Letters to the Editor

Best to leave behind old Democratic Party

The letter writer who declared that the Democratic Party is no longer his father's Democratic Party ("Dems have left behind values of days gone by," Sept. 9) is correct -- and I, for one, celebrate that change every day.

Yes, our fathers had FDR and Truman and Kennedy and Johnson, but they also had Orval Faubus and George Wallace and Lester Maddox. All three began their political careers as Democrats.

How can we forget Faubus, the governor who used the Arkansas National Guard to keep African-Americans out of Little Rock Central High School? President Eisenhower had to send the 101st Airborne Division to Arkansas to resolve the issue.

And then there was Wallace, the segregationist governor of Alabama. The mere mention of his name still stirs up painful memories in so many people.

And we must not skip over Maddox (of ax handle infamy), who was elected governor of Georgia after being endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan.

Oddly, they all bear some resemblance to the extremist tea party wing of today's Republican Party. Talk about a change in a political party in just a few generations. Presidents Eisenhower and Ford or even U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater (whose granddaughter is now an Arizona Democrat) certainly would not condone the hate-filled rhetoric coming from some members of today's Republican Party.

Caren Ross