WI: Civil Rights Act Passed Under GOP Presidency

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Roosevelt, Jun 11, 2019 at 9:25 PM.

  1. Roosevelt 26th President

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    What if either Ike or a Nixon presidency in the 60s managed to pass a civil rights act, how would this influence the elections to come? Would African-Americans be more of a swing bloc (or even Republican)? Would the south still have heavy leans to the Democrats or would it inevitably turn Republican? This would unleash a lot of butterflies for American politics.
     
  2. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    This actually did happen in OTL: Ike signed the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960.

    If you're referring to a Civil Rights Act like the 1964 one that ended segregation, this could potentially happen if Nixon wins in 1960. If the GOP is in power to enact the end of Jim Crow, this likely continues the resurgence of African-American support for the GOP that occurred under Eisenhower.
     
  3. David T Well-Known Member

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    African Americans were voting heavily Democratic for three decades before the civil rights act of 1964. If Nixon gets a strong civil rights bill through Congress, it will be supported by northern Democrats though opposed by southern ones, and will not reverse the loyalty of African Americans in the North to the Democratic Party, which was based more on economic issues than civil rights. Indeed, Nixon took a stronger stand on the civil rights bill of 1957 than JFK but still overwhelmingly lost the Illinois First Congressional District--77.4%-22.0--and New York's 16th Congressional District.--77.1%-22.2%--in 1960. https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...up-in-american-politics.454831/#post-17809925 (These were easily the most heavily African American districts in the country, one being the heart of Chicago's South Side "black belt", the other being most of Harlem.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 1:55 AM
  4. Thomas1195 Well-Known Member

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    Well, the Dems would still be economically left-wing, but I can see the GOP becoming a party with ideology similar to that of The Economist paper, I mean, like Dutch VVD, Danish Venstre or German/Swiss FDP.

    But I think we will have to go back to before 1948 and somehow prevent the Dems to be the ones who desegregated the Army.
     
  5. Old1812 Reactionary Monarchist Twit

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    Had African-Americans (in the South at least) been voting Democratic since the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927?
     
  6. Roosevelt 26th President

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    One thing I was thinking is that northern and more urban blacks would still be relatively democratic, while southern and rural blacks would be republican.
     
  7. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    The U.S. south remains a one-party Democrat region for decades (maybe still till today!).
     
  8. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    No. A southern middle class is still going to emerge and there will still be urbanization and suburbanization of southern whites along with movement of individuals in northern states to low-tax sunbelt states. This had a lot to do with the success of the GOP in the south. In 1952 Eisenhower won Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida. In 1956 Eisenhower won those states again as well as Kentucky and Louisiana. Civil rights was a factor, but it was hardly the only factor.



    Northern and Western blacks are still going to lean Democrat as folks have said in this thread, mainly due to economic reasons.
    Southern blacks and middle to upper class blacks will lean GOP.



    The southern GOP will be a combination of blacks, middle-class suburban and urban whites, business interests, and economic conservatives.


    [​IMG]

    If southern blacks vote 90%+ GOP (like the black population on the whole votes Democrat OTL), then I imagine the GOP would consistently get 50-65% of the Black vote.
     
  9. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    Get Nixon elected in 1960 - the man exchanged letters with Reverand Doctor King, was more aggressive on Civil Rights than JFK, and was one of the big pushers of Civil Rights in the Eisenhower White House.

    As others point out, you likely see a political split between Northern/Urban African Americans and Southern/Rural African Americans. The latter may play as a big a role as the growing Southern middle class in flipping the South to the GOP, and may impact everything from the growth of Atlanta (and it's related cultural scenes) to black media (Carleton's status as a black Republican might not be played for laughs in Fresh Prince of Bel Air) to an earlier rise of Black Republicans in the South (Doug Wilder is elected Governor of Virginia, as a Republican).

    One OTHER impact - the Moral Majority. It's entirely possible we see as many black churches involved with it as white ITTL. That could have some consequences - LGBT rights are likely well behind OTL, given even in OTL, black Americans skew conservative on those issues.

    Other political impacts? Maybe a bigger black vote for the GOP makes the party take a more libertarian line on policing, among other things.
     
  10. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    The issue is that black voters were pretty supportive of law and order policies given that it was their communities that were being ravaged by crime.

    I can see the GOP becoming more libertarian on policing in the 2000s when the realization sinks in that law and order doesn't work so well, but initially I can see them being as law-and-order minded as OTL.
     
  11. David T Well-Known Member

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    No. The switch came with the New Deal. As late as 1932 the majority of African American voters stuck with Hoover.
     
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  12. Amadeus Well-Known Member

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    The best way to keep the GOP the party most supported by African-Americans isn't to flip 1960 - it's to flip 1916. If 1916 goes the other way, the Democrats likely win in 1920 and stay in power until the Great Depression. If it's the GOP that provides economic relief to African-Americans, then most black voters would continue to vote Republican for at least another generation. (Though some would support the Democrats for other reasons, such as W.E.B. DuBois).
     
