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Ron Paul Says He Would Have Voted Against The 1964 Civil Rights Act

Almost exactly one year after Rand Paul made headlines for saying that he did not approve of  the provision of the 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawing segregation by private business, his father has made the same comments only one day after officially launching his Presidential campaign:

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) suggested Friday that he wouldn’t have voted in favor of the 1964 Civil Rights Act if he were a member of Congress at the time.

Paul, the libertarian Texas Republican who formally announced Friday that he would seek the presidency for a third time, said he thought Jim Crow laws were illegal, and warned against turning strict libertarians into demagogues.

MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews pressed Paul during a TV appearance on whether he would have voted against the ’64 law, a landmark piece of legislation that took strides toward ending segregation.

“Yeah, but I wouldn’t vote against getting rid of the Jim Crow laws,” Paul said. He explained that he would have opposed the Civil Rights Act “because of the property rights element, not because they got rid of the Jim Crow laws.”

Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), faced criticism during his campaign for Senate last fall because of similar remarks he made, also during an appearance on MSNBC. Rand Paul had advanced a similar argument about property rights, and, under political pressure, issued a follow-up statement in which he voiced support for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and would not support any efforts to repeal it.

Video:

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The first thing I’ve got to say here is that I find questions like this to be rather silly and somewhat annoying. A candidates position on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is about as relevant to current American politics as their position on Bimetalism would be. The only reason that Chris Matthews (who may have been a good journalist at some point in the past but is now pretty much just a parody of himself) would ask such a question is to get someone like Paul to say something that might be controversial, and it seems like he succeeded.

I think we can all see where the reaction on this is headed, although it probably won’t be as big of a story as it was last year simply because Rand Paul was the newly minted Republican nominee in a state that the Democrats desperately wanted to pick up in the midterms while Ron Paul is running what is quite frankly a quixotic campaign for President. That doesn’t mean we won’t hear something, though. In the interview above, for example, Chris Matthews was already implying that there was a racial motive for Paul’s statement, and The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait has already called the Congressman a racist.

The racism charge, however, is as much a canard as it was when it got directed at Rand Paul a year ago, for reasons that David Weigel aptly explained back then:

So is Rand Paul a racist? No, and it’s irritating to watch his out-of-context quotes — this and a comment about how golf was no longer for elitists because Tiger Woods plays golf — splashed on the Web to make that point. Paul believes, as many conservatives believe, that the government should ban bias in all of its institutions but cannot intervene in the policies of private businesses. Those businesses, as Paul argues, take a risk by maintaining, in this example, racist policies. Patrons can decide whether or not to give them their money, or whether or not to make a fuss about their policies. That, not government regulation and intervention, is how bias should be eliminated in private industry. And in this belief Paul is joined by some conservatives who resent that liberals seek government intervention for every unequal outcome.

Barry Goldwater took when he voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act due solely to his belief that two of it’s sections — Title II and Title VII — because he did not believe that the Constitution authorized Congress to regulate purely private behavior, a vote he explained in this Firing Line interview:

As I’ve been thinking about this issue since yesterday, I think this is about where I stand on this issue. I stand by what I said when the Rand Paul controversy first broke in that I believe, at least in the abstract, that people should be free to do business or not do business with whoever they want, for whatever reason they want. Additionally, I’m entirely uncomfortable with the tortured reasoning in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States and Katzenbach v. McClung, where the Commerce Clause was twisted beyond all rational meaning to justify Title II of the Act.

Instead of engaging in intellectual jujitsu, and doing several harm to concepts such as Federalism and limited government in the process, however, the Supreme Court did have another option; they could have revisited the horribly mistaken decision in The Slaughterhouse Cases:

When it was ratified in 1868, the 14th Amendment added several revolutionary new provisions to the Constitution, barring states from violating the “privileges or immunities” of citizens, or taking anyone’s life, liberty or property without “due process of law,” or depriving people of the “equal protection of the laws.” But the first time it heard a case under that amendment — in the 1873 Slaughterhouse Cases — the Supreme Court basically erased the privileges or immunities clause, dramatically limiting the way the federal government would protect people against wrongful acts by state officials.

