Jason, a committed believer, entered his freshman year of college at a state university with a prayer that he would be able to defend his faith courageously and openly—but without being obnoxious. He enjoyed getting to know his fellow students and found that he and another incoming freshman, Steve, were both interested in restoring old cars. This point of mutual interest helped cement a strong friendship between the two, and it wasn’t long before Jason began to look for opportunities to talk to Steve about his relationship with God. One day, Jason decided simply to bring the matter up. He’d been praying for Steve and knew a few simple questions that could direct their conversation toward spiritual things.
“Hey, Steve,” Jason began, “I was wondering if you ever think much about God or spiritual things. Do you think it’s possible for people to have a relationship with God?”
“Jason, I really don’t believe in God at all.” Jason could tell Steve wasn’t offended but simply was sharing what he believed. “Honestly, I think the Bible is difficult to understand. It’s incoherent.”
“Really?” asked Jason. “That’s interesting. You know, I’d like to challenge you on that point. I’ve learned the Bible is a book with 66 major divisions written by 40 different human writers over a period of 1500 years. Despite all that, there really is amazing unity and agreement between the biblical writers. That unity points to the probability of God’s being the ultimate author. In fact, I believe God is the author, and that the Bible makes the most sense to those who know God personally. Think of the Bible as a love letter written by God to His children. Steve, your problem is mainly that you don’t know the author of the letter. You’ve been reading someone else’s mail!”
That same week at a sister school several hundred miles away, Sonya, another committed believer who also was beginning her college career, sat in class as her psychology professor attempted to shoot down the idea that the apostle Paul actually met Jesus on the road to Damascus. The professor had ridiculed Christianity and the Bible several times since the beginning of the school year and had described himself as an atheist. The idea that Paul’s life had taken a 180-degree turn because he’d met Jesus personally, he said, was ridiculous. Jesus, after all, was dead. How could he possibly have influenced Paul’s life? The professor continued, “There’s a phenomenon in psychology whereby a person who is vehemently opposed to a cause can go so overboard fighting it that he winds up embracing the very thing he opposed. I think that’s what happened to Paul.”
“Be careful, sir.” Sonya said as politely as she could. “You’re liable to become a Christian!”
These accounts are based on stories I’ve heard, and I can’t say with certainty that parallel events actually happened. Yet the accounts are instructive for us today. How many of our young people—or how many of us, for that matter—are prepared to defend what we believe?
How many of our young people—or how many of us, for that matter—are prepared to defend what we believe?
I’m not speaking just about our beliefs about God and the Bible, but also about
the faith of America’s Founders
evidence for God
Judeo-Christian values, including the Ten Commandments
the free market system
—to name just a few arenas where classic values are under assault today.
The above stories include what we might call “zingers”—memorable, attention-getting lines. In most debates, however, it isn’t the zinger that appears most frequently or that necessarily makes the biggest difference in the effort to win someone over. Of greater importance is the substance of one’s argument and how clearly and cohesively he or she presents it.
Where can people learn the truth about those things for which higher education and society at large have adopted a politically correct interpretation? If you haven’t already been invited, I’d like to invite you to attend Prager University.
Led by Dennis Prager, a conservative radio talk show host, Prager University is an online reservoir of information about hot-button topics. In each “course,” the conservative perspective on the topic at hand is provided. Each one is a video 5 minutes long—and at Prager U, students learn more truth in 5 minutes than is presented in many college and university classes all semester long. Moreover, Prager University is free—and its impact is worldwide!
One final point: while we began this post with illustrations about defending Christianity, Prager U does not focus specifically on defending the Christian faith. It is not a Christian organization; Dennis Prager is a devout Jew who, in and through his work, articulately defends Judeo-Christian values—the values and principles that have made America the freest and strongest nation on earth. Also, while Prager doesn’t specifically defend Christianity, he readily defends Christians and partners with them to make the strongest case for Judeo-Christian truth.
Explore and utilize prageru.com. Share it with others. It’s a great way to equip conservatives—and challenge liberals—with solid information.
Launching Ad Hominem Attacks and Stoking Racial Tensions
When liberals rant, it’s called free speech; when conservatives rant, it is hate speech.
If the facts are not on your side, argue the law. If the law is not on your side, argue the facts. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, call your opponent names.
—old legal adage—
Six years ago, Human Events, a conservative publication, ran an article titled “The Democrat Plantation.” The article began by recalling slavery during the days before the Civil War. At that time, enslaved blacks, many of whom would become the ancestors of black Americans today, lived their lives strictly as directed by their masters. Absolute compliance to guidelines and protocol was expected, and anyone deviating from the requirements faced harsh consequences. Slaves were powerless to change their situations, so many of them became resigned to their fate. Their perspective has been called a “plantation mentality.” It quashed any initiative to move outside the established boundaries for thinking and behavior.
Fast forward a hundred sixty years. An “overwhelming majority of black Americans” today, the article contends, still have a plantation mentality. Expectations regarding one’s political views and how he or she should vote are crystal clear in the black community. Uniformity is required, and anyone who dares to question expectations or to think or act independently is severely punished. The “slave-owner” in the 21st century is none other than the Democrat Party—the party that claims to be blacks’ advocate and defender!
The spotlight of history exposes much about racism in America today.
The spotlight of history exposes much about racism in America today. We’ve seen this over the last nine weeks in our series of posts upholding the importance of historical accuracy. With only a few exceptions, Democrats have not been champions of blacks or of the principle of true American equality among the races. Instead, Democrats have oppressed blacks through a variety of means, including; Jim Crow laws; segregation; and Ku Klux Klan violence, intimidation, and even murder.
Despite this history, Democrats have enjoyed near monolithic support of blacks for the last fifty-plus years. Several modern myths have contributed to this allegiance. Learn about them here.
Despite the perceptions that teach otherwise, the Democrat Party still is the party holding blacks down. In fact, Democrats continue to buy blacks’ votes to enhance their own power. Beyond this, anyone who speaks against this dependency is accused of racism and called all sorts of names. Such an accusation is racist in and of itself—but black conservatives are especially vilified.1 An excellent example of one such conservative is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Thurgood Marshall’s Successor on the Supreme Court
At a press conference held on June 28, 1991, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the only black justice to have served on the court, announced that he would retire. On July 1, President George H. W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to be Marshall’s replacement. At the time, Thomas was serving as the Judge of the Unites States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Court.
Wikipedia states, “Civil rights and feminist organizations opposed the appointment based partially on Thomas’s criticism of affirmative action and suspicions that Thomas might not be a supporter of Roe v. Wade.” The conservative website conservapedia.com offers this description of the response of Thomas’ opponents (citations and links have been removed).
In a flagrant violation of the rules of the Senate, staff members for a sitting Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee leaked a routine confidential FBI background report to Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio (NPR) which contained a vicious defamatory smear intended to mar Thomas for life. The accusation was known to be false, and was concocted to publicly intimidate an African-American Republican from accepting an appointment to the nation’s High Court, and derail his nomination. None of the allegations could be substantiated. The deliberate falsehoods did however persuade former Ku Klux Klan Democratic Senator Robert to change his vote from “yes” for confirmation to “no”.
From May 6, 1982 to March 12, 1990, Thomas had served as the Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and before that at the Department of Education. A black lawyer by the name of Anita Hill had worked for Thomas in both settings. Testifying at Thomas’ hearings, Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment. He forcefully denied her claims, declaring,
This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.
In the end, Thomas was confirmed narrowly by the Senate on October 15, 1991. The vote was of 52-48. The breakdown was as follows. Of 43 Republicans, 41 voted for confirmation and 2 voted against; and of 57 Democrats, 11 voted for confirmation and 46 voted against.
