Martin Luther King: Democrat or Republican?

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  • #26
BobG
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Odd that it's so difficult to find an answer. MLK Jr's father switched to Democrat, after the following instance, but MLK Jr "made no endorsement". The event below was 8 years before his death.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Sr.

The idea that MLK would be a Republican at some point in his life is at least credible. The problem is that both parties have changed significantly since that time, so the point isn't particularly relevant beyond being an interesting trivia question.

Some of the most right wing factions of the Republican Party come from ex-Democrats that bolted because of national defense issues and civil rights issues.

Some Republicans wouldn't be very upset if the Democrats would take them back.

Location of credible evidence?

I don't know of any source that King was a philosophical "Republican," especially when he started developing his ideas about Civil Rights and imperialism.

By that point it is clear that he philosophically differed from republicans.

There is nothing in the article above stating he was a Republican; I think Republicans would have made a big case out of it if he was.

Alabama had a Democratic governor from 1874 to 1987. Patterson (59-63), Wallaces, both George (63-67, 71-79) and Lurleen(67-68) were defenders of segregation while Brewer (68-71) not only cooperated with segregation plans, but actively courted black voters in his losing campaign against Wallace (Brewer succeeded Lurleen Wallace when she died - he never won a gubernatorial election).

Georgia had a Democratic governor from 1872 to 2003. Vandiver (59-63) was a defender of segregation. Sanders (63-67) cooperated with Kennedy/Johnson plans for desegregation.

Mississippi had a Democratic governor from 1876 to 1992. Coleman (56-60) cooperated with segregation. That also caused him to lose elections in 60 and 64 to segregationists Barnett (60-64) and Johnson (64-68).

You could go through several Southern states with the same pattern.

If you have a cause like civil rights and that cause trumps other considerations, it wouldn't be outrageous to think more help would come from Republicans than Democrats. Of course, that would be tempered by the fact that Republicans couldn't win elections in the South back then, so they weren't in a position to offer much help on a state level. On the other hand, if you can't win elections and a large voting block is available .....

All I'm saying is that not openly declaring himself Republican or Democrat held some advantages and which party became associated with civil rights in the South was an open question back then.
 
  • #27
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The traditional purpose of government is to take money from the poor and give it to the rich. Not much as changed.
 
  • #28
mathwonk
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turbo -1 is apparently correct on this.

i just finished reading the 3 volume opus of taylor branch, called america in the king years. i recommend it to anyone wanting to understand this period. it is true that hoover blackmailed robert kennedy into okaying the wiretaps on mlk apparently because he had the goods on jack's illicit liaisons.

martin was above party politics. in the 60's it was the republicans who sided with civil rights, but jack kennedy obtained support from the black movement and was apparently elected not because of chicago machinations of crooked mayors but primarily because of the vote shift of black voters who appreciated kennedy's sympathy in the case of martin's imprisonment in the reidsville penitentiary in georgia for a minor offense.

through the interaction between mlk and the kennedy's and lyndon johnson, the party of civil rights changed in the 1960's from the republicans to the democrats. consequently most racist southerners changed parties a t that time from democrats to republicans.

it is quite interesting, to read the sequence of events. i learned that the kennedy's i had idolized were more cynical political animals whose actions were mostly motivated by political gain, and lbj whom i had despised for his war actions, was actually deeply in sympathy with poor and disenfranchised people. he is the real hero of the civil rights movement, not jfk.
 
  • #29
turbo
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turbo -1 is apparently correct on this.

i just finished reading the 3 volume opus of taylor branch, called america in the king years. i recommend it to anyone wanting to understand this period. it is true that hoover blackmailed robert kennedy into okaying the wiretaps on mlk apparently because he had the goods on jack's illicit liaisons.

martin was above party politics. in the 60's it was the republicans who sided with civil rights, but jack kennedy obtained support from the black movement and was apparently elected not because of chicago machinations of crooked mayors but primarily because of the vote shift of black voters who appreciated kennedy's sympathy in the case of martin's imprisonment in the reidsville penitentiary in georgia for a minor offense.

through the interaction between mlk and the kennedy's and lyndon johnson, the party of civil rights changed in the 1960's from the republicans to the democrats. consequently most racist southerners changed parties a t that time from democrats to republicans.

it is quite interesting, to read the sequence of events. i learned that the kennedy's i had idolized were more cynical political animals whose actions were mostly motivated by political gain, and lbj whom i had despised for his war actions, was actually deeply in sympathy with poor and disenfranchised people. he is the real hero of the civil rights movement, not jfk.
Thank you for fleshing out some details, MW.

The political upheaval of the early 60's was shocking to old-school politicians all across the country and in every region. The politicians had to re-evaluate their traditional alliances, figure out who to throw under the bus, and who to suck up to. It was a VERY active period. People who claim now that there were Liberal-Conservative/Republican-Democrat dichotomies (and others) that were well-defined and stable for the last 50 years are either ill-informed or dishonest. The truth is that political infighting of that period was very nasty, and political fortunes were made or lost not only on the subject of one's acceptance or rejection of the civil rights platform, but on regional responses to one's position, and upon even more nuanced replies to the attacks of one's opponents.
 
