When Did The Democratic and Republican Parties Switch Platforms?
America is a bipartisan society; one that relies on two distinct political voices to get the point across for a diverse and rapidly developing population. In modern day, we have the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, along with smaller and less vocal roles from Independents and random third-parties that can be classified as mere roles in the Five Ring Republican Circus. We also have to realize the history and differences between liberalism and conservatism.
Historically speaking, however, our American concept of politics hasn’t always been a liberal left and radical right. We’ve had multiple changes in what we view as politics, and what those politics actually stand for. Up until the end of the 1960s, the political parties we know today were switched.
Republicans were, then not now, the party of Lincoln — many progressives that believed in change for society, usually for good. The fact that people like Paul Ryan can even dare claim that the Republicans today are the party of Lincoln makes our 16th President roll in his grave. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, was a racist and vile group of political exorcism that only shaped up under people like Harry Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson, political machines that knew that they needed to change their outlooks to gain minority votes. Slavery existed under southern Democrats, most segregationists were those who switched from the Democratic side to the Republican side after the votes were counted. The concept of, you know, actual reform and humanity tends to shoo those sorts of people away.
But, do realize our society wasn’t even always DEMOCRAT versus REPUBLICAN. We’ve had different leading political parties in the past. For example, the Republicans were the replacement for the collapsing WHIG Party. But that’s a whole different story.
Republicanism was the platform, a new party, back in Lincoln’s day. They were a conglomeration of various northerners who happened to be former members of the Whig Party and people who wanted to develop the west around non-slavery. The Republican Platform — the original one they stood on, not the hypocritical and denouncing platform that they stand upon today — wasn’t an original one. It was a inheritance of Whig economic views and the idea of promoting growth and the belief of abolitionist behavior in our diverse society. Get this: Republicans used to want to finance infrastructure, give lots of money to education, protect American industries, and promote rapid job growth for all races! Wow, what a shocker, right?
The Democrats, at this period of time, were the more tradition-minded and conservative-leaning party. They wanted taxes to be low, and they wanted to leave most important decisions to the states, giving them a previous standpoint of being the ‘states’ rights” party. That’s definitely changed, hasn’t it? The shift that parted these two political units began after the end of the Civil War, but they would continue for over 135 years before the Republicans found themselves lost through Gilded adventures and business expansion.
After the Civil War, Republicans split into their original factions, arguing over how involved politicians get with business. So, the Republicans found themselves divided between conservative business and progressive leftists. Theodore Roosevelt is not as conservative as the Republicans wish; neither was Abraham Lincoln. The Democrats remained the “states rights’ party” until they marginalized at the national level for several decades.
How the Political Parties Switched Sides
1865 – 1875: The End of the Civil War led America through Reconstruction and the process of economic reformation that would lead the political parties through the corrupt Gilded Age; in which the Republicans began considering corporate consumerism and capitalist expenditures.
1896: William Jennings Bryan incorporated the Populist Party vote, giving the Democrats a sizable left wing on economics that they had never managed to grab in elections before. This leads to a collapse in what the foundations of political parties believed in when it came to economic policies.
1912: Theodore Roosevelt breaks from the Republicans and runs as the candidate of the Progressive Party – this makes the Republican progressive wing – once a third to a half of the Republican coalition, much less committed to the party going forward and they never really reconcile. Many people who consider themselves as progressive or liberal in policy drop from the Republican Party. Republican leadership comes more and more from its conservative wing after that.
1932 – 1945: Franklin Roosevelt essentially adopts most of the old Progressive platform and pretty much incorporates that whole vote into his Democratic coalition. This puts the party on a collision course when it comes to social policy and economic reform, but the parties start to finally take their shape. Democrats seem to switch from the “states rights’ party” to the “federal government association”. Republicans have lost most of their liberality, what linked them to men like Lincoln and T. Roosevelt.
1948: Much like how the Progressive Party / Bull Moose Party completely wiped the liberal vote from Republican existence, the Democratic Party found themselves in a similar position after the beginning conflicts of Civil Rights. Any of the Southern Democrats who seceded from the party in 1948 in opposition to its policy of extending civil rights became members of a new, and failure of, a political party — the Dixiecrats. The South lives on, boys!
1964: Lyndon Johnson essentially (and finally) completely drops the longest voting connection that the Democratic Party had: southern whites left the party in flocks. By making Civil Rights an official part of the Democratic platform, the Republicans lose basically all of what’s left of their black constituencies – which had been a significant part of their remaining progressive vote in northern urban areas. The Democrats start to hemorrhage southern whites rapidly – George Wallace, a segregationist, tries to split votes in 1968.
The process is basically complete now, liberals are Democrats and conservatives are Republicans. They have successfully switched platforms.
So Republicans, you are no longer the “Party of Lincoln”. You are the party that the Democrats once were — the party of states rights’ and segregation. A party that longs for slavery, the abolition of civil rights, xenophobia, and blatant racism. The Party is not at fault for its history, the people within the party are. The Party to the Right has adopted all the hatred and immoral justice that has always been on the right. Just because it happened under the Right when Republicans were LEFT does not mean it didn’t happen. The Republican Platform of today would not be endorsed or supported by Lincoln, or by Theodore Roosevelt. It would be endorsed by those racist bastards within the Dixiecrats, those horrendous slave owners in a once-Democratic South.
Learn history, and stop perpetuating complete nonsense.