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D’Souza: In Sum

From Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, pp 253-255.

The British, of course, were the original culprits, ruling America from afar and slowly but systematically stealing wealth from this country. It took the American Founders—led by George Washington—to stop them.

There was no Republican Party in 1776, but the Republican Party has, from its founding in 1854, been the custodian of the principles of the American Revolution. In fact, this is what it means to be a conservative in America today; we are conserving the ideals of the nation’s founding. So conservatives and Republicans are the inheritors of the founding legacy.

A REVOLUTIONARY TRADITION

There is, admittedly, an irony in this; American conservatism is distinct in that it protects not the ancien régime or tradition per se. Rather, it protects a revolutionary tradition. Moreover, this revolutionary tradition is the tradition of classical liberalism and involves three types of freedom: political freedom, economic freedom, and freedom of thought and religion.

The Founders didn’t just care about freedom; they also cared about justice. For them, justice had two main components, the justice of economic allocation and the justice of rights. The justice of economic allocation is the justice of free market capitalism: the basic idea is that people should keep the fruits of their labor. The other main form of justice was equality of rights under the law. The Founders knew this second type of justice was betrayed by slavery; that’s why they set up institutions designed over time to get rid of that form of systematic theft.

The contradiction between the principles of the Founders and the practice of American slavery came to a head two generations later, in the Civil War. In 1860, once again America’s core principles, and indeed America’s survival as a nation, were threatened. The threat came not from “the South.” The idea that the South is wholly to blame is a progressive canard. What the canard leaves out is what caused southern secession in the first place.

Why does this matter? After all, it was the South, not the Democrats, who seceded. But the South seceded because its party, the Democratic Party, lost the election. Had the Democrats won, slavery would have been safe and the South would have remained within the union. The defeat of the pro-slavery party in 1860 caused the Civil War.

Once the Civil War started, northern Democrats like Stephen Douglas panicked. They had coddled slavery but they had not expected to carve the nation itself in two. So the northern Democrats condemned secession and pledged fealty to Lincoln. But it was a false fealty; a powerful faction of Copperhead Democrats worked overtime to undermine Republican prospects for winning the war.

The truth is that the Copperhead Democrats wanted Lincoln to lose the war. They wanted to make peace with the South so that slavery, if not extended, could at least be retained. The slogan of the Democratic Party in 1864 was to keep things just as they were before the war. In other words, restore the union but let the South have slavery.

These grim facts make it clear that it was Lincoln’s reelection, and the success of Lincoln’s armies, that ultimately sealed the fate of slavery. So slavery was not ended by “the North” because the North was divided between Lincoln loyalists and Copperhead Democrats. Slavery was actually ended by the Republican Party.

After losing the war, the Democrats could not restore slavery so they switched to enslavement. They carried out this enslavement through a series of horrific schemes aimed at blacks: the Black Codes, segregation, Jim Crow, and the domestic terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan.

Republicans again fought back with Reconstruction, going to the extent of having military governors throughout the South to thwart the Democratic effort to suppress, disenfranchise, and murder blacks. The GOP measures were heavy-handed at times but a certain amount of heavy-handedness was necessary to deal with Democratic thuggery and exploitation.

Republicans didn’t always win. They could not overturn segregation laws that were passed by Democratic legislatures, signed by Democratic governors, and enforced by Democratic sheriffs and other government officials. Republican anti-lynching bills were thwarted by one progressive Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, and then by another progressive Democrat Franklin Roosevelt. Both were allied with some of the worst racists in America.

Although GOP anti-lynching measures were defeated, the party did stop the Klan just a few years after its founding, at least until it was revived again by Democrats in the early twentieth century. Republicans also led the first civil rights revolution, which resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as well as the three Civil War amendments: the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments.

The Democrats de facto nullified these amendments, turning them into dead letters in the South and preventing blacks and other minorities from enjoying their rights for another three quarters of a century. But the GOP won in the end, even though it took a second civil rights revolution, almost a century later, to actually enforce the Civil War amendments.

Ironically it was a Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson, who introduced the Civil Rights Act, but he did so out of low political motives. The main opposition came from his own party, not from the GOP. Indeed, without Republican pressure, and without Republican votes, LBJ would not have been able to sign, and likely would not have wanted to sign, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Bill.

Contrary to progressive propaganda, the Democrats have, almost without interruption, proven to be the party of bigotry while the Republicans have a consistent record of opposition to bigotry. The Democrats are the party of subjugation and oppression while the Republicans are the party of equal rights and the level playing field. From slavery through modern progressivism, Democrats have always stolen the fruits of people’s labor while Republicans stood for letting people keep what they produce and earn.

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