Trump Has Soul

President Trump may be embattled amid the impeachment witch trial, but at least he “is the blackest president we have ever had.” That’s according to Antwon Williams, a lovably chubby black man. It’s a title that’s even better than President Clinton’s (care of Toni Morrison) anointing as “America’s First Black President.”

Williams credited President Trump’s “realness” with his honorary title of “The Blackest President.” He also argues that his family is better off under President Trump. Per Mr. Williams, c/o Infowars:

“Like, dude, he’s helping me and my family. We never owned a house before Trump came into office; now we own a home. I own cars. Our family is doing great, you know? So, the hell with what people say.”

Trump’s policies have certainly helped restore what Gavin McInnes calls America’s “economic libido.” Beyond that, though, it’s easy to see that President Trump has soul.

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Phone it in Friday IV: Conferencing

It’s been a very busy week, and with a slew of lessons and some open mic nighting yesterday—plus an early start this morning—I was unable to get a post written last night to go live this morning.  Further, I attended a teachers’ conference in a city about 90 minutes from my school, so I was unable to sneak in any surreptitious blogging amid sessions.

For tomorrow’s SubscribeStar Saturday post, I’m going to write more about one of the conference sessions I attended, which was about the importance of faculty culture to the functioning of an independent school.  I think it holds within it some important lessons about culture more broadly, and is worth discussing in more detail.

For this evening, though, my time is quite limited, so I thought I would share some general reflections on today’s conference.  I’m scooting off to a very cold pressbox for the evening, from which I’ll be announcing a playoff football game, and getting some hastily-rehearsed singers out onto the field for a brief Veterans’ Day presentation.  When the head of your Board of Directors wants something, he gets it.

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Bernie’s (Cell) Bloc Voting

Blogger jonolan at Reflections from a Murky Pond has a post about Bernie Sanders’s recent suggestion that convicted, incarcerated prisoners should be able to vote. The piece, “Bernie’s Folsom Pledge,” points out not just the absurdity of such a position, but the devastating political outcomes it would have.

We all understand the former implicitly: incarcerated felons are paying their debt to society, so their usual rights—freedom of movement (now “arrested”), the ability to vote, etc.—are forfeit. There is a fruitful discussion to be had about when, and under what circumstances, former convicts might be restored their right to vote, but the notion that inmates should be able to cast ballots undermines the very concept of punitive imprisonment.

The latter point—what would the political impact be if we allowed prisoners to vote—is not considered as frequently. In part, that’s because the idea was, until relatively recently, completely ridiculous. But we live in an age in which what was once decent, traditional, and commonsensical (and, therefore, never seriously questioned or in need of articulate defense) is challenged constantly, if not already destroyed utterly, so we have to engage in mental exercises that were once entirely abstract and academic.

jonolan does a great service here in a very succinct post way. Here he details the terrifying impact a prison population could have on local elections:

Focus on the State, County, and Local elections.

Imagine, if you will, the great harm that incarcerated felons could do in those elections, especially ones for: Police Chiefs, Sheriffs, District Attorneys, Prosecutors, and/or Judges. Remember, these are elections with a much smaller electorate and, hence, the population of a prison there could and likely would greatly impact the outcome(s).

Convicted felons voting for their jailers and captors: only slightly removed from the old cliche of the insane running the asylum. Turnout in these county elections (as sheriffs are usually elected at the county level) is so low that sometimes even a dozen (or fewer) votes can swing the outcome.

According to World Prison Brief, the prison population in the United States is around 2,121,600. I couldn’t find the average population of a typical American prison—perhaps a more patient and enterprising reader can—but imagine in a rural, low-population county what impact the prison population could have. Granted, prisoners might not even be registered to vote in the county in which they find themselves incarcerated (opening up another question: where, how, and in what precinct would prisoners be registered to vote?), but if they were, they could easily elect ne’er-do-wells to key law enforcement positions.

jonolan also points out the constitutional error implicit in extending voting rights to criminals:

Voting, be it for offices within each state or for elected federal offices is a matter that is wholly within the purview of each state. The federal government can only step in to prevent certain broad abuses, e.g., denying the “right” to vote based on race (15th Amendment), sex (19th Amendment), or advanced age (26th Amendment). As such, it is grossly inappropriate for any Presidential candidate to weigh in on this matter and to use it as a plank in his campaign’s platform.

