Urban Legend: Goldwater Against Civil Rights

Urban Legends article-Goldwater

One of the most prominently held urban legends of our time is that Senator Barry Goldwater, the GOP candidate for president in 1964, was against civil rights because he voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This vote of Goldwater marked the start of when “the GOP began to go against civil rights” according to CNN’s Roland Martin’s version of the legend.

The truth is, the GOP has always been in favor of civil rights. From the creation of the party, which opposed slavery; to this present day, you cannot find a single plank on the GOP platform that indicates anything otherwise. In fact, it was Republican President Eisenhower who proffered the first civil rights act of 1957, which was watered down by White Southern Democrats [see Eisenhower on Civil rights].

This bill, however, was responsible for jump-starting the process of civil rights legislation with protection for voting rights; establishing the Civil Rights Division in the Justice department; and among other things, establishing a six member Civil Rights commission.[1] In addition, a second Civil Rights bill was passed in 1960. Senator Goldwater supported both bills.

The problem arises in 1964. The new Civil Rights bill championed by President Johnson, who has now ironically had an epiphany about Civil Rights, comes to the Senate. The Southern Democrats oppose the bill as they had opposed similar legislation along with Senator Johnson. Now as president, Johnson realizes the bill will not pass the Senate without Republican help so he approaches Everett Dirksen. Dirksen garners Republican support, and the bill passes.




Of note, “The Republican Party was not so badly split as the Democrats by the civil rights issue. Only one Republican senator participated in the filibuster against the bill. In fact, since 1933, Republicans had a more positive record on civil rights than the Democrats. In the twenty-six major civil rights votes since 1933, a majority of Democrats opposed civil rights legislation in over 80 % of the votes. By contrast, the Republican majority favored civil rights in over 96 % of the votes.”[2]

In the 1964 civil rights act Republicans in the house voted 138 for and 34 against; Democrats voted 152 for and 96 against. In the Senate, the Republicans voted 27 for and 6 against; the Democrats voted 46 for and 21 against. Clearly, from these numbers there was no apparent anti-Civil Rights movement in the GOP as Roland Martin, and others, suggest.

As a matter of fact, as one of the six voting against the 1964 Civil rights act, Senator Goldwater, on principle, disagreed with the idea of Federal government intervention regarding this matter. “His stance was based on his view that the act was an intrusion of the federal government into the affairs of states and, second, that the Act interfered with the rights of private persons to do business, or not, with whomever they chose.”[3]

More specifically, Goldwater had problems with title II and title VII of the 1964 bill. He felt that constitutionally the federal government had no legal right to interfere in who people hired, fired; or to whom they sold their products, goods and services. He felt that “power” laid in the various states, and with the people. He was a strong advocate of the tenth amendment. Goldwater’s constitutional stance did not mean he agreed with the segregation and racial discrimination practiced in the South. To the contrary, he fought against these kinds of racial divides in his own state of Arizona. He supported the integration of the Arizona National guard and Phoenix public schools.[4] Goldwater was, also, a member of the NAACP and the Urban League.[5]

His personal feelings about discrimination are enshrined in the congressional record where he states, “I am unalterably opposed to discrimination or segregation on the basis of race, color, or creed or on any other basis; not only my words, but more importantly my actions through years have repeatedly demonstrated the sincerity of my feeling in this regard…”[6]. And, he would continued to holdfast to his strongly felt convictions that constitutionally the federal government was limited in what it could do, believing that the amoral actions of those perpetuating discrimination and segregation would have to be judged by those in that community. Eventually, the states government and local communities would come to pressure people to change their minds. Goldwater’s view was that the civil disobedience by private citizens against those business establishments was more preferable than intervention by the feds. He, optimistically, believed that racial intolerance would soon buckle under the economic and societal pressure.

