History of the Democratic Party: Part II

Over the past 200 years, Democrats as an institution --- not the average member --- evolved from overt to covert racism. The tactics they used to control minorities just changed, shifting from actual slavery on cotton plantations to ensuring blacks stayed on the plantation of government assistance.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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GLENN:  As we look back into history of the parties, the racist history of the Democratic Party has been very well documented.  While it is a fact that Democrats avoid it at all costs, when pushed, they will admit the truthfulness of it.  But they quickly claim that the racist Democrats in the South became Republicans who then became the racists.  They'll tell you that they now are the party of racial acceptance and inclusion.

Unfortunately, the problem is that statement is vastly untrue.  In saying that, it is important to remember that we're not talking about Democrats as your neighbors.  We're talking about Democrats as the institution.

And while Democrats like to claim that they are the party for a century now that has helped minorities and women get ahead, that they are the party of the downtrodden.  The facts simply don't back it up.

Not to put too fine of a point on it, but the opposite is actually the truth.

During the past 200 years, Democrats simply shifted their actions from overt racism to covert racism.

The tactics that they used to control minorities in America just changed.  They shifted from actual slavery on the cotton plantations to making sure that blacks remained on the plantation of government assistance.  Ever dependent on their Democratic overseers.

Republicans, meanwhile, as a general rule, have always fought for the rights of self-determination for minorities, any minority.  They tend not to promise that the government will take care of them.  Instead, the G.O.P., if true to its nonprogressive roots, has a philosophy that allows people to have the opportunity to take care of themselves, to chart their own course, make their own destiny, to thrive, rather than just survive on the handouts from supposed benevolent masters.  And the G.O.P. did this, first, as abolitionists.  Then they were the party that was opposed to the Jim Crow laws, the party in favor of women's suffrage and black civil rights.  Finally, the party that favors less government intervention in the lives of minorities and everyone else in this country.

On our last episode, it took us to the American Civil War.  It's just an interesting quick side note, the Confederate flag that is so hated today, is such a symbol of hatred and racism, but it was created and used by Democrats.

Even though the Union won the Civil War and the Republican president Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, still in the South, the rights for blacks were ignored, and oppression continued as Democrats passed laws to keep them down.

1866, Republicans went to work to put a stop on the southern lawlessness and to strengthen the newly passed 13th Amendment, which had finally constitutionally banned the practice of slavery in America.

VOICE:  By the time Congress convened in 1866, anti-slavery Republicans dominated both houses, led by men like John Bingham in the House, along with senators Charles Sumner and Jacob Howard, radical Republicans enjoyed complete control of Congress.

VOICE:  They have the power to amend the Constitution, and they are determined to use it.  They were faced with an unending series of abuses in the reconstruction of the south.  State and local governments had responded to the new 13th Amendment ban on slavery by trying to deprive newly freed slaves and their white supporters of any meaningful freedom, especially economic freedom.

GLENN:  This was a societal change that southern Democrats were passionate about stopping.

VOICE:  Economic liberty, the right to pursue a livelihood of your own choosing and to keep the money you earn was the opposite of slavery.  And the real opportunity for freed slaves to lead a free life.  The pro-slavery forces knew this.  So in the South, freed slaves weren't just banned from pursuing particular occupations, but in some places, it was actually illegal for black people to leave their employer's property without written permission.  In others, breaking a labor contract was punished by whipping.  The 14th Amendment was supposed to stop rights violations like these.

GLENN:  The Democrats in the South had lost the war, but they were determined that nothing in the states they controlled was going to change.

So it was up to Congress to try to do something about the deep schism that divided the nation.

VOICE:  The 14th Amendment protects three distinct interests:  Due process, equal protection, and the privileges or immunities, meaning rights, of United States citizens.

Of those three, privileges or immunities are by far the most important because that clause protects individual rights from government infringement.

GLENN:  In Congress, as was the case with the abolition of slavery with the 13th Amendment, every single Republican voted for the amendment.  All Republicans.  23 percent of Democrats in Congress voted in favor of the 13th Amendment, but not one Democrat in the US House or US Senate voted for the 14th Amendment.

