I’ll pick this one since it’s a pretty nice summary of your paradigms as I see it and I’ve been away for long enough that I don’t want to take the time to respond to each post individually.
I’m not at all trying to justify the votes of southern dems 150 years back.
I’m just trying to correctly point out that the objective truth is the democratic party was split over the issue by roughly the Mason-Dixon line. Northern dems either saw the issue like the republicans saw it, or they felt if was an attempt for the federal government to assume a power left to the states in the constitution. Southern dems, on the other hand, openly advocated the institution. “But that make’s the northern dems pro-slavery as it leads to a similar end!” If that’s the case, they’re no more explicitly pro-slavery than virtually anyone else in the two-and-a-half millennia of western civilization that immediately preceded and produced them.
With such a wide collection of stances across the party at that time, trying to identify the democrats of 1860 as “the party of slavery” is just a factually stupid thing to do. It’s just obvious anachronism. I say that as gently as I can.
I think the primary bee in @abucs bonnet is that he/she cannot accept the reality that when the south shifted republican, the shift largely took southern racists with it. Frankly, this is a pretty firmly established historical fact.
Now, this leaves the reps in a difficult position of not historically nor explicitly supporting these views, but needing these vote-bases nonetheless. And as a natural, unavoidable result, many of the newly elected southern republicans carried these awful views with them and into the party up to this day. Now the language is no longer about “the blacks”, it’s coded into less obvious buzzwords like “society” and “order” as we first read explicitly in many of the Nixon papers on the “Southern Strategy”.
It’s the unfortunate, but obvious truth. People like David Duke and those in my town who describe the black neighborhood as “N****r Creek” generally don’t vote dem these days. I think most people can see that.
And I agree that many places in the south are becoming less racist. But that’s also accompanying a steady blue-shift, as we can see particularly in Texas, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina.
In sum, republicans aren’t racists. But, generally, racists are republican. At least these days.