Democrats claim to be champions of diversity, but here’s the truth. They want racial diversity only if it doesn’t upset their own liberal, ideological, and often unconstitutional agenda. Conservative blacks are a particular threat to that agenda. Indeed, when their policies are opposed, Democrats are all too willing to resort to ad hominem attacks and racism to get their way. Here’s an example. In early 2014, after America had elected and reelected its first black president, President Barak Obama blamed a downward trend in his approval rating on—you guessed it—racism! It should be no surprise, therefore, that as a black conservative sitting on the US Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas is a prime target of progressives’ wrath.
Progressives want racial diversity only if it doesn’t upset their own liberal, ideological, and often unconstitutional agenda. Conservative blacks are a particular threat to that agenda. Indeed, when their policies are opposed, Democrats are all too willing to resort to ad hominem attacks and racism to get their way.
Clarence Thomas: A Principled Conservative
In June of 2013, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas. Reporter Robby Soave writes that “the Court vacated and remanded a lower court ruling because Texas had failed to demonstrate that affirmative action was necessary to achieve a diverse student body—a requirement of the Grutter v. Bollinger decision in 2003. It was a win for foes of affirmative action—albeit one that won’t actually end the practice.”
Clarence Thomas concurred with the decision but went on to blast affirmative action in the first place. Among other things, he made the case it hurts minorities, the very people it purports to help. Thomas wrote,
The University admits minorities who otherwise would have attended less selective colleges where they would have been more evenly matched. But, as a result of the mismatching, many blacks and Hispanics who likely would have excelled at less elite schools are placed in a position where under-performance is all but inevitable because they are less academically prepared than the white and Asian students with whom they must compete.
Setting aside the damage wreaked upon the self-confidence of these over-matched students, there is no evidence that they learn more at the University than they would have learned at other schools for which they were better prepared. Indeed, they may learn less.
For additional statements from Thomas’ opinion, go here.
Thomas’ opinion in a similar case the following year was entirely consistent with all he wrote in Fisher v. University of Texas. A case named Schuette v. BAMN asked the court to answer this question: “Could Michigan voters have violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by amending their own constitution to prohibit race-based preferences?” Voters passed the ballot initiative (Proposition 2) on November 7, 2006, 58 percent to 42 percent. In their decision, which was released on April 22, 2014, the court upheld the law; a majority of justices effectively said no, Michigan voters hadn’t violated the 14th Amendment. Justice Elana Kagan had recused herself. Of the remaining 8 justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented. That left Breyer, Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scaila, and Thomas. Ken Klukowski reported on the decision for Breitbart News:
The Supreme Court in Schuette upheld this provision today. There was no majority opinion for the Court. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the lead opinion for the plurality, which will be the one carrying the force of law for the nation. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.…
Justice Antonin Scalia filed an opinion concurring in the Court’s judgment upholding Proposition 2, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas.
Scalia and Thomas, however, would have gone further than Kennedy, Roberts, and Alito. Justice Stephen Breyer, who consistently votes left of center, voted in this instance to uphold the provision, but his reasoning was different from that of the other justices.
Attacking Thomas Rather than Arguing Against His Ideas
Of course, liberals didn’t like the decision. Revealingly, they unleashed their fiercest wrath against Clarence Thomas. Here are examples of some of their tweets. A favorite epithet of the left in situations like this is “Uncle Tom.”
Since Clarence Thomas is against affirmative action, he should give up the black seat on the Court. He’s only there bc T Marshall was before
SCOTUS decision today shows it’s 5/9ths racist. And yes, Clarence Thomas hates his own race
Clarence Thomas is, for lack of a better word, a tom. No, actually, that’s the perfect word.
Clarence Thomas really is the universe’s equal and opposite reaction to MLK
Clearance Thomas is so bad. Calling some one his name is the same as calling someone an Uncle Tom.
Clarence Thomas please retire from the Supreme Court. You are the worst negro in history.
Truthrevolt.org described the situation this way: “Within a few hours, Twitter erupted with the usual slurs directed at black conservatives who don’t follow the left’s prescribed agenda.” (Note the word “usual” in the previous sentence; it indicates that with this kind of scenario, we can expect a bombardment of slurs from the liberals.)
As students of history, we need to realize that standing among the “black conservatives who don’t follow the left’s prescribed agenda” would have been slave-turned-statesman Frederick Douglass. He once wrote, “No class or color should be the exclusive rulers of the country. If there is such a ruling class there must of course be a subject class, and when this condition is once established this government by the people, of the people, and for the people will have already perished from the earth.” Both Frederick Douglass and Clarence Thomas are in great company!
No class or color should be the exclusive rulers of the country. If there is such a ruling class there must of course be a subject class, and when this condition is once established this government by the people, of the people, and for the people will have already perished from the earth. —Frederick Douglass—
Clearly it isn’t just black conservatives who earn the wrath of the left, but all conservatives—especially articulate ones. Quite often, though, black conservatives are extremely eloquent, and this may be part of the reason they irritate liberals so thoroughly.
In part because black conservatives often are extremely eloquent, they irritate liberals thoroughly.
The Left paints everybody who disagrees with them as a vicious racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, bad people. We are all bad people. That’s why you see, for example, in the last election cycle, Mitt Romney sort of made the case about Barack Obama, that Barack Obama was a good guy and a decent fellow who was not very good at being President, and Barack Obama basically made the case about Romney that he was scum of the earth. And that’s how the left wins elections, because they can’t win on their own competence. What they do win on is by claiming that anybody who opposes them is just a bad person on a fundamental level.
Along these lines, consider Hillary Clinton’s recent “basket of deplorables” remark about “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters. Clinton described them as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.” She found herself having to backtrack, but her having said what she said in the first place vividly illustrates our point. Moreover, an apology does not erase the impact of the message on Hillary’s intended audience.
Mrs. Clinton’s remarks do not represent an isolated case. Conservapedia.com has compiled a list of examples of liberal hate speech (also go here and here). Especially when this kind of rhetoric is used against blacks, it’s racist. Can you imagine the reaction of the leftist media and their cohorts if Republicans were to talk about liberal personalities in this manner?
The following video is very instructive regarding the hatred liberals throw at black conservatives, as well as the courage these freedom-loving Americans demonstrate as they swim upstream against today’s politically correct culture.
“Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste”
Meanwhile, in America’s cities, racial tension and violence continue to mount. As I type these words on Friday, September 23, 2016, Charlotte, North Carolina has seen rioting and violence for several days. Keith Lamont Scott, an armed black man, was shot and killed by a black police officer. The Police Chief in Charlotte, Kerr Putney—who also is black—described the incident: “Scott exited his vehicle armed with a handgun as officers continued to yell at him to drop it. He stepped out, posing a threat to the officers.” The protests started out as peaceful, but they didn’t remain that way. Evidence indicates that individuals from outside the city arrived and incited greater anger, causing behavior to turn violent. These instigators apparently have ties to the protests occurring in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. On a video posted on Facebook, a woman claiming that Scott was her father said he wasn’t holding a gun, but a book. If it’s a book, it sure looks like a gun! You can see a photo of it on this page.
As usual, the Obama administration is all too anxious to intervene in a local matter. Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the rioters, “We hear your voices and we feel your pain.” Also, Vanita Gupta, who oversees the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, “has said that the real reason for riots lies in slavery and Jim Crow.” Is it any wonder that racial tensions have increased under America’s first black president? One is tempted to suspect that President Obama wants to stir things up, and that he and members of his administration will keep pouring gasoline on the fire. A student of Saul Alinsky, the president is following Alinsky’s teaching to never let a serious crisis go to waste.