That case began when Louisiana passed a law forbidding butchers from slaughtering cattle anywhere in New Orleans except a single, privately owned facility. The beef industry was big business in New Orleans, and the new law put hundreds of butchers out of business overnight. The butchers sued, arguing that the law violated their right to earn a living without unreasonable government interference. Judges had recognized that right as far back as 1602, when England’s highest court declared government-created monopolies illegal under the Magna Carta. The right to earn an honest living came to be recognized as one of the fundamental rights — or “privileges and immunities” — in the common law.

Yet in Slaughterhouse, the Court ruled against the butchers, holding, 5-4, that despite the new amendment’s language, federal courts would not guarantee traditional rights against interference by states. With only minor exceptions, the Court declared, those rights were “left to the State governments for security and protection.”

The decision’s ramifications were profound. In the years after the Civil War, Americans — particularly in the South — needed protection against abusive state legislatures. That was the protection the privileges or immunities clause promised, and that the Slaughterhouse decision eliminated. During the next decade, federal authorities abandoned Reconstruction efforts to protect former slaves, and black Americans were condemned to another century of segregation and oppression.

Ten years later in The Civil Rights Cases, the Supreme Court invalidated the Civil Rights Act of 1875 which would have essentially accomplished the same thing that Title II of the 1964 Act did eighty-nine years later and in the process essentially gutted another part of the 14th Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause. At that time, the sole dissenter, John Marshall Harlan made a prescient observation:

Today it is the colored race which is denied, by corporations and individuals wielding public authority, rights fundamental in their freedom and citizenship. At some future time, it may be that some other race will fall under the ban of race discrimination. If the constitutional amendments be enforced according to the intent with which, as I conceive, they were adopted, there cannot be, in this republic, any class of human beings in practical subjection to another class with power in the latter to dole out to the former just such privileges as they may choose to grant. The supreme law of the land has decreed that no authority shall be exercised in this country upon the basis of discrimination, in respect of civil rights, against freemen and citizens because of their race, color, or previous condition of servitude. To that decree — for the due enforcement of which, by appropriate legislation, Congress has been invested with express power — everyone must bow, whatever may have been, or whatever now are, his individual views as to the wisdom or policy either of the recent changes in the fundamental law or of the legislation which has been enacted to give them effect.

But for a different outcome in The Slaughterhouse Cases and The Civil Rights Cases, the entire system of mandated racial segregation known as Jim Crow would have been under direct legal assault at the time of it’s birth.

It’s also worth noting that Plessy v. Ferguson involved a Louisiana law that was designed to prevent the Pullman Company from offering equal seating options to blacks. That, in fact, was the entire purpose of Jim Crow laws. Even if, for example, the Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina had wanted to serve the four black college students who sat down at their lunch counter on February 1, 1960, the laws in place at the time told them that they couldn’t. Racial segregation in the South wasn’t a product of the free market, it was the product of a state imposing racial prejudices under the threat of criminal prosecution. For that reason alone, it was a violation of the 14th Amendment and the Federal Government was entirely justified in trying to bring it down.

Now, none of this means that racism didn’t exist in the South. Obviously it did, otherwise Jim Crow never would have been imposed in the first place. However, by passing these laws it’s fairly clear what that the intent of the Southern legislatures was to prevent the newly freed blacks from participating in the economic life of the South by denying them access to jobs, business opportunities, and trade while at the same time denying them access to the polls so that they wouldn’t be able to have their voice heard at the state capital. At the same time, it prevented other whites, as well as businesses from other parts of the country, from any efforts to break down the walls of segregation.

