Policy > Party

It’s educational and entertaining reading Ta-Nehisi tear Rand Paul apart for his speech at Howard University. Ta-Nehisi has the the racial and metaphysical analysis down cold, others can speculate on the political game theory, though IHMO, Paul merely aiming to appear open-mindedness given his actual closed minded response to the post-speech criticism. Defensiveness is never an avenue for personal growth.

Nevertheless, Paul’s history is essentially true.

At Howard, he spoke for about an hour about how, historically, Democrats opposed integration and minority voting rights, while Republicans were the party of Abraham Lincoln. At Simmons, he talked about how blacks once registered in large numbers as Republicans, [and] how Democrats in Kentucky opposed constitutional amendments that gave African Americans expanded rights.

It was Northern Republicans who sought the limitation and abolition of slavery while Southern Democrats defended it. Before the Civil War, it was Andrew Jackson – a Democrat – who enabled the ethnic cleansing of First Nation tribes in the south via the Trail of Tears, and it was John Calhoun who – as a Democrat – led the defense of Slavery in the US Senate . The parties generally switched “sides” in the early 20th Century and the Democrats are now generally the defenders of civil and minority rights.

Paul is arguing that a party’s history should be more important to African American’s than it’s current policies. That the label should override the content of the message. This tells me that he either lacks stronger arguments for why Blacks should support the GOP – he does, though he may not realize it – or that he places more importance belonging to a Party than to the real world effects of the policies his Party advocates.  Neither is flattering.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Calhoun

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