Tellingly, a black Dallas police officer filed a lawsuit on September 16 against Black Lives Matter. The lawsuit “alleges the group is inciting a race war.” Included in the list of defendants are Black Lives Matter, Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, George Soros, Al Sharpton, and Louis Farrakhan.
Know History and Share It, and Rally Behind Black Conservatives!
Against the disturbing backdrop of violence in our cities, we need to be reminded that history is important—and we need to share the truth about race in America with members of the next generation. Moreover, we need desperately to pray for, support, and encourage the black conservatives among us (also go here).
Thank God for them, their courage, and their leadership! Truly they are modern heroes of today’s American Revolutionary cause—returning the United States of America to its founding principles!
1In our posts for last week and this week—the final two posts in our series on history—we are discussing two important tools the Democrats use to push their agenda. We devoted our discussion last week to Democrats’ powerful appeal to people’s emotions, especially the emotion of compassion. This week we expose the left’s penchant to personally attack their opponents. We should be aware that progressives have far more tools up their sleeves than these two items. These two, however, are especially powerful.
Top image: Blacks picking cotton on a Southern plantation, 1913
Websites are cited for information purposes only. No citation should be construed as an endorsement.
For the last eight weeks, we’ve been discussing several significant events in America’s history and the importance of understanding them in the historical contexts in which they occurred. Was America founded on racist principles? Was the original Constitution of 1787 racist? If not, then why did slavery continue in America for decades beyond the Constitution’s ratification?
As we examined history, we saw that the Constitution was not racist. Yet we did discover that one political party has promoted racism. Before, during, and after the Civil War, Democrats, generally speaking, were indeed racists and sought to implement racist policies. Today the prevailing narrative says that Republicans, not Democrats, are racists, but the fact that the narrative is what it is simply demonstrates that liberals—Democrats—have controlled it and effectively have rewritten history to their own advantage.
Today the prevailing narrative says that Republicans, not Democrats, are racists, but the fact that the narrative is what it is simply demonstrates that liberals—Democrats—have controlled it and effectively have rewritten history to their own advantage.
Just how has it come to pass that most people believe the narrative rather than what history teaches? Actually, with last week’s post, we already have started to answer this question, but this week and next week we’ll seek to answer it in earnest. In these final two installments in our 10-part series, we will highlight two strategies Democrats have adopted in the last 70 years to promote a progressive agenda. Progressives have relied on
1. powerful appeals to people’s emotions and
2. vicious attacks against their opponents.
These approaches largely have worked to further progressives’ aims, and it’s significant that as they have used them, liberals also have employed racism and racist overtones. Their racism isn’t manifested in the same ways it once was, but it is real and destructive nonetheless.
Let’s learn more. To set the stage to consider the first strategy we named—appealing to people’s emotions—we need once again to look back into history.
The First Black Democrat Elected to Congress
Arthur Wergs Mitchell (1883-1968) was the first black Democrat to be elected to Congress. Not coincidently, he was first elected in 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression. Mitchell began his political work in the Republican Party but in 1932 switched to the Democrat Party to support the programs of FDR. When he arrived in Congress in 1935, Mitchell declared, “What I am interested in is to help this grand President of ours feed the hungry and clothe the naked and provide work for the idle of every race and creed.”
As it turns out, Roosevelt wasn’t the first president to take steps to involve government in meeting people’s needs. How much do you know about the era of the Great Depression? Go here to take a brief, 2-question test and to learn some important things about American history you probably never heard in school. Also, you can learn more about Arthur W. Mitchell here.
What I am interested in is to help this grand President of ours feed the hungry and clothe the naked and provide work for the idle of every race and creed. —Democrat Congressman Arthur W. Mitchell, conveying His desire to assist FDR in passing his proposals—
Mitchell’s statement sounds compassionate, noble, and honorable. Who could argue with it? I will! Before speaking against it, though, I must highlight the era in which Mitchell spoke. The Great Depression was taking a heavy toll on the American people. The average unemployment rate in 1935 was 20.1 percent. People had needs—and those needs were real. We must not minimize their desperate situations.
Government—Not an Effective or Efficient Provider
Even so, I am compelled to point out that it isn’t the primary job of the president, nor is it the main task of the government, to “feed the hungry and clothe the naked and provide work for the idle of every race and creed.” What is government’s job? Scripture is clear, but we don’t even need Scripture to understand that government is not equipped or suited to efficiently meet the material and physical needs of its people.
Thus, today, at minimum, government programs that “help” people in need must be reformed. Needy recipients must be encouraged to demonstrate responsibility and to work wherever and whenever possible—even though offering them handouts is tempting from an emotional point of view. Reforms were implemented in 1996, but President Obama gutted them in 2012. Reforms need to be reinitiated.1
Returning to our main point, we must not allow emotions alone to guide us when making decisions that affect so many. It is logical to assume this is one reason Thomas Jefferson warned against ignorance, or a lack of knowledge and understanding (see his statement at the top of this article). Government can’t help the poor without taking resources from others, and we need to use our heads to analyze, not just the impact government programs have on the poor, but also the impact they have on the country itself, and particularly on those who pay for such programs through higher taxes.
The point here is that emotions are a terrible guide. We have quoted the late Dr. A. J. Hoover in previous posts on other subjects (here and here). In a book exposing the weaknesses of various kinds of faulty arguments, Professor Hoover says, “Clear thinking involves many things, but one of the most important things it involves is learning to control your emotions.”2 Hear him elaborate on this idea. Especially today, these statements offer much needed wisdom.
Sometimes even the noble emotions like love, honor, courage, and kindness need to be carefully watched. You commit the fallacy of argumentum ad misericordiam (“argument to pity”) when you make an illicit appeal to the emotion of pity.
This technique of persuasion has long been a familiar practice of lawyers in the courtroom. It is usually employed by the attorney for the defense who ignores the facts of the case and plays on the heartstrings of the jury. For example, he may bring into the courtroom the bedraggled wife of the defendant, followed by his seven pathetic, ragged children. He need not speak any words, for this “body language” says to the jury: “If you send my client to prison, you will make a widow of this poor woman and orphans of all these innocent children. What have these poor human beings done to deserve all this?”
Naturally, the prosecuting attorney will want to remind the jury that there is no necessary, logical connection between the deplorable state of the man’s family and his guilt or the requirements of the law. The jury should not be blinded by the noble emotion of pity in such a case.3
We’ve also previously noted this about government.
Government is inefficient, costly, and has an intoxicating effect on leaders and the public. Government may look like a benefactor, but it can offer only those resources it has taken from citizens and businesses through taxes and regulations. Despite appearances, government is not compassion, but force. Government’s good intentions often have very bad unintended consequences.
The following quote frequently is attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, although no evidence exists in his writings it ever originated with him. Nevertheless, whoever said it was absolutely correct. We need to heed this warning and understand its implications.
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
• From bondage to spiritual faith;
• From spiritual faith to great courage;
• From courage to liberty;
• From liberty to abundance;
• From abundance to selfishness;
• From selfishness to complacency;
• From complacency to apathy;
• From apathy to dependence;
• From dependence back into bondage.
When the people of a nation believe they have a right to government “benefits,” they become intoxicated with everything the government is willing to offer. In turn, those in authority become intoxicated with the power they gain as an increasing number of people become dependent upon them. The more government “gives,” the more beholden recipients become. This is how a nation that began with liberty can be led into tyranny.
The early stages of this process, however, don’t look at all like a journey into tyranny. They may not look that way years or even decades later. Eventually, though, “the chickens will come home to roost.”
