Tuesday, October 7, 2008

812 Democrats, 1 Prohibitionist, 10 Socialists and 4 Republicans

What do you have when you put together 812 Democrats, 1 Prohibitionist, 10 Socialists and 4 Republicans?
The Voter Registration of Bossier Parish in 1910. *
So what happened? The Prohibitionist probably died of loneliness and the Republicans and Democrats took over the platform of the Socialists, making them obsolete.
A lot has happened in the last 100 years. For the first half of the 20th Century the ‘solid south’ referred to the hold that the Democratic Party had on the region.
In 1948 a group of Southern Democrats walked out of the National Convention and formed the States Rights Party, commonly known as the Dixiecrats.
Their grievances were fired when Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey gave a speech proposing an anti-segregationist plank be put into the platform. When President Truman supported the idea, delegates from Mississippi and Alabama walked out of the convention.
In the election, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina refused to put Truman on the ballot, replacing him with South Carolina governor Strom Thurmond. Thurmond carried all four states.
By 1960, Louisiana was back in the fold, voting to elect John F. Kennedy president.
Then came the events of November 1963, Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights bill of 1964.
Although the civil rights act had been proposed by Republicans for years, Johnson was the first southern Democrat to give it support. This infuriated most Southerners, and in 1964 Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama gave their support to Barry Goldwater.
In 1968, the same states supported George Wallace.
Along came Richard Nixon with his ‘southern strategy’. Nixon realized that southerners were still unhappy over the civil rights act and he began to lure them to the Republican Party, just as Johnson had lured blacks from the Republican Party.
You could say that it was a trade-off: southern whites for blacks across the country. In the coming years, more and more southerners aligned with the once-hated Republicans. The boll-weevil Democrats held sway in the congress for several years, led by Bossier’s own Joe D. Waggonner. When the last of the boll-weevils left congress, the south began voting Republican and Nixon’s strategy was complete.
The southern Democrats ran away from home for a ‘conservative’ utopia that turns out not to be conservative at all. We ran away from home and the old house burned down. What we are left with is a choice between John McCain, hardly conservative by any standard, and Barack Obama, a liberal, so in other words, two liberals. Witness the $700,000,000,000 + bailout bill that was just passed with support from both parties and both candidates. The last Republican congress spent more than any congress in history, saddling us with enormous debt.
But these are our choices. What can we do? For one thing, cut the head off the snake – only congress can appropriate money.
If we keep sending the same type of people to congress, we will keep getting the same results.
Stay tuned for solutions.
*The History of Bossier Parish by Cliff Cardin

1 comment:

  1. You may as well tell people what the voter registration stats were 1,000 years ago. Most of our neighbors in Bossier, in Louisiana, in America, have no sense of history. A small percentage knows certain historical dates, names, places, etc. But only an even smaller percentage understands events in the present, much less events in history.
    This alone is no great sin. Yet, thanks to the public schools, the talking heads on radio and cable TV, and court chroniclers for both major political parties (or, do I repeat myself), many people have the false impression that they DO understand currents events, that they do understand history.
    The words "I Don't Know" are hardly ever spoken anymore. People the Founders would not have qualified as voters decide elections. They back candidates based on the most superficial qualities.
    This is how we end up with a choice between two mediocre liberals: McCain and Obama.


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