The Democrat Party prides itself in being “progressive”.

This self-styled characterization is being used to replace the traditional label of “liberal” because of the latter’s negative (and true) connotations of the ungodly, anti-American philosophies and practices of the Democrat Party.

At last week’s Democrat National Convention in Denver, former Vice President Al Gore likened Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln, a Republican (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=OZq6qLePsME&feature=user).

But was the comparison accurate?

Certainly not.

From its founding to the present, the Republican Party has demonstrated true progressivism concerning the major social issues of a given time.

Barack Obama’s achievement as the first black presidential candidate of either major American party is certainly deserving of recognition. But does that achievement, in that party, in this day and age, trump the recognition of the party that gave black Americans the opportunity to come to the table of American governmental leadership in the first place, particularly given the racial attitudes of that day?

Reasonable people may disagree, but the stubborn facts of history are strong.

Founded in 1854, the Republican Party arose specifically over opposition to slavery. It was the Republican Party whose progressive anti-slavery founders realized the vile inhumanity against those who were created in God’s image and equally entitled to be recognized under the U.S. Constitution as “created equal” to all men, regardless of skin color.

It was the Republican Party that carried the vote for each of the U.S. Constitution’s Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, which guaranteed blacks the rights of freedom, citizenry, and the vote, respectively.

It was the Republican Party to which America’s earliest black congressmen belonged, including its first black senator, Hiram Rhodes Revels of Mississippi, and first black congressman, Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina.

In fact, out of a total of five black U.S. senators, the first three were Republicans, a black Democrat not appearing until Carol Moseley Braun in 1993, followed by Barack Obama in 2005. Similarly, of more than 110 black congressmen, the first Democrat did not appear until Arthur W. Mitchell in 1935. All of these black Republicans, save one, came from southern states beginning in Reconstruction.

So where were the Democrats? Repealing under President Andrew Johnson numerous laws and policies enacted under President Lincoln; creating the Ku Klux Klan as the party’s domestic terrorist arm; terrorizing and killing countless blacks in the south; and intimidating blacks and Republican whites at the polls to keep both from voting for Republicans.

It was the Republican Party that introduced and/or provided the majority votes for – over great Democrat opposition – passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1875, 1960, 1964, and 1965.

And where were the Democrats? Holding record-long filibusters to block passage of pieces of legislation aimed at giving blacks basic American freedoms.

Even today, it is the Republican Party that has enabled black achievement and facilitated black empowerment in the home, church, and classroom through legislation and initiatives such as No Child Left Behind and faith based initiatives. Republicans have also placed blacks in unprecedented positions of authority in American government and jurisprudence.

And where are the Democrats—especially the “African-American” ones? Enabling a new kind of slavery rooted in black dependence upon the government while rejecting successful, high-ranking blacks simply because they are – horrors! – conservatives (i.e., “Oreos,” “Uncle Toms,” “Aunt Jemimas”) and therefore not authentically “black enough to deserve admiration or respect.

It was also the Republican Party that reached out to another voting bloc so fiercely fought over in politics: women. Republicans wrote and introduced the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to allow women to vote.

And on Friday, August 29, 2008, the Republican Party again showed its real progressivism as Sen. John McCain chose as his vice presidential running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a woman of impeccable credentials with an impressive record.

Former female Democrat vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferrarro notwithstanding, Palin was chosen out of the true progressive vision of a “maverick” deemed by many as too rigid and inflexible concerning women’s rights.

Barack Obama had his opportunity – with 18 million female voters looking for a post-Hillary home – to be progressive, if not just plain commonsensical, and select a female running mate. Instead, he chose more a mentor than a running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE), in yet another contradiction tiresomely and deceptively masked as “change.”

Democrats – now on a crusade to cast themselves as liberals under a different label – continue to invoke their grandiose visions of anti-American idealism. In the end, they appeal to the itching ears of those who, as the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NKJV), “will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires…will heap up for themselves teachers…and…will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

So will the real “progressives” please stand up?

They just did. Again.

Dr. Walter Jones is a trained physician, award-winning educator, and former state and national pro-family public policy analyst. He is presently preparing for ordination as a minister. His Web site and blog can be found at www.thebibleandtheculture.com.

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