Unfortunately, Goldwater’s principled stand on this issue allowed the Democrats to brand Republicans, for the first time in their long history of fighting for civil rights, as racially insensitive at best, and racist at worst. Martin is correct in this regard that the Black vote went to the Democrats, and Johnson gets elected. What is not mentioned, however, is that many Republicans also defected to support LBJ because of a feud between moderates and conservatives in the GOP. Or, that from this time forward Democrats would use government largess to win the votes of the minority community. LBJ would call for a “War on Poverty” and challenge Americans to build a “Great Society.” Hence, government became bigger and bigger thus exacerbating the difference between those who advocated smaller government and lower taxes from those who believed government could solve many of society’s ills through government programs (spending).

Many would argue that the advent of the Great Society initiates the decline of the Black family. What Blacks gained from Civil Rights legislation and government largess, they lost in individual liberty and fidelity. They became more dependent on government programs; and less dependent on their own ability to improve themselves by the work of their own hands, and the sweat of their brow. If you read Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative you’ll see that he understood this dynamic [see my article Conservatism vs The Borg (liberalism)].

Consequently, an Urban Legend begins depicting the GOP, despite its 100 years of civil rights history prior to Goldwater and Goldwater’s own support for civil rights, as racist or racially insensitive because a man stood on principle. I see no ‘horrible history’ here, unless you say that the Civil Rights leaders overreached with good intentions, which eventually lead to the maladies and pathologies that plague our community today.

In articles to come, we will address other legends that Roland Martin, and others, propagate to support the “GOP’s horrible history with Blacks.” We will tackle the Dixiecrats, the Southern Strategy, Bull Connor and other Urban Legends. Stay Tuned.

[1] http://crdl.usg.edu/events/civil_rights_act_1957/?Welcome . Also see http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=482

[2] http://www.congresslink.org/print_basics_histmats_civilrights64text.htm

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Goldwater

[4] Jonathan Bean, Race and Liberty in America (Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 2009), p. 226.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid. Also see Barry Goldwater, “Civil Rights,” Congressional Record, June 18, 1964, 14318-19.

Default Comments (32)

32 thoughts on “Urban Legend: Goldwater Against Civil Rights

  1. Wayne Embry says:

    Thanks for info.

  2. Greg says:

    At the end of the day, Goldwater defended the right to segregate. If he had won, segregation would’ve been in place, it’s cute how you try to make historical revisionism, but that’s actually what would’ve happened. Both southern democrats and republicans opposed, after the act passed under a democratic president, and the nominee for the republicans was a pro-segregationists, the southerners switched over to republicans.

    1. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

      No. He felt that it was not the federal governments job to tell local businesses whom they had to sell too. He wanted to leave that to the States. This is an argument about the role of the federal government not about whether someone has the right to discriminate. He showed his opposition to racial discriminate by supporting the other pieces of legislation proffered by Eisenhower in 1957 and 1960. He was a member of the Arizona NAACP.

      1. Jasmine says:

        Good article- it is important to note that Barry was simply trying to defend states’ rights. However, I do not think it did him, or the Republican party, any service by trying to point out that the act was unconstitutional. It would have been better to compromise on this in order to demonstrate support for an equal America.
        On a side note, I believe Johnson voted for the 1957 Act- you said in this article he voted against both 1957 and 1960. See link: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/85-1957/s75

        1. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

          You are correct about Johnson. Thanks for the information. I stand corrected. Kennedy and Johnson Supported the 1957 bill.

          1. Randal Ernst says:

  3. Greg says:

    You might say, oh ‘he personally opposed segregation’. That’s like someone saying he’s against slavery, but that he also refuses to federally ban it, and thus allows various states to continue holding slaves…..

    1. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

      That’s a dumb argument. Both have to do with the power of the federal government to act. Lincoln didn’t have the authority to free the slaves. After the war with Britain individual Northern states freed their slaves. The emancipation proclamation only freed slaves in states that had been taken over by the North. The Federal government is limit by the tenth amendment to the constitution…” The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

      Goldwater felt the 1964 Civil Right Act was unconstitutional. Lincoln was able to free the slave because the South considered Slaves as their property and once capture became the property of the North and could therefore be set free. This is basically the difference between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives want to limit the arm of the feds while Liberals want to extend the reach of the feds.

