Racist, bigoted, white supremacists. It has become constantly repeated that these are the characteristics of Republicans. An immense majority of Republicans are white men, anyway, so wouldn’t that be self-evident? The truth is that this is just the opposite. As Dinesh D’Souza rightly puts it, the Democratic party is the party of “Plantation Politics.”
To prove this, we look at the very birth of the Republican party with Abraham Lincoln. Being the first Republican president, Lincoln was a strict abolitionist. He cited claims that the Constitution did not consider Blacks as people as “obvious violence to the plain unmistakable language” of it and other documents surrounding it. Lincoln, in advocating for equal rights for all, clearly would have lined up with what leftists supposedly champion today; however, he positioned himself very vehemently as a conservative. When speaking in Ohio, he stated that “[t]he chief and real purpose of the Republican party is eminently conservative. It proposes nothing save and except to restore this government to its original tone in regard to this element of slavery…” The fact is that Democrats, many of who which succeeded and joined the Confederacy as Dixiecrats, wanted to keep slavery. This is unopposed by history in every writing authored by Republicans and Democrats, which show a stark contrast in their respective behavior towards people of color at the time.
So what about modern politics, the “Party Switch,” and the evil “Southern Strategy” created by Republican Richard Nixon? The “racist tactics” used by Nixon in 1968 to win the South was not perpetuated by him, contrary to popular leftist belief. In actuality, Republicans in the South started to ‘have a dog in the fight’ as early as 1928, when Herbert Hoover gained 47% of the popular vote in Southern States. This trend continued when Dwight D. Eisenhower won the electoral votes of Tennessee, Florida, and Virginia in 1952. He then went on to pick up Louisiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia too, all after he supported the decision of Brown v. Board of Education and sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock High School to enforce integration. When Nixon purportedly exercised his Southern Strategy, he lost the Deep South. If the South was racist, and Kevin Phillips, who the left pins as Nixon’s “Political Strategist”, was right, surely he should have won. But he didn’t, because the Southern Strategy is a myth. Kevin Phillips himself, on the first page in his book The Emerging Republican Majority, states that his racist views were not the views which Nixon shared and acted on, but Phillips’ opinion only.
Further, the “Party Switch,” which leftists claim to have happened, is also not true. It stems from the myth that the Democrats who voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 switched parties when re-elected. Looking at the 21 Democrats who opposed this law, only one of them became a Republican, while the rest still continued to run as and affiliate with the Democratic Party; in fact, Republicans did not hold a congressional majority until 1994.
So this leaves us with a final string of questions: why is the South overwhelmingly Republican, why are most of those Republicans white, and why do a majority of black people now vote for Democrats? First, black citizens didn’t start voting Democrat because they were the party of social justice, but rather for the economic benefits of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies, which still gave first priority to whites. They continued to vote blue, since the Democrats expanded the welfare state while also oppressing people of color through certain policies then, and now the perpetuation of victim culture. These tactics of oppression, though unseen, made it harder for Blacks to make a living, causing them to need the welfare that the Democrats gave them, and in turn, created a system that turned black people from legal slaves, or workers who could not vote, to voters who could not work. Second, when it comes to the question of why Southern Republicans are mostly white is very simple: the demographics of the South show that most inhabitants of those states are white. But finally, addressing the question of why the South has become overwhelmingly Republican, there are multiple factors, but one main reason ties it all together. When Republican President Ronald Reagan came into office, his appeal of patriotism, anti-communism, free markets, opposition to abortion, and family values swept the South, causing many Southerners to vote red. As Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University Carol Swain says, “Southern whites are far more likely to vote for a black conservative, like Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, than a white liberal. In short, history has moved on. Like other regions of the country, the South votes values, not skin color.”