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 Post subject: 1964 AD
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:34 am 
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If you've ever wondered more about how the point in history in which blacks almost completely stopped voting for Republicans ...

The 1964 Republican National Convention, at which Barry Goldwater was nominated. This came within one month of the horrific murders of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman at the hands of a Klan mob in Neshoba County, Mississippi, which gripped national news. At the height of the civil rights movement. And a lot of the former Dixiecrats who used to give the Democrats such a bad name in terms of being a segregationist party responded to the ambiguous "state's rights" message of the Goldwater campaign and became Republicans.

How bad was it? The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. - who conservative pundits insist was a Republican - delivered a message urging voters of all races to to vote against Goldwater. Baseball legand Jackie Robinson, an Eisenhower Republican who quit his newspaper column four years earlier so he could campaign full time for Vice President Nixon, said after the convention "I now believe I know how it felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany."

If you want there to be a Republican Party in twenty years - one that has the possibility of winning a national election and being even remotely relevant - the legacy of the past forty eight years must be fixed and thoroughly repudiated. I've been doing state by state studies of election returns and you folks would not believe the extent to which this affects the Republican possibilities of winning office even if I told you. You would literally not believe how many blue states are blue states simply because of overwhelming black and Hispanic opposition to the GOP. One example: President Bush won the majority of white voters in New York State in 2004. But of course, we all know that the state went blue, as it has for much of the past four decades. And I may be wrong, but unless the Republican Party treats this issue as a top-level priority, I would not be surprised if there is not another Republican President for two decades. Call me crazy, and I could be wrong, but I've been looking over the numbers, the trends and the state-by-state figures.

By alienating minority voters - who are spread out all over the country and highly concentrated in a number of the most populous states - the GOP has put itself in a position of needing to win an unrealistically high percentage of white voters. Essentially, in a large number of states, it's like a football game between the Democrats and the Republicans. But the Democrats get to start their drives on the forty yard line, because the GOP has ceded an extra twenty yards to them without even making them fight for that yardage.

The party won seven of the past ten elections. But if you toss out the razor thin Bush victories in 2000 and 2004 - in which one state determined the election - it's five and five. And if you weigh in the fact that the Democratic opposition has included unfortunate candidates such as Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis, and John Kerry - I think that the GOP has failed to understand how vulnerable it is. Honestly, the GOP model of the past 48 years - centered around the "southern strategy" of "hunting where the ducks are" - meaning trying to turn out southern and suburban white voters and essentially ignoring all others - is akin in my opinion to the Subprime Mortgate businesses of a couple of years ago. A house of cards. A model that works when the conditions are just right but that isn't sustainable over the long term.



1964 AD
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_n3_v30/ai_20388956/pg_1?tag=artBody;col1

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Republicans opened their national convention in the San Francisco Cow Palace on Monday, July 13. All three television networks covered the four-day national pageant more or less continuously, anticipating an abrupt regional and ideological shift of power toward Sen. Barry Goldwater's Western conservatives from the long-dominant Eastern business interests. There was little suspense beyond a slight possibility that Dwight Eisenhower, the only Republican president of the past 30 years, might throw his transcendent influence publicly against Goldwater. Eisenhower was known to resent Goldwater for calling his administration a "dime store New Deal," and privately he had threatened to renounce the Goldwater forces for reckless exploitation on civil rights, saying that if Republicans "begin to count on the `white backlash,' we will have a big civil war." Rumors of a decisive Eisenhower statement quickened when his brother Milton delivered a passionate nominating address on behalf of William Scranton, the surviving alternative to Goldwater, but Eisenhower remained neutral to the end. He could not bring himself to split his party in support of Scranton, a sure loser to Goldwater, and he had never been comfortable speaking about racial harmony, anyway.

In his speech to the convention on Tuesday night, Eisenhower himself stirred the passions for which he blamed Goldwater. "Let us not be guilty of maudlin sympathy for the criminal ... roaming the streets with switchblade knife," he declared. The Cow Palace came alive with roars of approval. ("The phrase `switchblade knife' means `Negro' to the average white American," explained a dismayed Roy Wilkins in a newspaper column entitled "Ike Struck Lowest Blow." Wilkins could only hope that a speech writer had inserted the sentence without Eisenhower's knowledge) Eisenhower evoked still greater emotion when he attacked the press, urging his audience to "particularly scorn the divisive efforts of those outside our family, including sensation-seeking columnists and commentators, because ... these are people who couldn't care less about the good of our party." This time the delegates responded with standing cheers, many shaking angry fists at the reporters' booths around the Cow Palace.