      1. Frank says:

        People are OK with the fed dictating to the states until the fed dictates something those people don’t like. Then they understand how federal overreach creates tyranny.

  4. Maddie Ross says:

    And ever since, the GOP has systematically worked to disenfranchise people of color, the poor, and the elderly. And let’s not even start on their horrific civil rights record concerning LGBT and Muslim citizens. This is no longer the party of Lincoln, but the party of Strom Thurmond, David Duke, Donald Trump, and the KKK.

    1. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

      Maddie your comments are not based on fact but fiction. The Democrat party is the party of slavery, KKK, Strom Thurmond’s early days, Woodrow Wilson, the Dixiecrats, Jim Crow, Robert Byrd and segregation. They are now the party of urban blight, gang violence, welfare, unemployment, abortion, and failing schools. The GOP has championed civil rights since its inception and now champions school choice, welfare reform, immigration reform, tax reform and real healthcare reform. And when it comes to LGBT community they don’t need special rights for their sexual behavior. They have rights because they are human beings.

      1. Snow says:

        As a student of history like yourself surely knows, what a party stands for changes over time and by region. The Democrats in 1900 could be anything from a party for Catholics & non-Anglo immigrants (in the North), a party for Populist-leaning farmers (in the West), and the party of racist Dixiecrats seeking to overturn Reconstruction (in the South).

        It would be better to look at ideologies, and here the answer is *quite* plain. The Dixiecrats themselves blamed all the Civil Rights “troubles” of the 60s on “white liberals” stirring up Negros and disrupting a happy, orderly society where everyone knew their place. When the (white) South transitioned from Democratic-favoring to Republican-favoring, the politicians openly said it was because the Republicans represented conservatism now, while the Democrats liberalism. Again, don’t take my word for it, take the rhetoric used at the time.

        The South has been remarkably consistent: “liberals” have favored civil rights, “conservatives” have not. In 1900, Southern Republicans were “liberal”, Southern Democrats were “conservative.” In 1940, partially thanks to the influence of FDR, everybody in the South was a Democrat and the primaries were between liberals, moderates, and conservatives. By 1980, the conservatives were Republicans and the liberals were Democrats, thanks to Goldwater, Nixon, & Reagan.

        Is it any surprise that people who care about basic, fundamental civil rights are going to vote for the liberal candidates, no matter what party they belong to?

        1. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

          Snow, If you are a student of history you need to do some better research. Your understanding of “Liberals” vs “conservatives” will not fly. Southern Democrats were liberal in regards to federal spending. They were for higher taxes. Conservatives were the ones who today argue for limited government. You can’t be a conservative or classical liberal and have Jim crow laws. Classical liberal or today’s conservatives have always been for less government. Progressives or today’s liberals have always been for more government. Conservatives today are what used to be called “classical liberals”. Slavery and Jim crow are at cross purposes with modern conservative ideology and if you did your homework or read my article a little closer you’d know this.

          Understand that the South changed over time and had to abandon their segregationist ways. Racist died, some moved and others retired from politics. The South was not stagnant. New people have moved to the South. The Economics of the South have changed.

          Reagan and Goldwater were not racist. And Nixon was no more racist than LBJ. They had a political agenda. LBJ help past Civil rights legislation that Nixon and Eisenhower had already set in motion. Nixon brought us affirmative action. He supported the civil rights acts of 1957, 1960, 1964, and 1968. (see Article by Buchanan). Winning the South does not mean you are racist. Carter and Bill Clinton and Obama won the South. Reagan won every state against accept Minnesota against Mondale. Does that mean all the states were racist? Or could it be that the electorate was voting based on other ideas? (see the electoral map).