  13. Mark E. Well-Known Member

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    The GOP called itself the "party of Lincoln" until 1910. By the roaring twenties, the parties had grown together to the point H.L. Mencken said "there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties." So, if a Dem had been in power when the Great Depression landed, the GOP would likely have returned to its more progressive stand to win in 1932 and become the party of a New Deal.
     
  14. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

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    The
    What moral majority? A GOP that's secured more votes without picking up dixie and to a lesser extent catholic socons wouildn't need them. Democrats that are pre-1960s democrats, basically status quo socially/letting local areas decide and populist on econ wouldn't be attractive to the yuppie evangelicals either.

    There'd be no room for them in "mainstream" politics, so expect faster LGBT rights, ttl's version of Roe being less controversial, less tv censorship, weaker drug laws from the right side of thing along with less leftist moralism -- no #Meetoo, no"woke" stuff, less nanny state/"health naz" stuff(anti-smoking, complaining aobut meat). Also overall significantly less of a "for the children" culture with impacts on legislation(no MADD-inspired raising of the drinking age) and culture(read: much less people caring about scantily clad women or gore in videogames).

    Gay marriage as a thing in 2010 instead of 2015 and weed in vending machines as possible side effects.
     
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  15. Vikingstar Well-Known Member

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    The Republicans voted in the majority for the Civil Rights act of 1964, which insured its passage.
     
  16. Roosevelt 26th President

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    Yes, but credit usually falls on the President.
     
  17. Vikingstar Well-Known Member

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    Point taken.
     
  18. Titanicus Very Well-Hated Member

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    As someone pointed out, the credit does usually fall upon the President.
    However, the divide in the Civil Rights Act was more of a north-south. Southern Republicans and Democrats were against it while Northerners were for it, if I remember correctly. If you can get some pro-rights Republican in power, it's possible that they sign it and the Republicans get credit.

    It's fun to guess what would happen afterwards. I suppose there's no Southern Strategy anymore or in other words - the flip - that America saw throughout the later half of the 20th century?
     
  19. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    Eh, there were cultural and social factors that caused it's rise, thus creating the Moral Majority that was there to be wooed at all.

    You want to head that off, that requires everything from reducing the cultural influence of hippies and their ilk to Roe v. Wade going the other way, and now we're dealing with far bigger ripples than just no Moral Majority. There were so many factors, from the legalization of abortion to the early Satanic Panic, that to butterfly away the Moral Majority, the 60s and 70s would have to be unrecognizable.

    Far more likely that coalition between conservative white Baptists, Catholics, and Jews now has some black Baptists along for the ride.

    I mean, Nixon wins in '60, he never needs it to begin with, but still.

    There still might be, albeit in a somewhat different form - rather than appeal to the former segregationists, both open and former, the GOP likely swaps them out for black Southerners, while still making appeals to both the growing Southern middle class, and Southern churchgoers. Unless Southern African Americans voting for the GOP butterflies away Roe v Wade, hippies and a host of other factors, a lot of the groups that made up the Southern strategy will flock to the GOP banner anyway.

    In a sad sort of way, it may actually bridge some of the racial tensions in the South. "They may be n******, but at least they vote Republican, and hate the hippies, abortion and the gays like we do."
     
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  20. TastySpam Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, the GOP would probably do better among black voters, but bread-and-butter economic issues would still keep black voters a mostly Democratic voting bloc. Obviously an America where the GOP gets 25% of the black vote instead of 10% might be very different, but it isn't an America where the GOP is outright winning, unless there's some way the GOP ends up on the economic left of the Democratic Party.

    IIRC, when liberal pro-civil rights Winthrop Rockefeller ran against Orval Faubus (also known as the Governor who stood in the doorway trying to block the Little Rock Nine), he lost black voters to Faubus by around 20-80.

    Rural Southern blacks are not going to vote 90-10 Republican if Republicans are the more economically libertarian party. The rejoinder is "why have Republicans done so well with Southern whites since the 80's???" and my rejoinder is that outside of Appalachia, Southern whites aren't actually that poor anymore. Not particularly rich either, but mostly middle-class.

    In Appalachia, where there are many more poor whites, Democrats easily won white voters until the 1990's and in some places, up until 2016. In poor, mostly white Elliot County, Kentucky, Barack Obama won 61% of the vote, compared to Hillary Clinton at 26%.

    There's a tendency in alternate history to think that modern political divides and coalitions and what not are just random outcomes of "pivotal points" in history that we can have fun by changing in AH, but there's a powerful underlying logic to our modern political divides and something like a different President isn't going to really change that unless there are massive changes to the economy, society, culture, and the way people live. Certainly they can accelerate or slow changes, but they're often the consequences, not the causes of social changes.

    For example, what we broadly call "neoliberalism" would have happened even if Reagan lost in 1980 - because you saw the same stuff happening everywhere in the industrialized world, even under left-wing governments.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 5:29 PM