By Paul R. Hollrah, Guest Blogger
The Democratic Party is the oldest of the two major U.S. political parties. It was first organized in the early 1790s by anti-federalists, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, as the Democratic-Republican Party. Unlike the Democratic Party of today, it was distinguishable by its support for states’ rights and strict adherence to constitutional principles.
The modern Democratic Party was born in February 1825 following the disputed presidential election of 1824. In that election, between John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts; Henry Clay of Kentucky; William H. Crawford of Georgia; and Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, Jackson won a plurality of both the national popular vote and the electoral vote. However, since he had failed to win a clear majority of the electoral votes, the 12th Amendment dictated that the names of the top three candidates… Adams, Crawford, and Jackson… be sent to the House of Representatives, presided over by none other than Speaker Henry Clay, for the final selection.
Clay threw his support to Adams, who became the sixth president of the United States; Jackson resigned from the Senate and launched a campaign for the party’s 1828 nomination; and Clay relinquished the Speaker’s gavel to become Secretary of State in the Adams Administration. The Jackson faction of the party, referring to the highly-suspicious Adams-Clay alliance as a “corrupt bargain,” split off from the party and established the Democratic Party. It was out of that “corrupt bargain” that the DNA of the modern Democratic Party was formed.
In the years between 1825 and 1860, as abolitionist sentiment gained more and more support, the Democratic Party, north and south, became the party of slavery, championing such pro-slavery laws as the Missouri Compromise, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Fugitive Slave Law. Then, after opposing Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Democrats opposed ratification of the 13th Amendment, outlawing slavery; the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to the freed slaves; and the 15th Amendment, which gave voting rights to the freed slaves.
Following the Civil War, in states where they held essentially one-party control, Democrats enacted Black Codes and an endless variety of Jim Crow laws. In 1866, as a means of ensuring the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws were fully enforced, Democrats created a paramilitary auxiliary, the Ku Klux Klan.
In the remaining years of the 19th century, Democrats established an unbroken record of opposition to civil rights legislation. They opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the First Reconstruction Act of 1867, the Enforcement Act of 1870, the Force Act of 1871, the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, and the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Then, after regaining control of Congress and the White House in the 1890s, Democrats passed the Repeal Act of 1894, repealing much of the civil rights legislation enacted by Republicans in the decades since the Civil War.
Later, in the mid-20th century, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the Civil Rights Act of 1960, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and the Equal Employment Act of 1972 became law only with strong Republican support. All of those bills received strong opposition from Democrats in one-party states, mostly in the South.
During the 1930s, Democrats began to build a coalition of special interest groups. With the passage of the Wagner Act in 1935, giving workers the right to organize unions and to engage in collective bargaining with employers, Democrats saw an opportunity to capture a stable and reliable voting bloc. If they could convince working men and women that they were the sole protectors of their unique government-created “right” to hold hostage the private property of the owners of business, they would be the beneficiaries of many millions of dollars during each campaign season and tens of millions of votes on Election Day. Since that day, Democrats have been the dutiful servants of the labor bosses. Whatever labor has wanted, labor got… no matter how ethically or economically ill-advised the demand.
Then came Brown v. Board of Education, Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott, Orville Faubus and the Little Rock Central High School, Bull Connor and Lester Maddox, and suddenly everything changed. African-Americans were suddenly knocking at the door, demanding access to the American Dream, and they had every right to do so. But they had a decision to make. Would they be consumed by the irresistible narcotic of the welfare state, or would they recognize that the only true economic progress in America is not class progress, but individual progress, and opt for the sure rewards of education, opportunity, and hard work?
We all know what happened. African-Americans turned their backs on the Republican Party, the party that was born out of opposition to slavery, the party whose members had shed their blood and their treasure to free their forbears from the bonds of slavery. Instead, their leaders opted for the “free lunch” promised by Democrats and they filed, en masse, into the Democratic Party where, to this day, they faithfully and blindly pull the Democrat lever on Election Day.
In more recent times, Democrats can be seen courting not only the votes of Hispanic citizens, but the votes of illegal immigrants, as well. While illegal aliens stream across our porous borders by the millions, bringing tons of drugs along with them, Democrats refuse to enforce immigration laws and offer the illegals generous taxpayer-funded education, medical, and welfare benefits.
In 1962, Rachel Carson published her book, “Silent Spring,” which attacked the use of chemical pesticides. Her book led to a ban on DDT and other pesticides and a grassroots environmental movement was born. Yet, in spite of the fact that scientific studies show conclusively that DDT is not a carcinogen, the EPA lists DDT as a ‘probable human carcinogen’… but only if ingested in large quantities. Nevertheless, it was yet another opportunity for Democrats to make political capital out of a bogus public issue based on questionable science and embraced by a large and dedicated following… many of them wealthy, well-educated, and blindly idealistic.
It is of no apparent concern to Democrats that, since DDT was banned by a Democratic Congress in 1972, more than 50,000,000 people have died of malaria. The World Health Organization reported that, in the year 2000 alone, malaria infected more than 300 million people, killing some 2,000,000… mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Most fatalities today are children, who die at the rate of two per minute or 3,000 per day. Yet, so long as Democrats have their campaign coffers filled by radical environmentalists they will continue to do their bidding… no questions asked.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano talks with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
In subsequent years, Democrats have embraced the agendas of numerous other special interests, all having just one thing in common: they all want something from government. These include trial lawyers, radical feminists, abortion rights advocates, public school teachers, public employees, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. But now it appears that Democrats are looking to add yet another loyal voting bloc to their coalition. They’ve sent Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), their second-ranking Senate leader, on a hunting expedition to capture the American Muslim vote… both radicals and moderates.
In the wake of hearings held by U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, into charges that homegrown Muslims are being radicalized by ideologues in mosques all across the country, Senate Democrats held an “anti-King hearing,” on Tuesday, March 29, chaired by none other than Dick Durbin, himself. It was an apparent attempt to show that the guys who took down the World Trade Center, the guys who flew a plane into the Pentagon, the guy who slaughtered 13 and wounded 29 at Fort Hood, and dozens more, were just a bunch of misunderstood eccentrics.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, a photograph has circulated in the mainstream media showing a smiling Dick Durbin at an early March gathering of Muslim clerics at the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation in Chicago. As described by Steven Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, of the eight men photographed with Durbin, six are allied with Hamas, the Palestinian terror group; five are unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial; and four of the eight have made statements calling for the killing of Jews.
Should they be successful, it will be interesting to visualize future Democratic conventions. Just picture the thugs of the AFL-CIO, ACORN, and SEIU conducting seminars for teachers and Code Pink pacifists on how to beat up little old ladies at Tea Party rallies. Picture the blacks and the Hispanics beating the tar out of each other because blacks are tired of hearing Mexicans say that blacks are too lazy and too spoiled to do stoop-labor. But most interesting of all, picture what happens when a bunch of radical jihadists get a little high from sniffing the smoke in one of the Democrats’ smoke-filled rooms and wander into a ballroom where gays, lesbians and transvestites are enjoying a no-holds-barred meet-and-greet. Where the jihadists come from, men are beheaded and women are stoned to death for that sort of thing, but in Democratic circles it will just be viewed as business as usual.
If Democrats are so determined to make themselves bullet-proof, politically, one wonders why they haven’t embraced the political agenda of NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Could it be that pedophiles just don’t bring enough money or enough votes to the table? Happy hunting, Dick! Better you than us.
Hollrah is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a contributing editor for Family Security Matters and a number of online publications. He resides in northeast Oklahoma.
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