Is the Republican Party again being true to its tradition of standing for progress and liberalism in the proper meaning of those two words? Slowly, and maybe only because of heavy pressure from the Tea Party, it is inching in the right direction and may yet save America from the economic and political calamities Obama has organized for the nation. It must overcome its timidity and recover the boldness that characterized it in the past.
Let’s recall some of the achievements of its bold past. For one thing, the Republican Party has always, from its inception, been the party that best served the interests of black Americans. Is it now?
In his Townhall column today, titled Blacks and Republicans, Thomas Sowell writes:
Blacks are being forced out of San Francisco, and out of other communities on the San Francisco peninsula, by high housing prices.
At one time, housing prices in San Francisco were much like housing prices elsewhere in the country. But the building restrictions– and outright bans– resulting from the political crusades of environmentalist zealots sent housing prices skyrocketing in San Francisco, San Jose and most of the communities in between. Housing prices in these communities soared to about three times the national average. …
With all the Republican politicians’ laments about how overwhelmingly blacks vote for Democrats, I have yet to hear a Republican politician publicly point out the harm to blacks from such policies of the Democrats as severe housing restrictions, resulting from catering to environmental extremists.
If the Republicans did point out such things as building restrictions that make it hard for most blacks to afford housing, even in places where they once lived, they would have the Democrats at a complete disadvantage.
It would be impossible for the Democrats to deny the facts, not only in coastal California but in similar affluent strongholds of liberal Democrats around the country. Moreover, environmental zealots are such an important part of the Democrats’ constituencies that Democratic politicians could not change their policies.
Although Republicans would have a strong case, none of that matters when they don’t make the case in the first place. The same is true of the effects of minimum wage laws on the high rate of unemployment among black youths. Again, the facts are undeniable, and the Democrats cannot change their policy, because they are beholden to labor unions that advocate higher minimum wages.
Yet another area in which Democrats are boxed in politically is their making job protection for members of teachers’ unions more important than improving education for students in the public schools. No one loses more from this policy than blacks, for many of whom education is their only chance for economic advancement.
But none of this matters so long as Republicans who want the black vote think they have to devise earmarked benefits for blacks, instead of explaining how Republicans’ general principles, applied to all Americans, can do more for blacks than the Democrats’ welfare state approach.
As we stressed in our post, Democrats for slavery, secession, segregation, socialism, December 7, 2009: The Republican Party was founded to end slavery, and the greatest fighter of them all against slavery was Republican President Abe Lincoln.
Lincoln was personally responsible for making the Thirteenth Amendment what it is – the amendment that forbids slavery in the United States of America.
This is from Great American History:
The final version of the Thirteenth Amendment – the one ending slavery – has an interesting story of its own. Passed during the Civil War years, when southern congressional representatives were not present for debate, one would think today that it must have easily passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Not true. As a matter of fact, although passed in April 1864 by the Senate, with a vote of 38 to 6, the required two-thirds majority was defeated in the House of Representatives by a vote of 93 to 65. Abolishing slavery was almost exclusively a Republican party effort – only four Democrats voted for it.
It was then that President Abraham Lincoln took an active role in pushing it through congress. He insisted that the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment be added to the Republican party platform for the upcoming presidential elections. He used all of his political skill and influence to convince additional democrats to support the amendments’ passage. His efforts finally met with success, when the House passed the bill in January 1865 with a vote of 119-56. Finally, Lincoln supported those congressmen that insisted southern state legislatures must adopt the Thirteenth Amendment before their states would be allowed to return with full rights to Congress.
And the Republican Party continued to be the pro-black party, fighting Democratic racism. In fact, all the important genuinely “progressive” legislation was passed by the Republicans, as this article relates:
Republicans in Congress also enacted the nation’s first-ever Civil Rights Act, which extended citizenship and equal rights to people of all races, all colors, and all creeds.In 1875, the Republicans expanded these protections to give all citizens the right of equal access to all public accommodations. Struck down by the Supreme Court eight years later, this landmark legislation would be reborn as the 1964 Civil Rights Act..
Which only became law after overcoming a Democratic filibuster.
Every single African-American in Congress until 1935 was a Republican. Among the Republican pioneers were South Carolina’s Joseph Rainey, the first black member of the House of Representatives, in 1870. Republican Hiram Revels of Mississippi became the first black U. S. Senator the same year. Two years later, Pinckney Pinchback of Louisiana became the nation’s first black Governor…
Democratic opposition to Republican efforts to protect the civil rights of all Americans lasted not only throughout Reconstruction, but well into the 20th century. In the South, those Democrats who most bitterly opposed equality for blacks founded the Ku Klux Klan, which operated as the party’s terrorist wing.
Women’s emancipation was also effected chiefly by Republicans:
Republicans led the fight for women’s rights, and most suffragists were Republicans. In fact, Susan B. Anthony bragged about how, after voting (illegally) in 1872, she had voted a straight Republican ticket. The suffragists included two African-American women who were also co-founders of the NAACP: Ida Wells and Mary Terrell, great Republicans, both of them. …
It was in 1916 that the first woman was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Jeannette Rankin. The first woman mayor was elected in 1926, the Honorable Bertha Landes of Seattle, another great Republican.
California was the first state to have a Hispanic governor, Republican Romualdo Pacheco, in 1875. The first Hispanic U. S. Senator, Octaviano Larrazolo, came to Washington from New Mexico as a Republican in 1928. The first Jewish U.S. Senator outside the former Confederacy was a Republican from Oregon, Joseph Simon, and the first Jewish woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives was a California Republican, Florence Kahn. …
The first woman on the Supreme Court was a Republican [at least she was when she was appointed -JB], Sandra Day O’Connor.
The first Asian-Americans and Hispanics appointed to powerful positions were Republicans:
The first Asian-American U.S. Senator was a Republican, Hiram Fong from Hawaii. The first African-American Senator after Reconstruction was a Republican, Ed Brooke from Massachusetts. The first Asian-American federal judge was a Republican, Herbert Choy… The first Hispanic presidential Cabinet member was a Republican, Lauro Cavazos, Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan.
What the Republicans need now is a powerful leader who will succeed as president the incompetent, ignorant, immature community-organizer who bends to the left and bows to Islam.
We have not yet spotted him or her.