The south used to vote Democrat. Now it votes Republican. Why the switch? Was it, as some people say, because the GOP decided to appeal to racist whites? Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, explains.
Is abortion an economic issue?
The answer is a resounding no.
Abortion is a moral issue dealing with the life and death of a human being. Let us not delude ourselves.
Last week, the New York Times published an editorial titled “Why Abortion is a Progressive Economic Issue.”
Prompted by chaos in the Democratic ranks over the issue of abortion, the article argued that because lower income women are more likely to choose abortion, and because economics are a strong consideration for women who choose to abort their children, one cannot separate the issue from other progressive economic issues. Other writers have echoed this sentiment, packaging abortion alongside things such as wealth redistribution and universal healthcare.
Are we witnessing the end of one or both of our dominant political parties. Hard to tell but the rise of a socialist and populist may be telling to us all.
It will surely take a while for it to completely play out. Maybe it is much ado about nothing or maybe it is not.
What would come after the Republican Party? Conservative? Federalist?
The end of one political party and the creation of another may seem inconceivable to some readers. The current duopoly has governed the United States since the Civil War. They feel like a permanent part of the fabric of our national life.
But political parties are simply vehicles, means to a larger end. Political parties exist to mediate between citizens and their government; articulate (and moderate) agendas and grievances; and broker compromises among political coalitions.
When parties stop performing these functions—as both parties have—they have outlived their usefulness. Citizens should have no qualms about changing them out for newer, sharper tools designed for a new age. The Republican Party itself began in 1854 as the “third” party when the Whig Party collapsed over the issue of slavery and its expansion. One hundred and sixty-two years is not a bad run.
I am proud of the Republican party. We are the party of Lincoln. We have and continue to make a difference.
That said, we must do more.
Education is important. We must create better opportunities for all races. Charter schools and vouchers would help.
Family makes all the difference. We must provide incentives to marry and stay married.
We have come a long way but there is much more to be done.
Southern segregationists who railed against blacks were often also Progressives who railed against Wall Street. Back in those days, blacks voted for Republicans as automatically as they vote for Democrats today.
Where the Democrats’ President Woodrow Wilson introduced racial segregation into those government agencies in Washington where it did not exist at the time, Republican President Calvin Coolidge’s wife invited the wives of black Congressmen to the White House. As late as 1957, civil rights legislation was sponsored in Congress by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.
Later, when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was sponsored by Democrats, a higher percentage of Congressional Republicans voted for it than did Congressional Democrats. Revisionist histories tell a different story. But, as Casey Stengel used to say, ”You could look it up” — in the Congressional Record, in this case.
Conservatives who took part in the civil rights marches, or who were otherwise for equal rights for blacks, have not made nearly as much noise about it as liberals do. The first time I saw a white professor, at a white university, with a black secretary, it was Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago in 1960 — four years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Louisiana Senator Elbert Guillory (R-Opelousas) explains why he recently switched from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party. He discusses the history of the Republican Party, founded as an Abolitionist Movement in 1854. Guillory talks about how the welfare state is only a mechanism for politicians to control the black community.
Myth: Roe v. Wade was welcomed by liberal Democrats.
Reality: While a few liberal Democrats welcomed Roe, a number of the nation’s most prominent liberals did not. Senator Ted Kennedy, whose sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was a pro-life activist, endorsed the pro-life cause in 1971 and did not change his position on abortion until 1975. The Democratic Party’s vice-presidential nominee in 1972, Sargent Shriver (husband of Eunice), was also an opponent of abortion rights at the time. The pro-life movement’s proposed Human Life Amendment, which would have protected human life from the moment of conception, received the endorsement of several liberal Democrats in Congress during the 1970s, including Senator Harold Hughes (D-IA) and Representative Jim Oberstar (D-MN). Some liberals, such as Senator Mark Hatfield (R-OR) (a co-sponsor of one of the first Human Life Amendment proposals), coupled their opposition to the Vietnam War with opposition to abortion.
On the other hand, many Republicans, including conservatives such as Senators Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) and John Tower (R-TX), as well as moderates and liberals such as Senators Howard Baker (R-TN), Lowell Weicker (R-CT), Robert Packwood (R-OR), and Jacob Javits (NY), applauded Roe, either because they were libertarian-leaning individualists who believed that the government should stay out of private medical decisions or because they believed that advancing women’s reproductive rights would be beneficial for society. TheRoe decision was written by a Nixon appointee (Justice Harry Blackmun) who viewed the ruling as an advancement of doctors’ rights, an assessment with which many other Republicans concurred.
By the late 1970s, Democrats with national political aspirations had begun to unite around an endorsement of abortion rights, but when Roe was issued, the divisions over abortion did not fall along party lines.
Does it make it true to constantly say the Republicans are in trouble?
What about the facts?
“At present, there are seven states in which Democrats control both houses of the Legislature plus the governor’s office. The equivalent figure for Republicans is 25.
“That is one of several factors that Matthew Yglesias employs to argue that Democrats — who are enjoying the strange clown-car race for the Republican presidential nomination and the meltdown of the Republican majority in the U.S. House — are in denial. The Democratic Party is the one that is in “deep trouble,” Yglesias argues, and has “no plan to save itself.”