Skip to comments.Question: can someone explain to me the demographic switch of the solid south?
Posted on 04/18/2013 2:14:07 PM PDT by Epsdude
Sorry for this unusual post. I'm probably the youngest one this site so you can imagine I've got a lot to learn in politics, but one thing has always puzzled me.
I know that Republicans broke away from the Whigs to oppose the pro-slavery Democrats but the change in party demographics since then has perplexed me.
I recently saw this picture: http://manwiththemuckrake.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/slavery-2012.jpg
I'm just curious, what caused such a radical shift in the solid south? Some people accredit this to an 'ideological party switch' but that seems rather implausible to me. So what did cause this arbitrary shift and, also why did the black vote slowly drift over to the Democrats?
The shift all has everything to do with “freebies” at taxpayer’s expense.
Abortion and social conservatism, and patriotism, led Southern conservatives into the Republican party as the democrats became a party of social liberalism, anti-Americanism, and government, and continued racism.
The white south almost always voted Democratic because they associated Republicans with Lincoln. The major shift began in 1964, when Johnson supported the Civil Rights Act and Goldwater opposed it.
I was having computer issues also and missed the part about blacks, I thought that you meant white southerners.
The switch for blacks was instant and took place in 1936.
1932 was a normal election with blacks going about 71% republican, they had always voted republican before that, but in 1936 blacks switched to about 71% democrat, and they have voted democrat ever since.
It would probably take a long explanation, possibly a very long one but for my family it was Jimmy Carter.
My Father was a Yellow Dog Democrat as was his Father before him. When I was young in the 50s and 60s, winning the Democratic primary meant you won the race. This was in the Florida Panhandle.
I think Lyndon Johnson and his regime probably made him begin to doubt but Jimmy Carter sent him over the edge. It was about that time that this area also began to have a real two party system.
Ideological party switch. The ideologies of the two main parties diverged in the 1960s. The Democrats became the party of centralized government and government spending. The Republicans became the party of small government and individual liberties.
(I know that both parties are prolific spenders, just pointing out the ideological differences)
As the parties started redefining themselves through those visions, the Republican party started becoming the party of the pro-life movement, gun rights advocates, and pro-Christian heritage. The Democrat party started becoming the party of pro-choice, gun control, and post-Christian modernism.
By the mid-80s, most of the pro-life, pro-gun, Christian Democrats in the south felt betrayed by their party and switched (see Zell Miller). Many of those who were New England Republicans are now New England Democrats for the same reason.
As for blacks switching to the Democrat party, the late 60s is where you want to look. In the early 60s, the Republicans pushed through the Civil Rights Acts (granted, Kennedy was a firm supporter, but most Democrats were not). But Johnson saw that he could essentially buy the black vote by creating a welfare state that would be self-sustaining. His ‘War on Poverty’ and ‘New Society’ initiatives poured money into the poor black communities and the vast majority of blacks switched party loyalties.
“I’m just curious, what caused such a radical shift in the solid south?”
Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, forced integration, and school busing created the red south.
This video will catch you up to date as to what is now so just pick a subject form the video and backtrack a bit to your interests.
Nope. The Republicans were the new face of the Know Nothings. They were not anti-slavery Whigs. The Whigs that merged into the Republican party were mainly the hard core central bank/protective tariff/corporate welfare Whigs (of which Lincoln was a fervent member). A few other weird northern parties, such as the Anti-Mason party, also threw in their lot. The unifying theme of the Republican party was that it was a pro North and anti South, a purely sectional party. On every issue the Republican party aligned itself with the interests of the North. The party didn't even run any candidates in the South. The legend that the Republican party was somehow an anti-slavery party was invented after the war.
First of all, though many are horrified by this suggestion, Dems and Repub principles essentially flip-flopped c1915. Sorry, but Repubs were the statists.
Then, stubborn Southerners, unable to let go of the Civil War especially if they or their parents had any history with it, refused to recognize this fact long after. Grandchildren and so on finally starting seeing this generations later. Hence the growth toward Repubs.