So, as a philosophical matter, the Pauls are both correct that the state should not have the authority to tell businesses who they can choose as customers. However, by the time the 1964 Civil Rights Act came into being the distinction between private and public behavior under Jim Crow was a hard line to draw, especially when social pressure by Southern whites made it virtually impossible for any business owner who didn’t want to discriminate against blacks from doing so. The only way to bring down the  whole system, a system that arguably might not have existed if the 14th Amendment hadn’t been virtually gutted in the latter years of the 19th Century, was to use the authority of the Federal Government to do so.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    The problem with ideologues in general — left, right, fascist, communist, islamist — is that they put ideal ahead of reality. They want to simplify the system of the world by imposing rigid rules. It doesn’t work. It never works.

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  2. PD Shaw says:

    Chris Mathews, would you have voted for the U.S. Constitution, knowing it legitimized slavery and the 3/5ths rule? Yes or no? We don’t need an explanation, sir, it’s a simple question yes or no?

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  3. PD,

    As I said in the post, Matthews is a complete hack anymore. I don’t watch him anymore not because of his politics but because his show is entirely predictable and uninformative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Ed Ward II says:

    Ron Paul is a great man. Obama squashes the poor by giving trillions to banksters, foreign dictators, left-wing teachers and the military guns ammo and war machine manufacturers. Ron Paul wants to eliminate that so there is money for the poor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  5. G.A.Phillips says:

    The problem with ideologues in general — left, right, fascist, communist, islamis— is that they put ideal ahead of reality.

    Hedonist. G.A. winks at Harry….

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  6. Martin Brock says:

    Ron Paul doesn’t want to impose rigid rules. He wants to repeal rigid rules. Repealing Title II of the Civil Rights Act does not impose a rule on anyone. It only refrains from imposing a rule prohibiting racial discrimination on hotel and restaurant owners, so if a group of Black Muslims wants to operate a restaurant for Black Muslims only, they may, and if a group of redneck white boys wants to hang out with other redneck white boys in their exclusive bar, they may, and these two groups may think what they like of one another.

    I don’t see the problem with that, and I don’t believe the Civil Rights Act effectively prevents this sort of self-imposed segregation anyway. Segregated neighborhoods with effectively segregated businesses still exist in the United States today, but the idea that a white majority would exclude black patrons en masse is absurd. For most merchants, the only color that matters is green. The green rule is simple enough, but this simplicity is not a vice.

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  7. Trumwill says:

    The thing about the guy that courageously stands up against the consensus you abhor is that he outrageously stands against things that everybody knows to be correct and right.

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  8. Southern Hoosier says:

    Ron Paul Says He Would Have Voted Against The 1964 Civil Rights Act

    So did most of the Democrats at that time.

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  9. Tano says:

    I don’t believe the Civil Rights Act effectively prevents this sort of self-imposed segregation anyway.

    Of course it does. It ended such segregation, which was very widespread in the South during my lifetime. Such discrimination is now illegal. Hopw on earth can you claim that the law does not prevent that which it has clearly prevented?

    Segregated neighborhoods with effectively segregated businesses still exist in the United States today

    No they do not. Not LEGALLY segregated.

    , but the idea that a white majority would exclude black patrons en masse is absurd.

    What planet do you live on? When this issue was pressing (the time that Paul is addressing with his statement on how he would have voted), there were literallly thousands of establishments that excluded blacks. What kind of a moron are you?

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  10. Tano says:

    So did most of the Democrats at that time.

    Which is why they were made unwelcome in the Democratic party, and left, en masse, to form the Republican majority of the late 20th century.

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  11. Tano says:

    …war machine manufacturers. Ron Paul wants to eliminate that so there is money for the poor.

    That is pretty funny sarcasm. A bit over the top though, do you really think it is even remotely plausible that any of the Paul-bots could be so dumb as to believe that?

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  12. Murray says:

    Tel père tel fils.

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  13. Tano says:

    Chris Mathews, would you have voted for the U.S. Constitution, knowing it legitimized slavery and the 3/5ths rule?

