Democrats: A logical choice for Blacks
When Democrats score a major political victory, Republicans often decry Black participants as a slavish wing of the Democratic Party. Their assertion is based on the fact that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, so Blacks should be perpetual Republicans. Often ignored are the political realignments that have occurred since 1865.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced the New Deal between 1933 and 1939. His objective was to end the Great Depression that was destroying the nation’s economy. Roosevelt introduced public works projects, relief for the unemployed and farmers, regulations to reform Wall Street and Social Security to provide income for the elderly.
Roosevelt’s party, the Democrats, supported the working man, while the Republicans became the party of the affluent. A conflict developed, however, because the Southern plantation owners originally had no love for the party of Lincoln, who had rendered their estates of less value by ending slavery.
Harry Truman, an early Democratic president, desegregated the military and he got 77% of the Black vote in 1948. There was still some residual interest by Blacks in the Republican Party, but Barry Goldwater killed that with his rank conservatism. His opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act was the death knell for the Republican Party among Black citizens. In the 1964 presidential election, Lyndon B. Johnson tallied 94% of the Black vote. LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act into law in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. The Black vote then essentially became a part of the Democratic Party. No Republican has received more than 15% of the Black vote in any presidential election since then.
It is insulting for Trump to suggest that Black voters fail to consider which candidates will provide the greatest advantage to Blacks and are therefore deserving of the Black vote. Such an assertion can be more reasonably directed to white working class voters who support Trump’s Republican Party. He does not support robust public health care, and he has indicated an interest in cutting off corporate payments for Social Security. Trump has also supported strategies that would diminish the right to vote for poor white working citizens by making access to the polls more difficult.
There is nothing in Trump’s proposals that would be of special benefit to Black Americans. Black voters turned away from him, as well they should have.