When the people of a free nation begin to look to the government to meet their needs, the journey on which they’ve started won’t appear to have tyranny as its destination. The road may not look like a path to tyranny and oppression years or even decades later. Then, when it’s too late, some of the people—certainly not all—will realize they’ve traded freedom for security and now live in bondage to the government.
FDR’s policies often are viewed favorably because of the many ways they seemed to help those in need. In other words, his programs were “compassionate.” Roosevelt was then, and is now, a hero to many. Economist Robert Higgs writes, “Roosevelt, it is said repeatedly, restored hope to the American people when they had fallen into despair because of the seemingly endless depression, and his policies ‘saved capitalism’ by mitigating its intrinsic cruelties and inequalities.”
But wait! Higgs goes on to contend this perception doesn’t fit the facts.
This view of Roosevelt and the New Deal amounts to a myth compounded of ideological predisposition and historical misunderstanding. In a 1936 book called The Menace of Roosevelt and His Policies, Howard E. Kershner came closer to the truth when he wrote that Roosevelt
took charge of our government when it was comparatively simple, and for the most part confined to the essential functions of government, and transformed it into a highly complex, bungling agency for throttling business and bedeviling the private lives of free people. It is no exaggeration to say that he took the government when it was a small racket and made a large racket out of it.4
As this statement illustrates, not everyone admired FDR during the 1930s.…The irony is that even if Roosevelt did help to lift the spirits of the American people in the depths of the depression—an uplift for which no compelling documentation exists—this achievement only led the public to labor under an illusion. After all, the root cause of the prevailing malaise was the continuation of the depression. Had the masses understood that the New Deal was only prolonging the depression, they would have had good reason to reject it and its vaunted leader.
Yet the masses, in fact, did not understand. In his three-volume work on American History—America: The Last Best Hope—William J. Bennett states that the congressional Democrats who had been elected to office in 1932 on Roosevelt’s coattails were all too eager to pass his policies, and pass them they did. Bennett quotes this paragraph from Samuel Eliot Morison as part of his explanation of the shift of political allegiances occurring against the backdrop of the Great Depression.
A feature of the WPA [Works Progress Administration] which caught the public eye and became nicknamed “boondoggling,” was the setting up of projects to employ artists, musicians, writers and other “white collar” workers. Post offices and other public buildings were decorated with murals; regional and state guides were written; libraries in municipal and state buildings were catalogued by out-of-work librarians, and indigent graduate students were employed to inventory archives and copy old shipping lists, to the subsequent profit of American historians. The federal theater at its peak employed over 15,000 actors and other workers, at an average wage of $20 a week. Under the direction of John Houseman, Orson Welles, and others, new plays were written and produced, and the classics revived.5
Bennett then writes,
Here, in a nutshell, we see the origins of many of today’s political alignments. Hollywood, academia, the press, libraries, the public universities—all are inhabited by tens of thousands of people who could trace the existence of their jobs or their institutions to a federal program begun under FDR. By bringing into government a “Brian Trust,” FDR assured the allegiance of what we today call the “knowledge class” to the Democratic Party. One thing can always be assured: If you take from Peter to pay Paul, you can generally rely on the vote of Paul.6
A history website agrees that the 1932 election brought together a new coalition in support of Democrats. It also included blacks, the country’s other minority populations, and organized labor (see also the last paragraph on the 1936 election in this article). For decades beyond, Democrats would depend on this coalition for many of its wins. Robert Higgs, whom we cited earlier, says bluntly that “the New Deal served as a massive vote-buying scheme.”
The Snowball Effect
We see this dependency not just in the Roosevelt era, but particularly during and since the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with building a coalition to support a cause, to use taxpayer money to strengthen a political party’s power—and to make constituents dependent on that money in the process—are actions that are especially unethical and wrong. It’s apparent that President Johnson was quite pleased at the prospect of bribing and manipulating voters—especially black voters—to increase his own party’s power.
If you don’t remember or haven’t heard what Johnson said privately about civil rights legislation when he was a senator and about his “Great Society” programs when he was president, you need to know. Go here to read these statements. Also recall the apparently deliberate misrepresentations of so-called black leaders with regard to the Three-Fifths Compromise. In each of these situations, the goal is the same—more power.
The unethical nature of creating dependency for votes is only one problem with government “entitlement” programs. Another big problem is that the stated goals of these efforts never are realized. In fact, since the welfare system was set up, things have worsened for those the system was supposed to help. African American economist and political commentator Walter Williams has rightly declared, “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do. And that is to destroy the black family.”
The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do. And that is to destroy the black family. —Walter E. Williams—
Yet another huge problem with wealth transfer programs—not just welfare but Social Security and other such programs, is the inability of taxpayers to sustain them as the number of recipients continues to increase. In other words, there’s a snowball effect. In a National Review article, journalist Michael Tanner asks, “How long can a shrinking number of taxpayers support a growing number of beneficiaries?” It’s a great question.
poster from the late 1930s or early 1940s marketing the “benefits” of Social Security
Advocates of government intervention to meet people’s needs focus on compassion and whether or not the action or the program makes them feel good. Bill Voegeli, the Senior Editor at the Claremont Institute, explains this important dynamic in progressives’ approach to government in thisPragerU video.
The Bottom Line
Here’s the bottom line. Even though Arthur W. Mitchell, the first black Democrat, was elected and reelected to Congress by narrow margins, his wins reflected the beginning of a change in Americans’ perception about the role of government in people’s private lives. Even more importantly, Mitchell’s electoral contests—as well as Roosevelt’s landslide wins in 1932 and 1936 and his decisive wins in 1940 and 1944—reflected the beginning of a change in the nation’s perspective on rights. The ignorance Thomas Jefferson feared can, to a large extent, be effectively countered when citizens understand the Founders’ views on rights and why that perspective squares with reality.
FDR’s election and his subsequent reelections, as well as Arthur W. Mitchell’s election and reelections to Congress, reflect that the country was beginning to change its perspective on rights. It is critical for us to understand the Founders’ views on rights as well as the new perspective on rights the country was beginning to embrace. Why? The country has fully embraced the revisionist view today, and we need to combat this misinformation with the truth. America’s Founders got it right!
A quick review: To secure rights like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion, government needs to stay out of the way and allow people to exercise those rights; but to secure rights like the “right” to food and shelter, government has to take wealth from its citizens and redistribute it so it can meet those needs.
Aren’t you concerned about hunger and housing? someone will ask. Of course we are! We’re simply saying it isn’t government’s primary role to meet these and similar needs. Please read and review our series on Americans’ posture with regard to rights. This is critical information.
In the 1930s, the 1960s, and beyond, progressives saw a golden opportunity for themselves. Unfortunately, they took advantage of it; and quite frankly, in doing so, they have exploited Americans who already were at an economic disadvantage. Moreover, it is not coincidental that to effectively promote the entitlement mentality that strengthens their power, Democrats have had to misrepresent history, including the Founders’ views on race, and liberty, and rights.
To effectively promote the entitlement mentality that strengthens their power, Democrats have had to misrepresent history, including the Founders’ views on race, liberty, and rights.
Republicans and other concerned citizens need to call them out, but they know there’s a risk in doing so. They’ll be called racists and practically every other pejorative name in the book.
Next week, we’ll explore this tactic, another manipulative strategy in progressives’ playbook.
Top image: A line of unemployed men waiting outside a soup kitchen opened by Al Capone in Chicago, 1931
1As an aside, the Bible upholds both hard work and Christian generosity as means to meet the needs of individuals who are unable to work to provide for themselves and their families. When government took over the job of helping the poor, the church stepped away from it. The church should reassert itself in this area.
2A. J. Hoover, Don’t You Believe It! Poking Holes in Faulty Logic, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1982), 67.
