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When did the Democrats and Republicans switch places?

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JailForBush Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-03 03:14 PM
Original message
When did the Democrats and Republicans switch places?
I know that Abraham Lincoln was a RINO - Republican In Name Only. But when did the original Log Cabin Republicans or Lincoln's era start calling themselves Democrats?

I'm writing a brief article about Trading Places, so I'll have to do a lot more research, but it would be great to get a brief synopsis from someone who already knows the story.

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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-03 03:34 PM
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1. Note: The two parties traded places on *social* issues, not economic ones.
The Republican Party is still the party of the extremely wealthy. The Democratic Party is still the party of the poor and middle class.
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Fixated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-03 03:41 PM
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2. Lincoln wasn't the liberal people think he was
He didn't want to "free the slaves" or anything so radical leftist. He just wanted to preserve the union. Probably the most overrated president ever. He was no RINO. He was a radical Republican tool.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-03 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. That was bullshit, Lincoln talked PLENTY about freeing the slaves
Yes, he was a pragmatist and a man of his times.

Read the Lincoln-Douglas dedbates:

When push came to shove, he stuck with the best reasons to further the war aims, and that was deemphasizing the slavery issue while emphasizing preserving the Union.

He was something of a Radical Republican tool, but he also fought with them, particularly on the terms of the Confederate Reconstruction, and on many other issues.

Most current day Repugs HATE that Federal Gubmint lovin' (and something-else lovin' to many Busheviks) Lincoln.

I have no doubt this is not a coincidence.
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-03 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. 100% wrong
Lincoln was passionately devoted to freeing the slaves. he even said that opposition to the institution of slavery was at the center of his politics.
He was a very skilled politician, and to keep the union from splitting he wanted to attack the slavery powers from the periphery.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-03 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. He acted as duplicitous as today's politicians.
From a campaign speech for his senate run in Chicago, July 1858:
Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal.

Two months later, in Charleston, Illinois:
I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people...

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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-03 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. here is an essay on lincoln and abolitionism I wrote for college a while b
Edited on Tue Dec-30-03 03:58 PM by Zuni
On edit---most of the ??? marks are really "" or '' marks. Something didn't transfer correctly.

In my opinion, Abraham Lincoln was a true abolitionist, as committed to the extinction of slavery in the United States as even the most radical abolitionist. But Lincoln was a pragmatist however, first and foremost, and he did not want to divide the Union any further. Unionism was as important as abolitionism in Lincoln?s politics. He adopted a campaign strategy and public persona that put him squarely in the moderate camp, making him far more electable than the more radical Fremont in 1856. Lincoln believed that slavery could be abolished without radical measures, nature just had to be allowed to take it?s course. In general, Lincoln?s position was that if he could get elected, then he could withdraw federal support for the institution and prevent it from entering the western territories, which would eventually kill slavery off.
Abraham Lincoln was a very skilled politician. One reason he was so popular was that he did not mix himself up in political conflicts. (Foner, Free, 214) He was also acceptable to all of the wings of the Republican Party: to the radicals, he had staunch anti-slavery credentials and to the conservatives he was a skilled politician who wouldn?t pursue extremist policies if it put the country in danger. Lincoln?s public persona was that of a moderate, a grand gesture designed to attract Whigs and conservatives to the party. He made speeches outlining a conservative and gradualist approach to abolition. (Fehrenbacher, Republican, 298) Many observers, however, regarded him as closer to the radical side of the party. (Foner, Free, 214) Lincoln even stated that the ?hatred to the institution of slavery? was at the center of Republican politics.(Foner, Free, 215) Republicans and those close to him knew Lincoln was a true hardliner when it came to ending slavery. In Horace Greeley?s paper, a noted abolitionist journal, he was described as being ?ahead of the anti-slavery sentiment of the Republican Party, rather than behind it.? (Foner, Free, 215)
But Lincoln was also very concerned about the Union itself. He even took measures to try to calm the south to prevent an uprising after his election. He notified pro-slavery leaders that he would not oppose an amendment prohibiting federal intervention against slavery in states that it had already existed. (Fehrenbacher, Republican, 305) Despite his strong abolitionist beliefs, Lincoln thought southern secession would not only destroy the Union, but if successful it might be impossible to end slavery. That is why Lincoln developed his plan to stop the spread of the institution, which he often compared to a cancer. (Fehrenbacher, Republican, 300). In his belief, by using a gradualist approach of stopping the spread of slavery, by ending the Fugitive slave acts and by restricting interstate slave trading, the institution would die eventually. By using this method, he also hoped to prevent a civil war or southern rebellion. And Lincoln presented himself as a man devoted to the Union first, rather than a moral crusader. Because of the attempts at conciliation and his more moderate appearance, he has often been misinterpreted by history. (Foner, Free, 216)
Lincoln?s main goal was to get elected, because he knew that he could not make policy reality if he did not hold office. To be elected, he would have to pick up areas that the radical John Fremont had lost in 1856. And to this he had to appeal to a cross section of the nation. Fremont failed to carry such important states as Pennsylvania, Illinois and New Jersey. (Foner, Free, 216) To win these less radical states, the Republicans had to convert Democrats, former Whigs and swing voters to their cause. Lincoln understood this instinctively. They campaigned as anti-slavery Whigs in many areas. (Foner, Free, 216)
Lincoln, in my opinion was devoted to seeing the institution of slavery be destroyed in his lifetime. But he realized that to accomplish this, he first had to be elected, and then had to deal with a very hostile portion of the nation. So he adopted a moderate political program, a conciliatory tone and set out to campaign. He tailored his speeches and his public persona to appeal to the crowd he was with. This often leads to confusion about who Abraham Lincoln was and what he intended to accomplish. But truly, after going over the information at hand, I believe quite strongly that he was a firm, uncompromising abolitionist who knew how to play politics.