Campaign historian Theodore White described the release of pent-up anger as a turning point for the convention, if not for the role and reputation of the American press. Before then, White contrasted the "well-dressed and well-mannered Goldwater delegates" favorably with "civil rightsers" marching and picketing outside the Cow Palace, but the Eisenhower speech opened the convention itself to confrontation. Goldwater delegates and the spectator galleries showered New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller with catcalls and boos when he tried to speak against extremism. Hostilities erupted on the convention floor. Afterward, neither the triumphant Goldwater conservatives nor the defeated Rockefeller-Scranton liberals smoothed their raging antagonism in the interest of party unity. "Hell, I don't want to talk to that son-of-a-[expletive]," Goldwater growled when Rockefeller called him to concede the nomination. Life magazine bemoaned the "ugly tone" of the entire convention. The New York Times called it a "disaster" for both the United States and the Republicans, saying the Goldwater nomination could "reduce a once great party to the status of an ugly, angry, frustrated faction."

On the morning after his acceptance speech, Senator Goldwater sought an audience with General Eisenhower, who was straying again toward rebellion over Goldwater's chief applause line, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." Echoing a widespread public outcry, Eisenhower demanded to know how Goldwater could see "extremism" as good politics when it smacked of kooks. More personally, he told Goldwater that the slogan reminded him of right-wing zealots who had called Eisenhower himself "a conscious agent of the communists" in the White House, which was "utter tommyrot." Goldwater stammered through several unsuccessful replies before trying a D-Day analogy. What he meant was that patriotism required sacrifice, said Goldwater, and that General Eisenhower had been the ultimate "extremist" for liberty when he sent the Allied troops across the English Channel against Hitler. This interpretation transformed Eisenhower's mood. "By golly, that makes real sense," he said with a smile of relief that nearly matched Goldwater's. Still, this close call within the Republican bosom shook the new presidential candidate, who resolved never to repeat his signature phrase during the campaign.

Newsweek pronounced the San Francisco convention "stunningly total -- and unconditional ... an authentic party revolution, born of deep-seated frustration with the existing order, executed by a new breed of pros with a ruthless skill." Other mainstream outlets speculated about Eisenhower, the rejection of Wall Street Republicans, or Goldwater's poor prospects against Lyndon Johnson, but their excitements were mild beside the acute distress of Negro publications. "GOP Convention Spurns Negroes," cried the Cleveland Call and Post. "Negro Delegates to GOP Convention Suffer Week of Humiliation," headlined the Associated Negro Press newswire. "The Great Purge of Negroes," announced Jet. "GOP Negroes Washed Away by the Goldwater Ocean," said the Chicago Defender. Their focus was less on the Goldwater nomination itself than on the institutional rejection of cherished Republican fixtures such as George W. Lee of Memphis, delegate to every GOP convention since 1940, who had "seconded the nomination of Robert A. Taft" in 1952. The San Francisco convention, sweeping aside Lee's credentials claim that he and 200 "regular" Negro Republicans had been railroaded out of the Shelby County caucus, seated "lily-white" delegations in Tennessee and every other Southern state "for the first time since Reconstruction Days," reported the Pittsburgh Courier, noting that the caucus of Southern Republicans, "to add insult to injury," named its hotel headquarters Fort Sumter. Southern Republicans re-formed as a homogeneous group. Of the region's 375 convention delegates, all were white and at least 366 supported Goldwater.

Minority observers mourned the loss of Republican stalwarts far beyond the sinecures and patronage posts of the South. In "Cal. GOP/White Man's Party," the California Eagle of Los Angeles protested a seldom-mentioned fact about Goldwater's victory over Rockefeller in the decisive June 2 primary: It gained convention seats and control of party machinery for a slate of 86 California delegates that "by deliberate choice" was exclusively white. Nationwide, by slating no Negro candidates and defeating most opposing tickets, Goldwater strategists whittled the number of Negro delegates to a minuscule 14 of 1,308, roughly one per hundred, in what newspapers called the fewest "ever to be certified to a Republican convention."

