Letter to the Editor: GOP is not the party of Lincoln

Editor:

Tom Sayre claims that the Democratic Party founded the Ku Klux Klan and Democrats were shooting at Republicans during the Civil War (in the recent Northern Virginia Daily story “Warren GOP, NAACP getting closer”). I am sure that Mr. Sayre understands that the development of the two major parties we have today did not stop in 1864.

The KKK was founded by former Confederate soldiers intent on preventing African-Americans from voting and holding public office.

The Republican Party likes to say it is the party of Lincoln. That was true through the Eisenhower administration. At that time, the Democrats still held the solid South and the Southern Democrats controlled the key committees in Congress. The Republican Party as the party of Lincoln began to be killed with Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy.

When the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, Sen. Richard Russell (D-Ga.) told President Johnson that the Southern states would change from Democrat to Republican. Russell was exactly right. Sen. Richard Shelby was elected in Alabama as a Democrat but he could not survive as such. He became a Republican.

The Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln and has not been for some time. It is now the party of Trump and the author of voter suppression laws that seek to decrease the impact of African-American voters.

Tom Howarth, chair,
Warren County Democratic Committee

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