4The statements from Howard E. Kirshner’s book, The Menace of Roosevelt and His Policies, are quoted by Richard M. Ebeling in “Monetary Central Planning and the State, Part XIV: The New Deal and Its Critics,” Freedom Daily, February 1998, p. 15.
5Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American People, Volume Three, 306.
6William J. Bennett, America: the Last Best Hope, Volume II: From a World at War to the Triumph of Freedom, 1914-1989, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 114.
Before lecturing Republicans, Democrats should mop up their side of the political spectrum [with regard to the issue of race].
—Journalist Deroy Murdock (who, by the way, is black)—
Note: In Part 6, we began to record some historical facts Democrats have hidden from the public or effectively encouraged the public to ignore. We added to the list in Part 7, and this week, in Part 8, we complete it. The list contains 33 items. It isn’t exhaustive by any means, but it is thorough and very informative. It’s available on a single page here.
The second Sunday after a congregation had welcomed a new pastor into its midst, churchgoers noticed he preached the very same sermon he’d given a week earlier. The next week, he preached the same sermon yet again. When his people asked him why he was doing this, the pastor replied, “When you begin to apply the principles in this sermon, I’ll be happy to move on to the next one.”
As we continue adding items to our list of historical truths Democrats conveniently overlook, some may feel we are being repetitious, even though we’ve been adding new items every week. Unlike the new preacher who kept preaching the same sermon, I believe you’re getting it. Democrats, generally speaking, have rewritten history and are overlooking their own racist past. There are exceptions, but overall, Democrats have a history that upholds racism.
The eleventh item on our list (see last week’s post) highlighted Republican attempts to make lynching a federal crime in 1922, 1923, and 1924—and Democrat efforts to thwart them. Southern Democrats in the US Senate successfully filibustered the bill. Looking back a few years may shed some light on why these Democrats’ efforts could succeed.
Historical Truths Democrats Have Successfully Concealed
Twelfth, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921, was a Democrat who promoted and adopted racist policies and who glorified the Ku Klux Klan. Under Wilson, the federal government resegregated numerous agencies in the US government. Yes, resegregated. Integration had taken place during Reconstruction decades before Wilson took office. Wilson “brought with him an administration loaded with white supremacists who segregated offices and removed black men from political appointments.” In 1914 President Wilson defended these policies, saying this:
Segregation is not humiliating but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen. If your organization goes out and tells the colored people of the country that it is a humiliation, they will so regard it, but if you do not tell them so, and regard it rather as a benefit, they will regard it the same. The only harm that will come will be if you cause them to think it is a humiliation… If this organization is ever to have another hearing before me it must have another spokesman. Your manner offends me…
Of course, Wilson’s policies affected people on a personal level. One man affected was John Abraham Davis. John Davis was a hard worker and excelled in school. Not long after graduating from high school in 1882 he landed a job at the Government Printing Office in Washington, DC. His job became his career. John was rewarded for his hard work with promotions and pay increases, and by 1908 he had a very respectable income as well as a home in the nation’s capital and a farm in a nearby state. Everything changed for John after Wilson took office. He was demoted, then sent from one department to another to do jobs that required little skill or experience. In the end he wound up delivering messages in the War Department, but that job paid only about half of what he had been earning in 1908. John was forced to sell the farm, and by 1917 his spirit had been crushed. He’d live for eleven more years but could not recover from the humiliation and economic ruin Wilson’s racist policies had brought upon him. Not surprisingly, other black men in government jobs had similar experiences.
Moreover, Woodrow Wilson spoke glowingly of the Ku Klux Klan. In 1901 in his book, A History of the American People, Volume IX, Wilson wrote, “Those who loved mastery and adventure directed the work of the Ku Klux.” He also wrote, “The white men of the South were aroused by the mere instinct of self-preservation to rid themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant negroes and conducted in the interest of adventurers.” The quote inspired this frame in the racist movie The Birth of a Nation, a silent movie directed by by D. W. Griffith and released in 1915. The film was successful and was a factor leading to a resurgence of the Klan, which also took place in 1915.
On another issue, Wilson is seen today as a leader promoting women’s suffrage. Not so fast! He and other Democrats actually had no choice but to go along with passage of the Nineteenth Amendment after landslide wins for Republicans in Congress in the election of 1918. On May 21, 1919, the Nineteenth Amendment passed the House of Representatives. The vote was 304-89. Ninety-one percent of Republicans but just 59 percent of Democrats voted for it. The Senate passed the amendment on June 4 of the same year by a vote of 56-25. Eighty-two percent of Republicans but just 41 percent of Democrats voted for it. On to the states it went, and Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 26, 1920. Tom Wrutz writes, “Of the 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment, 26 were Republican states [states with Republican legislatures].”
Thirteenth, the Democrat Convention in 1924 was called Klanbake because of the controversy that swirled around it involving the Ku Klux Klan. No political convention in US history has lasted as long as did this one. From June 24 to July 9, 1924, delegates cast a total of 103 ballots before officially nominating John W. Davis and Charles W. Bryan to run for president and vice-president, respectively. They would be defeated by Calvin Coolidge and Charles G. Dawes in November.
1924 Democrat Convention
Going into the convention, observers probably would have put their money on either Al Smith of New York or William Gibbs McAdoo, who had served as the Secretary of the Treasury in the Wilson administration and who would go on to serve as a Democrat US Senator from California. Davis became the compromise candidate.
Not all Democrats supported the revived KKK, and some wanted the party’s platform to condemn Klan for its violent activities. A plank was proposed. Pro-Klan delegates opposed Al Smith’s candidacy (Smith was a Catholic) and supported the candidacy of his chief opponent, William McAdoo (a Protestant). The convention was deeply divided. Writing about the proceedings, Randy Dotinga seasons his report with quotes from Robert K. Murray, a historian.
The vicious KKK debate finally ended in a chaotic two-hour vote that produced the most “prolonged pandemonium in an American political gathering.”
“The delegates engaged in fist fights, arguments, name calling, wrestling matches, and brawls, while the galleries howled and stomped their feet.” The fighting veered toward a riot that was only averted when 1,000 NYC cops hurried to the scene.
Debate over adopting the anti-Klan plank was fierce. In the end, the plank was rejected by a vote of 546.15 to 542.85. In Celebration, “tens of thousands of hooded Klansmen rallied in a field in New Jersey, across the river from New York City. This event…was also attended by hundreds of Klan delegates to the convention, who burned crosses, urged violence and intimidation against African Americans and Catholics, and attacked effigies of Smith.”
Fourteenth, Democrat Hugo Black, who was a US Senator from Alabama from 1927 to 1937, was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. After being elected to his seat in the Senate in 1926, Black spoke to a KKK gathering and thanked them for their support:
This passport which you have given me is a symbol to me of the passport which you have given me before. I do not feel that it would be out of place to state to you her on this occasion that I know that without the support of the members of this organization I would not have been called, even by my enemies, the “Junior Senator from Alabama.”
As a US Senator, Black strongly opposed anti-lynching legislation, even when the sponsors of the bill also were Democrats.
In 1935 Black led a filibuster of the Wagner-Costigan anti-lynching bill. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that when a motion to end the fillibuster was defeated “[t]he southerners- headed by Tom Connally of Texas and Hugo Black of Alabama—grinned at each other and shook hands.”
Fifteenth, Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Hugo Black to the Supreme Court in 1937. He was an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court from August 19, 1937 until just September 17, 1971, just days before his death. Shortly after Black became an Associate Justice, reporter Ray Sprigle of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote a story disclosing Black’s involvement in the KKK. The report caused quite a stir, and Sprigle won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. As a Supreme Court Justice, Black “went on to reintroduce America to the long-dormant phrase ‘separation of church and state, twisting its meaning. Black also wrote the majority opinion that deemed internment camps in the United States constitutional in 1944.”