As such, Bernie’s pro-prisoner proposal would require a constitutional amendment. That would mean proposal by 2/3rds of both chambers of Congress, then ratification by 3/4ths of the States. Of course, that’s Bernie’s shield: he knows it’s insane (and, as jonolan argues, it’s probably an attempt to shore up his iffy support among black voters), but he can call for it, virtually risk-free, while gaining some brownie points with progressives.

The whole proposal is yet another tiresome example of the destructive ideology of progressivism. In its endless thirst for new “rights” to grant and extend—always at the behest of government, of course—the Left forever pushes beyond any semblance of an orderly, sane society. It would be humorous if they weren’t so effective.

Sailer on Progressive Split

Demographer and statistician Steve Sailer has a piece up at Taki’s Magazine entitled “Bernie vs. Ta-Nehisi,” detailing the major split within modern progressivism between old-school Marxists and social justice warriors.  Naturally, there’s a great deal of overlap between those groups, but Sailer looks at the major wedge between them:  their views on race.

First, let’s define our terms here:  the “old-school Marxists” like Bernie think race is a tool of the upper classes to divide the social classes.  Part of this approach, as Sailer points out, is electoral pragmatism:  align the have-nots against the haves, regardless of race, to maximize voters.  There are more non-rich people than there are rich, so promising Medicare for all and to “soak the rich” Huey Long-style can bribe voters of all stripes.

The other side—what I’ve referred to broadly referred to as the “social justice warriors”—are the ones obsessed with race, and who see racial injustice everywhere.  For Sailer, the symbolic leader of this group is racialist mediocrity Ta-Nehisi Coates, the former blogger made good because white liberals feel good about themselves when reading his rambling essays.

(I imagine it’s a sensation of righteous self-flagellation that isn’t too dangerous or life-altering for the reader:  they get the sadistic satisfaction of acknowledging their own implicit bias, racism, and privilege, while feeling like they’re making a difference because they breathlessly show their support for an erudite-sounding black guy.  But I digress.)

The former group wants to buy off all voters with as many publicly-funded goodies as possible; the latter wants to buy off minority voters with reparations and other publicly-funded goodies, all while chastising white voters (and gleefully awaiting the approaching day that whites are a minority, too).

Sailer, who refers to Coates as “TNC,” sums this division up succinctly:

The war between Bernie and TNC pits the old Marx-influenced left, with its hardheaded obsession with class, power, and money, against the new Coatesian left, which cares more about whether Marvel’s next movie features a black, female, or nonbinary superhero.

The rest of Sailer’s essay focuses on the obsession with racial identity and representation that dominates “Coatesian left.”  It’s not enough that everyone, black or white, share in Sanders’s redistributionist schemes; rather, blacks specifically must benefit at the expense of whites as a form of payback for slavery, alleged “redlining” in during the Depression, and “institutional racism.”

Further, the Coatesian/social justice Left demands “representation,” because a black superhero will magically improve the lot of black Americans.  Another Sailer quotation:

Coates’ notion that mass entertainment culture has been devoted to stereotyping black people as undeserving is, of course, absurd. But it helps explain some of his popularity in an era in which it is considered sophisticated to argue that Will Smith shouldn’t be cast as Serena and Venus Williams’ tennis dad because he’s not as dark-skinned as Idris Elba (while others argue that Smith, unlike Elba, deserves the role because he is an ADOS: American Descendant of Slaves).

Can you imagine what Socialist Senator Sanders thinks of these energies devoted to which millionaire should get richer?

Unlike Bernie, Coates is concerned with the old-fashioned comic-book virtues that appeal to 9-year-old boys: honor, status, representation, heredity, antiquity, and vengeance.

Revenge is a dish best served cold.  Maybe that’s why so many prominent Democratic presidential hopefuls are reheating such a tired idea.

Neither Sanders-style Marxism or Coatesian racial grievance will repair the United States’s fractured culture, but it will be interesting to see which side wins the Left.  Demographics suggest the latter will prevail over time.

Regardless, at bottom, both of these movements are redistributionist, and seek to plunder accumulated wealth and productivity to unprecedented degrees.  One might be traditional Marxism and the other Cultural Marxism—but they’re both Marxism.