At the Cow Palace, the rolling invective that startled television viewers fell personally upon this tiny remnant. The Cleveland Call and Post reported that George Fleming of New Jersey ran from the hall in tears, saying Negro delegates "had been shoved, pushed, spat on, and cursed with a liberal sprinkling of racial epithets." George Young, labor secretary of Pennsylvania, complained that Goldwater delegates harassed him to the point of setting his suit jacket on fire with a cigarette. Baseball legend Jackie Robinson summarized his "unbelievable hours" as an observer on the convention floor: "I now believe I know how it felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany."

The Chicago Defender raised the Nazi analogy to a blaring headline: "GOP Convention, 1964 Recalls Germany, 1933." Editor John H. Sengstacke eulogized the lost tradition reaching back to the armies of Grant and Sherman: "The Grand Old Party, which fought against slavery, which kept the flame of hope burning on the altar of freedom ... which sustained the faith of Negro people ... is gasping its last breath in the Cow Palace." In the South, where Negro Republicans could imagine no substitute haven among Democrats, editors and owners of the few Negro newspapers writhed under the assault to their Republican identity. Atlanta Daily World owner C. A. Scott first denied the Cow Palace revolution ("Scranton on the Move"), then mitigated its effect ("stands to reason ... that the party as a whole will not be carried too far from traditional Republican principles"), then pretended it was good ("... may have a stimulating effect on the development of a real two-party system in the South"), and finally called upon the scalded, soul-torn Old Guard to "hold the fort" no matter what. He praised the Negro delegates for deciding not to walk out of the Cow Palace in abject resignation. They had endured only a "graphic demonstration" of what Democrats -- "the party of Bilbo, Eastland, Thurmond, Barnett, Wallace" -- inflicted regularly through the past half century, wrote Scott, concluding solemnly that it was "useless for a Negro today to think he solves the race issue in politics by jumping from one major party to the other."

White voters could jump, too, in numbers of far greater impact. "I think we just gave the South to the Republicans," President Johnson told his staff on the way to his Texas ranch after signing the civil rights bill. Aides debated his words in strictest confidence. One alarmist feared that Johnson could lose the election solely on the race issue. Others thought Johnson was hoping he could win even if he lost the entire South. There was precedent for white Southern Democrats voting Republican on presidential ballots -- Eisenhower and Nixon had cracked through to win a few Southern states -- but it was daunting for any Democrat to contemplate the terrible math of running against rather than with the full weight of the traditional "solid South."

Only hindsight suggested that Johnson had glimpsed a more dramatic, permanent change. Bill Moyers recalled Johnson saying that he had delivered the South to Republicans "for your lifetime and mine," which would turn the whole structure of politics on a fulcrum of color. In their direst visions, after the Goldwater convention followed hard upon the civil rights bill, neither established experts nor shell-shocked Negro Republicans anticipated a wholesale switch of party identification down to the roots of congressional and local offices. Historic affiliations were too well fixed, with Republicans more united behind Negro rights than Democrats. In Congress, fully 80 percent of House Republicans and 82 percent of GOP senators had just voted for the civil rights bill, with Democrats lagging behind because of their entrenched segregationist wing. In precincts and state conventions, Republicans everywhere were organized in part around the glorious memory of Emancipation, which was precisely what had reduced them to near extinction among Southerners. For generations, none but the occasional eccentric Republican had bothered to contest elections for Southern state houses, legislatures, or courthouse jobs. Of 41 U.S. representatives from the core Deep South states of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina, Republicans in 1964 numbered zero.