    What point are you trying to make with this? Was the Civil Rights Act some tainted compromise that reflected the political realities of its time?
    No it wasn’t. It outlawed racial discrimination. You are either for it or against it. Those against it were very clearly and unambiguously in favor of continued racial segregation. The effect of not passing the bill would have been just that.

    Why do you seem to be protective of Paul by denouncing Matthews for asking him where he stood on this rather straightforward issue?

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  14. Southern Hoosier says:

    Tano says:
    Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 16:10

    So did most of the Democrats at that time.

    Which is why they were made unwelcome in the Democratic party, and left, en masse, to form the Republican majority of the late 20th century.

    And who were they? Name some other than Strom Thurmond.

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  15. Debbie says:

    If you are are young white male this is all theoretical to you anyway, so you can argue this as does Mataconis, Paul (pere et fils). However, if you are the person paying taxes and enlisted in the armed forces to protect a business which has signs in the windows stating no blacks (if they felt polite), dogs, or Mexicans, than you might not be so sanguine about it.

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  16. Debbie says:

    Correction:

    Ff you are the black, Asian, Hispanic or Muslim person who is paying state, federal and local taxes, and whose family members were drafted and/or enlisted in the armed forces or served on local police force of firefighters protecting that business establishment with those signs in the window, perhaps you wouldn’t be so sanguine about it

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  17. Hey Norm says:

    In an ideal world the market would prevent discrimination. Unfortunately this is not the ideal/fantasy world the Paul’s pretend it is.
    In this world a major political party would limit the religious freedoms of those who do not look or speak like them…think Manhatten Community Center erroneously called the Ground Zero Mosque.
    In this world a major political party would profile and harrass those who do not look or speak like them….think Arizona SB1070.
    In this world a major political party would demand to see the birth certificate of an elected official who does not look like them…think Obama.
    In this world hate is prevalent, and the rights of the hated must be protected as long as that’s true.

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  18. Tano says:

    Doug:

    Even if, for example, the Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina had wanted to serve the four black college students who sat down at their lunch counter on February 1, 1960, the laws in place at the time told them that they couldn’t.

    From the link that you provide:

    The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests which led to the Woolworth’s department store chain reversing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States.[

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  19. Tano says:

    Doug,
    more from that link:

    As the sit-ins continued, tensions grew in Greensboro and students began a far-reaching boycott of stores that had segregated lunch counters. Sales at the boycotted stores dropped by a third, leading the stores’ owners to abandon their segregation policies.[1]

    Black employees of Greensboro’s Woolworth’s store were the first to be served at the store’s lunch counter, on July 25, 1960. The next day, the entire Woolworth’s chain was desegregated, serving blacks and whites alike.[5]

    Where do you get this claim that this discrimination was mandated by state law? It seems not to be the case at all – the private company simply ended their policy.

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  20. Tano,

    Did you read what I wrote? I am aware of all of this.

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  21. steve says:

    I think that Weigel is correct, that Paul’s rationale does not necessarily indicate racism. What it does show is the indifference of pure libertarian thinking when it places property rights above all else. While some libertarians believe that by making property rights preeminent, it will maximize personal liberty, it is clear that if you look at history that this is not true. It also completely ignores the aspect of positive liberty. Minimal government intrusions can rid us of smallpox, or let us communicate with each other. In the case of the Civil Rights Act, libertarians would seem to believe that racism is economically unsound (read Harford for a nice explanation) and should have gone away on its own w/o government intervention. In reality, racism was an irrational belief system that was unlikely to respond to market pressures, indeed it had resisted them for many years. It was very clear that many people were committed to continuing to conduct business in private based upon those beliefs to the detriment of those not already privileged.

    Steve

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  22. Tano says:

    Doug,
    Not only did I read what you wrote, I copied it here. How can you say what I quoted you as saying about Woolworths, when it is simply not true?