May you also note how Northeast was the Repub, and has long been known as commie Dems.
There is a reason for this. They are not the same parties.
As the Democrats -- once the agrarian, free trade party, then the party of the poorer South and West -- became more urban and liberal, the outlying areas of the South started to drift to the Republicans: Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Florida.
The Deep South was Democrat until the Second Reconstruction -- the civil rights movement and civil rights acts of the 1960s -- or even later if we're talking about Congressional delegations.
As the older Senators and Congressmen died off and their seniority was lost, Southern states moved more firmly into the Republican column for ideological reasons, the Republicans having become the party of less government.
See Alan Stang’s GOP: Red From The Start...
Semper Trvth !!!!!
Hey, what happened to FL?
They supported a stronger federal government back when no federal government would be as powerful as it is today.
But Democrats found their own ways to be "statist" back then, whether we're talking about Jim Crow or W.J. Bryan's plan to nationalize the railroads.
The Democrats, who used to call themselves "The Party of Personal Liberty", went over to the dark side in 1896 when they nominated the Progressive William Jennings Bryan.
BTW, without Republican votes none of the civil rights laws of that era would have passed.
The BIG reason white Souvrn'rs moved to Republicans was the Republicans began running Republicans for office for every position ~ and that was because the Democrats had quit murdering Republican candidates.
Only Democrat 'historians' believe the Souf' was as solidly Democrat as it seemed to be ~ more reliable and rational political analysts believe the Republican demiurge always existed and it was just a matter of time until the Republicans would tap into it.
Cool. Who did we get sold to? Am I a Fascist now?
Yes, and let's not forget his support for the inflationist "free silver" movement.
Before 1936 blacks voted republican, after 1932, blacks voted democrat.
The rise of the social conservative movement as the pro-life and family values elements coalesced as a political force in the late 70s/early 80s. Prior to that time, socially conservative voters were distributed more evenly between the parties. After Roe v Wade, the Republicans were able to pull southern social conservatives out of the Democrat party as the parties took sides in the culture war.
The shift came because the democrat party that supplied money to the farmers to keep them loyal became very anti-Christian. The Bible belt could not vote for what they considered evil (abortion, gay issues, etc.) they were forced to chose between God or farm subsidies and God won.
The majority of southerners are God fearing, gun toting, pro-life, and religious people. When the Democrat party became the big government, welfare party, the south changed to the GOP. It really took off with the election of Ronald Reagan.
Yeah, I’m making a very rough estimate, given that, Teddy’s proclivities, Wilson’s proclivities, Repub pres in the ‘20s, and everywhere else!
You said it.
Did blacks really change that much for FDR? I assumed, but wasn’t sure. Always mentioned is LBJ but I think he just solidified it and made it 95%.
I’ll have to get hammered on margaritas and channel his spirit then.
They bring their dysfunctional BS with them.
Not true. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was drafted by Republicans at Eisenhower’s request in the 1950’s. It was defeated by the Democrat majority Congress. After violence erupted in the 1960’s, Kennedy quietly asked the Republicans to resurrect it. It finally passed under Johnson with 80% support from Republicans and only 60% support from Democrats. The switch is the result of successful lies by the Democrats and their taking all of the credit for the Civil Rights Act. Of course, there is more to it, but I wanted to correct the key point.
There are lots of reasons but, first, thanks for asking, it’s a great question.
We can discuss what happened after the Civil War and you will probably get as many different responses as there are members of FreeRepublic. I can pick things up in the 50’s and bring you forward from there.
In the deep South, in particular, segregation ran rampant. You may not recall the forced school integration that occurred in Arkansas with Gov. Faubus and Alabama with then Gov. George Wallace blocking the doors of Unversity of Alabama until he was “persuaded” by the federal troops protecting the first black kids to enter the school. That was the South that I mostly grew up in.
In those days, even public water fountains were segregated into “white only” and “black only” water fountains. When I was 4 or 5, my mom and I were in a bus station and I went to get a drink from one of the fountains. A gentleman approached my mom and told her that I was drinking out of the “black only” fountain. My mom replied that it was ok, I couldn’t read!
