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Civil Rights -- Which Party is the Real Champion of Equality?
The Democratic party has long spun itself as the "party of civil rights," and in the same spin, accuses the GOP of being racist, sexist and snobbish, and of slavishly pandering to the ultra-rich and corporate interests. This has been the Democratic party line for decades, and it bears close examination. Are the Dems truly the champions of the oppressed and GOP the oppressors? Or is the GOP the champion of the spirit and letter of the Constitution while the Dems are projecting their own snobbery and racism upon the GOP? Letís take a look at history for some answers:
Slavery and Rights for Black People
It is of course undisputed that the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, took the country to war in order to free the oppressed slaves that the Democrats of the South held. They furthermore championed and ensured the passage of the thirteenth through fifteenth amendments to the Constitution, designed to equalize and enfranchise the black people.
Check the voting record of the parties on every single piece of civil rights legislation in Congress. From Reconstruction to date, a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats (measured against the size of that partyís respective caucus) voted for every single piece of civil rights legislation. In fact, President Lyndon Johnson depended on Republican support in order to ensure passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, over the objections of the Democratic party.
"[I]t is clear that the GOP was and is the primary force behind Constitutional equality between all races."
It was Earl Warren, the Republican appointee, that whipped the Supreme Court into an unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the seminal school desegregation case. While the contributions of certain Democrats in the area of civil rights are indusputable and vital (Truman, John F. Kennedy, Johnson), it is clear that the GOP was and is the primary force behind Constitutional equality between all races.
Letís start with the womanís right to vote, which in the opinion of this author, should have been in the Constitution from day one.
"In fact, the women who peacefully picketed the White House were...jailed on trumped-up charges, called insane, and, letís use the correct word for their treatment -- tortured -- by Woodrow Wilsonís Democratic party and his appointees."
The Nineteenth Amendment was heavily resisted by Democrats. In fact, the women who peacefully picketed the White House were, in a flagrant Constitutional abuse, people like Alice Paul, were jailed on trumped-up charges, called insane, and, letís use the correct word for their treatment -- tortured -- by Woodrow Wilsonís Democratic party and his appointees. There is substantial evidence in the historical record that Woodrow Wilson personally ordered the arrest and torture of the protesters. Wilsonís torture of women was typical of Democratic response to dissent, both then and now. Now, unlike in Wilsonís day, there are repercussions to torture, they instead brand people as traitors and extremists lest they agree 100% with the party line. Or they make not-so-veiled threats to shut down television networks that may decide to air a movie that is not complimentary to the Democratic presidential candidate. Both then and now, the fundamental lack of morals and honor in the left is evident.
Back to typical Democrat reaction to dissidence: Alice Paul and her friends were hung for days from the tops of their cell doorways with handcuffs. If they even dared to whimper, they gagged with rubber balls and severely beaten with rubber hoses. Merely reading what was done to these women for exercising their First Amendment right to petition outrages me! The women not permitted attorney visits, were force fed to break their hunger strikes, and refused paper and pencil. Finally, after a long while of this unrelenting torture, they were able to smuggle their story out. The press, back then not in the pocket of the left, made darned sure that the Democratsí evil treatment of these people, who did nothing more than petition the government for redress of greivances, was known worldwide. Only then, while still denying the Democrat SOP, did Wilson grudgingly support the Nineteenth Amendment. It squeaked by the Senate on a single vote. That vote came from a Republican; in fact the GOP caucus strongly supported the amendment. It also took the GOP to get the amendment ratified in the several states.
The Modern Day
Those who will dissent and try to spin that the Republican party turned racist over the years will, as the foundation of their folly, state that the GOP is now the principal impediment to progess in Civil Rights for any group. For the reasons shown below, this argument is meritless.
The left excoriates the GOP for opposing Affirmative Action, which is the acceptance, promotion or contracting of minorities in order to meet a quota of diversity, notwithstanding inferior performance. Conservativity is developing its position paper on this subject right now, but we see a continuing need for Affirmative Action until something is done to undo the bigotry, especially in the area of education, in the events preceding the need for this action. There is bigotry in the leftís position; it inherently assumes that minorities do not possess the facilities necessary to make it on a level playing field.
Furthermore, the leftís slavish devotion to teachersí unions, and their determined death-grip on tenure, results in many subpar teachers being retained in the system, where they do a lousy job of education. For some reason, not surprising, these teachers end up assigned to the schools in the poorest (read urban and black) neighborhoods, where their lousiness results in kids who need a leg up to get equal.
Affirmative action in the awarding of governmental contracts, especially in urban Democratic strongholds, is even more of a necessity. Minority businessmen are disadvantadged by the very system that claims to help them. They lack capital to meet bidding requirements, although they are more than capable of doing the job. The only way to allow them to capitalize is to ensure that they get a piece of the pie.
"We believe that people need to live apart from the governmental eye on their activity; they need to live apart from the governmental snout in their food bowl. Anything less is tyranny."
Affrimative Action rankles most conservatives not because it promotes allegedly "unqualified" students, not because it "discriminates against white people" (this was part of the failed Kerry campaign), but because itís yet another example of the liberal "you cannot survive without Liberal Politicansí help" spin mindset, which in actuality is the liberal boot on the neck of the minorities who they falsely claim to help. "Vote us into absolute power, for you will fail otherwise!" Fearmongering and hypocrisy. We believe that people need to live apart from the governmental eye on their activity; they need to live apart from the governmental snout in their food bowl. Anything less is tyranny.
