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Author Topic: Difference between Southern Dems and Republicans?  (Read 301 times)
MillennialMAModerate
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« on: August 12, 2017, 04:34:08 pm »
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Following up on buritobr'a post regarding Democrats in the South.

I've read up quite a bit on politics in the pst hundred years and I've found a lot of times during the administrations of especially Truman, JFK and LBJ that the Democrats had OVERWHELMING majorities in both houses and there were a lot of times that intiatives those Democrat Presidents wanted to get passed were stopped in their tracks by "Southern Democrats" (Not just racial issues either).

In reading up on "Southern Dems" in the past 100 years but especially from 45-80, they were very conservative in nature. So if that's the case then what separated them from Republicans of the time?

Can someone explain this for me?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 04:04:28 am by MillennialMAModerate »Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 11:25:43 pm »
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Conservative Republicans were generally isolationist on foreign policy and more open to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but not so much for rural areas.

Dixiecrats were unabashed hawks and tended to be hostile to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but very open to ones that modernized rural areas that had pretty much no electricity up to that point.
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 02:01:59 am »
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Since the south was a one party situation, that meant all interests were voiced through the Democratic party. Those interests were of course labor, business and agriculture primarily. Suppressed turnout meant that only the elites really had any political power or influence as the turnout was low in many states like Mississippi. It varies by state since some states had populist traditions that flowed into a more pro-New Deal stance, where in others that was not the case. A good example to look at was Texas, where as late as the early 1960's, you had the Progressive and Conservative business factions warring with each other and JFK's trip to Dallas was part of a multi-city swing to both mend fences and to boost his standing in the state.

As time went on, the business wing would start to drift towards voting like their counterparts in the rest of the country, starting with Eisenhower and generational politics played a big role as you got more removed from people who personally witnessed the Civil War and its aftermath. Anyone born prior to the 1930's would have probably grown up hearing someone raving about Yankee Republicans burning and decimating the South. Afterwards that begins to fade, tribalist opposition to the GOP goes with it and soon practical policy concerns on issues of business, civil rights and other issues take far greater priority than legacy voting.
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darklordoftech
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 04:49:05 am »
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The Dixiecrats feared that FDR packing the Supreme Court would lead to a pro-Civil Rights SCOTUS and they didn't want a Northerner like FDR to have that much power because of lingering North-South distrust from the Civil War.

The Dixiecrats and the rest of the party were united by their opposition to the interests of big business, wall street, robber barons, etc.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 05:47:51 am by darklordoftech »Logged
darklordoftech
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 01:51:09 am »
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Conservative Republicans were generally isolationist on foreign policy and more open to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but not so much for rural areas.

Dixiecrats were unabashed hawks and tended to be hostile to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but very open to ones that modernized rural areas that had pretty much no electricity up to that point.

The Dixiecrats being hawks when it came to WWII is ironic considering who's been in the news for defending the Robert E. Lee statue. By the way, what states did the isolationists tend to come from?
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2017, 04:14:49 am »
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Conservative Republicans were generally isolationist on foreign policy and more open to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but not so much for rural areas.

Dixiecrats were unabashed hawks and tended to be hostile to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but very open to ones that modernized rural areas that had pretty much no electricity up to that point.

I would add some other areas where Southern Dixiecrats were very supportive of reforms and New Deal: transportation, agriculture (including irrigation), well - an education (for whites only, of course) too. That's why many of them were rated relatively high by liberal organisations in 1st phase of New Deal (1933-36). There were very few really economically conservative Democrats (George Terrell and his like) in Congress then. But on social and racial issues many Southern Democrats were to the right of even very conservative Republicans. And when FDR programs went further then simple "salvation from Depression" - southern opposition increased markedly.
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2017, 10:00:36 am »
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Conservative Republicans were generally isolationist on foreign policy and more open to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but not so much for rural areas.

Dixiecrats were unabashed hawks and tended to be hostile to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but very open to ones that modernized rural areas that had pretty much no electricity up to that point.