Attitudes like that gradually eased the racial segregation of the South, but it took decades. The 60s saw some of the most violent clashes between blacks and whites, usually following a visit by Dr. Martin Luther King. And, as blacks tried integrating white neighborhoods, it gave rise to something called “white flight” in which whites moved from those neighborhoods into other all white neighborhoods. This eventually led to a Supreme Court suit that brought busing to the South in which kids were bused from all black neighborhoods to all white schools.
It was all very ugly. At the voting booth, blacks were generally charged a “poll tax” of ~$2 so they could vote in a given election. Others were forced to take literacy tests or other means that were intended to keep them from voting. This ultimately led us to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Also, during this time, most southern states were dominated by Democrats who went out of their way to convince blacks that they were on their side. They did a good job of what I call “show ‘n tell” in presenting a facade to southern blacks of actually caring about them. History (and 20/20 hindsight) proves that the opposite was true. The Democrats gave the blacks table scraps and made them think they were getting a sumptuous meal while, at the same time, the Democrats were portraying Republicans as evil racists.
Over time, however, the demographics in the South changed a lot. More people from northern states began migrating into the South and control of the state houses eventually changed from Democrat to Republican. In addition, Hispanics from countries such as Cuba also spread across the South bringing conservative ideas with them, having experienced in Cuba the “nirvana” that the Democrats wanted. So, while more and more states changed hands to become Republican, the Democrats stepped up their rhetoric that they are the protectors of the blacks and Republicans were evil racists.
So, what has happened is that enough Republicans either migrated to the South or they saw the handwriting on the wall and switched parties. The Democrat’s “tax ‘n spend” policies were killing southern industries, many of which catered to black workers. Where the Republicans were trying to save or attract industries, the Democrats were running them off.
Today, as you have seen from the graphic, much of the South is held by Republicans. However, many southern blacks still vote hardcore Democrat, believing their rhetoric, rather than seeing the advantages the Republicans have brought right before their eyes.
But, look closely at the graphic you noted. How many of the northern Democrat strongholds today are corrupt and in financial ruin (or on the verge thereof) versus how many southern states? Ultimately, that tells you the whole story. The South after the Civil War resembled many northern Democrat strongholds today.
When the Democrat party officially became the party of LSD and Abortion in the early 70’s. The landslide for Nixon in 1972 (as you can see by election maps) was the final official shift for the south.
Prior to that they were having a tough time making that switch; always trying to vote for Wallace (a former Democrat turned independent).
The Blacks started to leave thanks to Johnson and the War on poverty.
‘I think that we are going in a new direction when any Mid Eastern teror group WILL not brag about taking credit, so as to keep everyone guesing.’
Didn’t LBJ make some comment concerning blacks voting for Dems for 100 years or something?
Free money. You can’t beat Santa Clause. The Democrats knew that poor people, especially they targeted blacks, would vote for them if they illegally gave out welfare.
When asked this question, liberals sneer in reply that racist white Southerners, the real Ku Kluxers, left the newly `progressive’ Democrat Party because they couldn’t stomach its sudden excessive solicitousness toward blacks, and turned instead toward the party of the `hellish Nixon’ which stood for war, reflexive anti-communism, and trusting narrow-minded white citizens with their guns.
However, the worst of the Southern racist politicians were Democrats, every last one. Not just Herman Talmadge and Pitchfork Ben Tillman, but the execrable Jimmah Carter who ran for governor in 1970 & defeated his opponent by depicting him as too liberal & pro-black for Georgia.
The Democrat party was McGovernized in 1972 and has been extremely liberal ever since. Without the slavish support of the black vote it would have become marginalized by now into the party of the coastal urban elites.
Oh, I know. I’m a Philly area guy, but conservative. I was referring to the last map in which only FL didn’t have a color.
Yankees. Millions of them.
Ann Coulter put it succinctly,”The South went Republican when the Democratic Party went nuts”
Florida has been going back and forth for the last few elections.
