Shortly after President Lyndon Baines Johnson announced an “unconditional war on poverty” in his State of the Union Address in 1964, his administration embarked on an expansion of bureaucracy rarely seen in American history.
Moreover, within two years of signaling the start of that war, LBJ interwove it with civil rights initiatives so that opposition to the War on Poverty could be branded “racism” by Democrats running against opponents of big government.
Time has shown that if there was any racism attached to the War on the Poverty it was the racism which Democrats brought to the table.
What but “racism” could describe using the federal government to take money from well-to-do citizens of any color and giving it to poor blacks so they would vote Democratic in return?
To be clear: I’m not saying that only black people received financial dividends from the War on Poverty. But if the black population hadn’t been a central focus of the legislation, coupling it with Civil Rights legislation would have been pointless.
Do you need more proof of the racism behind this legislation? Then consider the real impact the legislation has had on the black family. Far from liberating them from poverty, it has kept them down. Through welfare and roughly seventy other federal and state programs, it has literally created members of a class of citizens completely dependent upon the government.
That this dependence has stolen the ambition from many black men who would otherwise aspire to great things matters not to the Democratic Party. That this loss of ambition has led to a loss of commitment and to shattered homes where sons are raised by single moms in the father’s absence matters not a twit either. What the Democrats care about is what they’ve learned empirically: If they keep putting checks in the mail, and couple those with a touch of civil rights rhetoric, black citizens will overwhelmingly support Democrats at the polls.
Democratic leaders have been able to get away with this for two primary reasons. One is that many of the black citizens who should be most offended by such racism are too busy cashing checks to care. The second reason is that throughout the existence of the Democratic Party, historically speaking, racism has been rampant.
If you need proof of Democratic racism, just keep in mind how Bill Clinton attributed the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D.-W.Va.) 1940s association with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) to the fact that “he was a country boy from the hills and hollers of West Virginia, [who] was trying to get elected.”
What does it say about the Democratic Party if Byrd had to join the KKK in order to get the right kind of credentials for office?
President Obama knows all this, but instead of saying something, he’s in there with the rest of the Democratic leadership expanding the War on Poverty at a record pace. As a matter of fact, the Heritage Foundation has highlighted that his “2011 budget requests that food stamps spending rise from $39 billion (already a record level) to $75 billion.”
It’s overwhelming to think of how many votes $75 billion could potentially sway, isn’t it?
We should long for the day when the black citizens kept down by the Democratic Party rise up and throw off their shackles. I look forward to the day when those famous words of Martin Luther King Jr. are not simply read but also realized: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Maybe one day Democrat’s will take King’s words to heart and quit seizing upon the color of someone’s skin long enough to contribute to content of their character. But until then, there’s no indication that they plan to emancipate the voting block they’ve created via the War on Poverty.
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter