The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, November 05, 2010

An interesting development

In the Civil War, a political alignment was established that lasted for many years. Since the party of Abraham Lincoln was the Republican Party, white Southerners universally became Democrats, even as the party became rather liberal elsewhere in the country and they stayed conservative. For the same reason, African Americans became Republicans, to the extent they were able to vote at all. (In the South, after Reconstruction, they generally were not, because of major obstacles placed by the white population, which led to the South being firmly Democratic.) This alignment remained the case until the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, when he put into place a number of economic changes that most people considered beneficial to the poor, and as most African Americans were poor, they moved into the Democratic Party. (White Southerners remained Democrats, so there was the odd phenomenon that the African Americans and their greatest opponents were both in the Democratic Party.) But even then, the African Americans were not solidly Democratic; Republicans received perhaps 1/3 of the vote of those who were able to cast ballots.

The big change took place in 1964, because Barry M. Goldwater voted against a civil rights bill. Goldwater was not a racist, but simply believed in limited government and felt this was too much of an incursion of Government into people's lives. (To me that was a misguided attitude, but I'm only stating Goldwater's feelings here, not agreeing with them.) As a result, almost all African Americans moved into the Democratic Party, and white Southerners became Republicans, though more gradually; they continued voting for local Southern Democrats for a couple of decades, though supporting Republicans nationally. A few African American leaders were Republicans, such as Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, and more recently Justice Clarence Thomas, General Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice, but the African American voters generally split approximately 90-10 Democratic, and almost all of their politicians were Democrats as well.

But this week, two African American Republicans were elected to Congress. There were a few others in the past, but both of these were from the old South, and it's the first time in more than a decade that two African American Republicans will be serving at the same time. This will be an interesting development. Will the Black Congressional Caucus treat them as traitors to their race? It's going to be interesting to see.

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