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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:58 pm 
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There are so many things which could be said, its hard to know where to begin.

Lemme say, first of all, how race intersects with politics, both historically, and currently, is not a simple matter at all. Rather it is convoluted and entangled the way that last-years-Christmas-lights are when you pull them out of the sack.

I think those Senators who didn't vote for a resolution condeming the history lynching are making a mistake --both a moral and a political one. And, I don't know what the motives were of members who didn't want to get involved with it were.

But... I bet the irony of it was on the minds of some (even some of the Republicans who were partcipating in the vote) --that irony being that Republicans were being asked to basically apologize for the dirty political work of the Democrat party.

A hall of shame with pictures of racists brute beasts would be entirely Democrat. I can't think of single Republican who participated in that shameful history. That doesn't mean there never was one, only that there never was one who became infamous for it.

Rather, Republicans became famous for politically cleaning up after the Democrats (and their ideological predecessors). The Republicans passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to primarily resolve the legal status of former slaves --and to abolish involuntary servitude.

With slavery abolished and no longer constitutionally allowable, the normal constitutional rights recognized for whites were (in theory) recognized for all persons, because there was no legally defined sub-human class.

IOW, the U.S. Constitution was brought in line with the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence (that trully): All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Republicans, again cleaning up after the Democrats, instituted Reconstruction, in part, to ensure that the rights recognized in 13th, 14th, & 15th amendments were being carried out --and anti-black efforts such as the Klu Klux Klan were being thwarted by federal troops.

Unfortunately, Reconstruction programs became corrupt, and the continuous presence of federal troops in states became a politically & fiscally unsustainable policy. IOW, for a variety of reasons Reconstruction ran out of gas.

Moreover, the Republican party could not politically maintain itself in perpetuity on the discredited secessionist Democrats. Eventually, the Democrat party would rebuild its national reputation on other issues besides race, like: trade, labor, and monetary policy, and the Republican party would have to be defined on those issues and not just there to keep the confederates at bay.

And so, life goes on. Just like Americans became weary of the Iraq war, and the Vietnam war, so they became weary of the Civil war --at a national level. And so, the business of the states was once again left to the states. And, federal gov't moved on.

A fascinating study might be what happened in the various state Republican parties, once the Civil war and Reconstruction were put behind us, politically? Did some of the states do better than others?

What is the significance of the election of Oscar Stanton De Priest Republican U.S. congressman from Illinois from 1929 to 1935 (first elected black U.S. congressman in the 20th century)?

Likewise (and even more important), what is the significance of the election of Edward William Brooke, III Republican U.S. Senator from Massachusetts from 1967 to 1979 (first elected black U.S. Senator in the 20th century)?

Flukes? Maybe. But, maybe there was some maintenance of Republican effort in state parties which outlasted the national attention -- especially in northern states.

We have to remind ourselves that political party apparatuses, as such, (DNC, RNC, state party committees) are primarily there to win elections. Ordinarily, it is the elected representatives of the people who form and advocate policies for legislation and implementation.

So, the professionals say, "well... where are the votes"? (more next post(s)).

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:19 pm 
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I do understand the noble history of the origins of the Republican Party. And I am also aware of the fact that most black elected officials for the first seven decades after Reconstruction, including De Priest and others, were Republicans. Also, I am familiar with the history of Senator Brooke. But the point that has to be emphasized even with all of that is that things do change over time.

Is it a fluke that after 1940, most blacks who entered politics entered as Democrats? Or that by 1948, the party affiliation of most blacks had changed to Democrat from Republican? Or that since 1964, every next elected Republican President got a lower average share of support from black voters than the elected Republican President before him. In spite of the fact that graphs show that blacks got more conservative during that time period. Is that a fluke?

Is it a fluke that in the state of Mississippi in 1963, the state saw its first Republican Gubanatorial candidate in 80 years, who campaigned on the notion that he, and not Democratic candidate Paul Johnson, would protect the state from Integration and that he would "K.O. the Kennedys?" That some of the same elected officials who gave the Democrats a bad name changed their party registrations and became Republican? That when former Klansman David Duke ran for Governor of Louisiana in the early 1990s that he was a Republican?

My point is not that I'm alleging the GOP is racist. In fact, I've said many times and say again that this is not the case. My point is that the GOP in the 60's and especially in 1964, opened its doors to the worst element of the Democratic Party. And in the years since, they haven't been that less tolerant of that element than ... well, than President-Elect Obama was tolerant of his crazy Pastor. In the same way that many are wondering how he could tolerate some of his sermons for so long, many people are wondering how the GOP could tolerate some of its own "Rev. Wrights" for such a long period of time.

And, again, whenever I speak of "the GOP" I am mainly talking about its leadership, which has failed to resolve this issue, and, judging from its behavior over my lifetime, hasn't often been interested in doing so.

People today simply do not care about what something represented a hundred years ago. Most voters today think of things in the context of their own memories. And not that many people alive today can remember a time at which the GOP as a whole and as a national party seemed to care about attracting black voters or a time at which it wasn't infiltrated by the former Democratic segregationists or people who tolerated them.

The historical perspective is interesting and as a historian guy, I like it a lot. But focusing on it will not win votes and will not fix the present-day issues, both in terms of perception of the party by outsiders and in terms of the way minorities are thought about by some in leadership.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:58 pm 
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I was wondering if the photo you included, TVV, is the debate in which only Mike Huckabee showed up for the Republicans (of the major Presidential contenders).

When I saw the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN, I was saddened (and a little shocked) that there were so few black faces.

When I went to the District Republican Organizational meeting, I was saddened that there were no blacks or minorities.

So I know what TVV is talking about...a pretty miserable failure in reaching out.

What hurts is that so many of us I KNOW do not feel this is good and if it is brought to the attention of my conservative friends they get a puzzled look on their faces. They say, "we are not prejudiced!" Someone else (in the leadership) has messed up things in the Party as a whole. But each of us will have to wake up to help change this.

But I very much appreciate this discussion, hard as it is to take, because there needs to be change and there needs to be hope. Reading about what went wrong can become very discouraging and make us want to give up. But I am glad, TVV, that you graciously give the Republicans the steps we need to take. You have put lots of thought into this.

I was going through some old mail and came across Governor Mike Huckabee's letter to HuckPAC contributors. This encouraged me again. He wrote: "It is those convictions that our party has strayed away from over the past few years and that is why this election cycle was so challenging for us. The good news is that today is a new day and we do not have to rebrand conservatism, but rather, rebirth the Republican Party as the champion of conservative values."

Mike probably was not specifically referring to the problem we are talking about here, but to me it was good to hear his message of hope. We need more leaders like Mike to help us "rebirth the Republican Party as the champion of conservative values," one of which is liberty and justice for all. There are so many black conservatives that could help our Party and we could represent their values much better than the Democrat Party.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:40 pm 
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Yes, that was the photo from the PBS debate that Ken Mehlman had set up for the 2008 GOP candidates to debate issues in front of an audience of black and hispanic voters. It was held at a historically black college, Morgan State University, which is in my home state. It made huge headlines when John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson all declined to come. President Bush was asked about it. Newt Gingrich condemned it, as did Jack Kemp and others. Mike Huckabee was the clear winner of the night - he won a lot of hearts that night, including mine, which he had already started winning from the time I started reading up on him.

Things like that happen pretty often. And to a lot of people, they look like a pattern. Another insult. Another slight. Another reminder that we're not important to some people.

But, being vertical here, I think that the GOP absolutely can change things. But it requires effort, honesty, and endurance. Things have been bad in this area. Okay. Let's just admit it and make it right from now on.

I not only think that the GOP has to aggressively reach out to minorities in order to survive long-term but I think that it also has to stay conservative. I think there is a lot of synergy there. Social issues. And in a lot of ways, economic issues as well, even though that's not as apparrent to some. Defense issues - minorities make up a higher share of almost every branch of the military than we do of the general population. We agree on a lot of issues and someone like Mike Huckabee would be perfect to tie together conservative ideas with actual concern for people who don't make that much money. This is why the GOP needs to be a lot more like him.

I also think that if the GOP does what some people are suggesting and become liberal, it will lose. White conservatives will not vote for the party and, combined with the loss of minority support, that will just spell a shut-out. Why would anyone want a copy of the Democratic Party when they can have the real Democratic Party.

Faith, Family and Freedom is a very good message. And in the Freedom part, that includes racial inclusion and equal access to freedom by all. I think that if the GOP goes down this road, acknowledging that the party has not tried for most of the past 44 years, but, more importantly, doing things differently from here on out, it will be successful and dominent again. I think any other road spells disaster.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:53 pm 
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VertiCon wrote:
We have to remind ourselves that political party apparatuses, as such, (DNC, RNC, state party committees) are primarily there to win elections. Ordinarily, it is the elected representatives of the people who form and advocate policies for legislation and implementation.

So, the professionals say, "well... where are the votes"?


To return to one of my earlier points, the Republican party was decimated in 1932 as national party. So, FDR was free to strategize on how to make a permanant Democrat majority. He had no way of knowing if, when, or how the Republicans would, or could, come back. He was free to experiment.

Thus, he had the various interest groups to figure out how to deal with, in order to secure longterm support. Blacks (as a political project) had to be approached like any other interest group, labor, farmers, what have you --not as individuals. And ever since, that is how the Democrat party has approached them --as an interest group.

First, FDR approached blacks through gov't. Given the history of the Democrat party, Roosevelt had to create a political incentive for blacks to support him. So, the Great Depression provided the perfect environment for that to work. The New Deal.

It wasn't designed for blacks partcularly, but it was useful. The New Deal was essentially to get people dependent on the gov't and thankful to the Democrats. This doesn't refer to merely blacks, but it includes them. Seniors are addicted to gov't, students are addicted to gov't, farmers are addicted to gov't, etc., etc., etc.

The Republican party had no power, so even if they had had perfect policies and intentions toward black folk, they were in no position to do anything about gov't policy --except make speeches (which Wendal Willkie did after his 1940 campaign).

But, for power, Roosevelt was the only game in town.

The Republicans became, for a time, essentially a minor party like our Libertarians, Green party --maybe more like the recent "Reform" party. They were in so much disarray about what to do about Roosevelt that they probably lost sight of a positive agenda for the people.

Be that as it may, when they returned to power via the public's growing disenchantment (for many reasons) with Harry Truman, and through the nomination of a celebrity candidate (Ike), that Republican President lived up to the history of cleaning up the Democrat messes, as Eisenhower federalized the Ark. National Guard in order to ensure the entrance into school of the famous "Little Rock Nine", over the objection of the Democrat Gov. Orval Faubus.

Meanwhile, during other considerations of how to make distinctions between the two parties the Republican party's growing right wing wanted to distinguish itself from the eastern etablishment Republicans, maybe as much as they did from the Democrats.

By the end of the Eisenhower resurgence Nelson Rockefeller had come to represent that eastern "moderate" wing, and the word Rockefeller became an euphemistic adjective for a type of Republican --supplanting the word moderate.

As TVV has recounted, Richard Nixon made a tactical mistake in the 1960 election with regard to Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a mistake, that had King been someone of no noteriety then it might've not had longterm ramifications. But, of course not "Doing the Right Thing" about MLK, and in that volatile moment in time proved to be tremendously harmful to the GOP.

Secondly, once the Democrats saw that they had hit political paydirt where they could monopolize the black vote through the carrot of gov't action --not just welfare-- but the passing of legislation every few years, the latest "civil rights" legislation.

Then they discovered a stick, post Goldwater, in the midst of creating their carrot. They could keep churning out this legislation, and design it is such a way that there is no way that conservatives, in good conscience to the their philosophy of how gov't is supposed to work, could support it.

Thus, a pattern was created. The party of gov't is the good party, the party of limiting gov't is the bad party, with bad people.

Thus, the Democrat pols (with their soulmates in the MSM) could take that stick, and... doink, doink, doink over the heads of Republican politicians, and the Republicans were faced with three choices:

(1) vote for the legislation --whether or not it was good legislation-- which is what some did/do, particularly moderates, but even conservatives, or (2) they could/can stand on political principle and oppose bad legislation taking their lumps, as they try to offer long academic explanations of why the legislation is bad.

Thus, they take heat from the right when they vote for the Democrat agenda, and they take the heat from the Democrats, the MSM, and the civil rights industry if they oppose it.

This extends beyond legislation which is specifically tagged as "civil rights" into virtually everything.

Cutting taxes is racist
Cutting domestic spending is racist
Reducing the size of gov't, generally, is racist
Reducing regulation is racist
Increasing defense spending is racist
School Choice is racist
Federalism is racist
Pro life is sexist
Anti same-sex marriage is bigoted
Secure borders are racist

Whatever the actual merits and demerits of this or that proposal, the Democrats always denounce Republican policies as racist, or sexist, or greedy, or warmongering, or whatever demogoguery will undermine the policies, yada, yada, yada...

Now, I said there were three choices, but only listed two above, vote yes or no. But, the third possibility is to come up with alternatives. This is what Newt Gingrich does. But, many Republicans might ask for all of Newt's idealistic labors what comes of it? Its still denounced by the Dems as racist, sexist, homophobe, etc...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:25 am 
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Quote:
Cutting taxes is racist
Cutting domestic spending is racist
Reducing the size of gov't, generally, is racist
Reducing regulation is racist
Increasing defense spending is racist
School Choice is racist
Federalism is racist
Pro life is sexist
Anti same-sex marriage is bigoted
Secure borders are racist


It really annoys me to see it when people are quick to assume that everything that happens under the sun is racism. I know there are people like that. I think that type of thinking is ridiculous and when people cry wolf so many times, it hurts people who face real racism. I'll be the first to join with you in telling them to shut up when these types of things are decried as racist.


I think I view the Democrats as a little less of an active component in the voting patterns than you suggest. I think that the GOP played a huge role there. If you just compare the election of 1960 and the election of 1964, the effects are just so dramatic. In 1960, the GOP got 32% of the support of black voters - down from the 39% it got four years earlier, but still, fantastic by today's standards. Four years later, in 1964, the GOP got only 6% of the black vote. I've done some reading on this and some of the news organizations could not locate a single black person voting for Goldwater.

The reason for this was not anything to do with the Democrats per se - except for the fact that Kennedy made some tepid steps toward Civil Rights laws and President Johnson followed it up by putting all of his efforts into making them law. This was not "civil rights" but actual Civil Rights - desegregation of public facilities, affirming the Constitutional right to vote, etc. And it came at a time when in some of the southern states - Mississippi in particular, blacks were being murdered at will for even persuing the right to vote; the state and local governments often did not prosecute the perpetrators. The horrible condition of the state culminated in one of the most famous crimes in American History - the murder of Mickey Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andy Goodman in Neshoba County at the hands of the Sherriff's Deputy and the Neshoba and Lauderdale County Ku Klux Klan. This happened three days after Barry Goldwater announced that he would not support the Civil Rights legislation. Goldwater, who was not a racist, spent the summer talking about state's rights. But there were some states in the country that had an explicit goal of oppressing the rights of an entire race. Sad and embarrassing but extremely well documented and true.

The effect of this moment in history can't be overstated. The Democrats had little to do with it, other than using the fact that a lot of racists - against Goldwater's wishes - hitched to his message and overwhelmingly supported his campaign. Lots of new black voters were able to register to vote for the first time and chose the party whose Presidential nominee supported civil rights - not the party whose nominee opposed it and effectively voted to leave them to the mercy of the state governments which actively oppressed their rights. For a mild example of the type of characters running things, I found these old Time article (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,825882,00.html and http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,894893,00.html).

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A few notes. Until 1936, blacks supported the Republican Party more than the Democratic party. Black support for the GOP went up during the Great Depression. In 1948, the Democrats created a strong civil rights plank and Truman desegregated the United States Military; this same year, for the first time ever, more blacks registered as Democrats than Republicans. Eisenhower and Nixon managed to be popular with the whole country and got a lot of black support. Black support for the GOP trended upward until 1960, when the King incident cost Nixon the election in all likelihood. But in 1964, it fell almost to nothing. And essentially since at that point in history - before the advent of affirmative action programs, before Roe, before the Great Society, before most of the things that pundits talked about even existed - blacks joined the Democratic Party and have shunned the Republican Party since then.

Incidentally, Neshoba County, the place where the murders happened and where some local residents shot at and attacked news reporters who covered the story during the 44-day search for the civil rights worker's bodies, voted that year for a Republican for the first time since Reconstruction. 95% of the vote in that county that year went to Goldwater.

I quoted Kevin Phillips earlier from 1970:
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/books/phillips-southern.pdf
Quote:
"All the talk about Republicans making inroads into the Negro vote is persiflage. Even 'Jake the Snake' [Senator Jacob K. Javits] only gets 20 percent. From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that ... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats."



And so, Phillips, a close Nixon advisor and the author of the well-known book, The Emerging Republican Majority, essentially said it all. Republicans don't need black votes. Let the Democrats have them - that will help push more voters to the Republicans. You simply can't get around his words.


In 1968 and 1972, the GOP set in place an official strategy - they even talked to the press about it - to ignore black voters in hopes that a Democratic Party full of black people would cause a segment of the population in the south to react by voting Republican. Of course, along the same time period, the Democrats went crazy and essentially became super-duper liberal and this was part of the shifts as well. And so the cement got even harder on both sides.

And this has gone on for so long that many just think of this as "the way it is." But it isn't the way it always was. This thing had roots and the roots are attributable to things that happened within the Republican Party at least as much as it is to anything that the Democrats did. The solution to the problem also is something that needs to take place within the Republican Party.

But I don't think that it is so much Democratic carrot and stick work that is responsible for the voting trends. I think quite a bit of it involved the Republicans directly.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:42 am 
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And I'm not suggesting that the Democrats don't play racial politics. Of course they do. But their gains from those types of things, when they happen, are minimal, compared to their gains from the fact that the Republicans haven't shown up and have made big mistakes in this area.

The Democrats commit a lot of penalties in this part of the game. Unnecessary Roughness. Tripping. Too many men on the field. But it's the Republican fumbles that have been the difference in this aspect of the contest.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:18 am 
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TheValuesVoter wrote:
And I'm not suggesting that the Democrats don't play racial politics. Of course they do. But their gains from those types of things, when they happen, are minimal, compared to their gains from the fact that the Republicans haven't shown up and have made big mistakes in this area.

The Democrats commit a lot of penalties in this part of the game. Unnecessary Roughness. Tripping. Too many men on the field. But it's the Republican fumbles that have been the difference in this aspect of the contest.



I am enjoying the history and viewpoints of both Verticon and TheValuesVoter very much. This is good, for us to try to think through what happened and why.

It boils down to this for me. I, as a Republican, am going to demand (in a gentle way, of course) that we not ignore the issue anymore, that we express our sorrow properly, but also that we say we are going back to the wonderful principles that made us great (and turn away from the political attitudes that made us irrelevant to a great segment of our population.) I will hold the Republicans' feet to the fire (gently, of course) whenever they threaten to abandon the conservative principles that make up our Platform statement. And I will pray for and try to help conservative candidates who run for office so they may be victorious. (As God helps me)

And I will write or hold conversations with my local Party. Someone said all politics is local. If that is right, we can all make a huge difference today.

And I know, whatever our Party, we need to support the positive values that Gov. Mike Huckabee will put forward to turn our country in the right direction. I am very excited that he is working on Vertical Politics, which is what our country needs. I will pray that when God or conscience nudges them, that conservatives will answer the call in droves.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:12 am 
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Thank you for doing that and I encourage you all to do that. I think that you are right. If the Republican electorate starts to demand this, eventually, the leadership will have to listen.

I also think it's such a natural synergy - a conservative coalition that explicitly tries to include everybody. The wierdest thing is that you see multiracial church organizations standing together for a lot of different purposes - protecting traditional family, helping needy pregnant mothers, opposing gambling laws, etc. But, undoubtedly, the people in those organizations go to the polls and vote differently on election day - along racial lines. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. There's no reason it should be that way.

Look at it this way. The Republican Party for the majority of its history has been the party that has fought for civil rights. It took a detour in the past few decades while the Democratic Party, which for most of its history was the party of Slavery, Jim Crow and Segregation, made a detour in the direction of seeking diversity and endorsing laws (in the 60s) that allowed everyone to have access to voting and facilities. If the Democrats can come from their history, which is far worse than anything that the Republican Party has ever been involved in, and get the majority support from every ethnic minority group and have the first black President, the Republican Party can also get to the point at which it competes for every vote. The job is easier for the Republicans than it was for the Democrats and it should in theory take less time than it took the Democrats. But it's all about leadership. The Democrats got out of their hole largely because they had three key leaders who took some element of risk.