Sixteenth, in 1938, during a filibuster of the Wagner-Van Nuys anti-lynching bill—a bill, by the way, bearing the names of two Democrat senators, Robert Wagner and Frederick Van Nuys— Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo, also a Democrat, declared,
If you succeed in the passage of this bill, you will open the floodgates of hell in the South. Raping, mobbing, lynching, race riots, and crime will be increased a thousandfold; and upon your garments and the garments of those who are responsible for the passage of the measure will be the blood of the raped and outraged daughters of Dixie, as well as the blood of the perpetrators of these crimes that the red-blooded Anglo-Saxon White Southern men will not tolerate.
Seventeenth, in 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed James Byrmes to the US Supreme Court. Byrmes was a segregationist who in 1919 said, “This is a white man’s country, and will always remain a white man’s country.”
Eighteenth, FDR committed racist acts and failed to defend races who were vulnerable.
Jesse Owens had defied the propaganda of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany by winning four gold medals on German soil, at the Berlin Olympics of 1936. After the games, FDR invited only the white athletes to meet with him. Of course, Owens received no such invitation.
FDR invited only white athletes to meet with him following the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
While Roosevelt was critical of lynching, he would not support a federal anti-lynching law. He said Southern Democrats, especially Senators, would retaliate by blocking other bills Roosevelt supported that were essential for the country’s survival: “If I come out for the anti-lynching bill now, they will block every bill I ask Congress to pass to keep America from collapsing. I just can’t take that risk.”
Ninteenth, evangelist Billy Graham led a crusade in Jackson, Mississippi in 1952. Graham’s policy was clear regarding race—members of all races would be welcome at his events. Mississippi Democrat Governor Hugh White didn’t like the policy and asked Graham to schedule different services for white and black audiences. Graham refused, although he did, at the Jackson Crusade, allow segregated seating. Several months later, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Graham vehemently resisted the call for segregated seating. In Jackson, Graham proclaimed, “There is no scriptural basis for segregation. It may be there are places where such is desirable to both races, but certainly not in the church. The ground at the foot of the cross is level.…[I]t touches my heart when I see whites stand shoulder to shoulder with blacks at the cross.”
Billy Graham in 1966
Twentieth, In 1956, a document was drafted in the US Congress called “The Declaration of Constitutional Principles” or simply the “Southern Manifesto.” In it, 101 political leaders expressed their opposition to racial integration in public facilities and venues, including schools. Ninety-nine of the leaders were Democrats and two were Republicans. One signatory to the document was J. William Fulbright, Senator from Arkansas and eventual mentor to Bill Clinton. Fulbright has been described as a racist, a “notorious segregationist,” pro-communist, and anti-Semitic. Recently, “the famous Fulbright fellowship…[was] renamed…the “J. William Fulbright–Hillary Rodham Clinton Fellowship.”
Former Democrat Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright has been described as a racist, a “notorious segregationist,” pro-communist, and anti-Semitic. Recently, “the famous Fulbright fellowship…[was] renamed…the “J. William Fulbright–Hillary Rodham Clinton Fellowship.”
Twenty-first, Bruce Bartlett, author of Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party’s Buried Past,” explains that Republican President Dwight Eisenhower repeated his call for civil rights legislation in his 1957 State of the Union address. Previously, the legislation had passed in the House but had died in the Senate because of opposition from Southern Democrats. Lyndon B. Johnson was the Senate’s Majority Leader. Opponents of the legislation were looking to him to oppose it, just as he had in the past. (While a congressman, Johnson had called President Harry Truman’s civil rights initiative “a farce and a sham—an effort to set up a police state in the guise of liberty. I am opposed to that program. I have voted against the so-called poll tax repeal bill…I have voted against the so-called anti-lynching bill.”) Johnson, however, wanted to become president. Bartlett continues,
After dragging his feet on the civil rights bill throughout much of 1957, Johnson finally came to the conclusion that the tide had turned in favor of civil rights and he needed to be on the right side of the issue if he hoped to become president.…
At the same time, the Senate’s master tactician and principal opponent of the civil rights bill, Democrat Richard B. Russell of Georgia, saw the same handwriting on the wall but came to a different conclusion. He realized that the support was no longer there for an old-fashioned Democrat filibuster.…So Russell adopted a different strategy this time of trying to amend the civil rights bill so as to minimize its impact. Behind the scenes, Johnson went along with Russell’s strategy of not killing the civil rights bill, but trying to neuter it as much as possible.…
Eisenhower was disappointed at not being able to produce a better piece of legislation. “I wanted a much stronger civil rights bill in ’57 than I could get,” he later lamented. “But the Democrats…wouldn’t let me have it.”
These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.
Forgive the language—I’m just reporting what was said. On Air Force One, President Johnson was speaking to two like-minded governors and explaining some of the benefits Democrats would reap from his “Great Society” programs. Johnson said, “I’ll have those niggars voting Democrat for the next 200 years.”
Twenty-second, In 1958, Billy Graham planned a rally on the steps of South Carolina’s capitol building. South Carolina Democrat Governor George Timmerman objected and successfully nixed the plans to hold the rally at the capitol. Graham was viewed as an “integrationist.” In fact, the KKK had listed Billy Graham as one of their targets in 1957. Governor Timmerman said, “There is, in fact, no reason to select the State House unless the real purpose is to capitalize, for propaganda, purposes, on the appearance of a widely known advocate of desegregation. It is Graham’s endorsement of desegregation that has brought him front-page acclaim.” Brig. General Christian H. Clark helped make Fort Jackson, which was a federal venue, available, and the rally was held there. As many as 60,000 people of different races attended, and the meeting was “described at the time as the largest turnout for a non-sporting event in state history.”
In his inauguration speech he proclaimed, “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on August 28, 1963
The top image is a photo of the crowd attending that event.
Twenty-fifth, Contrary to the assumptions of many today, Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In the House of Representatives, 80 percent of Republicans voted for the measure, while just 61 percent of Democrats voted for it.
In the Senate, Republicans were at last able to end a filibuster brought by Democrats. Eighty-two percent of Republicans supported cloture along with just 66 percent of Democrats.
In the vote on the legislation itself, 82 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Democrats gave their support.
Twenty-sixth, Surprise, surprise! The Voting Rights Act of 1965 also became law largely because of Republicans.
Ninety-four percent of Republicans in the US Senate supported the Voting Rights Act, contrasted to 73 percent of Democrats.
When the Senate voted on the final version of the bill from the House, one lone Republican Senator opposed it, along with 17 Democrats.
In the House of Representatives, 82 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats voted for the legislation.
Republican Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen was a co-author of the legislation, and he strategized against opposition brought by Democrats. He said, “There has to be a real remedy. There has to be something durable and worthwhile. This cannot go on forever, this denial of the right to vote by ruses and devices and tests and whatever the mind can contrive to either make it very difficult or to make it impossible to vote.”
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 became law largely because of the work of Republicans.
Twenty-seventh, Lester Maddox was elected governor of Georgia in 1970 and was a Democrat at the time. An ardent segregationist, Maddox once said, “That’s part of American greatness, is discrimination. Yes, sir. Inequality, I think, breeds freedom and gives a man opportunity.”
Twenty-eighth, In 1989, the NAACP sued three state officials, including then-Arkansas Democrat Governor Bill Clinton, under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a federal statute. According to the Arkansas Gazette on December 6, 1989, “Plaintiffs offered plenty of proof of monolithic voting along racial lines, intimidation of black voters and candidates and other official acts that made voting harder for blacks.” The paper also said that “the evidence at the trial was indeed overwhelming that the Voting Rights Act had been violated.” The court ordered the redrawing of electoral districts to enhance the strength of votes from the black community.
