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Old 01-12-2020, 09:45 PM
 
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I suspect the answer is yes.

The GOP % voting yes for the Civil Rights Act far surpassed the Democrats. Democrats first JFK supporter was Segregationist Alabama gov Patterson who did all in his power to empower what happened in Anniston.

JFK wanted the issue to go away. RFK did also. Hoover was as bad as any of the mob attacking at Anniston. That empowered the KKK.

Nixon was hardly conservative, and IMO, would have taken a more no non-sense approach with Southern politicians who were in bed with the KKK.I suspect, upon Wallace coming in, had he blocked the U of A' doors during a Nixon administration, he would have been taken away by the National Guard.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Roaring '20s
1,841 posts, read 470,184 times
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Originally Posted by BobNJ1960 View Post
I suspect the answer is yes.

The GOP % voting yes for the Civil Rights Act far surpassed the Democrats. Democrats first JFK supporter was Segregationist Alabama gov Patterson who did all in his power to empower what happened in Anniston.

JFK wanted the issue to go away. RFK did also. Hoover was as bad as any of the mob attacking at Anniston. That empowered the KKK.

Nixon was hardly conservative, and IMO, would have taken a more no non-sense approach with Southern politicians who were in bed with the KKK.I suspect, upon Wallace coming in, had he blocked the U of A' doors during a Nixon administration, he would have been taken away by the National Guard.
Both Nixon and JFK (and RFK) were enigmatic on civil rights. What you've done is cherry-picked from the actions of both to present Nixon in good light and Kennedy negatively on the issue. While both Kennedy and Nixon were pro-Civil Rights in the 1950s, it is true that Nixon was somewhat better on the issue than Kennedy. However, in the 1960 campaign Kennedy made a demonstrable break with his previous accommodation of Southern politics. He mostly ignored the South, gambling that he could carry it just on the strength of having LBJ on the ticket without having to worry about policy. When MLK was sentenced to jail in Georgia in the autumn of 1960 for peacefully protesting, it was Kennedy who publicly reached out to King's wife. And it was the intervention of both Kennedy brothers that helped secure King's release from his sentence of hard labor. Nixon refused to comment on King's situation. It also didn't help when Nixon's running mate claimed that a Nixon administration would include a black cabinet member, and then the campaign quickly repudiated that idea. These developments helped convince African-Americans to move away from the GOP ticket and toward Kennedy, and they voted for JFK by a margin of about 70-30. It is also not accurate to say that RFK just wanted the issue to go away. He felt that Johnson's presence on the ticket was unacceptable precisely because of civil rights, and he opposed it for that reason.

However, we must not conflate JFK with his brother. Frankly, JFK and Nixon seemed to possess about the same attitude on civil rights - one of trying to straddle the issue for the most political benefit. Though both appeared to genuinely feel that Jim Crow was morally wrong, neither was really politically committed to change beyond the tangible political benefits it might entail. But in the end, they were caught up on the tide of history, with a gradual shift of blacks as a Republican constituency to a Democratic one that preceded the entry of either into electoral politics in the late 1940s. And both men were simply more interested in foreign affairs than in domestic policy.

Finally, it should be noted that the passage of the Civil Rights Act itself in 1964 - rather than later - was a direct result of Kennedy's assassination and political martyrdom, and LBJ's subsequent understanding that he could reap tremendous political rewards from it. That more than anything was the key accelerant.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:23 AM
 
9,703 posts, read 9,693,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobNJ1960 View Post
I suspect the answer is yes.

The GOP % voting yes for the Civil Rights Act far surpassed the Democrats. Democrats first JFK supporter was Segregationist Alabama gov Patterson who did all in his power to empower what happened in Anniston.

JFK wanted the issue to go away. RFK did also. Hoover was as bad as any of the mob attacking at Anniston. That empowered the KKK.

Nixon was hardly conservative, and IMO, would have taken a more no non-sense approach with Southern politicians who were in bed with the KKK.I suspect, upon Wallace coming in, had he blocked the U of A' doors during a Nixon administration, he would have been taken away by the National Guard.
I doubt it.

The election of 1960 was indeed a narrow victory for JFK. It is difficult to say there was any one turning point or action that made any difference.

However, it is worth pointing out one of those possible turning points for purposes of this this discussion. During the midst of the 1960 presidential campaign. Martin Luther King was thrown into jail for protesting for civil rights. Richard Nixon and his people decided to do nothing. There was some discussion about "working behind the scenes" to try and get him released.

John F. Kennedy took a much more proactive role. He personally called Coretta Scott King on the phone to inquire about Martin. He and his staff than used their influence to have King released from jail. Martin's father, Martin Luther King Sr., spoke up at this point and publicly endorsed Kennedy for President. He had been planning to vote for Nixon and said later it was largely based on religious reasons. In 1960, there was still much prejudice against Catholics. This act though caused King's father to change his stance. This story was carried throughout the USA and may well have changed some minds. I can imagine it making the difference in many urban areas. These were hardly the actions of people who wanted the civil rights issue to "go away".

