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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Video: A Voter's Guide To Republicans

With a hat tip to Z!:

10 comments:

  1. Bill Whittle drinks the Lincoln koolaid on a regular basis. Lincoln was a white supremacist and said so publicly. The Republican Party's early platforms declared it to be "the white people's party." Were the Lincoln Republicans "racists"? Yes, by today's standards, but their opinions on race were mainstream for 1860 and should be viewed in that context.

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  2. I don't know what Stogie's been drinkin' but Whittle's point still stands.

    See Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" for a more in-depth treatment.

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  3. I haven't checked what Liberal Fascism has to say about Abraham Lincoln.

    However, I have read numerous writings by Abraham Lincoln. He was a white supremacist.

    For example:

    “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”

    Notice the bold-font portion and the portion immediately following.

    We see that as a conundrum, but it was the prevailing view during Lincoln's time -- including among many abolitionists.

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  4. Stogie,
    It's an interesting conundrum to us living in the time after the Civil Rights movement that many who favored the abolition of slavery also, at the same time, did not favor equality of political and social rights.

    Abraham Lincoln abhorred slavery, particularly after reading Captain James C. Riley's travelogue (a book about Arab slave traders and their treatment of African blacks). In fact, three books greatly influenced Lincoln, according to his own words:

    1. The Bible

    2. The Pilgrim's Progress

    3. Sufferings in Africa

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  5. When the Republican Party was formed in 1854, the Democrats coined the phrase "Black Republicans." This became a pejorative used to scare voters into believing that Republicans were for the equality of the black man. In fact, the Republican platform merely called for a halt to the expansion of slavery. The Democrats, especially the Southerners wanted to expand slavery into the western territories.

    A few Democrats, like Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton "Old Bullion" opposed the expansion of slavery. At this time federal Senators were elected by state legislatures, not the popular vote. Benton and other antislavery Democrats soon found their support undercut, and were forced out of politics by their own party.

    Lincoln's views are racist to us today, but in his day they were moderate. By the end of the Civil War and in the first years of reconstruction, the Republican position had shifted more strongly in favor of blacks, such as voting rights, right to an education, etc.

    As a result of Reconstruction, hundreds of blacks served in state legislatures across the South. Education and civil rights legislation was passed for blacks. In direct response, the KKK emerged and united with Democrat party politics. This resulted in the Jim Crow laws and within a few years, blacks could scarcely vote, let alone hold office, a condition that remained until the 1960s. Once again, the Civil Rights of 1965 passed because of the Republican vote. Most Democrats, including Al Gore's father, voted against it.

    People are rather hard on Lincoln saying he was racist, he did not go far enough, he wanted to send blacks back to Africa, etc. The end result of his presidency was the end of slavery. It is real easy for us to arm chair general from our perspective 150 years later. But I always remind people: if you had been living in that time, you would have had the same values and ideals as your neighbors. You would not be the knowledgeable, "enlightened" person that you are now. That's the trap of looking at the past.

    For that time period, Lincoln was the right man to get things started for blacks to become free, full-fledged citizens with opportunities to advance like everyone else.

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  6. Alligator,
    Yes, Lincoln was a product of his times when it came to view on race.

    Still, isn't it ironic how often he is cited as a believer in racial equality? He wasn't.

    At the same time, history books and others slam Thomas Jefferson over his supposed affair with Sally Hemmings. Yes, there is Jefferson DNA involved in the Hemmings family, but Thomas Jefferson's brother might have been the playboy. Yes, there is an irony about Jefferson's slaveholding and his being the author of the Declaration of Independence, but Jefferson, too, was a product of his times.

    I am not in favor of demonizing either Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson. Instead, I'd like to see a balanced and truthful view.

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  7. Ah yes....

    More importantly you are stummbling around the 80 pound elefant in the room. Few in our society have the intellectual power to discuss such matters intelligently. Decades of public school has dumbed down America to a point where sterotypical behacviours, half truths, and cliff notes comprise the so called "enlightened state" of must folks today.

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  8. We are so "emlightened" that we are trading our own freedomw for the illusion of security---economic, policital, and personal health......

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