          The standard argument to prove a candidates policies are racist thus does not hold up. The South has more issues than race. Economics, government control, foreign policy, and a host of other issues are on the minds of more people than race relations. Your argument is too simplistic and naive. Democrats have a reason to restate the simple version of the “Southern strategy” and the GOP “disregard of civil rights”. It’s a great tool to keep Black folks voting Democrat. It doesn’t have to be true because if you repeat a lie often enough people begin to believe it, even if they are so called “students of history.” If you really want to be a student of history do your home work. Go to the original sources. Don’t rely on what I say or anyone else. Go to the congressional voting records. Read what people wrote not what other wrote about them. Get a good definition of conservatism and liberalism. Then you can recognize them when you see them. You can also recognize when someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Then back up your statements. Nothing is true because we say it is. It true because your can prove it. You have data to back it up. Read the what Goldwater wrote. Look at the presidential election maps. Is what others are saying based on the data you see? Does George W. win the South because he is racist or because he’s an evangelical Christian? Or could it be his economic message. He solidly beats Kerry in 2004.

          Last word. The only people playing race politics are the Democrats. They keep reaping the lie that they are for Black people and the GOP is for white people. SO far it has been effective but still untrue.

  5. Stuart Birch says:

    Thanks Eric. Good article.

  6. Jim Davis says:

    This tome represents only the narrow subject of Senate votes. Once Johnson had led the Dems toward civil rights, the racist Dixiecrats all became Republicans. Since then, Republicans have refused to renew the Voting Rights Act, opposed every piece of civil rights legislation, gerrymandered around minority voters, and enacted a variety of voter-suppression tactics. The GOP hasn’t been the party of Lincoln in a long, long time.

    1. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

      Jim, do us a favor and name all the dixicrats. Then point out the ones that became Republican. Then let us know what parts of the voting rights act need to be reauthorized. Then we can have a discussion but your ignorance of the subject matter make it a waste of time right now.

  7. At the end of the day, republican Barry Goldwater was still opposed to the 1964 civil rights act, and the 1965 voting rights act, and that is how he got the deep southern states, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
    The first time the South went republican, and the beginning of the parties switching platforms on race.
    The South and the KKK has been republican for decades now.

    1. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

      So Michael how did Carter, Clinton and Obama win the South? Your answer is too simplistic. The South has more issues than race. If you would read some of my other comments you’d understand this. You guys who repeat the democrat talking points don’t ever take the time to think it through. You act as if the South is trapped in the 1950s and only cares about race. There are a number of issues that the South wrestles with and these days most of them are economic not racial. The South has had a Black mayor in Atlanta for decades and Indian American Governor of Louisiana and South Carolina. And again if your argument is valid than Carter, Clinton and Obama have to be racist because they won the South.

      1. Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, this morning will tell the NAACP national convention in Milwaukee that it was “wrong.”

        “By the ’70s and into the ’80s and ’90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out,” Mehlman says in his prepared text. “Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong.”

        You have republicans admitting the southern strategy.
        You can take their word or not but that is the word of the GOP.

        Why do you think the KKK is republican as well? not only them but all the white supremacits like Jared Taylor and ALT Right groups.

        And Atlanta is a big city, conservative republicans have a hard time getting big cities.

        1. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

          Ken Mehlman was a fool. He was wrong to admit something he had not researched. Have you polled the KKK to see who they vote for? Because I never said the KKK was Republican. You need evidence to make that claim. But answer me this why would the GOP take on the failed policies of the Dixiecrats? It makes no sense. The Dixiecrates lost. Racial politics changed in the South. Again you have to explain why Carter, Clinton and Obama won the South if the South is so racist. You have no ground to stand on. Politics is more complicated today than it was 50 years ago. And Just because Mehlman made a statement and apologized doesn’t make it so. It was probably easier for him to apologize than to set the record straight because no matter what I argue or facts I bring to the table people like you won’t listen anyway. By the way Pat Buchannan, one of the architects of the Southern strategy denies any racial bias in their campaign.
          https://townhall.com/columnists/patbuchanan/2014/07/03/nixons-southern-strategy-and-a-liberal-big-lie-n1858667