    Woolworth’s was NOT mandated by state law to discriminate, as is obvious from the fact that they ended that policy on their own, without any law being changed. That is the opposite of what you wrote.

    Furher…

    The only reason that Chris Matthews (who may have been a good journalist at some point in the past but is now pretty much just a parody of himself) would ask such a question is to get someone like Paul to say something that might be controversial, and it seems like he succeeded.

    This is just crazy Doug. How on earth is it irrelevant to unearth the fact that a presidential candidate does not believe that the federal law that ended racial segregation should have been passed? This is a very clear, and useful insight into the man’s ideology, and how he thinks about implementing it in the real world.

    So is Rand Paul a racist?

    I am willing to argue the negative here. His problem is that his radical adherence to an abstract ideology compels him to accept a world in which racist discrimination is rampant, and is protected by law, by constitution, and by the very foundational philosophy of the nation – that being the focus on property rights.

    I stand by what I said when the Rand Paul controversy first broke in that I believe, at least in the abstract, that people should be free to do business or not do business with whoever they want, for whatever reason they want.

    And apparantly you suffer from that disease as well. Or perhaps not – in that you can recognize the problem here – holding your ideological beliefs in the abstract.

    I guess Paul does not understand the need to apply ones philosophy in the real world, and the fact that real-world consequences are key to any moral decision about theoretical positions.

    This is, of course, the chronic problem with libertarianism – and why its core adherents are adolescents. Its sounds so good on paper, but then you start to understand the real world…

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  23. Stupid freedom. Much better to let those who imagine they have a monopoly on understanding the real world tell you what to do.

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  24. michael reynolds says:

    Stupid freedom. Much better to let those who imagine they have a monopoly on understanding the real world tell you what to do.

    Are you aware that black people were forbidden most hotels, restaurants and hospitals in the south? Do you understand that you’re defending the freedom of a black father to stand helpless outside a white hospital while his child dies in his arms?

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  25. PD Shaw says:

    I pretty much agree with Doug that a lot of this can be blamed on the post-war SCOTUS. Unfortunately, I think the courts were not too far from public opinion and I’m not certain that Radical Republican idealogy was sustainable and the legacy of slavery was not going to be overcome easily.

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  26. JKR says:

    Strictly speaking he didn’t say that. He said he would have voted to end Jim Crow laws and opposed the government restricting liberty of private use of private property.

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  27. tom p says:

    OK, I am notifying the site admistrator that my comment was caught in the spam filter. (as I predicted).

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  28. Rick Almeida says:

    And who were they? Name some other than Strom Thurmond.

    Richard Shelby
    Buddy Caldwell
    Frank D. White
    Phil Gramm
    Bill Bennett
    Roy Moore
    David Duke
    Rick Perry
    Lauch Faircloth
    Buddy Roemer
    Fob James
    Ben Nighthorse Campbell
    Sonny Perdue
    Amy Tuck
    Virgil Goode

    How’s that?

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  29. Tano says:

    Jesse Helms

    Ronald Reagan

    Trent Lott

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  30. Tano says:

    He said he would have voted to end Jim Crow laws and opposed the government restricting liberty of private use of private property.

    By opposing the governmental restriction of private use of property, he would have been voting to allow racial discrimination to persist. There is no way around it.

    I can acknowledge that he would not have been driven to these positions by racial animus (as were almost all others who opposed the Civil Rights bill), but the effect of his vote would be to perpetuate discrimination – indeed to protect discrimination with the laws.

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  31. Southern Hoosier says:

    Richard Shelby On November 9, 1994, Shelby switched his party affiliation to Republican,

    30 years later LOL

    Buddy Caldwel In 2007, Caldwell ran for attorney general against the incumbent, fellow Democrat Charles F. Foti, Jr.,

    2007 fellow Democrat?

    Frank D. White Early in 1980, White switched from Democrat to Republican

    1980? Sweet!

