Matt Kokkonen’s letter (“A Democratic problem,” July 8) about how the Democratic Party tried to block the efforts of the Republican Party after the Civil War when it passed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments and other civil rights legislation is very true. What he fails to mention is that the position on civil rights (and most other issues) completely switched in the 1960s.
The “Solid South” of the Democrats based on segregation and the denial of rights for African-Americans was undone when President Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
After that bill was passed, the South turned from being solidly Democratic to solidly Republican. From that time on, Republicans became the opponents of civil rights legislation and fought every effort to bring enforcement to that effort.
In fact, on almost every political issue since that time, there has been complete reversal between the Republicans and the Democrats. In Mr. Kokkonen’s final sentence, he says, “Unfortunately, lots of people are ignorant of the history of the Democratic Party. Ironically, you have personally shown that to be true.