Alarm bells are ringing about the dangerous effects of the Republican Party’s behavior. By doubling down on the defense of the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen, punishing all members who reject that lie, refusing to support an investigation into the January 6th Capitol building uprising, and a fusillade of laws suppressing the Raising voters across the country, many see in these actions a threatening new trend in American politics that threatens the very foundations of our democracy itself.
However, from a history perspective, none of this is new. The harsh truth is that the United States political party, most rooted in whites’ fears, anxieties, and resentments, has never cared much about the democracy or constitution it is supposed to uphold. Those who want to turn America into a multiracial democracy must face this fact with clear eyes and stiff spines in order to stave off the growing threats to the nation’s most cherished institutions and values.
Contemporary analysis of domestic politics is obscured by the historical fact that white Americans, fearful of the ramifications of color equality, have moved their political home from the Democratic Party, which was their preferred vehicle during the Civil War, to the Republicans Party where you live today. In the 19th century, the Democrats dominated the South, led eleven states to leave the Union and waged a grueling multi-year war against their American fellow citizens. Today it is the Republicans who carry the flag-bearers of today’s Confederate cause.
Regardless of the label, the party that prioritized protecting white rights has always been more willing to destroy the country than to accept a situation where people of color are equal and can participate in the democratic process.
Donald Trump wasn’t the first politician to refuse to accept the results of a presidential contest. After Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Anti-Slavery Party won the 1860 election, the Confederates wasted no time filing lawsuits trying to harass their state’s election officials to overthrow their state’s election results. They simply cut ties with the United States of America, separated from the union with the United States of America defiant 1861 Cornerstone Speech by Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate, who declared that “the Negro is not the same as the white man,” and quickly organized an army that Hundreds of thousands killed of their former compatriots.
The violence, bloodshed, and disdain for America’s democratic institutions did not end with the end of the Civil War. Just five days after the Confederates officially admitted defeat and surrendered on April 9, 1865, Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth shot the President of the United States in the back of the head. Colleagues have told that Lincoln’s speech in support of blacks eligibility means “nigger citizenship,” with Booth swearing, “This is the last speech he’ll ever make.”