Nice Work Ted Cruz…Kinda

As readers of this blog now, I am not a big Ted Cruz fan.  I criticized him heavily during the 2016 campaign and also covered him in Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump.

But I am glad to see this:

Thanks, Ted Cruz!  Here is a Washington Post piece.

ADDENDUM:  These days I am just happy when a leading Republican calls out racism and white supremacy.  But as Al Mackey notes in the comments, let’s not pretend that Cruz’s references to Forrest as a delegate to the 1868 Democratic convention is not sending a subtle message rooted in the idea, popular among the Right today, that the Democrats continue to be the party of racism.  Kevin Kruse and others have debunked this view of history for its failure to recognize change over time.

7 thoughts on “Nice Work Ted Cruz…Kinda

  1. While it is true that Democrats in the 1860s supported both slavery and the KKK, at least Democrats in the South, it’s poor historical thinking because it ignores change over time.

    Make that an ABRUPT change between 1964 and 1968.
    In a Perfect Storm situation, the combination of the Civil Rights Act in ’64 and Nixon’s Southern Strategy in ’68 ended up flipping the party loyalty of the Southern White and (newly-enfranchsed) Black votes a full 180.



    “Ol’ Bedford” was a more complex and interesting man than just “Confederate General and first Grand Wizard of the KKK”. Born dirt-poor, raised himself to Southern Gentleman (through slave trading?), started the war as a buck private and ended it as a general, personal courage to the point of craziness (including one berserker incident where he charged a Federal calvary unit single-handed and cut down 24 enemy before his men pulled him away), one of the most aggressive generals in American history (up there with George Patton, Curtis LeMay, and John Bell Hood), became Grand Wizard of the First Klan under the impression it would be a resistance movement against Federal Occupation, and bailed out when it got too violent even for him.

    I’ve seen photographs of the man, and I would NOT want to get on his bad side. It’s the eyes — so intense they look like they’re burning right through you. The Predator’s Stare.


  3. Good question, I went there to read another piece, and it was under the list of “popular articles now.” So I don’t know.


  4. Thanks for this, Paul. Do you know when this was written? I can’t seem to find a date. I thought about doing a post on this piece, but I try not to link to an article until I can source it.


  5. Perhaps Cruz is sincere, but his linking of Forrest with the Democratic convention, juxtaposed with Dinesh D’Souza’s tirades, reveals a political strategy involved.

    Republicans today are trying to lure the black vote by linking Democrats with slavery and the original KKK. While it is true that Democrats in the 1860s supported both slavery and the KKK, at least Democrats in the South, it’s poor historical thinking because it ignores change over time. The strategy is doomed to fail because blacks see actions today. Cruz’s condemnation specified Forrest was a Democrat but ignored the governor’s membership in the Republican party. The condemnation ignored voter suppression actions by Republicans today in black communities. If Republicans want to woo the black vote, they need to make actions fit words. It’s the Party of Lincoln today that is defending the display of the confederate flag and defending all confederate monuments, while it’s the Party of Forrest today that is attacking both the display of the confederate flag and confederate monuments. Republicans who want the black vote need to respond to the concerns of black voters in substantive ways, not with rhetoric about what Democrats used to believe and don’t believe anymore.


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