Before getting to the point on ‘Lincoln’, let me first state that it is a triumph of cinema! Spielberg, for anything else you can say about him, knows how to make a film! Bravo.
With that said, I expect many who see the film to be utterly flummoxed by the political debate over the 13th Amendment – after all, it is the Republicans who were anti-slavery, and some even went so far as to uphold the inherent equality of all mankind, to the utter dismay and shock of the Democrats!
Important to note here is that the debates take place in the House of Representatives during a time when the Confederacy (south) was not part of the United States! The Democrats defending slavery were from UNION (northern) states!
This shocking reversal from the conventional wisdom line of the 21st Century (that Democrats are the party of the downtrodden minorities and the Republicans are the party of the evil exploiters) was actually the reality in the 1860s, the 1960s and continues right through to today!
It was the Democrats that instituted the Jim Crow laws. The KKK was born from the Democrats. The Democrats resisted civil rights legislation. Republicans championed it!
In my prior piece http://rootshed.com/article/so-how-s-that-workin-out-for-ya I outlined some history:
Let’s start with the 60s. A time when racism was common, segregation, discrimination and bigotry were institutional, and “the man” truly was keeping the black community down.
But “the man” wasn’t your typical right-wing conservative! It was primarily the Democrats!
The early civil right movement was supported and encouraged by the GOP and conservatives. Civil rights legislation was opposed, and even filibustered, not by those evil right-wing conservatives, but by the left wing Democrats! (18 of them, including Robert Byrd)
Bull Connor, whose name is practically synonymous with racism and civil-rights opposition, was not only a Democrat; he was Democratic National Committeeman for Alabama! He ran for Governor on the Democrat ticket. He led the Alabama delegation to the 1948 Democratic National Convention to walk out over a civil-rights plank in the platform!
Another iconic Democrat, George Wallace, served as Governor of Alabama. In his Inaugural Speech, he made the following statement: “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”
Lyndon Johnson is hailed today as a liberal pioneer and champion of civil rights, but Johnson himself was a notorious racist and no lover of our black brethren. He did, however, view them as a malleable resource. He did not oppose civil rights legislation (which, by the way, was supported by the GOP and opposed by many democrats, and would never have passed without the GOP). Instead he supported it as a means of securing power for Democrats. He is famously quoted as saying “I’ll have these (n-words) voting Democrat for the next 100 years!” He was right! For the last 50 year – half of that predicted century – the black community has been a monolithic voting bloc, supporting democrats about 97%.
How’s that workin’ out for ya?
Johnson doubled down on Civil Rights – sensible, reasonable, moral and appropriate legislation – and ushered in the “War on Poverty”.
Vastly expanding on FDR’s New Deal Welfare State, Johnson ushered in a whole new culture, creating generational dependency and a paradigm of the entitlement mentality.
By providing a bare subsistence, but requiring nothing from the recipients; by subsidizing out of wedlock childbearing; by setting the “soft bigotry of low expectations”; a new “system” was created and the “underprivileged” soon learned the rules of the game to receive a meager but adequate living at government expense… without having to learn, earn or contribute to their own subsistence. Add to this the deference to the Educational Cabal which promoted the teaching unions and denied vouchers and school choice, and the urban schools became cesspools where thriving educationally was virtually impossible. A new dependency class was born – and could be counted on to vote for their “benefactors”.
Today, it continues. The Democrats make merchandise of the black community, counting on their monolithic support… but how have they benefited that community? Virtually every urban cesspool of crime, failing schools , and dependency has been run exclusively by Democrats for 20-60 years! Where’s the utopia of opportunity they continuously promise but fail to deliver?
The fact is they have no intention of ever delivering, as their power base depends on dependency. If these communities began to become educated, and residents began to be more self sufficient and successful – the power of the Democrats would erode! Therefore it is in their self interest to maintain a dependent underclass! And they work to do so, while appearing to advocate for their advancement. The reality is they’ve created a 21st century version of the plantation, and a new form of dependency enslavement!
They are also no more tolerant today of the runaway slave as they were 150 years ago! Today a successful black person, or worse, one who shuns liberalism and embraces conservative ideology, becomes a pariah. An “Uncle Tom”. An “Oreo”. A traitor to his race. Witness Juan Williams who dared question the Liberal Line. He was declared “mentally ill”!!
Perhaps it’s time to rethink the party-line conventional wisdom, and look to history and to results. Truth is sometimes surprisingly different than common perception. Who are the ones encouraging everyone, regardless of their ethnicity, to achieve their full potential? Who treats some as incapable children requiring guidance by an all encompassing nanny state?