It is really in many ways two states. If you divided Florida by say making a line E/W about at Orlando. Everything North of their would be very conservative and South would be really liberal.
There would be spots or counties in both sections which would go against the rule but basically that would be correct.
I can’t believe I wrote their to refer to a place. I know perfectly well how to use their, there, and they’re but constantly find myself using them wrong.
The percentage is hardly the story ~ by 1990 black voters had actually become about 40% of the Democrat vote overall, and in areas controlled by Democrats black voters controlled the party (through back politicians).
Blacks are today THE DEMOCRAT PARTY itself.
The point of the picture is to imply that they all track the same thing: racial animosity. It ought to be obvious that this is misleading, as the voting pattern of the 2012 election is quite similar to those of 2004 and 2000 (and 1996 and 1992) where race was not an issue.
Republicans gained the South slowly, from the outside in. This happened as the hard-core racist Democrats became more and more of a social embarrassment.
As to why blacks are such a one-party block, there are many reasons: freebies from FDR and LBJ, principled-yet-unattractive opposition to the Civil Rights Act by conservatives (even though a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted to pass it), and the rise of the racial grievances industry in the wake of the Civil Rights Act. The CRA did break the Democrat’s machine in the South, but the captive votes of welfare recipients kept them competitive nationally, as LBJ hoped.
Check out http://www.270towin.com/historical-presidential-elections/ to see ALL the elections. 1964 was a disaster politically and for the credibility of Republicans on civil rights, but as you can see from 1968 and 1976, the parties did not suddenly ‘switch sides.’ As I said, the hold of the ‘Good Ol’ Boys’ had to be pried away slowly.
Oh, and as you mention being young, I should mention that despite what you were taught in public school, both President Lincoln and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. were Republicans. :)
You have obviously not taken an American History class....or read ANY books about the development of the country....more’s the shame.
For the record since the 1970s the south has on a federal level voted pretty reliably republican ( at least for president). The south is full of folks who believe in states rights, many of whom are still mad about Lincoln ( not all though), and who believe in local politics. Unfortunately too many of them in times past have voted the ‘family tradition’ instead of what is best for them. The republicans turned the view point around with Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Ronald Reagan in 1980. This is not a RADICAL shift is was the realization that the left had moved so far into communist territory that they wanted none of it.
Do some reading it will help you out in the long run
tater, I remember my parents paying “Poll Tax” in the 1950s and early 60s. That tax also kept poor whites from voting.
In the 70s I used to go to a doctor’s office that still had black and white waiting rooms.
Dusty, I think LBJ said that after he appointed Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court.
Don’t forget that Teddy Roosevelt, former Republican president, formed a third party because the GOP wasn’t Progressive enough for him. Progressivism afflicted both parties then, and still does today.
I’m in the only blue county north of Orlando. (Alachua)
I grew up in segregated Indianapolis ~ that ended about 1950 when I was still a little kid, but my grandmother used to take me downtown and back and we'd sit in back of the bus with the black people, and she'd dare the drivers to bust her.
Back when her and my grandfather first moved to Naptown the KKK ran the state. The house they bought had been owned by a KKK guy and the coal box basement was filled with his KKK literature. She said she enjoyed using it to light the furnace in the mornings!
Years later I discovered the murdered girl named Madge Oberholzer had lived in our neighborhood ~ her death ignited a shock wave of public indignation that destroyed the KKK in Indiana. Later on, DC Stephenson, their former leader got out of jail and they moved him to Seymour, Indiana for his parole. My other grandmother, a staunch Republican voter, hit the ceiling on that. She didn't even believe DC should have walked out of the courtroom alive and there he was where she had to see him on the public streets.
Desegregation occurred first in the North ~ in the Midwest where it'd been as enshrined in law as it had been in the South.
That spread to the Mid-South, then the Deep South.
Along the way there were some burned out buses, murdered young people, laws changed, riots held, verbal exchanges passed around ~ and in the end the Republican and Democrat parties were forever after changed and in surprising, totally unexpected ways.