The Republican Party has always been the party of Civil Rights. We are the party that passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments over near unanimous opposition from Democrats. The Republicans advocated voting rights for women before the Democrats. The first woman in Congress and the first woman governor were Republicans. All the states that declined to ratify the 19th Amendment were controlled by Democrats.
The examples are endless: In 1957, a Democrat governor of Arkansas (Gov. Faubus) sent in the National Guard to keep black students out of a Little Rock High School and a Republican president (Eisenhower) sent in the 101st U.S. Airborne Division to escort the black students safely in to the school. In Congress, the Republican leader of the Senate (Dirksen) was leading the fight for Civil Rights legislation. Meanwhile, a US Democrat Senator (Byrd of West Virginia) who was a former local Ku Klux Klan leader, led a 14 hour filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Three years later, the Democrats rewarded the former Klansman Senator Byrd by making him secretary of the Senate Democrat Caucus. Later he became the Senate Democrat leader. Senator Hillary Clinton said about Byrd, “From my first day in the Senate, I sought out his guidance, and he was always generous with his time and his wisdom.”
Today, Democrats have rewarded a staunch anti-Semite with a seat on the House Foreign Relations Committee and leftists support discrimination against Asian students applying for college at Harvard, Yale and elsewhere. The Democrats continue to make false claims against Republicans: To comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, counties have reduced the number of polling places by combining smaller precincts. At a time when picture ID’s are required to drive a car, cash a check or buy a plane ticket, Democrats cry “discrimination” when ID’s are required to vote.
In the area of behaviors, Democrats have in recent years, again confused the issue. Republicans believe everyone should have their constitutional rights protected: freedom of speech, press, religion, the right to bear arms, protection of life liberty and property, among others. Governments will enforce reasonable safety and health standards, but to be truly free, people must have the right to refrain from participating, celebrating or endorsing various behaviors. This is true in people’s personal, religious, professional and business activities. If people are required or forced to participate, endorse or support with their talents, a particular activity, then they are no longer free. Including behaviors in non-discrimination employment and public accommodations legislation is an unnecessary infringement of individual liberty. We prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender, but not on other characteristics such as habits, preferences, sexual activities, or people with a host of other conditions.
Some states have already passed laws restricting counselors from offering their best advice to adults or minors with parental approval. Attempts to transgender oneself have very troubling mental health, and serious physical risks. People are seeing religious freedom denied, women’s rights obliterated and demands for taxpayer payment of operations that are dangerous. Some states and school districts are requiring a one-sided presentation to young students regarding family, marital and sexual beliefs that violate the thinking of reasonable parents that want to protect their children. Let’s ensure that Republicans continue to support the constitutional rights of individuals, and respect the life, liberty and property rights of all.