The century's first handful of promising Deep South Republican candidates arrived at the San Francisco convention hopeful of novel success in the fall elections. One of them, James D. Martin of Alabama, met alone with Senator Goldwater on the roof of the Mark Hopkins Hotel to propose George Wallace's hastily conceived terms for a campaign alliance. Wallace wanted a public reward -- veto power over Supreme Court nominees, or, shockingly, a place on the Republican ticket as Goldwater's running mate -- in exchange for his agreement not to run as an independent presidential candidate, which likely would doom Goldwater in Southern states. Goldwater declined, knowing he had more to lose than to gain, saying Wallace after all was still a Democrat. Martin returned to circulate on the Cow Palace floor with his message that Republicans should rise above crude racial appeals to larger issues such as federal heavy-handedness, which he called "Bobby Kennedy tearing around like a predator at the constitution of Mississippi and the registration laws of Alabama." Wallace himself formally withdrew from the presidential race three days after the Republican convention, leaving behind a tacit endorsement of Goldwater and a claim that he had changed the language of political debate. "Today we hear more states' rights talk than we have heard in the last quarter century ...," he told "Face the Nation" interviewers on July 19. "... The American people are sick and tired of columnists and TV dudes who ... try to slant and distort and malign and brainwash this country."

Only four years earlier, when advocates of civil rights had received a congenial welcome at the Republican convention in Chicago, Negro delegates had walked out of the Democratic convention in protest of Kennedy concessions to Southern segregationists. Now Negro leaders of both parties recoiled from the concerted hostility of the Cow Palace Republicans, which they could only hope was an aberrational coup traceable to Goldwater, disconnected from both old tradition and new racial progress. Martin Luther King and others denounced the Republican ticket on its first official day and nearly every day thereafter. With a peculiar mix of vehemence and care, King took pains to stop short of partisan endorsement, saying he was more against Goldwater than for Johnson, hoping that a sound enough defeat for Goldwater might restrain both parties from political white flight.

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 Post subject: Re: 1964 AD
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:04 pm 
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And when I talk about repudiating the past forty eight years, I want to be a little clear. I do not consider any of the past four Republican Presidents to be a racist. Both President Bush and his father are men who are most certainly not racists. Reagan was not a racist. And Ford was not a racist. All were decent men. And all made some significant appointments of blacks, with the current President Bush having the most ethnically diverse Cabinet in American History. Actually, I don't even think Goldwater could fairly be called a racist.

But the personal decency of the candidate and the personal decency of most Republican voters has nothing to do with the image of the Republican Party and the GOP's willingness to put up with people who are racially intolerant who have climbed the ranks within the party. By allowing this and by even encouraging it by embracing "state's rights" in the context of the 1960's, the GOP made itself into the enemy of many people who used to see the GOP as an ally. The saddest thing is that at the beginning of the 1960's, blacks were trending back toward the GOP.

The tolerance and acceptance of a segregationist and hateful few within the ranks of a good party, and not repudiating them painted the entire party with their brush. To those pundits who have asked repeatedly how President-Elect Obama could tolerate the hateful messages of Jeremiah Wright for decades unless he agreed with it ... this is the same question people have been wondering about the GOP.

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 Post subject: Re: 1964 AD
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:12 pm 
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Most who remember the '60's will recall which party was the racists. In 1960, I voted for the first time, and I voted for Richard M. Nixon as I was so tired of racism in the south which was practiced mostly by the democrats. Then in '64, I had planned to vote for Barry Goldwater, and changed my mind at the last possible moment because of a statement that he made--I don't remember that statement, however, I crossed over and voted for Lyndon Johnson instead.

We who live in the south who are my age will remember democratic racists such as George C. Wallace (Governor of Alabama), Lester Maddux (Governor of Georgia), and many others whose names I do not recall. I think it was the Governor of Arkansas who stood in the door of a college and would not permit the black students to enter. I'm pretty sure he was also a democrat. I had family members who rode with the Klan who were all strong democrats. It's really ironic that the dems want to take credit for being the first to denounce racism when it was really the other way around.


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 Post subject: Re: 1964 AD
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:45 pm 
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The sad fact that many Republicans probably don't want to acknowledge is that some of the same people who were responsible for the image of the Democratic Party as a bunch of hateful, racially intolerant segregationists liked what they heard from Goldwater in 1964 and, after decades of frustration at the Democratic Party's softening tone toward blacks, switched sides. And they - and the leadership's unwillingness to repudiate them - ruined the image of the Republican Party to many Americans just as they had previously ruined the image of the Democratic Party.

