How the Republican party went from Lincoln to Trump

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.


I’m blaming those who blame Muslims and Mexicans, themselves victims.

If a person has his car stolen, and people say, “Well, you shouldn’t have left it unlocked,” that’s victim blaming. If the person who stole the car goes on to steal someone else’s car and you blame him for it, that’s not victim blaming.

I’m blaming the politicians who define anything that could possibly make things better as “socialism” or communism" with the kind of loathing in their voice that is strangely absent whenever the word “torture” is mentioned.

I… can’t think of any context in which the politicians are the victims, so I’ll move on.

And yet they get a substantial amount of the working-class vote.

I’m not saying you’re wrong about the Democrats. I’m saying that Trump is worse, and anyone who supports him in his quest to kick out the Mexicans and the Muslims and all this other nice stuff deserves, at the very least, to be called “morally wrong.”


He’s a very partisan entertainer. Let’s not overlook that fact.


The thing is, those aren’t really exclusive. Trump’s greater appeal is to white resentment, largely expressed in terms of nativism and class resentment (railing on NAFTA, job loss, wage stagnation), but also expressed in terms of hostility to immigrants, Muslims, and blacks.

NAFTA didn’t cause our malaise, but it’s a convenient target to blame for nativists since it’s Truthy.

It’s true, that is one of his messages, and I think it’s the one that earns him a lot of support, though he isn’t a man with a unified message.

I don’t think Trump’s a lot like Hitler (he isn’t looking to build a war machine and invade our neighbors to create an empire, and isn’t thinking everything out in terms of anti-Semitic white supremacy, even if he’s so dim-witted things come out that way accidental at times, and isn’t planning to overthrow the power of the bankers).

I don’t think Trump’s a lot like Nixon either though. Nixon was a rat-bastard, but the last of the liberal establishment Republicans trying to destroy the conservative movement. Nixon was also a lot brighter than Trump. They both talk about the Silent Majority, but Nixon’s version where the middle class whites who wanted to protect the establishment which they saw threatened. Trump’s version is angry blue-collar whites who just want to see the establishment burn.

Trump’s his own dumb thing, a corrupt billionaire posing as a guy to save us from the plutocrats. A rich guy running on blue collar class resentment. A philandering playboy with a history of going on sex tours to impoverished nations trying to court the Religious Right. He’s a paranoid, manipulative, gullible, confused mess of a guy saying whatever he thinks will work and he’s got a good feel for what works with poorly educated blue collar types.

The problem of wage stagnation and crap jobs for blue collar workers in the US is largely tied to the death of the labor movement, the erosion of organized labor and worker protections, and the GOP’s tax/economic agenda. We have a labor environment where those jobs pay poorly and don’t protect workers, the workers suffer, but they’ve been told the Big Lie for so long about the virtues of management being free to screw them they actually believe it now, and they’re being screwed hard.


Immediately thought of this:


Black voters managed to get black politicians into office across the south during the period of reconstruction (1865 to 1870), in both state legislatures and in the congress, all republicans. After that, when the democrats, led by the former slaveholding elite used violence to push them firmly out of the public and the political process across the south. By the 1890s, African Americans had little political representation in any state or at the federal level for half a century or so, especially in the south. Black strong holds in northern cities (places like Harlem) were some rare exceptions - Adam Clayton Powell jr. is representative of that:

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. - Wikipedia.

Even prior to the end of slavery, blacks in America were politically active in any way the could be.


Beware the southern sonderweg, for that way lies historical distortion.

You really need to learn your political history.


They also neglected the '48 Democratic convention.


Prior to all that, there was a period of a decade at least, where African Americans indeed were voted into office across the south. It ended, slowly, after the end of reconstruction, but the radical republicans worked very hard at first to create racial equality. By the 1890s, it was clear they had failed, these laws were being enacted across the south, and African Americans were being firmly put into the status of second class citizenship. Not long after, one city that acted as a haven of sorts, Atlanta, had a huge race riot (1906) and soon after that, the Great Migration began, prompted by southern violence and the promise of blue collar jobs in industrializing cities in the north.