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Republican roots and the politics of party

“The Democrats killed two of my brothers.” That was the reply my 9-year-old father received from his great grandmother on her rural Iowa front porch when he asked her why she was such a strong Republican. Her comment reflected the bitter legacy of the Civil War. As it left the American South solidly Democratic for decades, it also made the Union upper Midwest just as solidly Republican.

My father couldn’t remember ever knowing a Democrat until moving to Montana in his early teens.

My mother’s family, on the other hand, was greatly benefitted by the New Deal Rural Electrification A...


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