But the difference is that the top-level leadership in the Democratic Party over a long period of time kept pushing messages of inclusion and actively courting minority voters - something that made the segregationists resentful and to eventully walk away (or change). But the Republicans, despite having a lot of really good people in leadership, have not tried to forcefully push messages of inclusion and try to reach out on a consistent and committed basis to reach minority voters. Like the Democrats in the 50's and the 60's, there has, in my opinion, been some trepidation among modern Republican leadership in repudiating racial intolerance among the small number of leaders who have seemed to cling to it. In 1964, the Republicans took on the baggage of the Democrats. This strategy, along with the whacky extreme liberalization of the Democratic Party, paid short term dividends from the Republicans. But it's really hard to see it paying continual dividends. The model is broken.

The Republicans need the support of about 60% of white voters in order to offset the incredible, embarrasing losses it sees among every non-white group - many of whom actually agree with the Republican Party on the issues. But this is hard to achieve as whites are as ideologically diverse as any other group and don't want to be associated with anything that looks racist or racially exclusive either. You've got to have one heck of an incredible football team - never committing any turnovers or penalties - in order to give your opponent the ball on the 40 for every one of their offensive series and still expect to win the games down the stretch.

If they won't change, good luck to them.

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 Post subject: Re: 1964 AD
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:52 am 
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The Republicans need the support of about 60% of white voters in order to offset the incredible, embarrasing losses it sees among every non-white group - many of whom actually agree with the Republican Party on the issues.


I just want to add a bit more to this point about why the GOP is currently vulnerable. There will always be more white people in this country than any other ethnic group. The Demographics in this country have shifted, but not as dramatically as some might imply. But the issue for the GOP is that in the many states in which black and Hispanic voters live in large numbers, the fact that the GOP loses in those places by an amazing margin means that in order for the GOP to carry the state, it needs to capture an unrealistically high share of non-minority voters.

For example, Senator McCain carried all of the states in the country that have the highest percentage of black voters, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of these voters voted for President-Elect Obama. But he did this with the support of:

88% of white voters in Alabama (where McCain won by 21 points)
88% of white voters in Mississippi (where McCain won by 13 points)
84% of white voters in Louisiana (where McCain won by 15 points)
76% of white voters in Georgia (where McCain won by 5 points)
73% of white voters in South Carolina (where McCain won by 9 points)

Black voters in the above states supported Obama by somewhere between 94 and 98 percent. But it should be noted that the percentages for voters of both races aren't that much different than they were for Bush and Kerry, respectively in 2004. The overwhelming majority of whites voted for the Republican and the overwhelming majority of blacks voted for the Democrat.

But look what happened in some other states in which the GOP won among white voters but lost dramatically among black voters. To avoid confusion about Obama (a nice, convenient excuse this year for decades of abysmal Republican performance among minority voters), I'll use some examples from 2004, when the Democratic candidate was John Kerry. Just a few examples.

Bush won the majority of white voters in Illinois, 51% to 48%. But because Illinois is 13% black and 14% Hispanic and because Bush lost the black vote there in 2004 by a margin of 89%-10% and the Hispanic vote by a margin of 76%-23%, Bush lost the state. And so those 21 electoral votes went to Mr. Kerry.

Bush won the majority of white voters in New York, 50% to 49%. But because New York is 11% black and 16% Hispanic and because Bush lost the black vote there in 2004 by a margin of 90%-9% and the Hispanic vote by a margin of 75%-24%, Bush lost the state. Those 31 electoral votes went to Mr. Kerry.

Bush won the majority of white voters in New Jersey, 54% to 46%. But because New Jersey is 10% black and 15% Hispanic and because Bush lost the black vote 82% to 17% and the Hispanic vote 56% to 43%, he lost the state and its 15 electoral votes to Mr. Kerry.

The fact that the GOP has long written off minority voters has meant that to win in places where minority voters live in any significant numbers, the GOP has to make up for the staggering losses in support by minority voters by getting an overwhelming level of support from white voters. Losing a major ethnic group by nine to one - not just this year when Obama is the nominee but every single election going back to 1964 AD - means that you have to depend either on a depressed turnout or there has to be an overwhelming level of support and turnout from white voters. There are 27 states in which either blacks or Hispanics (or both) make up 10% of the population. These states combine for 380 electoral votes. The GOP performs so badly with these groups that if the election is anything other than a Reagan-style landslide, a lot of states will go red that otherwise could have gone blue if the GOP had tried to reach out to minority voters. And the longer that they go without trying, the deeper a hole they have gotten themselves into and the more work they're going to have to do to dig their way out of it.

