The Dixiecrat Myth
Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/05/10
Democrats are unwavering in our support of equal opportunity for all Americans. That’s why we’ve worked to pass every one of our nation’s Civil Rights laws, and every law that protects workers. Most recently, Democrats stood together to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act.
On every civil rights issue, Democrats have led the fight. We support vigorous enforcement of existing laws, and remain committed to protecting fundamental civil rights in America.
Then Mr Parks proceeded to provide a very long list of Republicans leading the fight on all those civil rights issues and Democrats actively leading the fight to prevent the passage of those civil rights issues. Arlenearmy added a video — which is well worth the watch — in the comment section of my article on the subject.
I have noted this many times over the past couple years, but then the Liberals start talking about the Dixiecrat myth. First off, Liberals have to completely ignore what the Democrat Party said. “Democrats are unwavering in our support of equal opportunity for all Americans. That’s why we’ve worked to pass every one of our nation’s Civil Rights laws, and every law that protects workers.” That quote is a Democrat lie. The histo-facts bear witness to that quote being a Democrat lie. And that’s why Liberals have to completely ignore the statement in pushing the Dixiecrat myth.
The Liberals’ Dixiecrat myth goes something like this: In 1964 and 1965, southern Democrats were racist segregationists. In 1968, the racist segregationist southern Democrats became Dixiecrats. By 1980 all the Dixiecrats had already become racist segregationist southern Republicans. During this same time, the integrationist race-blind southern Republicans up and decided to become southern Democrats. It had to be completed by 1980 because Ronald Reagan.
You have to be outside your mind to believe a wacked out myth like that. Even in the 1960s and 1970s, people weren’t single-issue race-issue partisans — or more accurately, especially in the 1960s and 1970s as the anti-war crowd and counter-culture “free love and drugs” crowd were so boisterously center stage.
Hey, I have an idea! How about every New Yorker up and move to Los Angeles and every Los Angelino up and move to New York! Hurry up, folks. You have about 12-14 years to make the switcheroo!
Bob Parks more forcefully destroys the Dixiecrat myth, with professorial source material. (His source material are words from professors.)
From University of Dayton Professor Larry Schweikart:
The idea that “the Dixiecrats joined the Republicans” is not quite true, as you note. But because of Strom Thurmond it is accepted as a fact. What happened is that the **next** generation (post 1965) of white southern politicians — Newt, Trent Lott, Ashcroft, Cochran, Alexander, etc — joined the GOP.
So it was really a passing of the torch as the old segregationists retired and were replaced by new young GOP guys. One particularly galling aspect to generalizations about “segregationists became GOP” is that the new GOP South was INTEGRATED for crying out loud, they accepted the Civil Rights revolution. Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter led a group of what would become “New” Democrats like Clinton and Al Gore.
“So it was really a passing of the torch as the old segregationists retired and were replaced by new young GOP guys.”
From University of Washington, Tacoma Professor Mike Allen:
[I]t was the southern Democrats who were the party of slavery and, later, segregation. It was George Wallace, not John Tower, who stood in the southern schoolhouse door to block desegregation! The vast majority of Congressional GOP voted FOR the Civil Rights of 1964-65. The vast majority of those opposed to those acts were southern Democrats. Southern Democrats led to infamous filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
By 1972, however, Wallace was shot and paralyzed, and Nixon began to tilt the south to the GOP. The old guard Democrats began to fade away while a new generation of Southern politicians became Republicans. True, Strom Thurmond switched to GOP, but most of the old timers (Fulbright, Gore, Wallace, Byrd etc etc) retired as Dems.
Why did a new generation white Southerners join the GOP? Not because they thought Republicans were racists who would return the South to segregation, but because the GOP was a “local government, small government” party in the old Jeffersonian tradition. Southerners wanted less government and the GOP was their natural home.
“[T]he GOP was a ‘local government, small government’ party in the old Jeffersonian tradition [as the modern-day TEA Party movement is]. Southerners wanted less government and the GOP was their natural home.”
That should pretty well settle the issue of the Dixiecrat myth, but it is unlikely to, as Liberals believe their own lies and are impervious to the arrows of histo-fact and reason.
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