Think Progress attempts to rewrite political history
Not that such an attempt should come as a huge surprise to anyone, but TP is attempting a common thing by the left – to paint the suppression of voters as a strictly Republican thing by misusing the word “conservative” and mischaracterizing history.
– JIM CROW SOUTH: In the Jim Crow South, historian Leon Litwack writes, “respectable” Southern whites justified their support for measures to disenfranchise African-Americans “as a way to reform and purify the electoral process, to root out fraud and bribery.” In North Carolina for example, conservatives insisted that literacy tests and poll taxes — which disenfranchised tens of thousands of African-Americans — were necessary to prevent “voter fraud.”
Left out is the identification of the “respectable” Southern whites, here provided context by Wikipedia:
Jim Crow laws were a product of the solidly Democratic South. Conservative white Southern Democrats, exploiting racial fear and attacking the corruption (real or perceived) of Reconstruction Republican governments, took over state governments in the South in the 1870s and dominated them for nearly 100 years, chiefly as a result of disenfranchisement of most blacks through statute and constitutions. In 1956, southern resistance to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education resulted in a resolution called the Southern Manifesto. It was read into the Congressional Record and supported by 96 southern congressmen and senators, all but two of them southern Democrats.
The above is inarguable history. Facts. That’s what happened. What the left has tried and failed to do for years is claim that “conservative Democrat” is the same as “Republican”. It is the only way they can whitewash (no pun intended) this period of history. But look at the cite from Wikipedia – what was it that these “conservative white Southern Democrats” displaced? Reconstruction Republican governments. Note the number of Southern Democrats who opposed any and all of the legislation of the Civil Rights era. All but a handful remained Democrats till they day they died. What the rewriters of history on the left want to do and try to convince you they were all really secret Republicans.
But who was it that opposed the integration of Little Rock’s Central High School and caused Republican President Eisenhower to send in federal troops to see it was done? A life long Democrat. Who was the Senator that was against all manner of integration and equality for blacks and was also a mentor to former President Bill Clinton? A life long Democrat. Who was it who participated in the Senate filibuster of civil rights legislation and was a former member of the KKK? A life long Democrat.
Jim Crow was a result of Democratic politics not Republican politics. Republicans were not welcome in the South during that era. The use of the word “conservative” as a means of deception is apparent and transparent. The fact that the South was solidly Democratic during the civil rights era with only 2 Republicans tells the real story. How the Democrats ever managed the slight of hand that has them become the heroes of the civil rights era is a lesson in and of itself of the power of propaganda.
In the case of Think Progress, the entire point of the post is to use misleading and anecdotal evidence in an attempt to claim that “conservatives”, i.e. Republicans, have engaged in the suppression of minority voters for years, when, in fact, it has been the Democrats. And it is to confuse attempts at guarding the integrity of the voting system (such as requiring a photo ID to vote) with such repression.
It’s a hack job and a pretty shoddy one too boot. But then, we’re talking Think Progress here … no surprises encountered.