JFK's victory margin in 1960 was only a little over 100,000 votes out of millions cast.

Take a look at this link. It recounts a rare day in politics. It was one of those days when doing the right thing took precedence over simply doing the expedient thing.

https://time.com/4817240/martin-luth...dy-phone-call/
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:13 PM
 
20,464 posts, read 8,133,538 times
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Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
Both Nixon and JFK (and RFK) were enigmatic on civil rights. What you've done is cherry-picked from the actions of both to present Nixon in good light and Kennedy negatively on the issue. While both Kennedy and Nixon were pro-Civil Rights in the 1950s, it is true that Nixon was somewhat better on the issue than Kennedy. .
IMO Nixon and the GOP were willing to avoid being timid.

IMO, JFK was timid. (in action)

Last edited by BobNJ1960; 01-13-2020 at 01:24 PM..
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I doubt it.

.

Take a look at this link. It recounts a rare day in politics. It was one of those days when doing the right thing took precedence over simply doing the expedient thing.

[url]https://time.com/4817240/martin-luther-king-john-kennedy-phone-call/[/url]
Actually the link is hardly a celebration of doing what is right, as it is obvious both parties were calculating the outcome (politically) of each action they could take.

Very disconcerting.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Roaring '20s
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Originally Posted by BobNJ1960 View Post
IMO Nixon and the GOP were willing to avoid being timid.

IMO, JFK was timid. (in action)
Timidity was running away from your running mate's suggestion that your administration would include a black person.

Timidity was refusing to campaign in Harlem while your opponent did just that.

Timidity was going dark on the King jailing in Atlanta while your opponent make a point of reaching out to King and ultimately securing his release.

And what isn't timidity? Introducing the Civil Rights Act and pushing it (albeit fruitlessly, until you're assassinated) despite the fact that it threatens to send the racist white Southern part of your base into the arms of the other party (which is exactly what happened in 1964).
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Elysium
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If only "Nixon could go to China" perhaps only a Southern Democrat could put a cap on federal civil rights legislation
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Roaring '20s
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Originally Posted by Taiko View Post
If only "Nixon could go to China" perhaps only a Southern Democrat could put a cap on federal civil rights legislation
Quite right.

*Johnson was a Democrat.
*Johnson was a Southerner.
*Johnson was neither a Northeastern elite nor a Duke-educated Caifornian who forever yearned to join the club of the Northeastern elites - so he wasn't culturally alien to Southern Senators.
*Johnson was a Senator - Minority Whip, then Minority Leader, then six years as Majority Leader - the House passed the Civil Rights Act under Kennedy in 1963; it was in the Senate where it stalled.
*Johnson had leadership experience shepherding the 1957 Civil Rights Act through the Senate.
*Johnson had Kennedy's political martyrdom.
*Johnson in private displayed undisguised racism, partly real but also somewhat accentuated for purposes of appealing to his fellow Southern senators, which created a certain trust that helped him win their votes in passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Simply put, Johnson had myriad advantages over the two 1960 candidates that coalesced in 1964.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:09 AM
 
1,088 posts, read 1,271,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobNJ1960 View Post
I suspect the answer is yes.

The GOP % voting yes for the Civil Rights Act far surpassed the Democrats. Democrats first JFK supporter was Segregationist Alabama gov Patterson who did all in his power to empower what happened in Anniston.

JFK wanted the issue to go away. RFK did also. Hoover was as bad as any of the mob attacking at Anniston. That empowered the KKK.

Nixon was hardly conservative, and IMO, would have taken a more no non-sense approach with Southern politicians who were in bed with the KKK.I suspect, upon Wallace coming in, had he blocked the U of A' doors during a Nixon administration, he would have been taken away by the National Guard.
I think you've been fooled by a partisan talking point here. The actual history of support for Civil Rights is not a clear Democrat vs Republican thing, but a North/South, conservative/liberal thing. Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Democrats were a massive national party, moreso than the Republicans. They were split among Northern and Southern (or perhaps conservative/liberal) wings. It was an uneasy alliance. The Democratic Party spearheaded Civil Rights legislation and split as a result. Those Southern conservatives moved on to ally with southern Republican conservatives, creating the solid GOP block of the Deep South that we have today.

Northern Democrats in the House supported the CRA 94-6%, Northern Republicans supported it 85-15%. Southern Democrats opposed it 7-93%. Southern Republicans opposed it 100%. In the Senate, Northern Democrats supported the CRA 98-2%, but Northern Republicans only supported it 84-16%. Southern Democrats opposed 5-95% and Southern Republicans 100%. So a Southern Democrat was slightly more likely to support Civil Rights than Southern Republican.

