Brian Kilmeade, like most conservatives, is still living in the 19th century

Brian Kilmeade, like most conservatives, is still living in the 19th century July 2, 2019

Brian Kilmeade of Fox and friends pulled out the standard conservative talking point that the KKK was affiliated with the Democratic Party. In order to maintain this position of course they must still be living in the 19th century when the KKK began. In the modern world the Republican Party is the party of racism.

On Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade complained to Fox Nation personalities Diamond and Silk that the Democrats used to be the party of the Ku Klux Klan, but “somehow that narrative flipped.”

During the June 28 edition of Fox & Friends, Kilmeade claimed that Democrats often don’t acknowledge that their party “gave birth to the Ku Klux Klan.” He added that “it was a Republican that — Abraham Lincoln’s party — that up into the 1960s that would fought [and] push back against racism,” and mentioned former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), the longtime Democrat and former KKK leader. Kilmeade expressed aggravation that after the 1960s, “somehow that narrative flipped.”…

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): I think on some level, Diamond, the Democrats don’t want this argument for the main reason is they’re the ones who gave birth to the Ku Klux Klan. It was a Republican that — Abraham Lincoln’s party — that up into the 1960s that would fought [and] push back against racism. And somehow that narrative flipped, and people are forced to go back and remember what Sen. Byrd was and — even though every road is named after him and every hallway has a plaque with his face on it.

We hear this argument constantly from the right wing but it was only true up until the 1960s when the parties literally flipped their positions. Starting in 1960 the Democratic Party embraced civil rights while the Republican Party opposed it. That’s what led the so-called Dixiecrats to switch parties, led by people like Strom Thurmond, who went from being a Democrat to being a Republican. Conservatives are simply living in the past maintaining this position.

But Kilmeade adds a whole new level to this argument. He’s not just arguing that the KKK was affiliated with Democratic Party, he’s arguing that the Democratic Party created the KKK, a claim that Politifact called false. It simply is not true but you do hear it quite often. As usual, conservatives are living in the past.


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