I hope I've presented the problem well. The GOP is in a position in which it is giving away votes and states in large numbers. It is also making it harder to win white support as America is more integrated than ever and people of all races desire to come together more than ever before. It is a model that can't be sustained. And it's not about treating any group of voters as more important than any other. That's actually how the GOP got here. What they need to do is treat everyone as equally important and equally valuable. If they do this and follow the example of Mike Huckabee, they have a chance to reverse these trends. If not, I don't see how they can continue to win elections going further into the 21st century as all of the evidence shows that younger voters - the ones who have most grown up in a blended America - have also gone Democratic by margins that rival that of ethnic minority groups.

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 Post subject: Re: 1964 AD
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:00 am 
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I think the issue is beyond merely racial politics. And, goes to the heart of American conservatism. (But, because of the manner in which history unfolded it is a humongous task to differentiate it from the racial politics which have unfortunately intersected it from time to time.)

We must remember that simultaneous with the civil rights movement was another movement brewing, which the mainstream press had little understanding of. And, this was the rise of the modern intellectual conservative movement.

This was hightlighted in the 40s and 50s by the divide between the Taft Republicans, and the "moderates" Dewey, Eisenhower, et. al. (later the Rockefeller Republicans) and the founding of National Review. A big part of its mission was to fight the growing communism, and the expansion of the New Deal state.

IOW, its possible to be for "states rights", and not have any racial animosity, or racist segregationist tendencies, because after all "states rights" is also another term for defending the separation of powers inherent in federalism, as enumerated in the tenth amendmemt.

It should be remembered that for all intents and purposes Barry Goldwater was essentially a libertarian. And, probably the most successful libertarian ever. And, that Goldwater was at the forefront of this division within the Republican party.

Now, one can argue (rightly, I think) that it was mighty obtuse of Goldwater and his team to not understand the social ramifications of the civil rights movement.

And that while Goldwater had something grandiose in mind with his defense of states rights, but people understandably could equate that with the defense of something more repugnant.

Anyway, on purely philosophical grounds, it seems to me, some intellectual conservatives (i.e. Wm. F. Buckley?) viewed the various civil rights measures as an insidious encroachment on the liberty of free association. And thus, this legislation (in the abtract) was an extension of state power which conservatives had been fighting against.

Now, virtually all of us are on the side of the civil rights legislation passed, because we like the effect. That is to say, because it righted a moral wrong. But, what if in order to right the wrong we damaged something else in the process?

There are Black pastors who are offended that various civil rights laws are being leveraged to expand and legitimize homosexual actions and lifestyle. But, those (liberals) who look to the state to right all societal disparities, and who also imbibe the moral relativism of this day, would say why?

Why not extend all the same principles to sexual orientation which were applied on behalf of people who were racially discriminated against?

For example, Loving v. Virginia (the Supreme Court decision which struck down miscegenation laws) is being referenced by some folks --including Mrs. Loving-- as a principle on which to clear away bans on same sex marriage.

Now, my point is it can be a rather tricky thicket to get through to do moral righting but defending political principles which make it sometimes necessary to tolerate moral offenses. For example, we might like to shut up neo-Nazi speakers, but how could we do it and manintain the first amendment? Democracy is messy.

So, for example, with the Republican party --the conservative party-- do we say well, we should support affirmative action because it is device to right some past wrongs. Or, should we oppose it because it is philosophically wrong by codifying gov't racial preference for desired policy goals, and is thus an expansion of state power in an historically unconservative way?

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 Post subject: Re: 1964 AD
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:01 am 
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Thanks, Verticon, for the good points. Here's my take.

Quote:
I think the issue is beyond merely racial politics. And, goes to the heart of American conservatism. (But, because of the manner in which history unfolded it is a humongous task to differentiate it from the racial politics which have unfortunately intersected it from time to time.)


