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After seeing the new film 'Lincoln', I'd like to know - at what point in time did the Republicans start becoming the party of the rich ?


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Initial post: Nov 17, 2012 9:15:27 AM PST
Steven Spielberg's fantastic new film 'Lincoln' clearly shows how it was the Republicans - not the Democrats - that pushed through the constitutional amendment to free the slaves. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

So I'm curious : what were the central events in history that switched the Republicans over to becoming the party of the rich and the Democrats becoming the favored political party of African-Americans ? Was it the arrival of FDR ? Or was it LBJ pushing through the Civil Rights Act ? Or was it something else ? I'd like to hear opinions on this.

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 9:18:59 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 9:30:38 AM PST
Debunker says:
What state's rights have been abolished in the South? Besides that quaint "right" to treat other human beings as property, of course.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 9:33:40 AM PST
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Posted on Nov 17, 2012 9:33:41 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 9:35:33 AM PST
The south also continued to vote primarily Democratic until after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act. However, looking at the way Democratic senators and representatives in the south used to vote, they might as well have been Republicans. I look at it as they basically became honest with themselves - at heart and in practice, they were NOT Democrats (unfortunately).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 11:30:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 11:33:50 AM PST
freedom4all says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 12:07:39 PM PST
Debunker says:
"This exposes the real Lincoln".

Sure it does, Jethro.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 12:25:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 12:25:45 PM PST
freedom4all says:
Is that some kind of rebuttal?
Name calling-really?

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 2:12:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2012 1:13:06 PM PST
DarthRad says:
The thing is that both the Republican and Democratic Parties have mutated over the years.

Certain presidents, through their force of personality have been able to drag their party, kicking and screaming sometimes, into totally different directions.

For instance, after the Civil War, there were a whole series of utterly forgettable presidents, mostly Republican, who were laissez-faire to the point of doing almost nothing. This was the Gilded Age, where the robber barons, billionaire oligarchs of their era, essentially ruled the United States.

Teddy Roosevelt, Republican Progressive and reformer changed all of that, but it is important to see him as an aberration. He was forced upon William McKinley as a vice-presidential candidate, McKinley running on a very pro-business platform. Assassination changed all of that and brought Teddy into the presidency. Roosevelt then started the series of anti-trust reforms and other reforms of the US government (e.g., the beginnings of the FDA) which started to change America. His successor, Taft, continued some of those reforms, but had a much more conservative bent that continued long after.

After Woodrow Wilson, Harding basically flipped the Republican Party back to the side of business again. This continued through to Hoover. This was the era of the Taft Republicans, known for their isolationism and limited government politics.

After the long drought of FDR and Truman, the Republican Party was inches of flipping back to the Taft Republicans, until wiser heads prevailed and nominated Eisenhower as the Republican nominee. Eisenhower was a fiscal conservative, but was otherwise closer to the Democrats. Unlike Robert Taft, who wanted to roll back the New Deal programs and back into isolationism, Eisenhower supported a strong role for America in the world and supported government programs like the New Deal and created new ones, starting the National Highway system, and federal funding for education.

Nixon was very similar in his political style as his mentor Eisenhower (you can tell how much Nixon admired Eisenhower because his daughter married Ike's grandson, the otherwise goofy looking David Eisenhower). Ford was also very much a moderate Republican.

Republicans of this era supported the basic New Deal social programs, supported fiscal responsibility, and supported business in general, but did not go overboard in their support for the wealthy. You have to remember that Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford all grew up in very modest circumstances.

Reagan was the first of the Republicans who made taxation sound like a dirty word. I think he wanted to reduce tax rates so as to reduce the role of government, but it was never his world view to favor the rich or belittle the poor. Reagan still had an appeal to the working class, and would have never, ever been caught on tape railing about the "47%", or about how Obama won only because of "gifts" to his supporters.

Bush Jr. was the one who really started tilting things towards Republican contractors etc. And Mitt Romney is in a class all by himself as far as favoring the rich.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 5:28:40 PM PST
Debunker says:
Awwwwww. Here's a hanky.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 5:40:47 PM PST
DarthRad,

Interesting and informative summation on your part. I always thought that Ford was from a wealthy background, though. I'll take your word that he wasn't because it seems that you know your facts pretty well.

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 10:47:28 PM PST
You have to forgive Debunker.He is one of those pseudo omniscient sobs that lay in wait to ambush people so that he can feel empowered.In reality he is a coward and insecure individual who doesn't fit in well with people thus his attacks and name calling while being in cognito.Low down suckers like him are dime a dozen on the internet as can be observed at any time or any place.You can bet that in person he is well reserved and fantasizes about being the omnipotent super commentor but he can't find an adequate super hero costume that the public will accept as genuine.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2012 6:01:35 AM PST
Debunker says:
Hey Larry,

How does my pointing out the idiocy of clowns like you make me "..a coward and insecure individual who doesn't fit in well with people, etc. etc."?

Looking forward to what's sure to be an idiotic response, since you'll be making it.

Thanks!!!