Basically, this whole Twitter thread by historian Kevin M. Kruse tears apart the conservative myth in great detail. EDIT: Forgot to include the link to the thread:

But in very short summary, the division was North/South moreso than Democrat/Republican. It's important to remember that until fairly recently, both parties had wings representing different interests. And after Civil Rights, conservative Democrats largely broke ranks. The GOP became the champion of their old conservative causes, including racial discrimination under different names.

It's funny because so much of American history is a North/South divide yet we still insist on focusing things through other ideological lenses.

As for your question, it's hard to say. Nixon's outlook doesn't really matter so much as the political apparatus, which wound up swinging firmly in the anti-civil rights camp. Again, see Kruse's thread where he takes down all sorts of insitutions, like the conservative magazine National Review, for opposing Civil Rights and turning Republican ideology firmly against it.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:24 PM
 
9,703 posts, read 9,693,225 times
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Originally Posted by VM1138 View Post
I think you've been fooled by a partisan talking point here. The actual history of support for Civil Rights is not a clear Democrat vs Republican thing, but a North/South, conservative/liberal thing. Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Democrats were a massive national party, moreso than the Republicans. They were split among Northern and Southern (or perhaps conservative/liberal) wings. It was an uneasy alliance. The Democratic Party spearheaded Civil Rights legislation and split as a result. Those Southern conservatives moved on to ally with southern Republican conservatives, creating the solid GOP block of the Deep South that we have today.

Northern Democrats in the House supported the CRA 94-6%, Northern Republicans supported it 85-15%. Southern Democrats opposed it 7-93%. Southern Republicans opposed it 100%. In the Senate, Northern Democrats supported the CRA 98-2%, but Northern Republicans only supported it 84-16%. Southern Democrats opposed 5-95% and Southern Republicans 100%. So a Southern Democrat was slightly more likely to support Civil Rights than Southern Republican.

Basically, this whole Twitter thread by historian Kevin M. Kruse tears apart the conservative myth in great detail. EDIT: Forgot to include the link to the thread:

But in very short summary, the division was North/South moreso than Democrat/Republican. It's important to remember that until fairly recently, both parties had wings representing different interests. And after Civil Rights, conservative Democrats largely broke ranks. The GOP became the champion of their old conservative causes, including racial discrimination under different names.

It's funny because so much of American history is a North/South divide yet we still insist on focusing things through other ideological lenses.

As for your question, it's hard to say. Nixon's outlook doesn't really matter so much as the political apparatus, which wound up swinging firmly in the anti-civil rights camp. Again, see Kruse's thread where he takes down all sorts of insitutions, like the conservative magazine National Review, for opposing Civil Rights and turning Republican ideology firmly against it.
Actually, Bob's post is the latest in a series of posts I've seen over the years from conservatives. Many want to write a revisionist history about the civil rights legislation of the mid-1960's. According to their "revisionism", republicans were for civil rights all along and democrats opposed it. A close examination of history reveals just how ridiculous this point really is. I note that Eisenhower was President from 1953 to 1961. No serious attempt was made to pass real civil rights legislation by Eisenhower.

The picture is complicated by what you say above. After the Civil War, the very name "republican" was anathema to southerners. As a result, some of the most conservative men in Congress ran for office under the label democrat. These men had virtually nothing in common with northern democrats except the name democrat. In fact, it would be the civil rights movement of the 1960's that pushed many of them to abandon the democrat party and change their party affiliation to "republican" although this was a long term process. It really wasn't completed until around the year 2000. The process goes by the name of the "Great Realignment" in American politics. However, for the sake of argument, many "democrats" (southern democrats) were against civil rights.

What is true of the civil rights movement is that it took Lyndon Johnson, a democrat, to push the legislation through Congress. Civil Rights legislation had stalled under President Kennedy and he was unable to overcome the opposition of southern senators to this legislation. Johnson used JFK's death to push the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through Congress. He said it should be passed out of respect to a poor dead president. Even so, it was a heavy lift. Before it could pass the Senate had to change its filibuster rules. Previously, it had taken a two-thirds vote of the Senate to stop a filibuster. This was reduced to sixty votes and that is what it takes today to end one. Johnson wheedled, cajoled, threatened, promised, and appealed to the better angels in the nature of the men who sat in the Senate. It is hard to imagine anyone other than Johnson being able to obtain passage of this law and than later, the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

When the final votes were tallied, many republican senators voted for these laws. I give them credit for doing the right thing along with the democrats who voted for the legislation. However, the impetus for this legislation came almost entirely from the democrat party. In fact, after the 1964 election, the democrats overwhelming dominated both the Senate and the House.

Johnson would go on in 1967 to appoint the first African American to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall. He would go on in 1968 to sign the Fair Housing Act into law.

It was a unique time in American history. I remember my father describing vividly as a practicing lawyer and a veteran of World War II the spirit that seemed to be present in America at that time. There was a perception this country had wrongs that it needed to right and the civil rights laws were the place to start. Johnson and the democrats were not alone in seeing this. However, it could not have happened...would not happened without them.
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