There are a lot of factors that came into play in the way things unfolded over the past few decades beyond racial politics, most certainly. But the end result of today is that the demographics of party support is so skewed that Republicans can't win in many places without an incredible percentage of white voters - people who don't as a group have a historical grudge against either party and seem to more freely vote for either party - vote for them.


Quote:
IOW, its possible to be for "states rights", and not have any racial animosity, or racist segregationist tendencies, because after all "states rights" is also another term for defending the separation of powers inherent in federalism, as enumerated in the tenth amendmemt.


I agree with this. I've said a couple of times actually that I don't think Goldwater was a racist. I think for the most part that he was just highly principled and that he was so tunnel visioned in his advocation of those principles that he didn't pay attention to the fact that his positions contradicted even more important principles.

There are so many parallels between "state's rights" and "abortion rights" that it's amazing. A lot of people believe, just like some "state's righters" believed, that the government should just allow "choice" and not "intrude." Philosophically, they would argue that the government has no right to intrude on personal liberty - or at least that the states should decide this policy. But what is lost in that point as in the state's rights argument of the 1960's was the fact that there are human lives on the line that are being either destroyed or violated as a result of this "freedom." And so the principle of allowing states to have their own laws - a Constitutional principle - is fine, provided that the states aren't themselves having laws that in effect deprive human life and liberty.

As late as 1964, many states in the south would not prosecute lynchings. When the FBI got involved in the search for Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman, they started digging in various locations around Neshoba County for them and in the process, uncovered the bodies of more than a dozen other black victims who had been indiscreminately killed beforehand. Throughout the south and especially in the deep south, simply trying to register to vote for a black person was an act that could easily cost you your job, earn you death threats, prison, having your house burned down. Just two weeks after the "I have a dream" speech, four little children were killed in a Klan bombing in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a retaliation against that church for being a center of civil rights planning. And if you think about the situation with unborn babies, more than a million of them have been killed en utero for every year since the 1970's. Most have beating human hearts. Some have been old enough that they can hear the sounds of the abortion doctor preparing to kill them. And so an academic discussion of "state's rights" and "abortion rights" is really lost on the victims who suffer when those "rights" come at the cost of "human rights."

Abraham Lincoln said (not an exact quote) that those who think slavery was a good idea should try it out. Ronald Reagan noted that the only people who support abortion are people who were born and not aborted themselves. And I really wish that some of those who advocated policies that effectively allowed evil had understood what they were allowing.

Quote:
Now, virtually all of us are on the side of the civil rights legislation passed, because we like the effect. That is to say, because it righted a moral wrong. But, what if in order to right the wrong we damaged something else in the process?

There are Black pastors who are offended that various civil rights laws are being leveraged to expand and legitimize homosexual actions and lifestyle. But, those (liberals) who look to the state to right all societal disparities, and who also imbibe the moral relativism of this day, would say why?

Why not extend all the same principles to sexual orientation which were applied on behalf of people who were racially discriminated against?


In my opinion, trying to use civil rights issues to defend same-sex marriage is comparing apples and jelly beans. But misuse of arguments is nothing new. A lot of people try to use the concept of personal privacy to defend abortion. And people even try to use our nation's freedom of religion as a pretense for opposing religious freedom. Nothing new.

I would answer the question by saying that the government doesn't have the right to change an institution that it didn't create. Also, I would argue that the situation for gay people is quite different from the situation of blacks in 1964. And I would argue that while all people have the same rights, no one has the right to have an institution changed to suit them.

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Now, my point is it can be a rather tricky thicket to get through to do moral righting but defending political principles which make it sometimes necessary to tolerate moral offenses. For example, we might like to shut up neo-Nazi speakers, but how could we do it and manintain the first amendment? Democracy is messy.

So, for example, with the Republican party --the conservative party-- do we say well, we should support affirmative action because it is device to right some past wrongs. Or, should we oppose it because it is philosophically wrong by codifying gov't racial preference for desired policy goals, and is thus an expansion of state power in an historically unconservative way?


