Why Are Democrats Attacking 100-yr-old Strom Thurmond?

December 15, 2002

by Mary Mostert, Analyst - Banner of Liberty

We are witnessing a full-scale attack by Democrats on a 100-year-old man, Strom Thurmond, for positions he supposedly held while the Democrat Governor of South Carolina in the 1940ís, and during his run for President under the States Rights Democratic Party in 1948. As a DEMOCRAT governor, Strom Thurmond opposed the nomination of Harry S. Truman and carried four Southern States - South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.

Today media hounds are howling for the skin of Senator Trent Lott, Republican from Mississippi, because he said in a toast to the retiring, record-setting 100-year-old Thurmond, "I want to say this about my state. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it and if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either."

The Windy City Word, a black newspaper, quoted Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a black Congressman representing a mostly black Congressional District and the newly elected head of the segregated, all black Congressional Black Caucus, called for Senator Lottís resignation because Lott said he thought America would have had fewer problems if weíd elected Strom Thurmond instead of Harry S. Truman.

So, just what IS the Strom Thurmond record that is so bad that Democrats think Trent Lott should resign over? After all, they donít think their own 85-year-old former Ku Klux Klan member, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who still publicly uses the word "nigger," is all that bad. What could Thurmond possibly have done that is worse than Senator Byrdís racism? Well, letís take a look at Strom Thurmondís record. When he was governor of the State of South Carolina from 1946-1950, he asked for and got from the legislature a bill that abolished the Poll Tax and provided more funds for the education of black children. (The Poll Tax was a fee that voters had to pay that made it almost impossible for very poor people - most of whom were black - to vote.)

Strom Thurmond was the first, and so far the only, candidate of any party to be elected to the United States Senate by winning as a write-in Candidate. Back then he was a Democrat. However, he opposed Harry Truman in the 1948 election, NOT because he opposed equal opportunities for black people, but because he firmly felt that according to the Constitution the poll tax and education issues were the province of the States, not the Federal Government. Neither education, nor voting law is mentioned in the United States Constitution and he believed these should rightfully be the responsibility of the States.

After all, the 10th Amendment to the Constitution clearly states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

As Thurmond pointed out in the Southern Manifesto in 1956, "We regard the decisions of the Supreme Court in the school cases as a clear abuse of judicial power. It climaxes a trend in the Federal Judiciary undertaking to legislate, in derogation of the authority of Congress, and to encroach upon the reserved rights of the States and the people." The original Constitution does not mention education. Neither does the 14th Amendment nor any other amendment. The debates preceding the submission of the 14th Amendment clearly show that there was no intent that it should affect the system of education maintained by the States.

Strom Thurmond also was the first Senator in the U.S. Senate to hire a black aide. When the 24th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1964, there were only five states that still had a Poll Tax. That was sixteen years after Governor Strom Thurmond had eliminated the Poll Tax in South Carolina and boosted appropriations for the education of black children.

Now, I ask you, what is one of the major issues these days where the courts are concerned? It is Legislating judges. Thatís what Strom Thurmond was trying to warn the American people about 50 years ago. The Civil Rights bill of 1965 did not eliminate the Poll Tax. The 24th Amendment, approved by the states, eliminated it.

Did sending federal troops into the South in the 1950s actually improve public schools? Or were schools improved by the courageous acts of those, like Strom Thurmond, who took action at the local and state level to improve schools?

To answer that all you need to do is compare the education young black people are getting in Strom Thurmondís South Carolina and those in Washington, DC, where liberal Congressional Democrats have been in control for most of the 20th century. While the District of Columbia spends more money - $9,019 per student - than any state in the nation, and 40% more than South Carolina spends, it has the lowest reading, math and science scores in the nation and are about half the proficiency levels in South Carolina.

Perhaps Lott was right. Perhaps the nation would have been better off had Strom Thurmond been elected in 1948.

To comment: mmostert@bannerofliberty.com

(Editorís Note: Trent Lott was just seven years old when Strom Thurmond ran for President. What he knows about that election, he learned from history, just as we can. History does not support the outrageous claims of the liberal media that Thurmond ran on a segregationist platform. History proves that Thurmond believed strongly in Stateís rights, just as modern conservatives do. That was his platform. Thanks to Mary Mostert for writing this courageous, thought-provoking article.)



Mary Mostert was writing professionally on political issues as a teen-ager in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1940s. In the 1960s, she wrote a weekly column for the Rochester Times Union, a Gannett paper and was one of 52 American women who attended the 17 Nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Switzerland to ban testing of nuclear bombs in the atmosphere. She was a licensed building contractor for 29 years, as she raised her six children. She served an 18 month mission as Public Affairs Director for the Africa Area for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1990-91. In the 1990s she wrote a book, Coming Home, Families Can Stop the Unraveling of America, edited the Reagan Monthly Monitor and talk show host Michael Reagan’s Information Interchange for seven years. She now operates the website, Banner of Liberty.

Send the author an E mail at Mostert@ConservativeTruth.org.

For more of Mary's articles, visit her archives.

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