TBT: Family Matters Follow-Up Part II: The Welfare State and the Crisis of the Family

TBT for this week: https://theportlypolitico.blogspot.com/2016/08/family-matters-follow-up-part-ii.html

Last week’s #TBT featured a follow-up to one of the most read pieces on my old site, “Family Matters.”  That piece generated so many questions and comments on Facebook back in 2016 that I wrote two lengthy follow-up posts.  This post deals with the deleterious impact of the welfare state upon the family, looking first at the effect of the Great Society on the black family.  It then examines how those negative consequences spread beyond racial barriers to destroy traditional and nuclear family formation across races.

Now, over half of children born to women under 30 are born out of wedlock, regardless of race.  Economics doesn’t explain that story entirely, but misguided government policy, which placed perverse incentives on single motherhood, have driven what is ultimately a cultural and spiritual decline.

The details are in the post below, so without further ado, here is 10 August 2016’s “Family Matters Follow-Up Part II: The Welfare State and the Crisis of the Family“:

My series of posts on the decline of the traditional family unit in the United States and the West has generated a great deal of discussion (and, occasionally, some bitter recriminations).  Thus, after the overwhelming feedback and requests for clarification I received to “Family Matters,” I decided to expand upon some portions of that piece (click here to read “Follow-Up Part I” about divorce and sex education).

One of the claims of “Family Matters” concerned the “havoc” President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society/War on Poverty wreaked on the black American families.  In the original post, I failed to link to any data or articles to substantiate this claim, but I’ve since updated the post with links to Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous “Moynihan Report” (actual title:  The Negro Family:  The Case for National Action) and a piece from 2015 that summarizes some of the main points of the report.

The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan–who would go on to serve as US Ambassador to India and the United Nations, then as a Democratic Senator for New York–enjoys a rare respect as a liberal among conservatives.  Though he was a leftist on many issues, he was first and foremost a scholar with a commitment to following the data wherever it took him.

The so-called “Moynihan Report”–which he wrote while working as a bureaucrat in the Department of Labor in 1965–demonstrated that many of the problems of the black community were caused only in part by discrimination, but much more so by a decline in marriage and stable family formation.  While racial discrimination was (and–I would like to think to a lesser extent–still is) a major problem in the 1960s, it alone could not explain adequately the plight of many black Americans.

Instead, what Moynihan discovered was that well-intentioned government programs inadvertently subsidized single motherhood, and were destroying the black family.  Indeed, the “national action” for which Moynihan called was that which would reinforce “the establishment of a stable Negro family structure.”  This national goal would be “difficult,” but “it almost certainly offers the only possibility of resolving in our time what is, after all, the nation’s oldest, and most instransigent, and now its most dangerous social problem.”  (Moynihan, The Negro Family)

I once heard a conservative black gentleman from Darlington, South Carolina, summarize Moynihan’s argument thus:  at a time when black men faced legitimate discrimination in the workforce, and could lose their jobs on the flimsiest of pretexts, the federal government came along offering generous support to single mothers.  By 1975–ten years after Moynihan’s prophetic report–a head of household would have to earn $88,000 (in 2015 dollars; about $22,000 in 1975) to out-earn the benefit from the federal government.  (Jack Coleman, “Juan Williams:  Daniel Patrick Moynihan ‘Had it Right’ About Breakdown of the Black Family”)  As Jason Riley, author of Please Stop Helping Us:  How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed wrote in a 2015 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, “In effect, the government paid mothers to keep fathers out of the home–and paid them well.”

Not surprisingly, many women took note of this benefit.  Some of them–and, yes, I know what you’re about to read will be hard to believe, but it actually happened–calculated that they were better off divorcing their husbands or having a child out of wedlock, especially given the real, costly discrimination their husbands faced.  Government do-gooding, coupled with a legacy of racial discrimination, caused many young black children to grow up without fathers.

Initially, that might not have been a huge problem… but it metastasized.  Young boys grew up without father figures to shape them, and came to expect that leaving a woman, or having children with multiple women, was natural.  Young girls grew up thinking they had no reasonable expectation of their man sticking around.  With each generation, the problem grew worse and worse, until now roughly 72-73% of black children born in America are born to a single parent.

“[S]imply replacing one parent with a paycheck does not fulfill a child’s many needs.”

Single parenthood is sometimes the only option, but it’s a tough row to hoe.  Not only does it place financial burdens on the parent; it also removes from her or him the ability to parent a child adequately.  To quote economist Walter Williams at length:

“Whether a student is black, white, orange or polka-dot and whether he’s poor or rich, there are some minimum requirements that must be met in order for him to do well in school. Someone must make the student do his homework. Someone must see to it that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep. Someone has to fix him a wholesome breakfast and ensure that he gets to school on time and respects and obeys teachers.

