To the editor:
In reference to “Democrats get pass on their history” by Patrick Rusmisel on Sept. 17, I say please do not insult my intelligence. Or this may just be a case of Rusmisel not knowing any better or should conduct a more thorough research.
The Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln. As a matter of fact, the Republican and Democratic parties are not the parties of the past and didn’t always stand for what they do today. The Republican Party dominated the northern states while the Democrats were predominately in the South. Republicans did pass the 13th (1865-abolished slavery), 14th (1868-granted citizenship to “All persons born or naturalized in the" U.S.) and the 15th (1870-guarantee all citizens the right to vote regardless of race or color) amendments while the Democrats were against it. Thus the beginning of Jim Crow laws.
During the era of Lincoln, the Democrats were the conservatives and the Republicans were the liberals. Today the parties are the opposite. The two parties began switching platforms between Lincoln and Roosevelt. Details on how this came about can be easily researched.
The culmination took place when President Lyndon Johnson (a Democrat) passed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act in 1965, ending the Jim Crow era. The Civil Rights Act provided African Americans equal access to restaurants, transportation and other public facilities. Many segregationist and anti-civil rights Democrats of the South (i.e. Strom Thurmond) left the Democratic Party to join the Republican Party. Johnson was quoted: “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come."