Fehrenbacher, D.E. The Republican Revolution. From the Slaveholding Republic.(page 295-338) New York. Oxford University Press.
Foner, Eric. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men. 1995. New York. Oxford University Press.
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dwckabal Donating Member (854 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-03 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Lincoln was hardly radical
Why do you think it took him three years to issue the Emacipation Proclamation?

Lincoln personally hated slavery. He never intended to abolish it, just contain it where it existed and not let it spread. He realized, as did the writers of the Constitution, that direct, sudden abolition would throw the country into chaos. Lincoln felt slavery would die off eventually, perhaps a generation after his Presidency. But the Civil War changed everything.

And, while he came to agree with some of the ideas of the more radical element of his Cabinet, he was no advocate of Radical Reconstruction. In fact, the biggest showdowns of his adminstration was over who had control over Reconstruction: Congress or the President? If Lincoln hadn't been assasinated, Reconstruction would have been more even tempered, not the mess it ended up being.
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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-30-03 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. You are seriously out of whack on history.
Lincoln wasn't a 'rino'. The Republican Party only came into existance in the 1850's because the Democratic Party and Whig Party refused to abolish slavery or adopt progressive platforms. The Republican Party, at it outset, was EXTREMELY liberal. It remained pretty progressive right up until the early 1900's. Teddy Roosevelt, the last liberal Republican president, decided to run against the Republican nominee in 1912 because he felt the nominee wasn't liberal enough. Beginning around that time, Republicans began to align more with the wealthy. Up until the 1960's the Democratic party had 2 branches - the very conservative racist Southern faction and the liberal northern faction. When liberal Democrats and Republicans pushed through Civil Rights laws in the 60's, southern Democrats bolted the party and voted for George Wallace, a racist governor, rather than the Democratic nominee. Nixon capitalized on the division in the Democratic Party and won in 68 & 72 by pulling conservative southern Democrats into Republican ranks. The flip was made complete by Ronald Reagan, who's stated support for 'states rights' was pretty much a code word for racist southerners who opposed school integration and black voting rights.

It wasn't until the conservative southern Democrats bailed on the Democratic party that the Democratic Party became THE liberal party, and the Republican Party THE conservative party.
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