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ETpro's avatar

Which US political party is pushing for equality today?

Asked by ETpro (34216 points ) October 6th, 2010

This cartoon got me thinking about who really stands for equality today. Now I am not for one moment suggesting the Glenn Beck, Michael Savage or David Duke with their overt racism and routine race baiting speak for all Republicans, even if they do speak to a great number of them. But I keep seeing articles and blogs like this one trying to claim the equality high ground for today’s Republican Party. Typically, they hark back to Republican actions from the Civil War up to 50 years ago or so. And the truth is that the Northeastern Limousine Liberal wing of the Republican Party was the champion of ending slavery and of ending racial segregation in the solidly Democratic Dixiecrat South of that day.

Republican articles that attempt to take the equality high ground typically point to the fact that Democratic Senator Byrd of West Virginia was once a Grand Wizard of the KKK. But Byrd left the Klan in 1943. He later lamented that joining the Klan was the worst mistake of his entire life. Republicans point out that the segregationist South was solidly Democratic. They don’t mention that those Democrats were staunch conservatives called Dixiecrats, and that after President Johnson sent federal troops into Alabama to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Dixiecrats switched to the Republican Party and the South has been reliably Republican now for nearly 50 years. In fact, Republicans quite deliberately crafted their Southern Strategy to win control of the South by working in the 1970s to win the vote for Southern blacks knowing that blacks would vote Democratic and this would drive Southern whites to the Republican side.

So let’s set aside what happened 50 or 100 years ago. The liberal Rockefeller Republicans of 50 years ago or more would be instantly labeled as RINOs and drummed out of today’s far-right Republican Party. This question is about the here and now. What does the action of each party say? Be it blacks, Latinos, Muslims, atheists, gays, or women; which party really wants to level the playing field? Who is for equality and who is for one privileged group being favored over all others?

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12 Answers

MeinTeil's avatar

It depends on what ‘equality’ is to you.

To the Right: Get government out of the way of people wanting to exploit their equal chance for success.

To the left: control everything including ‘opportunity’ so everyone can be equally oppressed and miserable.

ETpro's avatar

@MeinTeil Government was out of the way of equal rights for women and for balcks for over a hundred years. Government staying out of the way didn’t win the vote for women, or end Jim Crow laws exploiting blacks.

So are you saying that the way forward is to get rid of the Civil Rights Act as Rand Paul favors, repeal the Nineteenth Amendment. Get government out of enforcing fairness and just trust that everyoone will do the right thing if left to themselves. If everybody always does the right thing, what do we need any laws for?

mammal's avatar

@ETpro interesting, get rid of the Government, a lot of right wingers like MeinTeil are crypto anarchists, ironically, because unless you are an advocate of collective responsibility and the most radical form of equality, you must mean something akin to the wild west with its law of the quick and the dead, or some bizarre feudal state, or a state of nature with the war of all against all.

crisw's avatar

@MeinTeil

“Get government out of the way of people wanting to exploit their equal chance for success.”

um…so why do the Republicans oppose gay marriage?

MeinTeil's avatar

Can’t say, this conservative doesn’t.

You aren’t accounting for any Democrats that oppose it.

josie's avatar

Neither party

crisw's avatar

@MeinTeil

This question is about parties, not individuals. The Republican Party opposes gay marriage.

Zyx's avatar

You lost me at “There are only two US political parties”.

ETpro's avatar

@josie There is certainly some truth to that, but relatively speaking, I think there is a night and day difference between the Republican position and the Democratic stance.

@Zyx You wrote, “There are only two US political parties”. Nobody else said that. Certainly true Libertarians are in favor of equality as in let’s all play king of the mountain. But realistically, right now, there are only two political parties in America that stand any chance of winning a governing majority. So those are the two I’m currently paying attention to.

Zyx's avatar

@ETpro I meant my interest in American politics wained once I found out there are only two parties. My objection being that two parties are not enough to have any kind of democracy. Actually, I disapprove of parties as a whole. Political parties have an unfair advantage in elections and they redistribute votes, it’s completely unsafe. You currently have no guarantee Obama is not a chinese mobster, ridiculous as that example may be.

What I meant to imply when saying ‘You lost me at “There are only two US political parties” ’ is that “your” entire democracy is a facade.

ETpro's avatar

@Zyx I understand. Our first President, George Washington, warned against the danger of political parties and disdained the idea in his own political life. But truth be told, with the cost of media buys today, we are either going to have parties, total public financing of campaigns (and if there were no parties and we did that, half the country would likely run) or government by and for the wealthiest people in the nation.

It would be a far more interesting political landscape though if we could have three or four viable parties instead of just two. Maybe if the Republican Party leans so far to the right that they fall completely over, something like that will emerge.

mammal's avatar

if one were to represent the two parties policies or _ weltanschauung _ if you like, as a Venn diagram the intersected area would be larger than the non intersected area put together. American politics is miserably lacking in diversity, so America is theoretically a one party state, in all but name. Certainly from a European perspective that’s how it appears.

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