Liberal Republicans were once more common

Published: Sunday, Jul. 13, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Re "GOP liberal arose in a bygone era" (Dan Morain, July 7): To be a liberal Republican in the 1960s was not heresy as it is today. In fact, the Civil Rights Act was passed due to the presence of a bloc of liberals in both parties. Also note that over two-thirds of Republican legislators voted for the act while over half of the Democrats in Congress voted against it.

In that era, there was no discernible difference between the two parties. Both had conservative and liberal elements. That changed after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and subsequent desegregation. The conservative Democrats in the South switched parties and became Republican. This was the beginning of the polarization of the party system to its current liberal versus conservative schism.

While we are seeing some moderation on both side,s it may be years before we can see the kind of compromise required to pass legislation such as the Civil Rights Act.

-- Eileen Glaholt, Sacramento

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