“Here’s my question: Which one of those basic requirements can be accomplished through a presidential executive order, a congressional mandate or the edict of a mayor, a superintendent of schools or a teacher? If those basic requirements aren’t met, whatever else that is done in the name of education is for naught.” (emphasis added; Walter Williams, “Can Racial Discrimination Explain Much?”)

In other words, simply replacing one parent with a paycheck does not fulfill a child’s many needs.  Children born out-of-wedlock and raised by a single parent are more likely “to experience a variety of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems,” according to Dr. Paul Amato in “The Impact of Family Formation Change on the Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Well-Being of the Next Generation.”   That creates ripple effects for generations to come, and the cycle is difficult to break.

***

The problem was prevalent even before Moynihan wrote his report (which, not surprisingly, caused many of his fellow-liberals to accuse him of “racism” and bigotry–common tactics when faced with an unpleasant truth).  Ronald Reagan, while campaigning for Arizona Senator and Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964, told the story in his magisterial “A Time for Choosing” speech of a mother who divorced her husband to get a check from the government, and how she learned to do it after talking to two other women who’d also gamed the system.

We’ve now had fifty-one years of the Great Society, and while some of its programs helped alleviate malnutrition and other problems that are, thankfully, dwindling issues, its good intentions created a host of other problems.  In 1965, one could still plausibly claim that government do-gooders merely didn’t know any better.  Now, the argument seems to be, “Well, we’re trying to do the right thing, so that’s all that should matter.”  That’s prime paving stone for the road to hell.

“The decline of the family is a problem all Americans will have to address.”

Moynihan argued that black Americans in particular were experiencing the decline of family formation most heavily because of the “tangle of pathologies” stemming from centuries of slavery and a century of legal, social, and economic segregation, and that this legacy dovetailed disastrously with the perverse incentive toward divorce and single motherhood.  As he predicted, this tangle morphed into a multi-generational cycle that has ground many black Americans further into poverty.

In 2016, the negative consequences have not only magnified the problem among black Americans; it’s spread throughout American society.  There’s been a crisis among black families for fifty years; we ignored it at our peril.

The experience of black American families since the 1960s is a sad story, though there are many brave black mothers and fathers who raise their children with love and support.  They are struggling to break a dangerous cycle, one that swirls in a murky stew of cultural, social, and economic pressures against the two-parent family and traditional marriage.

Racism appears to have enhanced the deleterious effects of the welfare state in the case of black families, but now those negative consequences are increasingly color-blind.  The decline of the family is a problem all Americans will have to address.

(For additional reading, check out the works of Walter Williams, a brilliant economist and political conservative who, as it happens, is black.  Start here for an appetizer:  http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/can-racial-discrimination-explain-much/article/2556814; after that, get Race and Economics:  How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?)

TBT: Family Matters Follow-Up Part I: Divorce and Marriage; Sex Education

Happy Valentine’s Day!  To celebrate the Day of Love, here’s a #TBT about the collapse of the American family and divorce.  This piece was a follow-up to one of my most popular posts on the old site, “Family Matters.”  I received a ton of feedback on that post (in those days, I posted everything to my personal Facebook page, but that was before it became completely unpleasant to be a conservative online—Trump was elected that November and it became much more dangerous to espouse conservative ideas on Facebook), including lots of questions about divorce and such.

Most of those comments fell into the anecdotal, “well, ACTUALLY” range—“what you’re saying is true, but here’s my one exception that I think undermines the general trend.”  Yes, yes—of course there are rare instances in which divorce is preferable to sticking it out, like violent abuse.  That said, we should generally support preserving marriage and discouraging divorce.

So, enjoy your Valentine’s Day with this lengthy rumination on divorce, marriage, and sex education:

Last Friday I wrote a post entitled “Family Matters” about the decline of the traditional family in the United States and the West, which I called “our true national and civilizational crisis.”  To my surprise, the post was very well-received and popular.  To date, it is the second-most read blog post on the site, and I look for it to eclipse the most-read entry, “American Values, American Nationalism.”  It certainly shattered single-day records for The Portly Politico.