Affirmative Action will end, someday, when itís no longer needed. Itís wrong to blame the entire GOP for opposing this, considering that the sitting Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, among others, support it. Itís also a horrid hypocrisy to claim championship of civil rights causes when its most senior senator is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, and regularly uses the n-word to refer to black people.
As to the rights of women, the left excoriates the GOP as "sexist" because it supports life rights for pre-born persons and lent some opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment of the 1970ís. The topic of Abortion will be the subject of a very long position paper, and will be posted later. As to the ERA, some thought that the enactment of this amendment would eliminate separate locker rooms and bathrooms for men and women, or force fire departments to hire 100 pound women to heave unconscious 300 pound guys out of burning buildings, to satisfy "equal protection under the law."
In my opinion, the latter fear is unfounded. Even the activist liberal courts of the 1970s would see that -- ok, well maybe. A corollary but vital issue is equal pay for equal work. We agree 100% with that concept. If riveter M has 5 years experience and makes $30 per hour, then riveter F with 5 years experience deserves the same $30 per hour. This is a no-brainer.
The unisex locker room fear is real, considering the "seperate but unequal" decision in Brown. Now, guys might be thinking "Hey! I like the idea of a unisex shower at the health club!" Cool off! I think that a simple, innocuous clause should be added and the amendment resubmitted for approval. Why? There is a difference between women and men in in a health club or High School, showering together with their own gender, and throwing dozens of naked people of both sexes together. Imagine your 16 year old daughter showering, by court order, with both girls and 16 year old boys in High School! Enough said.
"[T]o keep true to our equality-loving roots, we ought to send an ERA to the state, one that protects us from government-ordered unisex locker rooms and showers while granting the protections that our women truly deserve."
The GOP has been the champion of equality between the genders, and in the one case where exceptions were raised, had ample grounds for worry. However, to keep true to our equality-loving roots, we ought to send an ERA to the state, one that protects us from government-ordered unisex locker rooms and showers while granting the protections that our women truly deserve.
A Turning Point Worth Noting
As the people tired of the welfare state imposed by Democrats throughout the 1960s, they assigned control of the Congress to the GOP about 10 years ago. After the frightening prospect of nationalized health care under the Hillary Plan of 1993-94, which would have made it a crime to obtain health care outside of her system (something that Canada, the UK and France never did), the people wanted responsibility from government, and that meant that the Democrats lost Congress. Then, grudgingly, Bill Clinton was forced to sign a welfare reform plan. The end result was more independence for the common person, the crucifix and holywater that tortures the vampire of liberalism. Civil Rights "leaders" screamed in the agony of vampires placed in sunlight, saying that the "safety net" of governmental dependence was broken, and made dire predictions of rampant starvation.
What actually happened? Bolstered by training and child care assistance that came along with the reform, record numbers of people turned from tax-supported to taxpayer, and the economy surged into a boom. While part of that boom realistically must be attributed to the Clinton-sanctioned "irrational exuberance" of the dot com boom, another part came from the addition of people who were formerly slaves of the Great Society.
As the GOP got used to power, which did take a few years, they started to implement laws philosophically consistent with our belief of highly limited government. They furthermore kept the faith, even when Bill Clinton was re-elected over a fundamentally-wholesome but presidentially-challenged Bob Dole. They impeached a popular president, but lost when a spaghetti-spined Senate refused to hear any evidence or convict, even though there was unimpeachable (no pun intended) evidence of perjury. Nonetheless, they managed to amass a huge contingent of "red states," GOP strongholds where the people showed their innate intelligence and savvy and voted government out of their lives. In 2000, our President was elected in a nail-biter. In 2002, for the first time since regaining control of Congress, the GOP increased their majorities in both houses of Congress.
In 2004, the leftists pulled out every desperate stop in their ribald effort to unseat George W. Bush. In the end, the people saw who truly conferred civil rights upon the people, and in the end, the GOP sailed to a victory and massive gains at every level of government. The left and their oppressive policies were relegated to minority status, and the groundwork has been laid for a full generation of conservative control over what will surely be a shrinking government.
The Most Important Civil Right
"[T]he most important civil right, the one that is vitally needed to make all others work, is freedom to be free of government."
Civil Rights of different species have been discussed, but the most important civil right, the one that is vitally needed to make all others work, is freedom to be free of government. The less governmental interference in our lives, the more actual freedom we have. Those on the left, as we have previously noted, advocate licentious conduct in lieu of real freedom; they advocate a government check in lieu of actual accomplishment; they advocate a government-mandated quota in lieu of the Constitutionally-required quality education that every person deserves. The GOP offers the ultimate Civil Right: Independence!
John Adams, on this deathbed, uttered two words as his last on this Earth: "Independence Forever!" People at the time thought him to be deluded and referring to the independence declared in 1776. I think that Adams was lucid and brilliant and succinct. Independence, as Adams used the word, had nothing to do with staying independent of Britain; it had everything to do with each of us staying independent from tyranny. Adams was an anti-federalist, and the intellectual forefather of the GOP. He feared a large central government, with good -- no, great -- reason. The USA became John Adamsí greatest nightmare, and now, the GOP, the party of liberty and equality, takes the reigns to turn the nightmare, God willing, back into the great dream.
In sum, the GOP has been championing Constitutional equality for over 140 years continuously, and in the process dragging a grouchy, bigoted Democratic party along the path of progress. Any other conclusion flouts the lessons of History.