Following the War of Northern Aggression and Reconstruction, the South was so anti-Republican (Lincoln) that they remained a Democratic stronghold until 1980 when Ronald Reagan entered the scene as a State’s Rights Republican candidate for President of the United States. In the South, old wounds take time to heal, especially when one considers the wounds that it suffered during that war.
Reagan did something different as he entered the scene as a Republican candidate, he gave the South respect… and assurance. An act that the media and ultra-liberals still condemn him for today.
Digging through some news archives I found the transcript for an episode of the PBS program “News Hour” which aired on Ronald Reagan’s 90th birthday on February 6, 2001
The show had a panel discussion in which Roger Wilkins had this to say about Reagan:
“Well, every once in a while Reagan would just send out these laser beam signals that were crystal clear. His first speech in his campaign in 1980 was in Philadelphia, Mississippi, which nobody outside of Mississippi had ever heard of except for one thing and that was that three civil rights workers were killed there in 1964. Reagan said then I’m for states rights. If you say I’m for states rights in Mississippi, everybody knows what you’re talking about. Some years later he went to Atlanta and he said Jefferson Davis is a hero of mine.”
I don’t believe Reagan was sending out “racist” call signs, rather he was reassuring Southern voters that he was not a “Radical Republican” who was out to punish the South, but a new Republican that believed in the same ideals that they did. The result was a remarkable shift in Southern political demographics. The Democratic Party saw a mass exodus of conservative Southerners , who followed Reagan into the Republican party.
This led to a resounding victory for the Republicans and a unified Republican Party that believed in small government, states rights and mutual respect.
Recent political events have seen a very large shift in the way Republicans are doing business. No longer are they content to be unified under a banner of mutual respect for different regions of the country. In fact, one can argue that there is a movement away from states rights. Consider this:
In early 2004 Missouri Governor Bob Holden ordered the Confederate flags removed off of the Higginsville Confederate Cemetery, and Fort Davidson State Historic site. Republican Senators Kit Bond and Jim Talent agreed with the decision.
If the “Civil War” finally ended in most of the South in 1980, it was far from over in Missouri. Republicans would not retake the state until November, 2004. Senator Peter Kinder wrote in the December 12th, 2004 issue of the Southeast Missourian that:
“Today, as with the rest of rural and small-town America, all of rural Missouri is red. More than 13 decades after Appomattox, the Missouri Senate is Republican by a 23-11 margin. The Civil War era has finally ended in Missouri.”
Instead of treating the South as an equal, the Republicans have , once again, treated her as if she was a conquered foe, as I wrote for Op-Ed news on December 2, 2007:
“Following his 2004 victory , Governor Matt Blunt could not commit himself to fully restoring the flags, but rather tried to appease the electorate by “allowing” the Confederate banner to fly during the annual Confederate Memorial Day Service in Higginsville, Missouri, but this too proved to be too much to ask of our new Governor, as the pole that used to fly the banner at Higginsville ,has been removed.Our House Speaker who once promised me that I would once again see our Southern banners flying again in 2004, sung a very different tune in 2007 when he co-sponsored Radical Muslim Representative Talibdin El-Amin’s (a Democrat from St. Louis) Slavery Apology Bill…Earlier this year both Governor Blunt and House Speaker Jetton endorsed Mitt Romney for President. On Romney’s Missouri expense report appear two very familiar names:
“Jill A. Blunt, wife of Andy Blunt, has her expense listed as “In Kind – Travel” for $1411.80 on 3/29/07.Jim Talent also had a travel expense, to the tune of $800.20 on 1/02/07.”
Blunt and Talent have both openly supported Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, a program born in Lawrence , Kansas used to re-write history, threaten property rights and implement global programs in Missouri.Our Lt. Governor, Peter Kinder has endorsed, (you guessed it) Fred Thompson.Peter Kinder stated that the Civil War ended in Missouri in 2004. It is most evident that the Reconstruction of our state hasn’t.”
If anyone thinks that the attitude of the GOP towards Missouri has changed, then I direct you to the October 5, 2010 edition of The Pitch blog , which covers the antics of Junior GOP activist Dakotah Parshall:
“You know what’s funny? Confederate flags and masturbation puns.
Or at least they’re funny to Dakotah Parshall, University of Missouri fraternity member and budding political strategist. Parshall is learning the campaign trade by stalking congressional candidate Stephene Moore with a video camera. Parshall works for Axiom Strategies, a sharp-elbowed shop that Moore’s opponent, Kevin Yoder, has paid $105,000.
Parshall performs what’s known as “opposition research,” the polite term for dirt digging. Every campaign conducts does it. Axiom Strategies, which is led by Jeff Roe, the man to whom U.S. Rep. Sam Graves owes his political career, takes it up a notch. Roe’s minions harass opponents as much as they document them.
So how do the tables look when they’re turned? Here’s an image of Parshall apparently gearing up for a college event with a “white trash” theme. (Parshall is a member of the Mizzou chapter of Alpha Gamma Sigma.) Marshall went with an outfit from the Toby Keith Collection, dandifying his ensemble with a hat that celebrates the two great pastimes of fishing and beating off.
Reached for comment, Roe says he does not condone Parshall’s behavior. “I’m disappointed by it,” Roe says. “I personally commit to making this a learning experience for Dakotah, both personally and professionally. He’s a good kid at heart. But this is a mistake.”
Is Parshall a racially insensitive twerp or just a participant in an inherently stupid party activity? You decide, Third District!”
Parshall isn’t making fun of minorities in the image on the left, he is making fun of Southerners, who he apparently considers “white trash”. Can anyone honestly read this story about the “future of the GOP” and come to the conclusion that the Republicans are still our friends?