          1. The KKK has hundreds of chapters around the country, stilll more in the South, still have rallies, many with the confederate flag, little diffences in the klan chapters, but all have the same mantra, a White Christian America. They are against liberals, gays, muslims, diversity, multiculturalism, affirmative action.
            When Obama was elected, reporst came that white supremacy groups like the klan got more members. White nationalist sites got record hits.
            The KKK endorsed republicans Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.
            In the 1920’s when the KKK was at their peak at millions of members, they had members in both parties, and had republican politicians who were kkk in Colorado and Indiana.
            The KKK being republican today is not a debate, zero, zilch, nada. Many klan chapters came out with support for trump.
            Other White nationalist came out supporting trump, like Jared Taylor a known white supremacists, Spencer from the ALT Right groups saying America is a white country.
            All these white supremacists don’t like America being multiculturalism, they want white America.
            You can also look up the KKK sites recruitment, you have to be white christian to join, and the KKK in north carolina had a parade to celebrate trump’s election win.

          2. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

            Even for the sake of argument if I accept your information. It doesn’t make the GOP racist. It means that the White racist feel they have more in common with the GOP than the Dems. Neither party is condoning racial hatred. In the same vein they aren’t Christian because they call themselves Christian nor are they Republican because you call them Republican. One does not take on all the characteristics of the people who may support them. I’m against affirmative action, liberalism, gay rights, diversity and multiculturalism, whatever that means. Does that make me a racist or a klan member?
            You are right about Indiana. The GOP in that state was taken over by the Klan. But that organization broke from the national organization which was Democrat. The GOP is no longer controlled by the Klan in Indiana. As a matter of fact the national party has no real ties to the Klan. They are feel to vote as they choose. But to say that the GOP is the party of the klan is misleading at best. The GOP didn’t start the Klan like the Democrats nor do they promote the klan’s ideology like the democrats did.

            BTW I’m sure you’d agree that most socialist vote the democrat party. Does that make the democrats all socialist? That’s why your argument about Klansman being all republican is inconsequential. Your are trying to use the supposed voting habits of one group to impugn the integrity of the GOP. You seem to forget that the GOP is also supported by evangelicals who would have nothing to do with the klan. Does that mean that all the GOP are evangelical? Hardly.

            So how many dixiecrats became Republicans? https://youtu.be/bdJsPsU55PM

          3. You like to twist words, I never said the GOP is racist or the klan party, I’m saying the klan members are republican, right along with all the white nationalist like Jared Taylor who goes on public for decades talking about white identidty, Neo confederates, neo nazis, and ALT Right groups praising trump, all these white supremacy groups are republican.
            So you can say that for the sake of argument, it’s not an argument, it’s a fact, but if you think any of those white supremacy groups would vote for Obama and the clintons, and liberals who wanted to legalize every single illegal immigrant, and import 100 times more muslims refugees than Obama brought, than that is your right to believe that.
            And no you’re not a klan member, but the klan sure did have a parade when trump won.
            The GOP believes in hierarchy, and are against diversity and multiculturalism.
            And to answer you questions about the South won by Carter who was a centrist (like bill clinton), he was the first deep southern state president to win the election in some time, he related to the southerners with being a southern christian, and the GOP was falling apart with gerald ford, and watergate.
            The parties did not switch over night, but it did happen.
            Why do you think the Southern whites don’t vote democrat like their ancestors did? why do they praise jefferson davis, but not Abraham Lincoln who they call a tyrant.
            The GOP made a mistake with nominating Barry Goldwater, because it split the GOP even more, with even other GOP politicians like Rockafeller who said would be a mistake.