Writing at nationalreview.com, Deroy Murdock reports,
During his 12-year tenure, Governor Clinton never approved a state civil-rights law. However, he did issue birthday proclamations honoring Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. He also signed Act 116 in 1987. That statute reconfirmed that the star directly above the word “Arkansas” in the state flag “is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.” Arkansas also observed Confederate Flag Day every year Clinton served. The governor’s silence was consent.
Also, examples of merchandise from Bill Clinton’s presidential run in 1992 have appeared that reflect Confederate sympathies.
Twenty-ninth, As a presidential candidate in 2000, Al Gore declared to the NAACP that his father was voted out of office after voting for the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The Senior Gore, however, opposed the Civil Rights Act and voted against it. In 1970, Gore, Sr. lost to Republican Bill Brock in a contest that centered on the Supreme Court, the war in Viet Nam, and prayer in public schools. Also in 2000, Gore claimed to have worked to increase diversity among those who followed him every day, including the Secret Service; but blacks in the Secret Service were suing Gore because they “were not being promoted to positions guarding the Vice-President.”
Thirtieth, in a National Review article titled “Whitewashing the Democratic Party’s History,” Mona Charen writes, “As recently as 2010, the Senate’s president pro tempore was former Ku Klux Klan Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd (D., W.Va.).” Go here to learn more about this KKK role.
During World War 2, Byrd wrote, “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side. … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.” Go here to view a brief timeline of Byrd’s actions with regard to race relations.
Thirty-first, Barak Obama has increased racial tensions in this country since becoming president. One glaring manifestation of this truth that if you’re opposed to his policies, you’re accused of racism. Check out articles here, here, here, and here.
This president is the most racist president there has ever been in America. He is purposely trying to use race to divide Americans. —Ben Stein, speaking of President Barak Obama—
Thirty-second and finally, Hillary Clinton apparently has garnered support from people willing to embrace the Confederate flag (also go here). While a candidate can’t control who supports him or her, the candidate can disavow attitudes of prominent supporters with whom he or she disagrees.
Hillary Clinton does not have the best track record with regard to race, especially when one considers her husband’s policies when he was Governor of Arkansas. Yet she has been quick to accuse Republicans of racism.
In fact, accusations of racism among Republicans has become a Democrat mantra.
You see, Democrats don’t just rewrite the past, they misrepresent the present, too.
Forgetting Flaws and Fabricating Fantasies: The Democrats’ Revisionist History
I am not a fan of the Republican Party. I’m not here as a Republican shill. I don’t like them. I’m not a member of the Republican Party. They’ve lost their way. But let’s get history right.
A condensed version of this article is available here.
Part 6 is available here.
Is a college education everything it’s cracked up to be? Increasingly, conservatives are compelled to say no. While education can be defined concisely as a quest for truth, college students in the United States today, generally speaking, aren’t acquiring truth. They’re being indoctrinated, and not by accident.
Woodrow Wilson in 1902, President of Princeton University
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was president of Princeton University (1902-1910) before becoming governor of New Jersey (1911-1913) and president of the United States (1913-1921).2 Wilson has been called a “progressive reformer”3 and even the “Godfather of Liberalism.”4 Ironically, it was in a speech about the Young Men’s Christian Association that Wilson made this significant statement: “I have often said that the use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible.”5
Dennis Prager indicates that what Wilson said hasn’t been forgotten. On the contrary, it is being consistently applied in higher education today.
In 1996, in his commencement address to the graduating seniors of Dartmouth College, the then president of the college, James O. Freedman, cited the Wilson quote favorably. And in 2002, in another commencement address, Freedman said that “the purpose of a college education is to question your father’s values.”6
The context for Prager’s insights is an article titled “What Kids Now Learn in College.”7 It can’t be good, given the admission made by Freedman.8 The truth is that warning signs about higher education are everywhere for Christian parents and others who hold to traditional moral values, and they have been for some time.9 Hopefully in the near future, I will be able to write an article about some of these signs for Word Foundations readers. For now, I want to highlight five of the 27 items Prager says parents are paying $20,000 to $50,000 annually per child for their children to learn.
The South votes Republican because it is still racist, and the Republican Party caters to racists.
Whites can be racist; non-whites cannot be (because whites have power, and the powerless cannot be racist).
Blacks are victims of whites.
The American Founders were sexist, racist slaveholders whose primary concern was preserving their wealthy status.
The Constitution says what progressives think it should say.10
Appropriately, Dennis Prager concludes his article with this piercing question: “Still want to go into years of debt?” Keep in mind we’ve listed here only a few of Prager’s observations!11 Also keep in mind that it isn’t just institutions of higher education indoctrinating children, but the broader culture as well.
For the past several weeks, we’ve been discussing the importance of having an accurate understanding of history in general, and of black history in particular.12 Last week we began making a list13 of historical truths that surprise and enlighten modern readers because they hardly ever are highlighted. Why do we only hear select portions of black history? The simple answer is that progressives and Democrats have revised history to their own advantage.
No longer will we ignore previously hidden historical truths or the lessons they teach! In Part 6 we had the privilege of discovering the contributions blacks made to the cause of liberty in the American Revolution and during Reconstruction.14 Our journey was prompted by these, the first two items on our list.
Historical Truths Democrats Have Successfully Concealed
First, many black soldiers fought alongside whites in the Revolutionary War.15 Their contributions to the cause of liberty and American independence truly were incalculable.
Second, all of the first black Members of Congress were Republicans.16 They courageously faced threats and fierce opposition from those who never wanted to free the slaves in the first place, many of whom were Democrats.
We now will add nine more items to the list. As you read, please remember that our primary goal isn’t to be pro-Republican or even anti-Democrat, but to learn the truth about history. We simply want to ask, “What happened?” Are you ready?
Third, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution officially ended slavery in the United States. The US Senate passed it on April 8, 1864, and the US House of Representatives passed it on January 31, 1865.17 One hundred eighteen out of 118 Republicans—100 percent—voted for the amendment, but a mere 19 of 82 Democrats—23 percent—voted for it.18,19 “Among Democrats, 63 percent of senators and 78 percent of House members voted: ‘No.’”20
Fourth, the 14th Amendment specifies that all Americans will have equal protection under the law. “In 1866 94 percent of GOP senators and 96 percent of GOP House members approved” the measure. Every single Democrat in Congress voted no.21
Fifth, the 15th Amendment guarantees the right to vote for every American, regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”22 At the time Congress passed it, there were a total of 56 congressional Democrats, and not one of them voted for it.23 The 15th Amendment would go on to be ratified on February 3, 1870.24
Sixth, the Democrat platform of 1860 “continued to campaign for immigrant rights and slavery. The 1864 platform denounced the Civil War and called for negotiations with the Confederacy. The 1868 platform denounced ‘negro supremacy’.”25 Blacks haven’t been the exclusive targets of Democrat racism, however. Democrat Party platforms from the last thirty years of the 19th century, as well as the 1900 platform, show that Asians, the Chinese, “the Mongolian race,” “servile races,” and the Japanese have been targets as well.26 During this time, Democrats didn’t abandon racism toward blacks, either; their 1892 platform decried blacks’ voting rights.27
Seventh, Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan (KKK):
The KKK was founded in Tennessee immediately after the end of the Civil War as a sort of social club for former Confederate Soldiers whose influence quickly spread through the decimated Southern states. As Columbia professor Eric Foner wrote in his A Short History of Reconstruction, in its early days, the group was loosely bound by one main principle: launching a reign of terror against Republican leaders black and white.