    Phil Gramm was thrown off the House Budget Committee for supporting Reagan’s tax cuts. In response, Gramm resigned his House seat on January 5, 1983. He then ran as a Republican for his own vacancy in a February 12, 1983 special election, and won.

    No Civil Rights issue here either.

    Bill Bennett in 1986 that Bennett switched from the Democratic to the Republican party.

    1986? And he never served in Congress, so he couldn’t have voted for or against the Civil Rights Act.

    Roy Moore He ran in 1986 for Etowah County’s district attorney position against fellow Democrat Jimmy Hedgspeth.

    1986 and he never served in Congress either.

    David Duke In December 1988, Duke changed his political affiliation from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party

    Same thing 1988 never served in Congress

    I don’t really see any point in going through the whole list.

    Tano says:
    Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 16:10

    So did most of the Democrats at that time.

    Which is why they were made unwelcome in the Democratic party, and left, en mass, to form the Republican majority of the late 20th century.

    Left in mass? Now we know why Tano never answered my question.

    And who were they? Name some other than Strom Thurmond

    You should have taken your cue from him.

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  32. Southern Hoosier says:

    Southern Hoosier says:
    Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 16:06

    Ron Paul Says He Would Have Voted Against The 1964 Civil Rights Act

    So did most of the Democrats at that time.

    Since no one caught my mistake, allow me to correct myself.

    In the house

    Republicans favored the bill 138 to 34; Democrats supported it 152-96.

    In the Senate

    Six Republicans and 21 Democrats held firm and voted against passage.

    Not most Democrats, but the greatest opposition did come from Democrats.

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  33. steve says:

    “Which is why they were made unwelcome in the Democratic party, and left, en masse, to form the Republican majority of the late 20th century.

    And who were they? Name some other than Strom Thurmond.”

    You just named a bunch of people who left the Dems to join the Repubs, just as he postulated. People have written books on the topic, but casual observation should tell you that the Southern Democrats largely left to form the base of the GOP.

    Steve

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  34. Southern Hoosier says:

    Al Gore Sr.
    William J. Fulbright
    Robert C. Byrd
    Sam Ervin
    Richard B. Russell,
    Senator John F. Kennedy voted against the 1957 Civil rights Act.
    Ernest Hollings, D-SC Raised the Confederate flag over the state capital of South Carolina.

    Did any of these people leave the Democrat Party in mass?

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  35. Southern Hoosier says:

    @ Steve

    If you read back, their leaving had nothing to do with the 1964 Civil Rights act.

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  36. Tano says:

    Now we know why Tano never answered my question.

    I answered your question.
    And you are convincing no one with your feigning ignorance here. The shift of the solid Democratic South to a solid Republican South in the years after civil rights has been one of the most profound and striking realignments in American history.

    For you to pretend this somehow didn’t happen is beyond bizarre.

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  37. Southern Hoosier says:

    Jesse Helms He was at Capitol Broadcasting Company until he was elected to the Senate in 1972.

    Had noting to do with the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    Ronald Reagan he switched to the Republican Party in 1962

    . and he never served in Congress.

    Trent LottLott was raised as a Democrat. He served as administrative assistant to House Rules Committee chairman William M. Colmer, also of Pascagoula, from 1968 to 1972.

    1972 he became a Republican and ran for Senate.

    Tano says:
    Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 16:10

    Which is why they were made unwelcome in the Democratic party, and left, en mass, to form the Republican majority of the late 20th century.

    Now tell me again who all these Democrats were that voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act that left in mass, because they were unwelcome in the Democrat Party.

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  38. Eric Florack says:

    However, by the time the 1964 Civil Rights Act came into being the distinction between private and public behavior under Jim Crow was a hard line to draw, especially when social pressure by Southern whites made it virtually impossible for any business owner who didn’t want to discriminate against blacks from doing so.

    Which brings us back to Justice Harlan’s observation IE; that the pendulum swings both ways.

