GOP Origins

I had no intention for my former post to inspire a major digression or its own thread…


I’m just guessing here, obviously, but I bet you don’t need many shades of brown to colour in the people…


Republicans freed the slaves and the KKK were all Democrats!

Then the next hundred and fifty years were, um, uh…

Pandering to racists


There was a decent span of time after the Civil War when the Republican Party was still on the right side of history for civil rights, both on race relations and women’s suffrage. It wasn’t until the mid-20th Century that the party started shifting toward a platform of full supervillainy.


Between the Civil War and Garfield’s assassination in 1881. So, about 16 years of being on the right side of history.

During the Civil War, and for the five years they’ve existed before then, they were on the right side of history, but coincidentally and reluctantly.

McKinley and Roosevelt were right on some things but wrong on others. So, around the turn of the 20th century, they were a viable political party. They didn’t suck!

I would argue that it was the 1920s when they started to bend toward supervillainy. Cronyism, deregulation of the banking industry, “rugged individualism” for teh dirty poorz, etc. But even if it was the mid 20th century, I guess you could say “only evil for the last 70 years!”


The Democrats weren’t exactly a bunch of angels during the first half of the 20th Century either. Even the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had a higher percentage of support from Republican legislators than Democratic ones. So it was absolutely still possible for a comparatively reasonable, non-bigoted person to identify as a Republican well beyond the early part of the 20th Century.

The last two or three generations not so much.


Yes, but the more bigoted members of the Democratic Party were starting to split off into a third party during that time. And who actively went after those bigoted voters?

Still, “on the right side of history for 20 years, a legitimate political party for the next 50-100 years, and only evil for the last 70” is hardly a big selling point.


Which means that in 1964 anyone who identified as a Democrat had allied themselves with the worst bigots in the country.

None of which makes the Republican party any less abhorrent today, which is objectively the party of evil. I’m just clarifying the timeline.

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Not the worst. Those were the ones breaking off to form a third party with Thurmond, Byrd, and Wallace. The ones that the Republicans actively courted.

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The way that right wing cranks combat this narrative (when they even engage beyond, “Nuh Uh!”) is to demand a date for the “Big Switch”.

Which is absurd and not worth responding to. What is the exact moment the tide comes in?


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