          4. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

            The parties didn’t switch. The GOP has never been for segregation. You need to read my piece on the Southern Strategy. The Republican party never adopted racist policies. While the democrats did. That’s fact. Do racist vote republican? I’m sure some do and some vote the Democrat party. The Parties are no longer fight over civil rights. That battle is more about the role of government which is what Goldwater was upset about with the 1964 civil rights act. HE felt it went too far. That is not racism. it was a principled stand against big government. Rockefeller was a moderate and either way would have split the party. So yes Rockefeller would not be in favor of a Goldwater presidency. So that’s not saying much.
            You are entitled to your beliefs but not your own facts. The national party has never come out in favor of racist policies like the Democrats. To be clear neither party can keep racist people from running as Republican or Democrat. IN Illinois all you have to do is get enough signatures and you can run. The party doesn’t even need to endorse you. SO it’s not the endorsements but the policy stances one takes. Have a great evening!

          5. After everything you still in denial? the South and the KKK is republican, the northern states are more democrat. It’s the opposite of the 1860’s civil war times.
            Those democrats you speak of that were racists were not liberal, you understand that?
            They were confederate southerners conservative states rights, the South has been pleading for states rights since the foundation of this country.
            Trent Lott spoke on December 5, 2002, at the 100th birthday party of Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, a long-time conservative leader. Thurmond had run for President of the United States in 1948 on the Dixiecrat (or States’ Rights) ticket. Lott said: “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years, either.”
            Why do you have southern republicans praising southern democrats like strom thurmond and jefferson davis, which trent lott did.
            The confederate flag is flow by republicans in the South who call Lincoln a tyrant.
            Why do you have republicans in the South who are stripping away from the 1965 voting rights act?
            Georgia republican defending the kkk making a lot of people straighten up
            http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/01/tommy-benton-kkk-georgia-confederate/
            Mississippi republican Karl Oliver saying people who bring down confederate monuments should be lynched
            https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/louisiana/articles/2017-05-22/mississippi-rep-lynch-people-removing-confederate-monuments
            Jon Hubbard Arkansas defending slavery and the “southern cause”
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/10/jon-hubbard-arkansas-slavery_n_1954902.html
            Fox news right wing calling Abraham Lincoln a tyrant
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU-32oJfx9U
            This is the mainstream of white southern confederates, they put their loyalty to the South confederacy, not Abraham Lincoln Union.

          6. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

            First of all you make to many sweeping generalizations about Republicans. Neither the South or the North are stagnant. People move around and even change their positions politically. SO being from the South does not make one racist or Republican. Second, history has shown that depending on the person running for president Democrats have won Southern states, as I mentioned Carter, Clinton and a few by Obama. And Republicans have won the Northern states. Reagan beat Mondale and won every state except Minnesota. Did that mean that everyone became a racist? There are other issues besides race that cause people to vote for a particular candidate. The South has many issues among one is economics. Third, you seem to be conflating conservatism with racism. You can be liberal and a racist. Just look at FDR, LBJ and especially Woodrow Wilson who desegregated Washington D.C. Wilson was a progressive. Terms like liberal, conservative and progressive have to do with policy stances and the role of government not racial attitudes. The Republican party is mixed with conservatives and moderates. So you can’t paint them with broad paint strokes. The only difference is that Democrats had in the platform segregationists policies while the GOP never has. You can be against tearing down confederate monuments and not be for slavery. SOutherners can be against the civil war and still be against slavery. Just like Northerners can vote for a REpublican like Reagan and Southerners for a Democrat like Clinton. The voting rights act is not an issue because there is nothing in the voting rights act that has anything to do with voting that has to be reauthorized. The reauthorization has to do with a hand full of Southern states that if they make any changes to their voting procedures need to have “preclearance” by the Attorney General. This section 5 which needs reauthorization, and many feel is unnecessary today. Failing to reauthorize the voting rights act would not rescind voting for Black people, which is generally what you hear in the black community. It’s a red herring to get people all emotional about nothing. Lastly, Lott was being kind to Strom Thurmond as he was retiring. Kind words for an old man who had switched his position on a number of issues. As Democrat George Wallace apologized for his stance on segregation. SO how many dixiecrats became Republicans? What racist planks did the GOP have on their political platforms?

