transmit, host, or download these columns without my written permission.