Saturday, May 15

A lesson in political history

One hates to feed the trolls, but in the interests of public education, let’s look at history. Let’s go back to the 19th century: Southern Democrats were whites in the South who believed in Jacksonian Democracy. In the 1850s, they defended slavery in the U.S. and promoted its expansion westward.

After being the dominant party in U.S. politics from 1800 to about 1829, the Democratic-Republicans (see what they did there?) split into two factions. They were the federalist National Republicans and the Democrats.

The word “Democrat” had its beginnings in the South, when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison founded the Democratic-Republican party in 1793. They believed in small government and distrusted national government. After Lincoln was elected, Southern Democrats pushed for secession.

Cue a bunch of history happening, and then around the 1930s, the New Deal began to move Dems to a more left-leaning economic policy. Here’s when things split off: When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, it created a major shift of the Deep South converting to the Republican Party. So, yes, the local troll is correct: The Dems used to stand for slavery, and that would be bad no matter which party you were.

Slavery is bad. Can we all agree on that? Racism is bad. Can we all agree on that? And, unfortunately, racists exist despite party affiliations. Can we all agree on that?

To not know history? That’s totally ridiculous given the resources we have now. So, trolls claiming Democrats are racists and trolls not knowing history? Shame on you. Go do some research, for crying out loud.

Oh, and if you want to really do research, you might avoid the National Review, which is a conservative-leaning source. Or at least balance it with a liberal-leaning source.

Pat Perrier

Crest Hill

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