I would add some other areas where Southern Dixiecrats were very supportive of reforms and New Deal: transportation, agriculture (including irrigation), well - an education (for whites only, of course) too. That's why many of them were rated relatively high by liberal organisations in 1st phase of New Deal (1933-36). There were very few really economically conservative Democrats (George Terrell and his like) in Congress then. But on social and racial issues many Southern Democrats were to the right of even very conservative Republicans. And when FDR programs went further then simple "salvation from Depression" - southern opposition increased markedly.
And did southerners just adopt conservative economic views that Republicans held as they started switching affiliation? That's one part of the story I never really understood. The south would elect moderate-to-liberal senators up until the 1980s, such as Howell Heflin and John Sparkman.
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2017, 07:38:55 pm »
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Conservative Republicans were generally isolationist on foreign policy and more open to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but not so much for rural areas.

Dixiecrats were unabashed hawks and tended to be hostile to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but very open to ones that modernized rural areas that had pretty much no electricity up to that point.

The Dixiecrats being hawks when it came to WWII is ironic considering who's been in the news for defending the Robert E. Lee statue. By the way, what states did the isolationists tend to come from?

Not ironic at the time. Many of them still rang badly from stories about the Civil War and saw themselves as avengers.

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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2017, 01:55:34 am »
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Conservative Republicans were generally isolationist on foreign policy and more open to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but not so much for rural areas.

Dixiecrats were unabashed hawks and tended to be hostile to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but very open to ones that modernized rural areas that had pretty much no electricity up to that point.

I would add some other areas where Southern Dixiecrats were very supportive of reforms and New Deal: transportation, agriculture (including irrigation), well - an education (for whites only, of course) too. That's why many of them were rated relatively high by liberal organisations in 1st phase of New Deal (1933-36). There were very few really economically conservative Democrats (George Terrell and his like) in Congress then. But on social and racial issues many Southern Democrats were to the right of even very conservative Republicans. And when FDR programs went further then simple "salvation from Depression" - southern opposition increased markedly.
And did southerners just adopt conservative economic views that Republicans held as they started switching affiliation? That's one part of the story I never really understood. The south would elect moderate-to-liberal senators up until the 1980s, such as Howell Heflin and John Sparkman.

Well, partially, IMHO.. But - not all and not always. Generally even now former Democratic state legislators, who switched to Republican party, are part of "moderate wing" of Republican caucus. That tendency is clearly seen in ACU's ratings of state legislators - former Democrats are, frequently, too much "porkers" for ACU. Of course - there are exceptions, but not that many: most of the really (including economy) conservative Southern Democrats (which existed in 1960th and 70th, and, in some cases, were more conservative then mostly urban Southern Republicans of those days) are dead or long retired. Though i can name few cases, where Democratic legislators were as conservative as Republicans even before switching, and continue to do so (Holley and Dial in Alabama, Fannin - in Louisiana, Smith, Bounds, Reed and some other - in Mississippi)
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 03:17:03 am by smoltchanov »Logged

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darklordoftech
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2017, 02:09:02 am »
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Conservative Republicans were generally isolationist on foreign policy and more open to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but not so much for rural areas.

Dixiecrats were unabashed hawks and tended to be hostile to New Deal measures that were good for urban areas, but very open to ones that modernized rural areas that had pretty much no electricity up to that point.

The Dixiecrats being hawks when it came to WWII is ironic considering who's been in the news for defending the Robert E. Lee statue. By the way, what states did the isolationists tend to come from?

Not ironic at the time. Many of them still rang badly from stories about the Civil War and saw themselves as avengers.


Are you saying that the Dixiecrats saw the fight against Hitler as a continuation of the Confederacy's fight against the Union?
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2017, 04:07:48 am »
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By the way, what states did the isolationists tend to come from?

Generally, most of them were in the Midwest. It had a large German population, which was somewhat hostile to war with Germany in both World Wars. On top of that, there was also something of a Jeffersonian tradition of opposition to standing Armies, etc that existed in the portions of the GOP that came from Free Soil Democrats and the like though all the varying groups that poured into the GOP when it was formed gets rather confusing. There were a large number of Jeffersonian/Jacksonian types who formed a significant portion of the GOP, and especially what became known as its conservative wing in the early 20th century.
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