Interesting questions. Actually, I totally defend free speech rights. I would defend the right of a person who wanted to call me names to call me names. In this regard, I don't believe in shutting up anyone. On the other hand, I do believe that if someone is a part of a known terrorist organization, like either some militant organizations that have actually planned and executed violent crimes, they should be prosecuted if they are planning crimes. Just as a person who says "down with America" but is part of an Islamic terrorist cell should be prosecuted for being part of the active cell. Not for what they say but for the things that they are planning to do. But in terms of speech, I defend everyone's right to say anything. The Government has no right to try to control what people say.

I don't think that Affirmative Action is the heart of the issue why blacks have an issue with the GOP. Huckabee doesn't support it but is very popular with black voters. I think it's a perfectly acceptable position to not support Affirmative Action. But at the same time, we need to remember that these policies were originated as an attempt to counter systemic racism that often explicitly denied opportunities to people because of the color of their skin. I think that in the same way that "let them eat stocks" isn't a good answer to address the very real issues faced by people who are in financial need, simply giving no answer to continuing opportunity disparities isn't acceptible either. But I certainly don't think AA has to be that answer. But, with everything else, I think that ideology without some meaningful application in the context of real issues is a little bit like faith without works. In other words, be principled. But don't use the committment to principle as an excuse to ignore real problems. It is possible to address and understand real problems in a way that is consistent with conservative principles, and this applies to the issues of human life, human rights and a level playing field for everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: 1964 AD
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:55 pm 
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TheValuesVoter wrote:
In my opinion, trying to use civil rights issues to defend same-sex marriage is comparing apples and jelly beans. But misuse of arguments is nothing new. A lot of people try to use the concept of personal privacy to defend abortion. And people even try to use our nation's freedom of religion as a pretense for opposing religious freedom. Nothing new.

I would answer the question by saying that the government doesn't have the right to change an institution that it didn't create. Also, I would argue that the situation for gay people is quite different from the situation of blacks in 1964. And I would argue that while all people have the same rights, no one has the right to have an institution changed to suit them.


Agreed. Looks like Michael Medved agrees also: "The Costs of an Offensive Analogy"

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 Post subject: Re: 1964 AD
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:41 pm 
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I like Medved's article - actually, I like him, period. But, far beyond resentment over the hijaking of the civil rights mantle is the fact that blacks are far more conservative than most people understand. One reason people think that blacks are liberal is because of the fact that we tend to vote Democratic. But people don't realize that this is because of alienation and not because of political ideology - something that can be confirmed by watching the points in history at which blacks stopped supporting Republicans. Another reason is because of some of the black politicians who are in Washington. But this is largely because many of them represent city areas, places that tend to produce more liberal politicians in general.

If you look at the studies at Berkeley (http://sda.berkeley.edu:8080/quicktables/quickconfig.do;jsessionid=A994E8CC0759F4793244083CA99F2072?datasetKey=gss04), you can find some interesting facts.

* Blacks are the most likely of the ethnic groups sampled (which are simply "white," "black," "other," and "total") to think that income taxes are too high.

* The least likely to allow anti-religionists to speak or to teach (presumably to allow them to bash religion).

* The least likely to allow homosexuals to teach (presumably to allow them to teach about homosexual issues).

* The most likely to attend church every week or more than once a week

* The least likely to support banning the Bible or prayer in public schools

* The most likely group to believe that the Bible is the Word of God

* In almost every category, the least likely to approve of abortion (exception: when it is financially difficult to raise a baby).

We're the "other" conservatives. The only group of conservatives that the more conservative party doesn't seem to want.

And the point of all of this is ... the GOP is continuing to not understand one of the reasons it faces a tremendous growth challenge and will have trouble even maintaining its current level nationally if the national party does not change its attitude toward minorities. On the one hand, they are losing out on many conservative votes from people who actually agree with them on many issues. And on the other hand, the continued alienation of these groups, which has grown with compound interest the longer it has been allowed to fester over the past forty years, means that they have to do nearly the impossible in trying to get an overwhelming level of support from white voters, who don't as a group hold anything against either party and are more likely to split their support, in order to win. This will eventually do the party in if it's not fixed.

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 Post subject: Re: 1964 AD
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:54 am 
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Here's the graph of black support for the Party of Lincoln over the past 88 years. Two huge dips are here, the second of which brought the support to nearly nothing and left it there for the past four and a half decades.

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