    I hasten to point out further that the intrusion into our daily lives by the Federal government is far greater than it was at the time… and now is social pressure as much as anything else.

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  39. Tano says:

    who all these Democrats were that voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act that left in mass,

    I was not referring to the specific Dems in Congress who voted one way or the other on that specific bill. I was referring to all the Dems in the South who opposed the bill, who would have voted against it if they were in Congress – as I thought you were referring to when you referred to Paul – who said he would have opposed the bill if he were in a position to do so.

    I have no information about the specific individuals who were in Congress at the time. IF that was your only point – then fine.

    I am sure though that you would be prepared to concede that literally millions of loyal Democratic voters in the South left the Democratic party and joined the Republican party because the Democrats, in a messy process, made the fundamental decision, starting in ’48 with Humphrey at the convention (that led to the Dixiecrat revolt), to turn their back on the Southern tradition of racial segregation, and to adopt the cause of Civil Rights.

    The racists, and those who simply were content to go along with a racist system that advantaged them, left en masse for the Republican party – attracted not so much by the old-line establishment Republicans (many of whom were true heirs of Lincoln on these matters), but by people like Ronald Reagan, and the new conservatives, as well as Nixon the opportunist, who were perfectly happy to exploit racial tensions for their political benefit.

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  40. An Interested Party says:

    Not most Democrats, but the greatest opposition did come from Democrats.

    For further clarification, Grand Dragon Southern Hoosier…the greatest opposition came from Southern Democrats, you know, people from that region of the country that you so admire…meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of Northern Democrats voted for the legislation…

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  41. Southern Hoosier says:

    Tano says:Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 23:15

    who all these Democrats were that voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act that left in mass,

    I was not referring to the specific Dems in Congress who voted one way or the other on that specific bill. I was referring to all the Dems in the South who opposed the bill, who would have voted against it if they were in Congress – as I thought you were referring to when you referred to Paul –

    Then why didn’t you say that? Instead you and Steve started giving me names of people that switched parties that had nothing to do with the 1964 Civil Rights acts.

    Since the Republicans were strong supporters of Civil Rights, perhaps people left the Democrats because the Democrats opposed Civil Rights. The most harden segregationist stayed in the Democrat Party. Al Gore Sr., William J. Fulbright,. Robert C. Byrd, Sam Ervin. Richard B. Russell just to name a few.

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  42. Tano says:

    Then why didn’t you say that?

    That is what I said. I know perfectly well that Helms, Reagan, and Lott were not in Congress in 1964. Nor were most or any of the people Rick mentioned. Maybe there was a misunderstanding, but I don’t think my understanding was at fault.

    Instead you and Steve started giving me names of people that switched parties that had nothing to do with the 1964 Civil Rights acts

    The people I metioned certainly left the party in part, if not in whole (I suspect for Helms especially) because of the larger Civil Rights stance of the Democratic Party, of which the ’64 bill was only a part.

    perhaps people left the Democrats because the Democrats opposed Civil Rights.

    I suspect that you know perfectly well that that is simply not true. If you don’t, then you really know nothing about this country and its history.

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  43. sam says:

    The musical [South Pacific, 1949] explores the theme of racial prejudice in several ways. Nellie struggles to accept Emile’s mixed-race children. Another American serviceman, Lieutenant Cable, struggles with the prejudice that he would face if he were to marry an Asian woman. His song about this, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”, was criticized as too controversial for the musical stage and called indecent and pro-communist. While the show was on a tour of the Southern United States, lawmakers in Georgia introduced a bill outlawing any entertainment containing “an underlying philosophy inspired by Moscow. One legislator said that “a song justifying interracial marriage was implicitly a threat to the American way of life.” [South Pacific ]

    Oh, yeah, they would have come around — in about another 200 years.

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  44. michael reynolds, I was commenting on the last part of the comment before mine. Sorry if that was unclear or led you to fall prey to your baser instincts and instinctfully accuse me of racism.

