Stop! You’re both right. It has always seemed to be the case that one has to be of a particular socio-economic status to be allowed to be considered for membership in the Republican party, and the Democrats took everyone who didn’t qualify. This is why Martin Luther King and George Wallace were Democrats at the same time.
And a lot of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act; enough to ensure its passage. But Lyndon Johnson was a Democrat, and his fingerprints were all over that bill. He railroaded a lot of legislation during his administration, first because of people wanting to show solidarity as Americans after Kennedy’s assassination, and then because he whomped the living bejesus out of Barry Goldwater.
When Johnson signed the bill into law, he lamented that the Democratic party had lost the south. And history has proved him right. Since then, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, Texas, and Florida have always voted Republican for President. Well, we can’t be sure about Florida…..
Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and stated that he believed in State’s Rights. History tells us that the southern states advanced the notion of State’s Rights to justify poll taxes, Jim Crowe laws, and other forms of discrimination and segregation. What does that have to do with Philadelphia, Mississippi? I invite you to research that part of history.
This was part of the Republican “Southern Strategy”: there was a large group of people who voted, and would never vote Democrat again. So the Republicans added a new layer of base to their party, which is pretty much the economic opposite of its major base. It’s an interesting coalition, and it has endured much longer than I expected it to. Now that the Tea Party has arrived, the party seems more schizophrenic than before.
Glenn McCoy and Gary McCoy