The effectiveness of Sen. Elbert Guillory’s Party switch

Sen. Guillory’s party switch is not only about history; it’s affecting change that Blacks and the Republican party needs. Photo: You Tube (screen grab)

LOS ANGELES, June 21, 2013 — The viral video by Louisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory titled “Why I Am a Republican” received a lot of press this week. Guillory switched his affiliation from Democrat to Republican on May 31. It’s an historic shift, making Guillory the first Black Republican since Reconstruction to hold a seat in the Louisiana legislature.

The media, Democrats, and leftist are doing their best to paint this as a purely political move, insisting that Guillory has his sights on higher office and that this is a mere convenient switch. The Inquisitr digs deep to prove their point:

“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.”

The Inquisitr went a step further, inserting a dig about Guillory’s past comments about “faith healing”. This had no relevance to the story, and immediately labeled him a religious kook. But this is typical of the intellectual left.

What politician doesn’t have his eye on higher office? Party switching is also nothing new; does anyone remember the late Arlen Specter? The Inquistr’s heavy emphasis on something that occurs on a regular basis in both parties is just a sampling of what has been made the focus of this typical change.

Also in May, Lincoln Chafee, former Rhode Island Republican Senator, and former Independent Governor of the same state, changed his party affiliation (for the second time) to Democrat.

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Chafee has been an ideological Democrat for years; he simply made it official. But Chafee’s staff took great pains to assure everyone that it had nothing to do with politics. The Latin Times reports, “An aide to Chafee was quick to clarify that the party switch was not done in the style of former Sen. Arlen Specter’s (D-Pa.), ‘For anybody to imply that affiliating as a Democrat is simply about politics or winning an election doesn’t know Governor Chafee,’ Christine Hunsinger said.”

The difference in tone and focus is obvious: A Republican changes party affiliation to Democrat, and it’s a slam against the evil Republican agenda and a testament to independent thinking. A Democrat changes party affiliation to Republican, and it is a naked political move with no greater signficance.

Here’s why Guillory’s party change, and his recent video is so effective: Guillory gives his decision historical weight. He talks about the roots and foundation of the Republican Party, something that today’s Republican Party (hear us, Reince Preibus) would do well to remember and reincorporate. “When Black Meant Republican” is an excellent article by Chris Ladd over at Hip Hop Republican that details those roots, why Blacks chose to abandon the party, and how the GOP could work to return to those roots and in turn, see a greater return in GOP Black voters.

Those roots are still intact, despite certain actions and agenda that have contradicted them. For Guillory to change parties because his ideology more closely matches foundational Republicanism is more than a valid reason to make the switch. Less than 70 years ago, the Democratic Party championed Jim Crow. Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans of avoiding their ideological roots. Instead, they have stolen the legacy of the Republican Party, and this bold-faced deception has gone unchallenged for years—until now.

Democrats’ tactics have not changed: instead of separate and unequal laws, they use programs and pandering to keep Blacks in their place. Sen. Guillory rightly said in the video, “You see, at the heart of liberalism is the idea that only a great and powerful big government can be the benefactor of social justice for all Americans. But the left is only concerned with one thing — control. And they disguise this control as charity. […] [T]hese programs aren’t designed to lift Black Americans out of poverty, they were always intended as a mechanism for politicians to control the Black community.”

The Democrats supposed equality and concern for the little person (unless you are in the womb) is an illusion that is milked for all it’s worth; but the udder is desiccated. Voices like Sen. Guillory, Rep. Artur Davis, Bishop E.W. Jackson, Dr. Ben Carson, and other Black Conservatives are pointing this out; and it is a stinging indictment against the hypocrisy of the Democrats toward Black America.

Sen. Guillory reinforces that Black people have the power to affect change—they do not need the government to do it for them. He continues, “[t]he idea that Blacks, or anyone for that matter, need the government to get ahead in life is despicable. And even more important, this idea is a failure. … Our self-initiative and our self-reliance have been sacrificed in exchange for allegiance to our overseers who control us by making us dependent on them.”

At the heart of the Civil Rights struggle was the fight to obtain and enjoy all of the rights and responsibilities of being an American, without restriction or fear of reprisal. Unfortunately, many Blacks continue to vote in a party that seeks more restrictions and campaigns on the tactics of fear. Not voting for President Obama is racist, and the War on Women are two examples that come to mind. This is counterproductive to what many fought, and even died for. The Democrat party manipulates for their agenda, while the Republican party has forgotten itself. Sen. Guillory declares that it is time to return to the roots and begin to stand and fight for that freedom again.

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Jennifer Oliver O'Connell

Jennifer Oliver O’Connell is the "In My Orbit" columnist for Washington Times Communities, writes on Los Angeles Faith and Community for, teaches Yoga, and coaches on careers and reinvention.

You can keep up with what's in Jennifer's orbit through her As the Girl Turns website: (

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