This past Monday, December 7, 2009, Harry Reid, the Democrat Senate Majority Leader, spoke from the Senate floor and uttered these words concerning the Republican Party’s opposition to socialized health care:
"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘slow down, stop everything, let's start over.’ If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said 'slow down, it's too early, let’s wait, things aren't bad enough.’”
Reid continued, “When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote, some insisted they simply, slow down, there will be a better day to do that, today isn't quite right.
"When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today."
According to Harry Reid, on the issues of slavery, segregation and women having the right to vote, the Republicans were supposedly on the wrong side of history. Well, let’s examine history and see if Reid’s accusations have merit.
When the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which would end segregation nationwide, came to Congress for a vote, a number of Senators did, in fact, threaten to filibuster the bill as Harry Reid stated. What Harry Reid did not mention is that 80% of those Senators that threatened to filibuster the Civil Rights Act were Democrats. In fact, 31% of Democrats in Congress voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That means about 1/3 of the Democrat Party refused to end segregation nationwide.
How did the Republican Members of Congress vote concerning the Civil Rights Act of 1964? A total of 82% of the Republicans in Congress voted to end segregation nationwide. In other words, segregation ended when a larger percentage of Republicans voted in favor of civil rights.
Harry Reid’s charges against the Republican Party are baseless and false concerning the end of segregation. His charges are false concerning slavery, women’s voting rights and civil liberties as a whole. From the very beginning of both the Democrat and Republican Party’s history, there has been a huge difference concerning civil rights and liberties.
The Republican Party has a history of favoring civil rights while the Democrat Party has a history of opposing them.