USA Today Twists Itself Into a Pretzel Trying to Deny Democratic Party Roots in Civil War and the KKK

Posted: Jul 07, 2020 1:15 PM
USA Today Twists Itself Into a Pretzel Trying to Deny Democratic Party Roots in Civil War and the KKK

Source: AP Photo

Well, if you ever want to see linguistic gymnastics, just take a look at this USA Today’s fact check of the claim that the Democrats didn’t create the Ku Klux Klan or start the American Civil War. Are they really just low on material over there? Because this wasn’t even said by a major politician. It was an Instagram user. Yeah, so for USA Today to pull out the fact check guns on this is a tell-tale sign that the Left is fully aware of their racist past. And given how left-wing mob violence has grown and ‘woke’ crybabies taking scalps at major publications, best to just show you’re part of the team and strike back whenever you can, no matter how ridiculous:

“At the core of the effort to discredit the current Democratic Party is the refusal to accept the realignment of the party structure in the mid-20th century,” Hunt said.

In September, NPR host Shereen Marisol Maraji called the claim, “one of the most well-worn clapbacks in modern American politics.”

Comedian Trevor Noah tackled the misleading trope on an episode of "The Daily Show" in March 2016, after two CNN contributors debated the topic.


“Who started the KKK? That was Democrats. Who was the party of slavery? Who was the part of Jim Crow and segregation? Who opposed the Civil Rights Movement? Who opposed voting rights? It was all the Democrats,” the meme reads.

Other posts making more specific claims about the Democratic Party starting the Civil War or founding the KKK continue to circulate.

This trope was rated false by PolitiFact and the Associated Press in October 2018.


A faction of the Democratic Party started the Civil War

Opponents of slavery extending further into America founded the Republican Party. They elected President Abraham Lincoln in 1860, in response to escalating tensions around slavery after the Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854 threatened the balance of slave states to free states.

Southern states, primarily led by Democrats, initiated secession proceedings and launched the Civil War. But historians say the party is not to blame.


The KKK was founded by Democrats, but not the party

The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 by ex-Confederate soldiers Frank McCord, Richard Reed, John Lester, John Kennedy, J. Calvin Jones and James Crowe in Pulaski, Tennessee. The group was originally a “social club” but quickly became a violent white supremacist group.

Its first grand wizard was Nathan Bedford Forrest, an ex-Confederate general and prominent slave trader.

Experts agree the KKK attracted many ex-Confederate soldiers and Southerners who opposed Reconstruction, most of whom were Democrats. Forrest even spoke at the 1868 Democratic National Convention.

I just find all of this funny. Yes, times have changed for the better concerning race relations (or so it seemed), but it seems only liberals and Democrats get brownie points for doing so. Republicans were the first to draft major civil rights bills, Dwight Eisenhower signed a major one into law in 1957, which was met by heavy opposition from Democrats. Why haven’t Democrats been canceled over fighting the first salvos against Jim Crow? 

Also, PolitiFact and AP doing fact checks doesn’t really give confidence to this false rating. That’s like saying China says it’s a liberal democracy because the…Chinese communist party site says so. Oh wait; sorry, CNN has already done that regarding coronavirus. 

Anyways, a sober approach to this is to simply say that the times different and have changed for the better. There’s also a misconception about party realignment in the piece, but I’ll allow our friends at RedState shred that; I’ll get to that in a second. Yet, this leap to denying that the Democrats started our most destructive conflict or really didn’t found a homegrown white supremacist terror group is what’s amazingly entertaining. So, let’s play ball here. Democrats didn’t start the civil war…because those members were from the South. Democrats didn’t start the KKK, but nearly all its members were affiliated or members of the Democratic Party. Oh, and its founder spoke…at the Democratic National Convention. This is weak sauce. And yes, these times were loaded with nuance. It’s a complicated and interesting part of our history that simply cannot be trusted to be reiterated by the unhinged ‘woke’ mob whose retroactive policing of historical events is just a trainwreck. Statues of Frederick Douglass are being vandalized, folks. Need I say more? Yet, Democrats and their allies in the media are not concerned with nuance; they can’t because their mob would consume them.

If we’re not afforded nuance, neither should the Left and their historically illiterate interpretations of history. Democrats did start the Civil War and their history is grounded in the klansmen who walked before them. This is wartime, folks. Act accordingly. 

For a hellfire missile strike, I suggest you read Bonchie’s take on this joke of a fact-check at RedState:

I do want to note that calling it a trope that Democrats made up the Confederacy while simultaneously spreading the trope that the parties “re-aligned” in the 1960s is pretty incredible. In reality, the parties did not re-align to the extent that one can claim they switched places. How do I know? Because Republicans didn’t even start gaining consistent majorities in the south until the early 2000s. What actually happened? Old, racist FDR era Democrats died out and their children and grandchildren became Republicans over decades of change. There is no evidence there was a sudden switch between the parties in the mid-20th century. If that were true, we’d have never gotten Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton.

Further, FDR and Woodrow Wilson were Democrats and racists. Would they have been Republicans if they lived in the 1970s? The parties switched places, right? Of course not, because parties are ultimately defined by their policies and both men were outspoken progressives. To make the case that the parties re-aligned to such an extent as to absolve the Democrat party of their historical sins is to pretend that some of the most famous Democrat presidents weren’t actually Democrats. You’d also have to explain why modern Democrats continue to be progressives just as their early 20th century forebears were. No one actually tries to make the case that FDR isn’t representative of the Democrat party because that would be silly.


I’ll end with a comment I’ve made a lot lately. None of this makes sense because it’s not designed to make sense. This fact-check is nothing more than political propaganda on behalf of Democrats.

Before we go, let’s venture over to the History Channel for their summary on the founding of the KKK [emphasis mine]:

Founded in 1865, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) extended into almost every southern state by 1870 and became a vehicle for white southern resistance to the Republican Party’s Reconstruction-era policies aimed at establishing political and economic equality for Black Americans. Its members waged an underground campaign of intimidation and violence directed at white and Black Republican leaders. Though Congress passed legislation designed to curb Klan terrorism, the organization saw its primary goal–the reestablishment of white supremacy–fulfilled through Democratic victories in state legislatures across the South in the 1870s.

Okay, sorry, to keep playing this game, let’s cede to these folks that the Klan wasn’t started by the Democrats, but it sure looks like they benefitted from their terror activities in the reestablishment of their power bases in the South. The Democratic Party in the South was revived by the Klan, then. Members of the Klan were Democrats, who terrorized Republicans to ensure Democratic state victories, but they weren’t founded by the party proper. Is this the hill you want to die on? It doesn’t sound any better. The Klan is still a big part of the Democratic Party’s history.