FDR - We all criticize many of the programs he created and we're still paying for them today. However, he had an incredible challenge on his hands and for many people, the net effect is that he put them back to work. And in the same way, the GOP needs leadership that will help form solutions for the kitchen table issues that affect all Americans - sticking to conservative principles. But principles that don't translate into policies that affect people's lives don't do any good. This is why Mike Huckabee is such a good leader. A lot of the 2008 contenders talked a good game but their policies ended at the sound bite level. All Americans will respond to someone who helps them understand how to survive and make a living, regardless of what philosophy or ideology is involved. Vertical politics. And in addition to FDRs political calculating, his wife Eleanor actually had a deep concern for the condition of blacks at the time and did things that were quite unprecedented for a First Lady, such as being photographed with black children and having black friends. Believe it or not, those types of things caused a huge stir, especially among the southern Democrats who controlled FDR's party. But black voters were endeared to the Roosevelts in significant part because of that - they were convinced that they cared about them and that at least Eleanor thought they were just as important as anyone else.

Truman - He not only was a gutsy leader in general, but, for all his faults, he had a knack for doing the right thing even at the most inopportune time. He made two very courageous calls during an election year, when both he and his party were in trouble. In May, 1948, he recognized the State of Israel - the U.S. was the first nation to do so and I'm so proud of that fact. And two months later, he outraged members of his own party - many of whom left and took several states with them to form the Dixiecrats - by endorsing a desegregation plank in the party platform and by desegregating the United States Military. He was rewarded by an upset at the polls that gave him a second term. Which teaches me that there is something to having guts and making tough calls - even when people who are on your side who disagree with you vehemently are watching.

Johnson - for all of his faults and all of the problems with his policies, he aggressively pursued laws that allowed all citizens to vote and for schools and public facilities to be desegregated. This also took guts as most segregationists were originally Democrats and many were very angry at Johnson and voted against him. When he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making segregation illegal, he himself commented that at that moment, he had lost the south for a generation. Some states voted against him by a margin of 87%-13%. And he while he was doubtless a cunning and calculating politician, he also had the guts to do the right thing when people were watching. He went to New Orleans to give a speech to supporters there. Aides of his, including Bill Moyers, urged him to tone down talk of civil rights because it would upset the crowd. Instead, Johnson made the entire speech about civil rights, passionately telling the crowd that the struggle for equal rights for blacks was the struggle for all of us, as we are all interconnected together as Americans.

All three of these leaders saw great increases in black support for a Democratic party that, in its 1924 convention, came within one vote of writing support for the Ku Klux Klan into the party platform. All the leaders made gestures or policies on civil rights that ticked off a lot of members in their party - especially Truman and Johnson. For all of their faults and bad policies, and they had plenty of them, the leaders changed the way people thought about their party. People either got in line or left the party.

And the GOP now needs a leader who will change the way people think about the party. Mike Huckabee exhibits the strengths that the Democratic leaders had who changed the way blacks thought about their party. He and others do need to stand up to those in the party who don't want to include everybody. People will either get in line and change or leave. But this is how to change a party's image. Solve the issues that are fundamentally important to all Americans - help them know how to succeed in just providing for their families. And then stand up for equality and repeatedly remind everyone that we're all equally important and equally worth knowing. Mike does this extremely well.

This is how the Democrats went from nearly formally adopting party platform support for the Ku Klux Klan in 1924 to the point at which their party nominates the first black President in 2008 and at which it has the support of every ethnic minority group. Most definitely, the Democrats have a ton of failures and moral problems in their policies - actually their abortion policy is a modern-day version of their old slavery policy. But the way that they went from being very monolithic to very inclusive - there may be a lesson somewhere in there that the GOP could learn something from.

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If the Republicans had continued to earne even their 1960 share of the black vote, I am not sure the Democrats would have won any of the elections that they've won since then. I don't think they could have.

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