Being a Democrat not only means never having to say you’re sorry, but also means getting to pretend that history never happened. The Democrats’ official party website is proof of that, as its section on “Our History” declares, with all the chutzpah of the proverbail defendant who murders his parents and begs the court’s mercy on grounds of being an orphan, that:
For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers’ rights, and women’s rights. We are the party of Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, FDR, and the countless everyday Americans who work each day to build a more perfect union. Take a look at some of our accomplishments, and you’ll see why we’re proud to be Democrats.
It would be hard to offer a more tendentious reading of American history than this.
Look: if you read American history, and the history of the major political parties, you will find much that is both good and bad in their histories on the issues of race and civil rights. No serious, honest adult would claim that either party has had a historic monopoly on virtue or vice on race. I would argue that, if the Republican Party’s history since its founding in the 1850s is compared to that of the Democratic Party over the same period, the GOP’s history on issues of equal rights before the law stands up favorably against that of the opposing party – and that the GOP is at worst roughly equivalent with the Democrats over any period of a decade or more that you might choose to examine. But I do not deny that Republicans have not always been in the right on every related issue over the years.
If today’s Democrats had a shred of integrity and intellectual honesty, they would have some humility about their own history, rather than offering up the egregiously false claim that they have been on the side of the angels continuously for 200 years. 200 years ago, in 1814, our president was James Madison – a Democrat, a great man in other ways, but a slaveowner. At least four other Democrtatic presidents between then and the Civil War owned slaves, and the Democrats were the locus of national political support for slavery throughout that period. The Civil War was launched by Democrats who refused to accept …read more