Racism was, of course, a guiding principle, but not quite as guiding as the hatred of the Republicans, the party of Lincoln, the Yankees who[m] early Klansmen believed destroyed their homeland through what they termed a “war of northern aggression.”28
According to Larry Elder,
In 1872 congressional investigations, Democrats admitted beginning the Klan as an effort to stop the spread of the Republican Party and to re-establish Democratic control in Southern states. As PBS’ “American Experience” notes, “In outright defiance of the Republican-led federal government, Southern Democrats formed organizations that violently intimidated blacks and Republicans who tried to win political power. The most prominent of these, the Ku Klux Klan, was formed in Pulaski, Tenn., in 1865.” Blacks, who were all Republican at that time, became the primary targets of violence.29
“A political cartoon depicting the KKK and the Democratic Party as continuations of the Confederacy”
Eighth, the election of 1876 sent Republican Rutherford B. Hayes to the White House, but only after a compromise was reached that gave him just enough electoral votes to be elected.
The results of the election were mired in controversy, although Democrat Samuel J. Tilden had, without question, won the popular vote.30According to the website Digital History,
At a meeting in February 1877 at Washington, D.C.’s Wormley Hotel (which was operated by an African American), Democratic leaders accepted Hayes’s election in exchange for Republican promises to withdraw federal troops from the South, provide federal funding for internal improvements in the South, and name a prominent Southerner to the president’s cabinet. When the federal troops were withdrawn, the Republican governments in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina collapsed, bringing Reconstruction to a formal end.
Under the so-called Compromise of 1877, the national government would no longer intervene in southern affairs. This would permit the imposition of racial segregation and the disfranchisement of black voters.31
When the federal troops were withdrawn from the South, the Republican governments in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina collapsed, bringing Reconstruction to a formal end. Under the so-called Compromise of 1877, the national government would no longer intervene in southern affairs. This would permit the imposition of racial segregation and the disfranchisement of black voters.
Ninth, the presidential election of 1880 is notable for several reasons. First, it was the first presidential election that took place following Reconstruction. Second, the Democrats nominated Winfield Scott Hancock, who had been a Union general during the Civil War. He’d emerged a war hero, but significantly, “Hancock was a Democrat who fought to preserve the Union but not to end slavery or see Black Americans protected by the United States Constitution.”32
It was a very shrewd move on the part of Democrats. Recognizing this, Republicans distributed a handbill that highlighted the stark differences between the two parties—and that effectively laid out reasons not to vote for the Democratic ticket.
While today some of the language used in the flyer would be considered inappropriate, the points it conveyed resonated with the public.33 In the end, the popular vote was very close, even though the vote in the electoral college was not.34 James A. Garfield was elected.
Tenth, Democrats in the South after the Civil War no longer had the institution of slavery to bring blacks down, so they found other ways. “Jim Crow laws” were widely used for this purpose. Jim Crow was a character created by Thomas “Daddy” Rice. In the 1830s, Rice wrote and performed for audiences in blackface and spoke in a black dialect.35 The name Jim Crow caught on, and by the late 1830s it had become a negative term people used to refer to a black man.36 We’ve noted that during Reconstruction (a period lasting from 1855-1877), federal laws were passed that afforded certain basic civil rights to blacks. However, in
the 1870s, Democrats gradually regained power in the Southern legislatures, having used insurgentparamilitary groups, such as the White League and Red Shirts, to disrupt Republican organizing, run Republican officeholders out of town, and intimidate blacks to suppress their voting. Extensive voter fraud was also used. Gubernatorial elections were close and had been disputed in Louisiana for years, with increasing violence against blacks during campaigns from 1868 onward. In 1877, a national Democratic Party compromise to gain Southern support in the presidential election [an event we highlighted in our eighth point on this list] resulted in the government’s withdrawing the last of the federal troops from the South. White Democrats had regained political power in every Southern state. These Southern, white, Democratic Redeemer governments legislated Jim Crow laws, officially segregating black people from the white population.37
—Not Just in the South—
Democrats running for office in Ohio in 1867
Go here for more information.
Go here and here to read some examples of Jim Crow laws and to learn about the segregation and oppression they engendered. Jim Crow laws were enacted not just during the 19th century in the years following the Civil War, but also well into the 20th century.
Eleventh, the Ku Klux Klan continued its campaign of intimidation, and no tactic in the KKK’s arsenal was more effective than lynching.38 You can understand why. If you can stomach it, take a few moments to watch this prezi.com presentation on lynching.39 Among other things, it’s important for us to know these facts.
• Between 1886 and 1968 there were 4,743 lynchings recorded.
• There were 3,446 blacks lynched out of the 4,743 lynchings. That calls [counts] for 72.7% of [the] lynchings.
• Whites accounted for the extra 27.3%.40
These are just the lynchings that were recorded! In 1922, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill authored by Missouri Republican Representative Leonidas Dyer that would have made lynching a federal crime. President Warren G. Harding supported the bill, but senate Democrats from southern states filibustered it, thereby blocking its passage.41 They filibustered it again in 1923 and 1924.42
In 1922, 1923, and 1924, Senate Democrats from southern states filibustered a bill authored by Missouri Republican Representative Leonidas Dyer that would have made lynching a federal crime.
This last item took place in the early 20th century, and there’s a good bit more to cover. We’ll complete this list next week by highlighting several 20th-century events, personalities, and attitudes. This will by no means become an exhaustive list, but I believe it will become—and already is—an informative one.
Elbert Lee Guillory is a former Louisiana state senator. In 2013, Guillory switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. As you hear him explain why, you’ll be reminded of the historical discoveries we’ve made this week and get a foretaste of next week’s discussion.
Before concluding, I feel compelled to underscore the following three items.
First, let’s reiterate. We’re diving into history and trying to learn from what it teaches us. We’re simply trying to uncover what happened. We do this because so many of these important historical facts never are discussed. They should not remain hidden in America’s past, because they hold too many lessons for Americans today.
Second, while this written presentation, in a sense, airs Democrats’ “dirty laundry” with regard to racism, we would never try to make the case that Republicans have a perfect record in this area. Yet their record doesn’t have to be perfect to be a far cry from what the Democrats claim.
Third, in recent years Republicans have developed an unfortunate and disappointing track record of campaigning on conservative principles and then, once elected, acquiescing to Democrat pressure without a fight. Voters who put these Republicans in office are rightly angry over this. This is relevant to our discussion because it is clear to many that Democrats still use intimidation and misinformation as vicious weapons. They have enthusiastic allies in the mainstream media, as well. Republicans need to stand up to Democrats unwaveringly and fight for the principles they ran on when they campaigned for office—the way they used to do when they fought against slavery and fought for equality for all Americans! Can you imagine Republicans of the era of history we’ve been highlighting calling their party a “big tent” that welcomes pro-slavery adherents into its ranks? Can you imagine their saying, “Well, I’m personally opposed to slavery, but I believe every person has a right to choose whether or not to become a slaveowner”? This sounds ridiculous because it is! Republicans, rediscover your roots and stand once again on solid ground! Your constituents long for you to do these things!
Can you imagine Republicans of the era of history we’ve been highlighting calling their party a “big tent” that welcomes pro-slavery adherents into its ranks? Can you imagine their saying, “Well, I’m personally opposed to slavery, but I believe every person has a right to choose whether or not to become a slaveowner”?
Until next week, remember this insightful quote from Winston S. Churchill: “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”43 Let’s make sure we look back, and that we do so with clarity of vision.
These posts are offered, hopefully, as means to these ends.