It also garnered quite a bit of discussion on my Facebook page, where I always share links to these posts.  There was a great deal of excellent discussion, including questions for clarification on some points.  People also shared some of their personal experiences with matters of family and what sorts of arrangements work and in what circumstances.

As such, I thought I’d dedicate today and Wednesday’s posts to following up on some of the comments, questions, and observations I received.  I do so to facilitate further discussion and to help clear up any confusion about some of my contentions.

(Note:  As I wrote this post, I decided to split it into [at least] two parts.  Wednesday’s portion will deal with questions about same-sex couples and the impact of the Great Society upon black families.)

– Divorce:  I did not mention divorce at all in Friday’s post, but many of the comments I received dealt with this painful scenario.  Certainly, no picture of the decline of the traditional family is complete without a discussion of dissolved unions.

With roughly 50% of marriages ending in divorce, the model of the stable, two-parent family is further threatened, although increasingly families are forming outside of formal marriage.  Neither of these scenarios is ideal.  The rate of divorce naturally increased in the twentieth century in part because divorces became easier to obtain, especially with the rise and success of the women’s suffrage and rights movements.

The relative legal ease of acquiring a divorce, however, does not tell the full story.  Divorce also increased because of increasingly relaxed attitudes about marriage and family formation.  As the single working mother morphed from an object of sympathy into a perverse ideal–and as social signals and laws increasingly downplayed the importance of fathers and privileged mothers–both men and women came to see marriage as less of an institution and more of a formality.

“[Parents]… should make a good-faith effort to raise their children in a stable home, and to spare them the misery, confusion, and familial turmoil of divorce.”

As several commenters noted, sometimes divorce is, sadly, the better option, such as when a spouse is abusive.  I suspect many such unfortunate unions take place precisely because we’ve come to take marriage (and love) so lightly.  The erosion of a broad, common set of cultural and religious values could also play a role, as more and more “oxen” are unevenly “yoked,” creating deep tensions within relationships.

Of course, marriage is hugely complicated, and couples part way for many reasons (usually money).  However, it does seem that, absent abuse, infidelity, or criminality, couples with children should make a good-faith effort to raise their children in a stable home, and to spare them the misery, confusion, and familial turmoil of divorce.

Marriage, after all, is–or, at least, should be–a serious obligation entered into by two sober-minded adults with shared values and principles.  Of course, actual human relationships tend to be messy even in the most ideal of circumstances, but a proper focus on the point of marriage–two people coming together as one in the presence of God–would go a long way to help realign and heal struggling marriages.

 “Marriage, after all, is… a serious obligation entered into by two sober-minded adults with shared values and principles.”

– Sex Education:  One friend argued that we need more sex education in schools, as well as free birth control for young people to prevent unwanted pregnancies.  While I believe that abstinence is the best method of birth control to emphasize, I’m enough of a realist to know that teenagers find particular joy in doing what they’re told not to do.

The problem I see is two-fold:  first, we already provide sex education in most public high schools throughout the United States; second, the call for more sex education and access to contraceptives merely demonstrate the crisis of the family I’ve noted.

The proper realm for sex education is the home.  The popular media has perpetuated the myth that parents don’t talk to their children about the pitfalls of premarital sex because they’re uncomfortable or prudish, so the schools have to do it to prevent millions of unplanned pregnancies.

The problem, rather, is that so many children are growing up in homes without proper parental guidance, they’re missing out on important lessons about sex, marriage, and family.  Absent fathers aren’t there to teach their children that it’s wrong to get a woman pregnant and then to leave her.  Sex outside of the framework or expectation of marriage becomes devoid of any larger sense of responsibility.

 “[S]o many children are growing up in homes without proper parental guidance, they’re missing out on important lessons about sex, marriage, and family.”

Therefore, teachers have had to take on yet another responsibility that should rest primarily, if not solely, with parents.  Add to this lack of parental involvement the glorification of sex in the media and the general “if-it-feels-good-do-it” philosophy of postmodern America, and you have a recipe for moral disaster.

It’s unfortunate that schools have had to adopt this responsibility, at it suggests a massive decline in the understanding of what parents are supposed to do for their children.

To the point about free birth control in schools, I’ve never really understood this argument.  I understand that the logic goes, “it’s worth taxpayers’ money because it prevents the births of children who would become wards of the state; therefore, it’s ultimately more cost-effective.”  But many forms of birth control are incredibly cheap and readily available.  There’s no compelling argument for why the government should force taxpayers to pay for a box of condoms for high school students.

