Jewish World Review Dec. 20, 2002 / 15 Teves, 5763

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Time to tell the truth: The great movement of blacks to the Democratic Party took place for economic reasons, not because of civil rights | "It was Inauguration Day. Washington rang with happy Rebel Yells, while bands all over town played 'Dixie.' An associate of the new president warned that since the South ran the nation, Negroes should expect to be treated as a servile race."

This is not fanciful speculation about what things might have been like had Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrats prevailed in 1948. It is historian Lawrence Friedman's description of the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Wilson. Intellectual. Pacifist idealist. Democrat. Bigot.

In the old South, support for segregation spanned the ideological spectrum. Some segregationists, like Thurmond and John Stennis of Mississippi, were conservatives. Others, like William Fulbright of Arkansas and Albert Gore Sr. of Tennessee, were liberals. But every segregationist who ever served in Congress was a Democrat. It's important to keep this mind as calumny is heaped on the Republican Party because of the indefensible remark of soon to be ex-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.

Northern Democrats deserve commendation for supporting civil rights. But rarely did that support extend to political discomfort. The Dixiecrats were welcomed back into the Democratic fold with open arms. Democrats never denied a segregationist a committee chairmanship or a leadership position because of his noxious views on race. No Democrat has ever been punished for making a racist remark. Lott, who is about to lose his job, probably wishes he were still a Democrat.

The great movement of blacks to the Democratic Party took place for economic reasons, not because of civil rights. Harry Truman deserves praise for standing by the platform plank that caused the Dixiecrats to walk out, and for integrating the Armed Forces. But it clearly was Republican Tom Dewey who had the most "progressive" views on race. That mattered less to most black voters that year than New Deal programs.

About a third of blacks voted for Richard Nixon in 1960. But another migration took place after Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee for president that year, voted against the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. A founder of the NAACP in Arizona, Goldwater was a vehement foe of segregation. But he was also an ardent libertarian. He thought two of the seven major provisions of the bill - on housing and public accomodation - were unwarranted and unconstitutional intrusions by the federal government into private affairs.

The speed and relative ease with which these provisions were implemented indicate Goldwater was wrong. But the bill's sponsor, Sen. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, also was wrong when he said they would not lead to racial quotas and reverse discrimination.

Liberal commentators like to overlook the fact that Goldwater's position was a distinct minority within the GOP. More than 80 percent of Republicans in the House and Senate voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

After Goldwater's vote, Strom Thurmond crossed the aisle. But he was the only prominent Dixiecrat in Congress to do so. The others remained Democrats in good standing.

Thurmond was joining the Republicans. The Republicans weren't joining him. And while Thurmond the Democrat had a detestable record on race, that of Thurmond the Republican is pretty good. He was among the first of Southern senators to hire blacks for his staff. He supported blacks for judgeships. He voted for extension of the Voting Rights Act.

A principal difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans see people as individuals, while Democrats view them chiefly as members of groups. Republicans stand for equal justice under law, and oppose all forms of racism. The benign racism of racial quotas is much less pernicious than the malign racism of segregation. But it's still racism.

The Democratic Party, the party of slavery and segregation, has a guilty past. The Republican Party, which was founded explicitly to fight slavery, and which has remained true to its founding principles, does not.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Jack Kelly's column by clicking here.

12/18/02: Nothing better illustrates Trent Lott's unfitness for the post of Senate Majority Leader than his desperate efforts to cling to it
12/16/02: Debunker mentality: It's hard work not seeing ties between Iraq and al-Qaida
12/12/02: GOP ideologues turning on Lott --- better sacrifice the leader than the party
12/06/02: Curing our democracy of afflictions
12/02/02: Conscription, like the horse cavalry, is an artifact of a bygone time
11/27/02: What Saddam faces
11/25/02: Why war with Iraq can be averted
11/19/02: A draft would harm the military
11/12/02: The 2002 elections and Nixon
11/07/02: Democratic overreaction to our recent "cosmically important" election
10/30/02: Show North Korea we're serious: Polish off Saddam
10/22/02: The squealing in the Pentagon is a proof of Rummy's effectiveness
10/16/02: The tactical challenge we face
10/10/02: Silence more despicable than seditious noise
10/08/02: Bu$h and the bu$ine$$ of war
10/01/02: Gore's calculated risk may well get him the Dems' nomination
09/25/02: Schroeder may find the fruits of victory sour
09/25/02: Making Saddam change his spots
09/19/02: Bush's resolve already has paid dividends
09/17/02: Courageous Iranians
09/13/02: If you never served in the military, you have no right to an opinion
09/10/02: Why the 'air marshals' will fail
09/05/02: Resurrecting the "Happy Darky"
08/31/02: Are Bush's inactions against Iraq calculated?
08/23/02: Dems can't take the minority vote for granted any longer
08/20/02: No proof of Saddam's wrongdoing? Yeah, right
08/15/02: Mineta's war on what?
08/13/02: When Gore said he wanted to be his 'own man,' what was he thinking!?
08/08/02: Picking a tree for Cheney's hanging
08/06/02: Fears about the Department of Homeland Security are misplaced
08/01/02: The greatest strategic deception since Eisenhower convinced Hitler the Allies were going to land at the Pas de Calais?
07/30/02: State Dept.'s anti-American actions
07/26/02: Journalists are making sure Americans can't differentiate between the stock market and the economy
07/23/02: Iran's is on the verge of a social and political explosion. So why is media ignoring it?
07/17/02: FBI isn't supposed to stand for Foolish, Blind and Incompetent
07/12/02: The ICC tramples on rights Americans take for granted
07/09/02: Was LA International Airport shooting, in fact, good news?
07/02/02: What the "intelligence community" can learn from Alexander the Great
06/28/02: Muslim link in Oklahoma City bombing revisited
06/25/02: A good environmental scare needs two ingredients - an impending catastrophe, and someone to blame for it
06/21/02: Stirring the security pot
06/18/02: Why the military is so messed up
06/14/02: Vast majority $68.7 billion proposed for weapons will be spent on systems of little use in the war on terror
06/12/02: Bush saw them and raised them, and he's holding the aces
06/10/02: Some heads need to roll
06/04/02: A new draft for the 'war on terror'?
05/31/02: So the FBI has finally caught up to our priorities?
05/29/02: Taking on common sense
05/23/02: Political terrorists
05/21/02: There is a great deal to fret about, but I've never been more optimistic
05/15/02: If there is a way for America to lose the war, Gen. Tommy Franks can find it
05/13/02: Impartial justice against Americans by the UN?
05/07/02: Want to win the 'war on terror'? Reinstate the draft
05/03/02: An expanded NATO is needed as a counterweight to the UN and the EU
04/29/02: Islamic 'smarts'
04/26/02: Did Bush play his Aces with Abdullah wisely?
04/23/02: Why peace in the Mideast is closer than ever
04/19/02: What the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank gained from the "peace accords"
04/17/02: Logical Muslim allies
04/10/02: How to guarantee an infinite Mideast war
04/08/02: Saddam's American friends
04/05/02: Arab winners and sinners
04/01/02: Why is the commander of U.S. Central Command not coming clean to the American people?
03/31/02: Dubya under attack by conservatives
03/26/02: Saddam watch coming to an end?
03/21/02: Get the Jews!
03/19/02: It's time pols and gov bureaucrats be held to the same standard of accountability we insist for corporate execs
03/15/02: Khaki Throat
03/12/02: Making foreign cheaters pay
03/08/02: Timidity and indecision by senior American commanders
03/04/02: Why 9-11? Ex-CIA officials come clean
02/25/02: Don't rule out a quick victory --- even if prez says otherwise
02/21/02: Saving our military from itself
02/19/02: Front Page fiction
02/15/02: Our European allies are like the fat kid who wants to play quarterback
02/13/02: Is the Army in danger of becoming "irrelevant"?
02/11/02: So, I "propagate hatred"
02/06/02: Bush whacking the media
02/04/02: Why serious folks disregard the European Union --- and why Bush must, too
01/30/02: Give economy pneumonia in order to protect it from a cold
01/28/02: Media is its own worst enemy
01/25/02: Journalists making road to peace a bumpy ride, or: A case study in stupidity
01/23/02: Toward a stronger defense at a lower cost
01/21/02: How Bush could be Generations X and Y's Kennedy ... and guarantee a GOP victory in the midterm elections

© 2002, Jack Kelly