100 percent Republican support, zero support from the Democrats.  Now, these are not opinions.  They are historical, provable facts.

They may be uncomfortable for some Democrats to hear, but they are indeed the truth.

David Barton explains why the 14th amendment was so important.

VOICE:  You get to the end of the Civil War, shortly after you abolish slavery, now you have all these states who separated to have slavery, and they have to come back to the Union somehow.  But you have to convince them that if you're going to get back in, you have to do so, upholding the 13th Amendment.  Slavery has got to be offered.  Well, they wouldn't.  They said, all right.  So what.  You freed all the slaves, but they're not going to be citizens of our state.  We're not going to let them be citizens of Louisiana or Georgia or Texas or whatever.  So Congress says, let's do a little arm twisting here.

GLENN:  And that set the stage for another amendment for the Constitution.

VOICE:  So they came up with a 14th Amendment that says that a freed slave is a citizen of the state in which he lives.  So what had happened in the South, you had two types of citizens.  You had state citizens, and you had others just living there, free blacks who can't be citizens.  Federal constitution says, no, no, no, that stops right now.  You live in a state.  You're a citizen of that state.  That's the end of it.

So that when it came time to vote on that in the federal Congress, 14th Amendment that says that these former slaves get civil rights, not a single Democrat in Congress voted for the 14th Amendment.

GLENN:  Democrats were losing the battle constitutionally and legislatively.  But they were finding other ways around their perceived problem.

VOICE:  You have all the slave owners, all these racist mentality people, who were willing to form their own nation on the basis of race.  And now you're trying to say that my elected representatives are black.  I'm not going to do this.

Well, in Democratic states, not only do you have Republicans, you've got black Republicans.

So nationally, in 1866, to stop this forward progress, there was a group that was started to keep Republicans out of office.  The group that was started in 1866, we recognize today.  But it was the Ku Klux Klan

GLENN:  The early days of the Klan was marked by violence against blacks, of course.  But white Republicans were not spared their wrath either.

VOICE:  In 1871, a black US congressman from South Carolina, Joseph Hayne Rainey, reported an instant concerning an elderly man named Dr. John Winsmith, a white Republican state senator.

VOICE:  The doctor, a man nearly 70 years of age had been to town.  Returning home late, he soon afterward retired.  A little after midnight, he was aroused by someone knocking violently at his front door.

VOICE:  The Klan shot down the state senator, a white state senator because he was a Republican and was fighting for the rights of blacks of his state.  In that hail of bullets, Dr. Winsmith was hit seven times.  However, he survived the shooting and lived to testify before Congress about the attack made on him by the Klan.

GLENN:  The Klan was really after the Republican, black or white.  And the Democratic Klan only got worse from there.

The shameful history of the Democratic Party is one of America's best kept secrets.  From the party's inception with its founder Martin Van Buren and President Andrew Jackson, the Democrats desperately tried to take away the rights and in many cases, the lives of many minorities.  Blacks and Indians.  From the devastating war against the American Indians to the continued scourge of slavery, seceding from the Union, igniting Civil War, fighting against the Constitutional rights gained by blacks after the war, and starting the KKK, wow, the Democrats were to this point, a century-long blight on the United States.

Whether that blight would continue during the next century is a topic that we have to explore.  However, listen to today's Democrats, and much of their supportive media.  The Democrats are positioned as the keepers of the flame of liberty.  The ferocious fighters in defense of the underdog.  But honestly, if you look at the facts, nothing could be further from the truth.

Next time, let's examine how the Klan lost its steam, and then became reinvigorated by an American Democratic president.  We look into the men who furthered the racism of the party and started the ideological radicalism of the progressive Democratic Party.

VOICE:  Tomorrow on the Glenn Beck Program in chapter three of the history of the Democratic Party, you'll learn how the progressives elected the most bigoted president we ever had, Woodrow Wilson.  Listen live or online at GlennBeck.com/serials.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.