Since President Donald Trump emerged on the political scene, Democrats have relentlessly challenged the truthfulness of his statements.
Ridiculing Trump’s so-called “alternative facts,” the Democrats have some “alternative facts” of their own.
Take this statement from the “Our History” page of the DNC website:“For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers' rights, and women's rights.”
Any student of history can immediately identify why this statement is not only misleading but in some respects an outright lie.
The Democrats of today may claim to champion these ideas, but this has certainly not been the case for “more than 200 years.”
With the possible exception of the party’s support for worker’s rights, these issues were not the Democrats’ concern for nearly a century of the party’s existence.
Most significantly, the Democrats were hardly champions of civil rights. For much of its history, the party struggled with division over the question of minority rights. The issue of the expansion of slavery tore the Democrats apart before and after the Civil War.
It was actually the Republican Party that was founded on the idea that slavery should be abolished.
In 1864, the Republican Party platform stated, “Slavery is hostile to the principles of Republican Government. Justice and the National safety demand its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the Republic.”
Sorry, Tom Perez, it was your own party that started the Civil War because you supported the “civil rights” of slave owners.
Disagreement on civil rights issues within the Democratic Party continued long after the Civil War. Because of division within the party, the Democrats were only able to hold one presidency between 1896 and 1932. In 1948, the first time the Democrats officially adopted a pro-civil rights platform, Southern Democrats walked out of the Democratic National Convention in protest.
The divide remained throughout the 1950s and 60s, with southern Democrats attempting to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In fact, 80 percent of Republicans voted in favor of its final passage in contrast to less than 70 percent of democrats who supported it.
Does this sound like a party that has “led the fight for civil rights” for over 200 years?
The Democratic Party was also historically against women’s suffrage. The Republican Party supported women’s right to vote in its platform in 1854. However, due to the Democratic obstructionism, it was not until 1920 that woman was granted universal suffrage.
When the amendment came before congress, 82 percent of GOP members voted in favor of it, while only 59 percent of Democrats supported it.
Does that sound like the party that led the fight for women’s right for over 200 years?
The Democrats have a selective memory when it comes to their party’s history. This is not to say that the history of the Republican Party is without blemishes; over the years, the GOP has no doubt struggled with its identity as a party as well. However, in light of their criticisms of Trump’s honesty, the Democrats’ rewriting of the past is blatantly hypocritical.
Consider Andrew Jackson, for example, the first president to identify as a Democrat. The party is quick to forget Jackson, after his brutal ousting of the Native Americans.
Or Woodrow Wilson: Democrats will glorify him as a champion of peace but will fail to mention that he cared little about civil rights and viewed segregation in federal agencies as a benefit to minorities.
Or John F. Kennedy: his civil rights advocacy is highlighted, but many Democrats ignore the depths of political calculus and extreme hesitancy with which JFK approached civil rights issues.
This tendency to overlook or rebrand certain prominent Democratic figures does not just apply to Democrats of the past but to party leaders of the present as well.
One reason that the country rejected Hillary Clinton was because she tried to be all things to all people, and in the end, no one truly knew where she stood on the issues.
The Democrats claim to have a 200-year history of leading the fight for civil rights, healthcare, Social Security, worker’s rights, and women’s rights?
But history says otherwise.
Depending on which Democrat you look at, that number might not even be ten years.
If Democrats are going to attack Trump for lying and deceiving the American people, they should be careful of what they advertise themselves to be.
About the Author: Christopher Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. He currently co-hosts a conservative radio show for Yellowhammer News radio, which is heard throughout the state of Alabama.
This article was originally published in The Hill.