It’s an important question. Why did black Americans ultimately leave the Republican Party? The Republican Party was founded based on the “free soil, free labor, free men” ideology, and their primary goal was to put an end to slavery. In fact, the party was created specifically to combat the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would have extended slavery into additional territories. Democrats were overwhelmingly pro-slavery, and pro-oppression of black Americans in general. When the Republicans put Abraham Lincoln in power, slavery was defeated once and for all.
How could the party that single-handedly put an end to slavery in the United States eventually end up losing the black vote? The principles are the same, freedom and liberty for all, pro-capitalism, pro-small business, anti-corporatism, anti-oppression, anti-welfare state and anti-big government.
The short answer is, the Democrats decided to strategically target the black vote after a series of losses to Republicans following the Civil War. In fact, since the GOP was founded, and before FDR, 12 out of 16 Presidents were Republican, with only 3 hailing from the Democrat Party.
The Democrats were in dire straits, all but eliminated from the political system. In response, they decided to begin offering black Americans special protections and privileges in order to win votes. The experiment worked. Black Americans switched parties by nearly two thirds. They voted for FDR and his New Deal, primarily due to The National Industrial Recovery Act, which promised to forcibly raise wages and prices in order to help black Americans and other under-privileged groups. The sad reality is, the National Industrial Recovery Act ended up hurting black Americans and other poor groups in droves. As a result, 500,000 blacks, primarily in the South, were estimated to have lost their jobs. Any economist would tell you, artificial pricing only decreases efficiency, and ultimately damages the economy. Republicans did not respond in-kind, as they understood the negative consequences of price fixing, and “picking favorites” was specifically against Republican ideology.
The great irony is, black Americans never caught on. To this day, they’ve continued to vote Democrat, even in the face of dire consequences for their people. The Democrat Party has mastered the art of promising aid to minorities, consequences and real economics be damned. To add to the irony, the majority of the remaining black Republicans switched to the Democrat Party after Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The reality is, a much larger percent of Republicans voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act than did Democrats. This was lost on black Americans, as they gave all credit to John F. Kennedy for suggesting, Robert F. Kennedy for writing, and Lyndon B. Johnson for signing the bill into law. The fact that Barry Goldwater was running on the Republican ticket didn’t help either as he did not support the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on constitutional, and perhaps political grounds. Oddly enough, Goldwater had supported other civil rights measures in the past. It’s not that Democrats in the executive branch didn’t deserve credit for forcing civil rights legislation on racist Americans, but Republican efforts to pass the bill in the face of Democrat opposition were completely disregarded. Additionally, Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 despite generally disapproving of most kinds of Federal oversight. It seems the vast majority of Republicans had the wisdom to recognize the need for such landmark legislation.
Most recently, black Americans voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. The reality is, Obama’s presidency has arguably been the worst presidency for black America since the Republican Party was founded. Under Obama’s tenure, black median net worth is down 50%, a million more black Americans live in poverty, and black median household income fell 1,000% more than white median household income. To make matters worse, race relations are plummeting, and civil unrest in the black communities is up. These statistics are staggering. The fact that Obama is half black makes the situation all that much worse.
How could America’s first black president do such a poor job of helping black Americans? Simple – more bad Democrat policy. It’s time for black Americans to return to their roots, and vote overwhelmingly for a Republican in 2016. The Republican Party is, and always was the party of black America. No party is perfect, and Republicans have had their share of bad apples. However, when we look at the last 150+ years, and especially the last eight years, Republicans are the clear choice for black America in 2016.