How the Republican party went from Lincoln to Trump

That’s interesting because an argument I still regularly hear is that people of color should vote Republicans because Republicans were more strongly in favor of civil rights in the '50’s and '60’s and something something well Strom Thurmond was a Democrat.

Not only is it an argument that asks listeners to ignore the past few decades (including Thurmond’s crossing of the aisle) it’s not even based on facts.


Did he skip right over President Nixon? I seem to recall some kind of southern strategy…


Part of what this shows is that the culture of racism hasn’t changed. It’s the same populations, the same people, just voting for a different party. Racism beats policy every time in that region.


Seems to me it’s time for the GOP to split into two parties, like they did when they were the Whig party. It would be a good time for the “Know-Nothing Party” to forge a comeback (and now it’s even more aptly named.)


More or less the same event as LBJ signing the Civil Rights Act, being a direct reaction to it. But yes, Nixon’s culpability is always worth a mention.

1 Like

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

If Abraham Lincoln was alive today, he’d be desperately scratching at the inside of his coffin.


That’s accurate. I recently read this resignation letter of someone who has the blog “GOP lifer”.

What we’ve been watching for a few years now, and imho it’s coming to a head, is an implosion in the major political parties. For many of us, it’s anger-inducing that we can only choose between Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and not voting, or voting for a third party, people are so in this two-party fiction that it really becomes true that voting third party throws the vote one way or the other.


I’d post the Douglas Adams quote about voting for lizards, but it’s already overused in this campaign.

Do you see what you’ve done, America?! I’m getting sick of Douglas Adams! Can you leave nothing unblighted in this world?!

curls up and weeps in the corner


For a video?

I find that this video skips quite a bit of GOP history. No mention of Teddy Roosevelt, for example. Maybe not necessary for explaining Trump, though.

1 Like

Lincoln was no lover of the slaves: "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it. … What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union.”

From that same letter:

I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men, everywhere, could be free.

There’s a difference between “I don’t care if these people are free or slaves,” and, “It’s more important to make sure this country survives than it is to figure out what its laws will be if it does.” Lincoln’s letter, as I read it, skews more to the latter.


The Democrats made the government slaves of the poor by making them generationally dependent on government largesse through the “Great Society.”

Then the Democrats and Republicans shipped the high skill blue collar jobs offshore with the promise of a glorious “Service Economy.” As intended, NAFTA and other free trade deals funneled money that used to go into industrial workers’ pockets back to our corporate overlords.

At the same time, successive adminstrations turned a blind eye to illegal immigration that undercut unskilled blue collar labor wages.

And now we live in a country where overeducated baristas point their fingers at an utterly devastated class of society: middle class blue collar workers who are squeezed on wages and taxes- and tell them they are morally wrong because they can’t express the reason for their anger and confusion?

That’s rich.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 were part of the Great Society program. If you’re going to go with this, the program you want to target isn’t the Great Society, but the War on Poverty. Then poorly educated people might imagine you have some knowledge of the things you’re talking about rather than immediately recognizing you have no understanding or knowledge.


14.5% of Americans are poor. Even if you’re right, it’d be a much better representation of America than the Republican vision of having the government as a slave of the 1% on the other end of the income spectrum.

No arguments.

Too bad all of the unions got mothballed; they’re good at ensuring that their workers can get good wages without getting undercut.

No (assuming you’re talking about the Trump supporters), they’re morally wrong because instead of blaming the people who preached trickle-down economics, deregulation, union busting, and “free trade,” the ones who want to cut their social programs and pass any money saved to the already-wealthy, and call single-payer health care (something pretty much everywhere else has) “communism”… Instead of blaming those guys, the people at fault are Mexicans and Muslims, so throw them all out.

Confusion and righteous anger are certainly not “morally wrong.” Bigotry is.


There were things like poll taxes, literacy and other tests (which were set up to be impossible), and outright violent intimidation to keep blacks in the south from using their new civil right to vote.


I hear from Republican after Republican that actually Slavery wasn’t all that bad.


And I don’t mean to disparage that part of the Great Society (LBJ deserves credit for doing things that Kennedy didn’t). I apologize for my neglect. I was thinking of economics for reasons that should be clear soon.

For the past 25 years (GHW Bush) the Republican Party has been this bizarre mixture of the “country club Republicans” and Christian fundamentalists who’ve been riding off the fumes of Nixon’s racist Southern Strategy. By the way, I think if you want a good comp for Trump, it’s Nixon and not Hitler. Is Nixon not scary enough?

My greater point is that Trump is a product of nativitism and class warfare, not racism.

Racists are attracted to Trump but the man’s message is that blue collar America was shafted.

He’s accurate but I leave it up to everyone else to decide if he’s a champion of blue collar workers.

Maybe Trump is the ex Industrial Midwest’s Nixon.

As for the left: Bernie Sanders was the only one even close to touching issues of class.

I just didn’t agree with his solution which seemed to revolve around sending more people to college. Unless the plan is to massively boost the count of qualified STEM students.

There’s a whole lot of blaming the victim in there.

Especially when talking about anything that happened in Presidential politics after 1968.

Were the blue collar workers thinking Humphrey, McGovern, Carter, Mondale or Dukakis identified with them?

That was the appeal of Reagan: he could act like he cared.

Based on how he smashed PATCO I doubt it was sincere.

But history doesn’t lie: the only candidate who even came close to speaking out for industrial workers was Ross Perot. Not a Republican, not a Democrat.

It’s been decades since the Democrats cared about working people.

They just have good rhetoric, if you can all it that.

At least the Republicans stopped pretending.

Hopefully you don’t mean Bill O’Reilly.

He’s an entertainer. Apparently a good one.

Plenty more examples than him. Many of whom choose textbooks for school systems.