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Elbert Guillory Explains Party Switch, 'Government Plantation' (VIDEO)
Recently, State Sen. Elbert Guillory became the latest Louisiana pol to pull the party switch, making the Democratic state senator a Republican one. Now, weeks after that switch was announced, Guillory released a video on "Why I'm a Republican."
The professional quality video was filmed with Guillory standing alone, and comes out swinging with a historical timeline that alleges that his new party is the party of progress for African American voters, and that the Democrats' agenda is derived from slave owners and attempts to subjugate the black community with welfare and social programs.
Within the first twenty seconds of the video, Sen. Guillory is adamant that not only did he make the right choice by switching to the Republican party, but that, "All his brothers and sisters," (his words), should make the switch, since the Republican party has their best interests in mind.
"You see, in recent history, the Democrat[ic] party has created the 'illusion' that their agenda and their policies are what's best for black people," Guillory said. "Somehow it has been forgotten that the Republican party was founded in 1854 as an abolitionist movement, with one simple creed: that slavery is a violation of the rights of man."
Guillory then goes further into his own reasons for rebranding himself, quoting Frederick Douglass on the merits of the 1800's Republican party, then mentioning that Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president, and how former slaves were given citizenship and rights by the Republicans of that time.
"The Democrats, on the other hand, were the party of Jim Crow," Guillory continued, making mention of the illegal and unequal treatment that continued to exist in racially divisive climates, again, back in the late 1800's and through the 1900's. "It was the Democrats who defended the rights of slave owners.
"You see, at the heart of liberalism, is the idea that only a great and powerful big Government can be the benefactor of social justice for all Americans," Guillory said. "But the left is only concerned with one thing: control."
Guillory also mentions that it was under Republican President Dwight Eisenhower that the Civil Rights act came into law, and that a Democrat rallied against the bill with an attempted filibuster.
Guillory makes no mention, however, that the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, who served for 48-years and is perhaps most famous for this attempted filibuster of Civil Rights legislation—a filibuster that went for nearly 24-hours— actually switched from being a Democratic 'dixiecrat' to a Republican, mostly because he was against these civil rights laws.
One should also note that while Sen. Guillory's historical statements are correct about the history of the two parties, since that time, both the Democratic and Republican parties have been through realignments, or drastic changes in policy and platform—so the Democrats of the 1860's were the conservative party and the Republicans, at that time, were almost revolutionaries. This is back before things like the New Deal with FDR, the Civil Rights Act, or the Republican Revolution in the 1980s and 1990s, which saw the Republican party begin aligning themselves more and more with religious ideology and a conservative base to establish a solid voter pool. So, now, in modern voting terms, the Republicans are now the conservatives and the Democrats are the liberals (neither of which is wrong, but that is where the parties stand).
The senator then goes on to assert that social programs like welfare are an instrument of subjugation rather than a form of aid, and specifically are a way of continuing to subjugate the black community.
"And [Democrats] disguise this control as charity," Guillory said. "The fact that blacks, or anyone for that matter, need the government to get ahead in life is despicable."
He then cites the programs as failures, because our communities are as poor as they've ever been, the schools are failing just as much, and our prisons are, "filled with young black men, who should be at home, being fathers."
Sen. Guillory also debated the merits of freedom, falling now, for the first time in the video, on the modern Republican platform. How the economy must remain, "free of persuasion" (aka: free of financial regulations or consumer protections), but then also cites freedom of the press and also having emails free from Government search and seizure.
"But most importantly, it is the idea that the individual must be free to pursue his or her own happiness, free from Government dependence, and free from Government control," Sen. Guillory said. "Because to be truly free, is to be reliant on no one, other than the author of our destiny," taking care to point toward the sky. "These are the ideas are at the core of Republican party... My brothers and sisters of the American community, please join me in abandoning the 'Government plantation' and the party of disappointment.”
In response to this oral history by Guillory, the Democratic party responded with some statements of their own.
"Guillory keeps pointing to events decades in the past," said Kirstin Alvanitakis, who is the Communications Director for the Louisiana Democratic Party. "But let's look at what's happening today. Just this month a Texas Republican said, 'I’m going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote.' That tells you all you need to know about the Republican Party's outreach to African Americans."
Alvanitakis also claimed that this move by Guillory is less about protecting freedom and promoting a people, as it is about political maneuvering.
"Elbert Guillory's motivation has nothing to do with civil rights or freedom, and it has everything to do with his plan to run for lieutenant governor."
Alvanitakis cited a Lafayette radio station interview with Sen. Guillory on KNEK, where the senator apparently said that switching parties, "certainly puts me in a better position to run for higher office."
"In that same interview, [Guillory] said, 'I change parties like I change underwear,'" Alvanitakis continued. "Given statements like that, it's hard to put faith in anything Elbert Guillory says, since he's liable to change it tomorrow."
CORRECTION Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Guillory gaven an interview on Lafayette radio station KPEL. He actually gave the interview on KNEK.
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