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 1:28:54 PM PST
DarthRad says:
Robert Bykowski,

Ford's biological father was wealthy, but his mother divorced (because of domestic violence) and remarried, and Ford's stepfather was fairly middle class. Here's an interesting bit from wikipedia on Ford:

------------------------
Ford was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr., on July 14, 1913, at 3202 Woolworth Avenue in Omaha, Nebraska, where his parents lived with his paternal grandparents. His mother was Dorothy Ayer Gardner, and his father was Leslie Lynch King, Sr., a wool trader and son of prominent banker Charles Henry King and Martha Alicia King (née Porter). Dorothy separated from King just sixteen days after her son's birth. She took her son with her to the Oak Park, Illinois home of her sister Tannisse and brother-in-law, Clarence Haskins James. From there, she moved to the home of her parents, Levi Addison Gardner and Adele Augusta Ayer in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dorothy and King divorced in December 1913; she gained full custody of her son. Ford's paternal grandfather Charles Henry King paid child support until shortly before his death in 1930.[4]

Ford later said his biological father had a history of hitting his mother.[5] James M. Cannon, a member of the Ford administration, wrote in a Ford biography that the Kings' separation and divorce were sparked when, a few days after Ford's birth, Leslie King threatened Dorothy with a butcher knife and threatened to kill her, Ford, and Ford's nursemaid. Ford later told confidantes that his father had first hit his mother on their honeymoon for smiling at another man.[6]

After two and a half years with her parents, on February 1, 1916, Dorothy married Gerald Rudolff Ford, a salesman in a family-owned paint and varnish company. They then called her son Gerald Rudolff Ford, Jr. The future president was never formally adopted, however, and he did not legally change his name until December 3, 1935; he also used a more conventional spelling of his middle name.[7] He was raised in Grand Rapids with his three half brothers by his mother's second marriage: Thomas Gardner Ford (1918-1995), Richard Addison Ford (born 1924), and James Francis Ford (1927-2001).

Ford also had three half-siblings from his father's second marriage: Marjorie King (1921-1993), Leslie Henry King (1923-1976), and Patricia Jane King (born 1925). They never saw one another as children and he did not know them at all. Ford was not aware of his biological father until he was 17, when his parents told him about the circumstances of his birth. That year his father Leslie King, whom Ford described as a "carefree, well-to-do man who didn't really give a damn about the hopes and dreams of his firstborn son", approached Ford while he was waiting tables in a Grand Rapids restaurant. The two "maintained a sporadic contact" until Leslie King, Sr.'s death.[5][8]

Ford maintained his distance emotionally, saying, "My stepfather was a magnificent person and my mother equally wonderful. So I couldn't have written a better prescription for a superb family upbringing."[9]
----------------

Ford was a strong supporter of the ERA and Roe vs. Wade, married a strong (and divorced) woman, Betty Ford, and you see how his early life affected his attitude towards women.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 6:11:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2012 1:47:28 PM PST
W.T. says:
Both parties have ALWAYS been controlled by the rich primarily, and neither has ever really tried to change that fact (other than disingenuous rhetoric aimed at voters that both have used at times).

This is just the way the real world works. People with money are more able to make things happen. Ergo, they end up running any such political body. This is not necessarily a bad thing, nor a good one. It's just a structural inevitability in a real-world society.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 10:51:47 AM PST
Greg Goebel says:
"Remember the Golden Rule!"

"What's that?"

"Whoever has the gold -- makes the rules!"

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 10:57:54 AM PST
libloon2 says:
Robert Bykowski says: //what were the central events in history that switched the Republicans over to becoming the party of the rich...//

The civil war itself made the "industrial" north, even more rich. The progression just followed from that.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 11:47:23 PM PST
DarthRad says:
Bill,
"Both parties have ALWAYS been controlled by the rich primarily, and neither has ever really tried to change that fact"

You forget about FDR and his New Deal, and LBJ and his Great Society programs. These were the basic building blocks of the social safety net for the poor and downtrodden of America that the Taliban Tea Party hates so much and wants to roll back.

Teddy Roosevelt would be right in there as a reformer for good government. But things were so horrible back then in the days before "guvment regulation" that what he did would be regarded as basic to any modern society.

Imagine going back to the days where there was no FDA regulation of slaughterhouses and they could just put whatever they felt like into sausages. America had a truly unregulated free market back then and things got pretty ugly.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 12:02:05 AM PST
Astrocat says:
In 1886 there was a Supreme Court judgement - Santa Clara vs The Southern Pacific, that stated that corporations are people, or at least must be treated the same as individual persons. That's when the ball really got rolling.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 5:31:52 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012 5:33:19 AM PST
W.T. says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 11:42:57 AM PST
Astrocat says:
Bill, the "blueblood elitist" saved this country from a much worse disaster than would have been the case. If it hadn't been for the CCC and the WPA, and his other social programs, even the 2nd WW wouldn't have been enough to bring us back from the brink.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 11:58:06 AM PST
King's Kid says:
I'm not rich and I am a conservative. Party labels are useless.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 12:06:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012 12:08:19 PM PST
W.T. says:
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Posted on Nov 20, 2012 12:50:39 PM PST
Greg Goebel says:
Bill says:
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No.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 1:33:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012 2:01:18 PM PST
When Republican leaders like Lincoln and Thaddeus Stevens were no longer around, the Republican Party quickly succumbed to the Iron Law of Oligarchy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaddeus_Stevens

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  Nov 17, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 11, 2013

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