  • #30
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Ramsey, you may be too young to know this, but in the South, the positions of the Democratic and Republican parties shifted HARD in the '60's. Until then, the most die-hard Southerners (still stinging from the Civil War and Reconstruction) were Democrats, and some very prominent Democrats were higher-ups in the KKK. When Democrats in DC started showing some support for civil rights for blacks, the Republicans started making some huge gains in the South. Until that time, the most socially conservative (and racist) politicians in the South were Democrats.

It is not possible to make sweeping generalizations about Republicans or Democrats spanning my life-time, because there have been some dramatic shifts both over time and regionally.

Sorry for not responding earlier, but I needed to give more time to some demands from my wife. And this is a difficult topic for me since some seem to feel that it is quite logical for there to be a wide range of diverse beliefs in the democratic party but only a single size fits all stereotype if you are a Republican. It just isn't so. Sorry if I came across as a little immature for my age but I am 46 and well aware of the fact that there had been some shifts within each party as you noted have taken place over your lifetime. Maybe you were confused because I am so new to this forum as I have not been too keen on sharing my political opinions until just recently. Those who have obviously have a slight advantage over me; and, sometimes I need to become more informed by showing my ignorance of a few things. My wife saw an elderly man skinning a fish and asked him a question about it while at the same time was apologetic for asking a "stupid" question. The man replied, "Young lady, you don't need to apologize for asking me that question, a person who never asks a question rarely learns anything." Then he proceeded to explain in detail how to filet a fish. So I may seem a little young when I bring up these matters but no one should feel badly for asking for clarification or questioning a statement that doesn't seem to fit.
Anyway, it is clearly a big lie that only a socialist cares about social justice, and a much bigger lie that an equal distribution of wealth will solve all social problems. Instead many more problems are created than solved since such a system requires a massive central government and a state where people have no incentive to suggest a new way of doing things.
 
  • #31
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The traditional purpose of government is to take money from the poor and give it to the rich. Not much as changed.
I am more optimistic because I have seen a lot of changes in my time, and since I trust in the humanity of all of the peoples of this world. As long as we maintain a system that does not punish a non-comformist and allows for disagreement to be discussed without fear of retribution, a more just and peaceful society is sure to follow. We Americans must see to it that both the conformist and non-conformist views alike are each available to those who have reached an age of maturity. Only if we see to this, and thankfully it is not a hard task in our society, and only if all people are careful to scrutinize both the conformist and non-conformist view alike, will we grow wiser and stronger and be at peace. I do not think much of the the statement by OrbitalPower that the Black Republican 'white' paper was nothing but a bunch of BS. As much as he disagreed with it, there were surely valid points in it, and I am shocked that a person would look at the document with such tunnel vision, given his apparent knowlege.
 
  • #32
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well said Ramsey,
From personal experience as a cab driver in the 80's, the socialism and welfare absolutley destroyed my city. Nominally I worked for a cab company, but practically I worked for the Gov.
The whole economy flowed with the welfare checks. That first Friday the checks came in, and it was boom time to about a week and a half, I believe the welfare regs said you couldn't get the check and own a car, so cab drivers benefited, as did the liquor stores, and especially the drug dealers. Welfare was like squirting gas on a smoldering fire, those gov dollars would flare up the flames for a week or so, the rest of the month was survival mode and laying low till the next months checks arrived, over half the city houses are now gone, literally burned down,
welfare was a cancer and had the exact opposite effect of what was touted. But it did wonders for getting folk to vote Dem, it was buying votes pure and simple, but anyone who could see what the effects of it were, could not possibly care about the folk who were on the receiving end, it engendered in them a stupor of dependence. Thats why I say liberalism is a disease, politics is a career for most pols, who are best at self promotion and always look out for number 1 first. Now, last 30 years conservative policies for the most part have prevailed, and what a difference. No riff raff hanging around the party stores, kids allowed to walk the streets to school, people taking pride in keeping houses neat, and lots of black folk in Lowe's cause they now own houses and rentals, that wasn't the case in 1980,
and wouldn't have been the case if the Reps hadn't reformed the welfare system.
Sooo, simply can't believe people want to go back to it, but it appears thats right where
BO is headed, aided by the liberal media, can't believe people swallowed it....
 
  • #33
mathwonk
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now there's an extreme case of rose colored glasses for the results of the last 8 years.
 
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Sooo, simply can't believe people want to go back to it, but it appears thats right where
BO is headed, aided by the liberal media, can't believe people swallowed it....

How would you have felt if people instead swallowed the red pill and voted McCain Palin. How believable would that have been.

Would you rather vote in a party that gives a blank 700 billion dollar check to scammers, a party that has spent more than any in history, a party that gets votes by appealing to fear and superstition, a party that pretends to be good on defense but is rather run by Elite draft dodgers who make corporate slaves out of our solders?

We would have run the risk of heading down the path of book and witch burning had Palin been forced to step in, not to mention the fact that she would have ended up being a blind face for the same people running the Bush admin.

How, about the stuff that the hard right media sells? How about FOX news, owned by the biggest Media conglomerate in the world complaining about the mainstream media. "Duhh, you are the mainstream media. To sell what the Rep. ticket was offering required a very uninformed audience.
 

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