I have both a confession and a strong suggestion to make.
First, the confession: I’m not interested in being an ordinary Republican anymore.
Don’t get me wrong. All my political heroes are still in the GOP—Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Trey Gowdy, Jim Jordan, you know the drill. But, like many people, I am disappointed in the so-called “establishment” GOP. However, I’m not willing to jump to the baby-killer, anti-family, huge government party (Democrats). And I’m not bonkers enough to buy the “not a dime’s worth of difference between them” tinfoil hat line.
But after much soul-searching and research, I have discovered what I really am. And it’s time to shout it from the rooftops, unashamed to be true to myself. With apologies to Jim McGreevey, I hereby declare “my truth”:
I am a proud 1866 Radical Republican American.
I can see you are confused.
After the Civil War, the (Republican) president Lincoln—something of a compassionate conservative, if you will—decided that there was no need to punish the South for its rebellion against the Union—even though that rebellion was pursued in order to (depending on whom you ask) maintain slavery, preserve the Southern way of life (which was based on slavery), assert states’ rights (primarily the right to own slaves) or save the economy of the South (which was based on slavery.)
As you can see, there were many causes to the Civil War.
At any rate, following the defeat of the Confederacy, the Radical Republicans wanted the states that had joined the rebellion to be punished, and wanted full legal equality for the newly freed slaves (which was supposed to be taken care of by not one, but three amendments to the Constitution promulgated at the end of the War. In addition, President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, a wartime declaration that freed the slaves of the occupied territories and those within reach of the federal government. )
Unfortunately, the South didn’t quite get the idea that they had been defeated. They basically acted like they’d been cheated out of their way of life—even though that “cheating” came in the time-honored form of military conquest, which most societies since the beginning of time have generally recognized as a legitimate form of defeating an opponent.
The Radical Republicans didn’t want them to be able to go back to business as usual, oppressing Blacks and running their world as a white supremacist plantation. The Radical Republicans wanted rebel leaders punished, no compensation for those who had “lost” their slaves because of losing the war to keep them, and equality for freed slaves. In all of this, they were opposed by newly-elevated president Andrew Johnson, Democrats, and liberal and moderate Republicans. In 1866, the Radical Republicans in Congress introduced a Civil Rights bill.
Ninety-eight years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which was filibustered for 54 days by Robert Byrd and his friends in the Senate, like Albert Gore, Sr. The Radical Republicans were ready for Civil Rights—ninety-eight years before anyone else.
Long story short, the laws passed by Congress for Reconstruction were vetoed by President Johnson (who, by the way, was a Democrat—and a racist, as we know because he vetoed the bills based on his conviction that Whites and Coloreds could never be equal). Congress—this time with the moderate Republicans on board, appalled at Johnson’s racism—overrode the veto.
Fun fact: out of twenty-one Acts of Congress Johnson vetoed, Congress overrode fifteen of them, nearly all attempts to punish the South or equalize slaves. When a Court case arose that might have overturned Reconstruction, Congress exercised another seldom-used power under the Constitution and took away the Court’s jurisdiction to rule on such matters.
Sadly, Democrats made it back into the majority quickly, and by 1877—by a combination of laws, force, crimes, and the “good offices” of the Ku Klux Klan—white Democrats again had control of the South.
Had the Radical Republicans prevailed, the Democrats might not have been able to keep freed slaves from voting by asking vote-qualifying questions at the polling stations like “how many bubbles in a bar of soap?” They might not have been able to maintain their apartheid system for fully one hundred years after three Amendments to the Constitution established the fundamental equality of all citizens, of all races. They might not have pursued the ruination of the black family to this very day.
Democrats, in their eugenicist wisdom, have devastated the African-American community through dependency, abortion, and what George W. Bush identified as the soft bigotry of low expectations. They have hidden their true agenda with a pretense of benevolence—but their ultimate end is no different than it was in 1850—control and oppression.
Rush Limbaugh has always said, we don’t want to work with the Democrats; we want to defeat them. Like the Radical Republicans, our goal should be the complete obliteration of the Democratic Party. Let’s take our party back from the liberals and the moderates and the go-along to get-along establishment. Let’s resurrect the Radical Republican goal of taking the fight to the Democratic Party, and free the disadvantaged and the poor that Democrats have enslaved since the War on Poverty began.
Take no prisoners. Make no apologies. Let Republicans be Radical again!