Everything changes and nothing changes

Published 7:46 pm Wednesday, August 23, 2017

To the editor:

I read with interest Ron Pyle’s letter, “Hypocrisy over slavery,” published in Sunday’s edition of the Suffolk News-Herald.

While the facts he stated in his first two paragraphs are true (though I can’t confirm Sen. Byrd’s past affiliations), he fails to mention that the political philosophy of the Republican Party has changed significantly since Abraham Lincoln. In fact, Mr. Lincoln would hardly recognize his party today.

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He also incorrectly stated that the “Democratic Party supported slavery prior to, during and well after the Civil War in America.” In fact, the Democratic Party did not support slavery or the Jim Crow policies that followed, though southern Democrats certainly did.

Much like Mr. Lincoln, the southern Democrats of 50 years ago would hardly recognize their party today, either.

The most interesting parts of his letter, however, were the paragraphs that followed.

As I read it, I couldn’t help but note that if you were to replace the word “Democratic” with the word “Republican” and the name “Trump” with the name “Obama” in every instance that followed, you would have a letter that could have been — and probably was — written to some editor of some paper just a year or two ago.

Ralph Germ