Louisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory has switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, and, in so doing, he becomes the first black Republican in the Louisiana legislature since Reconstruction.
He explained his decision in a video that has since gone viral.
While the senator may be 100 percent sincere in his views, party switching in general when it occurs across the country can be more about political expediency and careerism/opportunism than just ideology, especially if the politician is positioning him- or herself for statewide office. Sen. Guillory actually switched from Republican to Democrat to run for a state House seat in 2007 from a Democrat district. There is some indication that he may be interested in running for lieutenant governor in Louisiana in 2015.
Parenthetically, the senator raised some eyebrows last month when he spoke approvingly of faith healing.
In his video message, Sen. Guillory maintains that he made the right decision to switch political parties — “not only for me — but for all my brothers and sisters in the black community.”
The African-American community usually supports the Democrats in a big way at election time, but Sen. Guillory deemed the Democrats the “party of disappointment” for fostering government dependency. He explained in part: “In recent history the Democrat Party has created the illusion that their agenda and their policies are what’s best for black people. Somehow it’s 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.”
Continued Giullory: “Frederick Douglass called Republicans the ‘Party of freedom and progress,’ and the first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was the Republicans in Congress who authored the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments giving former slaves citizenship, voting rights, and due process of law. The Democrats on the other hand were the Party of Jim Crow … ”
The vast array of social programs have had negative consequences according to Guillory: “Programs such as welfare, food stamps, these programs aren’t designed to lift black Americans out of poverty,; they were always intended as a mechanism for politicians to control black the black community.”
Guillory’s speech concludes with by asking other voters to follow his lead. ”So my brothers and sisters of the American community, please join with me today in abandoning the government plantation and the party of disappointment.”
What is your assessment of Sen. Elbert Guillory’s explanation for moving from the Democrats to the Republicans?