We’ve heard from many of the least credible conservatives that the Confederate flag is really a problem for Democrats, not Republicans, an argument that can only be taken seriously if one erases the last 50+ years of American history. Bryan Fischer, for example:
Fischer, whose knowledge of American history apparently doesn’t include anything that has happened since 1965, spent a segment on his radio program yesterday insisting that Republicans in South Carolina should have refused to even vote on the removal of the flag because “this is a Democratic Party icon” and evidence that Democrats “have been horrible racists from day one” and that the party’s past is “so black, and so bad, and so dark, and so tinged with racism” that Democrats must now remove it in an effort to cover up the party’s sordid history.
And Steven Crowder, who offers several “proofs” that the Charleston shooter was really a “liberal activist.”
Dylann Roof’s prop of choice. It flew atop the South Carolina State House because of… Democrats. Yup, racist Democrats are the reason.
In July of 1948, at the Democratic convention, nine southern states backed Georgia’s Senator Richard Russell over Harry Truman, and paraded about waving a Confederate flag to the strains of Dixie. That moment sprung a movement, and Confederate flags flew off shelves in the months that followed. A few decades later, then Democrat Governor, Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, presided over the first Confederate flag being hoisted above the South Carolina State House. The Confederacy was comprised of Democrats, and they’re the ones who kept that flag flying. A Republican took it down.
And if history ended in 1965, they might have a point. But it didn’t and they don’t. The passage of the Civil Rights Act was the official end of the Democratic party as the primary political home of racists and the launch of the Republican party’s southern strategy. In today’s world, is it Democrats who are defending the Confederate flag or is it Republicans? South Carolina just voted to remove the flag from public buildings the other day, with a total of 20 votes against doing so between the two legislative chambers. All of them were Republicans.
Those who support the public showing of the Confederate flag today, as opposed to 50 years ago, are firmly part of the Republican party base. Anyone who claims otherwise is living in a fantasy world.