One thing I found ironic is the suggestion that the Republicans continue to be the party of Lincoln, representing the general ideas about equal rights for our Black citizens; and that the Democrats represent the party of Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan, and others that worked to suppress Black rights. I know that is how it was back in the antebellum days and perhaps may have been correct if one goes back to as recently as 1960; but since then things are totally different. The parties have changed roles.
1860 brought us the Civil War which was a war about the rights to hold Black folk as slaves. Leading up to it various compromise were worked in Congress trying to keep the balance between the slave and free states in an attempt to keep the nation together. As opposition to slavery grew, the election of Lincoln, showed the power of the slave states in the national government would be lessened and slavery imperiled. Eleven states voted to leave the Union to form their own country: the Confederate States of America. They were South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennesssee.
To demonstrate how the Republican and Democratic parties have change through the years I went back to look at how these former Confederate states voted in the presidential elections over the years. Here is what I came up with starting at the point in time when Reconstruction ended. As you know under Reconstruction the federal government ensured that Blacks could vote without interference. When it ended the state governments made that determination without federal intervention:
The following chart shows the votes for the Democratic candidate for president in the Confederate states:
1880 – 11 1948 – 6 ½ (Truman) 4 ½ (Thurmond)
1884 – 11 1952 – 7 (Adlai Stevenson)
1888 – 11 1956 – 6 (Stevenson)
1892 – 11 1960 – 6 (Kennedy) 2 (Byrd)
1896 – 11 1964 – 6 (LBJ)
1900 – 11 1968 – 1 (Humphry) 6 (Wallace)
1904 – 11 1972 – 0
1908 – 11 1976 – 10 (Jimmy Carter)
1912 – 11 1980 – 1 (Carter)
1916 – 11 1984 – 0
1920 – 10 1988 – 0
1924 – 11 1992 – 5 (Clinton)
1928 – 06 (Al Smith – Catholic) 1996 – 5 (Clinton)
1932 – 06 (FDR) 2000 – 0
1936 – 06 (FDR) 2004 – 0
1940 – 06 (FDR) 2008 – 3 (Obama
1944 – 06 (FDR 2012 – 2 (Obama)
‘———– 2016 – 1 (Clinton) 2020 – 2 (Biden
The chart shows the vote divided into three periods: the first twelve elections, the middle eleven elections in bold, and the last twelve modern times presidential elections. I have taken out the 1928 election because it involved an anomaly, the Democratic Party put forth a candidate who at that time many in the South believed presented a danger to America, Al Smith, a Catholic. That year six states voted for Al Smith despite his religion. The other five voted for Republican Herbert Hoover. The reason the six states overlooked Smith’s religion was the rumor that at a Republican Party affair Hoover danced with a Black woman. Racism overcame their anti-Catholicism.
The charts shows that after Reconstruction, when the Black vote was suppressed, in the twelve presidential elections from 1880 and 1924 these former Confederate states voted solidly for the Democratic candidate except in one instance in 1920 when Tennessee voted for Harding who was from the neighboring Ohio.
The middle years, 1932 to 1972, consisting of 11 presidential elections, it was clear that change was slowly in the air. Of the 121 votes cast by these former Confederate states, 59 ½ about half went to the Democratic candidate, 10 ½ went to candidates put up by the Southern states, and the Republicans gained the rest, 51votes. The mood had changed to ambivalence. The votes of these states went from almost totally Democratic down to about half. The growing disappointment with Democratic candidates was also shown by these states putting forth their own Southern candidate for the presidency.
The latter or modern period, 1976 to 2020, consists of 12 presidential elections. It shows an almost complete shift from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party when a candidate from the South is not nominated by the Democrats. Of the 132 votes cast the Democrats received 29 votes. Eliminate the Southern Candidates Carter (Georgia) and Clinton (Arkansas) the Democrats received 8 votes.
The first period Democrats received 131 of the 132 votes cast; the modern period, excluding Southern candidates, the Democrats received 8 of the 132 votes cast. It is fair to say that 200 years after the founding of the country in 1976, for the last 35 years, the Confederate Democrats have morphed into Republicans. The change came from their abhorrence to the Civil Rights legislation giving equal rights to the Blacks. It started with Nixon’s Southern Strategy in 1968 and pushed on since then to where we see the former Confederate states of the South have totally abandoned the Democratic Party.
The implications of this is clear. If you want to be elected to the presidency as a Republican you need the votes from the former Confederate states. To get them you must tacitly accept the Jim Crow idea that Black citizens are not to have equal rights with white citizens. It is astonishing such a belief could still exists. That it does is shown by the growing movements of the White gangster groups.
As Americans, we must not tolerate these for we saw the consequences on January 6, 2021. We might learn from Germany. After WWII it wrote a law stating the whoever: “disseminates or produces, stocks, imports or exports or makes publicly accessible through data storage media for dissemination domestically or abroad, means of propaganda . . . the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine.” We should consider one relative to the former Confederate states and its symbols.