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View Diary: We Need Better Republicans if we Want Better Democrats (54 comments)

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  •  Many of the Founding Fathers became (1+ / 0-)
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    J Edward

    Federalists, the party of big business, the party of Fear and Loathing that came out in the Alien and Sedition Acts, led by John Adams. Their opponents became the Democratic-Republican party of slavery, Nullification, and ultimately secession, led at the beginning by Thomas Jefferson with his own brand of Fear and Loathing.

    Then after the Federalists imploded, big business started the Whig Party, devoted to Laissez-Faire Free Trade and giveaways to the railroads and other industry. It imploded over slavery, giving way to the Republicans as the party of big business. Lincoln, it should be remembered, was a railroad lawyer, an expert on how railroads could protect themselves from confiscatory anti-railroad legislation, notably the Swamp Act, put through by the South. The Swamp Act allowed states to declare any land swamp, to seize it and sell it, even if it was land granted by Congress to railroads and mortgaged to anti-slavery immigrant farmers. Lincoln was a Whig before he was a Republican.

    Republicans later sold out the freed slaves to the Jim Crow "Redeemer"Democrats in the South and went in for a time with the plantation owners on keeping down free labor, Northern unions and Southern sharecroppers both.

    From time to time a President of whatever party broke out of the mold: Chester Arthur cleaned up a lot of government corruption; Teddy Roosevelt went after the Trusts; FDR went after the banks; Truman desegregated the military; LBJ went after Jim Crow and poverty in general.

    And then the bankers and the segregationists and the Christian Right made their unholy alliance in the Republican Southern Strategy, which is only now beginning to unravel, with loud and vicious resistance, with ever-more-draconian restrictions on abortion and other attacks on women, with demonization and oppression of immigrants, minorities, the poor, the middle class, the young, the old—even other Republicans. All under the banner of Constitutional Originalism, in the same way that the Confederacy had proclaimed that it was the Confederate Constitution that represented the true intentions of the Founders.

    It is all a continuous tradition.

    Of course, there are also the other even more important strands of increasing recognition of human rights, and growth in civil society and to some degree the rule of law. There will be more of it.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:20:04 PM PDT

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