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  45. [...] Mataconis makes this point in his examination of Ron Paul’s statement that he wouldn’t have voted for the 1964 [...]

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  46. Herb says:

    Why are you guys arguing over who voted for the CRA in 1964? Seriously, Southern Hoosier, what are you trying to establish here?

    That Ron Paul would have made a great Democrat in the 60s?

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  47. michael reynolds says:

    Charles:

    I think I understood your comment perfectly well. But I did not accuse you of racism. I accused you of having the small “L” libertarian’s blindness to the consequences of ideology.

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  48. michael reynolds says:

    Charles:

    And actually, let me clarify that further: I was wondering aloud whether you were indifferent, but it also occurred to me that you might simply be unaware. I don’t know how old you are, and I’ve learned it’s a mistake to assume that people know the history of the 60’s. I write for kids and for them the 1960’s might as well be the 1860’s.

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  49. Egypt Steve says:

    OK, let’s let the free market work this way: Those who want to discriminate can do so. But they get no benefit from any public services. No police protection, no fire protection, no trash pick-up, no public sidewalks or streets leading to their places of business. They can buy all of those services with whatever profits they think they can make by operating their businesses in a discriminatory way.

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  50. Observer says:

    To further Egypts point:
    We can let moochers like the Pauls also
    1) use their own currency in their transactions and bear the cost of guaranteeing payment
    2) enforce their own “private business”, which in fact today is a creation of the government

    The Pauls want their government created legal entity to participate in a government backed commercial system but they don’t want the government to impose any rules of behaviour on them. Moochers.

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  51. pj says:

    Here is what leaving “en masse” means. In 1956, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina voted for Adlai Stevenson. In 1964, they voted for Barry Goldwater.

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  52. pj says:

    Civil Rights Act of 1964, votes by region:

    The original House version:

    Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7%–93%)
    Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0%–100%)

    Northern Democrats: 145-9 (94%–6%)
    Northern Republicans: 138-24 (85%–15%)

    The Senate version:

    Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5%–95%)
    Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0%–100%)

    Northern Democrats: 45-1 (98%–2%)
    Northern Republicans: 27-5 (84%–16%)

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  53. An Outhouse says:

    There is no such thing as private business (unless you’re referencing masturbation). Business is conducted in the public domain and is inherently public.

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  54. sam says:

    @Grand Dragon SH

    “Since the Republicans were strong supporters of Civil Rights, perhaps people left the Democrats because the Democrats opposed Civil Rights. The most harden segregationist stayed in the Democrat Party.”

    Those Republicans would be denounced now as RINOs (if not worse). But I’m not sure what your point is, anyway. If you are arguing that a wing of the Democratic party was deeply racist, well, yeah. (See, Civil War, USA) And it’s simply false that “the Democrats” opposed civil rights — some did, most did not. And further, it can’t really be disputed that the movement of the South from the Democratic party to the Republican began with the signing of the 1964 bill (and certainly not for the reason you suggest, that white folks down there left the Democratic party because it wasn’t sufficiently pro civil rights) . Recall that when President Johnson signed the act, he said the Democrats had lost the South for a generation. He was an optimist.

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  55. Vince says:

    Wow! Seriously? This isn’t “hardball” this is just pathetic. I’M against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. I’m FOR individual Liberty. But, so is the Constitution and IF this wasn’t just slander to make Ron Paul look racist they would have stated that the Supreme Court should have shot down Jim Crow as Un-Constitional. But, this was another hit piece because Dr. Ron Paul is a threat to the powers that be. You’ll notice that the status quo was unaffected by “Hope and Change”? Maybe you didn’t… what with the chills running up your leg… pathetic.

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  56. [...] Ron Paul Says He Would Have Voted Against The 1964 Civil Rights Act [...]

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  57. JR says:

    Of course, I suspect that Ron Paul has a position on bimetalism, too. And I’m at least somewhat curious what it is.

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