Check out the pic accompanying this Politico story.
Titled "Race and the Modern GOP," it features notorious Gov. George Wallace -- a Democrat -- confronting folks in front of a schoolhouse.
As Insty notes, "Even more amusingly, it’s labeled 'History Dept.'”
Once again we see an attempt to chalk up today's political differences to the racism perpetrated by the Democrat Party for the bulk of its existence. Given that the article is all about dismissing today's real political differences about matters unrelated to race as ultimately being about the civil rights legislation of 1964 is to ignore the reality that most of the racist Democrats lived out their lives as Democrats and that today's conservative Republican majority came of age in the post-segregation era and embrace the concept of equality before the law for every American regardless of race that was at the heart of the historical civil rights movement (and which has been rejected by today's "civil rights" "leaders").
By the way -- the use of the map showing the states won by Johnson and Goldwater in 1964 is somewhat disingenuous. In the wake of the Kennedy assassination and with the nomination of a candidate who was outside of the mainstream of national politics by the GOP, an overwhelming victory by Johnson was inevitable. In 1968, those same southern states cast a majority of their votes for one of two Democrats (Humphrey or Wallace). In 1972 they all went Republican -- along with all the rest of the country but Massachusetts and Washington, DC. And don't forget that in 1976 these states went solidly for Democrat Jimmy Carter -- and while all of those states except for Carter's home state of Georgia voted for Reagan in 1980, the reality is that the same was true of most of the country. In other words, the South does not become solidly GOP in presidential races until the 1980s -- nearly two decades later. And if one looks at representation in the House and Senate, the South does not become reliable Republican until some time after that.
What changed in those decades? Well, a lot of thing -- but in terms of the South, one of the things you discover is a period of strong economic growth in the region. As a result, you saw rapid migration from other parts of the country by people drawn to that economic opportunity. How did these people vote? They voted for economic growth and low taxes rather than more social programs and government expansion. As Lee Atwater noted in a much maligned (and selectively excerpted by the Left) 1981 interview, what happened was that politics in the South (at least among white voters) moved away from race issues and focused on other issues -- in the process moving from being a stronghold of New Deal liberalism to the bastion of Reagan conservatism.