EDITOR: In my youth, I watched segregationist southern Democrats oppose any effort to extend civil rights to “Negroes.” They saw no reason to change the system that gave all privileges to whites. They said they weren’t prejudiced, they were protecting “states’ rights.” Maybe, but that battle was lost with John C. Calhoun in the 1830s.
President Harry Truman split the party when he desegregated the armed forces. A Texan president, Lyndon Johnson, completed the breakup of the solid South when he told Congress, “We shall overcome.” Where would the segregationists take their exclusionary philosophy?
The new home was the Republican Party. The Strom Thurmonds and John Connallys changed party affiliation in an effort to stop the integration of America. Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon finalized the massive political about-face with his southern strategy in 1968.
The Republican Party, still citing a wish to limit government, is opposing reasonable (including waiting 13 years) immigration reform, supporting the right of people to have guns so they can destroy government, treating gays as second-class persons because they, like blacks before, are “not like us.”
Let us talk with all persons, not marginalize those with whom we disagree. That is my dream.