As far as the birth control pill for girls, it’s actually Republicans who want to make it available over-the-counter, which would further drive down the cost and allow young women experiencing shame or uncertainty to obtain it more easily.

 “[P]roviding birth control pills to minors through public schools introduces a host of sticky constitutional and legal concerns….”

Most importantly, providing birth control pills to minors through public schools introduces a host of sticky constitutional and legal concerns, the biggest being, “what if a family’s faith forbids the use of contraceptives”?  A devout, traditional Catholic, for example, would no-doubt object to being forced to pay for birth control for his daughter and the daughters of strangers.  He would likewise experience a crisis being required to purchase condoms for his or others sons.

Just because most people–including, apparently, most Catholics–are morally comfortable using traditional birth control and contraceptive methods doesn’t mean that we should make those who disagree pay for it.  The need to fund contraceptives becomes even less pressing when the low cost is considered.  Why cause an unnecessary, stressful crisis of faith for millions just to save a kid a quarter on a gas station rubber?

At this point, I would agree with my friend that, unfortunately, schools do have to take some role in sex education, especially given the increased likelihood children won’t receive it at home, since the traditional family unit is on the decline.  If private non-profit organizations want to provide additional information or free contraceptives, no worries–there’s no infringement upon religious liberty via official coercion.  Additionally, schools should stress the moral and financial obligations of parents to their children, especially in those communities where good role models are lacking.

Unfortunately, another government program to hand out free condoms is not a lasting solution to a problem that is one of the soul, not of the pocketbook.  Let civil society address these problems (perhaps with a revival of the good, old-fashioned shotgun wedding).

***
These are certainly thorny problems, and I fully recognize that as a single, never-married man I don’t possess the same perspective as, say, a married couple of twenty years or a divorcee.  Nevertheless, I reject the notion that a lack of personal experience disqualifies one from the discussion (even while acknowledging that personal experience often provides a great deal of clarity).  Besides, I’ve witnessed first-hand the power of strong marriages and stable families.  Indeed, I’m the beneficiary of one such union.

Finally, I appreciate lively (and civil) feedback and discussion, and I look forward to expanding further on this topic on Wednesday.

Republicans Defend and Expand the Franchise

Today in South Carolina, hundreds of thousands of voters will head to the polls to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries.  In the spirit of this time-honored and precious American right, I’d like to explore the Republican Party’s history of defending and expanding the franchise.

Democrats are fond of accusing Republicans of a “war on women” and of attempting to “silence minority voters.”  But a brief glance at the historical record suggests otherwise.

Republicans were key in pushing for the ratification of the 15th Amendment, which granted all men, regardless of race, the right to vote.  Ratified in 1870, the amendment immediately faced resistance in the heavily-Democratic South of the Reconstruction era.  Both white and black Republicans in the South faced persistent repression at the hands of groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the Redeemers, who used intimidation and even violence to prevent Republicans from voting.

In response, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Enforcement Acts, which included the Ku Klux Klan Act, in 1870-1871.  These acts made it a federal offense to suppress voters through violence or intimidation, and ensured Republican victories in a number of States in the post-bellum Deep South.

Fifty years after the ratification of the 15th Amendment, Republicans once again pushed to expand this franchise, this time through the longsuffering women’s suffrage movement.  The Republican-controlled government of Wyoming first extended the right to vote to women in all elections in 1869, and a number of States—mostly in the Old West—followed suit, but Democratic recalcitrance had stalled further efforts towards women’s suffrage in other States.

While progressive Democratic President Woodrow Wilson reluctantly came to support women’s suffrage as a wartime measure—after initially opposing giving women the right to vote—the major push for women’s suffrage was a Republican one.  The vote over ratification came down to a single Tennessee State legislator, Harry T. Burn, who cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of ratification—making Tennessee the required 36th State to ratify and, therefore, amend the Constitution—after his mother wrote to admonish him to “Hurray and vote for suffrage.  Don’t forget to be a good boy.”  The son dutifully complied, and women all over the nation gained the right to vote.

Democrats deride sensible voter ID laws and other attempts to clean up elections as insidious attempts to suppress minority voters, while steadfastly ignoring their own checkered past of overt, often violent, suppression.

Fortunately, the Republican Party has consistently stood firm against such suppression, expanding and protecting the franchise for millions more Americans.