          7. Google lee atwater on the southern strategy.
            Why do you think the representives of Mississippi and Alabama left the 1948 democrat national convention cause Truman wanted to end segregation in the military.
            The KKK had a parade when trump won, don’t forget that.

          8. Eric M. Wallace, PhD Eric M. Wallace, PhD says:

            I f the Republican party was so racist than why didn’t the representatives of Mississippi and Alabama join the Republican party? Because the GOP had always be against slavery, segregation and racism. There was never a reason for the parties to switch. What happen is that the racist either died off in the South or they switch for other reasons such as economics, foreign policy or whatever.

            Just because the KKK had a parade for Trump doesn’t mean that Trump is in agreement with their stances on race. I can see them being in agreement with illegal immigration. But so are a lot of other law abiding Americans who are not racist. There are Republican homosexuals. It doesn’t mean that they agree with everything Trump stands for. Your argument is too simplistic. It doesn’t take into account other factor that may have people support you. Again, Ronald Reagan won the entire country except Minnesota. Does that mean everyone except in Minnesota became a Republican? Of course not but clearly they liked him more than MOndale.

            With regards to Atwater, it’s convenient that people put words in his mouth while he is not here to defend himself. And the audio they have of him is only a short snippet of the whole interview. Those who are still alive repudiate the idea that the southern strategy was a move to bring on the racist South. It was a strategy to bring grow the party and find other issues the South could be passionate about besides race. Racism didn’t help the Democrats or the Dixiecrats so why would anyone think that racist politics would help the GOP? It makes no sense for a party founded on antislavery ideas would leave that foundation to pick the losing policies of the Dixiecrats. Neither party appeals to racist ideas anymore. The democrats left it sometime ago and the GOP never had it, except in pockets like Indiana for a short while. You can believe what you want but the facts don’t support you. I suggest you read some of the parties platforms in the past. If you find any racist policies offered by the GOP let me know. Until then you have nothing on which to stand. It’s all Urban legend.

          9. My answer is “simplistic” because it’s really a no brainer, but people like you are in denial. Hey like I said, the klan, Jared Taylor white nationalist, Richard Spencer, all the white supremacy groups are in joy trump won, and all the racists confederate flag holders in the South are happy. I’m not siding with white supremacy, you might be, but not me.
            Reagan won the democrat vote, why do you think they’re called the Reagan democrats.
            The civil rights is more of a region issue, the north vs south, the northern states has always been more progressed and pro civil rights than the South.
            And it showed when the southern states were the last to legalize gay marriage.
            Ask Colin Powell how racists the republican party is.
            Why do you have southern state republicans celebrating confederate holidays, and not Abraham Lincoln, cause they call him a tyrant.
            And the GOP with Goldwater opposing the 1964 civil rights act and the 1965 voting rights act attracted the southern racists.
            The SOuth and the KKK is republican, the northern states are democrat, opposite of 1860’s civil war times.
            Yesterday’s southern confederates are today’s southern republicans, but hey, I’m in reality, you can believe what you want.

          10. Gilbert Van Buskirk says:

            There was an obvious political realignment that occurred. You had almost 150 defections from the Democratic Party from 1960 – 1980. Reagan was one such defection. Trent Lott was another. One reason was from the perceived overreach from CRA64. They tried to equate Civil Rights with communism. The fact that many of those Southern states are having their Voter ID laws struck down on racial grounds proves that the institutional racism is emanating from the GOP in the modern era.

            Trent Lott (Republican) – 2002

            “When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over the years, either.”

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