Vice President Joe Biden’s failing Presidential bid hit a major snag when Biden said he could work with segregationist Senators James Eastland (D-Mississippi) and Herman Talmidge (D-Georgia) “to get things done.” Eastland and Talmidge are long gone from the US Senate, and Biden never mentioned that they were fellow Democrats. Biden continued, “But today, you look at the other side, and you’re the enemy…we don’t talk to each other anymore.” The other side? Huh? They were all Democrats.

History is poorly and selectively taught in schools today. Most people don’t know that the Republican party was founded to end slavery. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. Lincoln ended slavery at the cost of 600,000 American lives in the Civil War. Republicans passed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution to outlaw slavery, give blacks the right to vote and guarantee them equal protection under the law, over fierce Democrat opposition. It was Democrats who imposed Jim Crow laws, lynched blacks, founded the Ku Klux Klan, and opposed anti-lynching laws. Democrat Senator Robert Byrd was a longtime leader of the KKK.

The media, who are supposed to inform us and give context to the news of the day, barely mentioned that Talmidge and Eastland were Democrats. Instead they called them “southern segregationists.”

Democrat/progressive propaganda is everywhere. My wife Jo and I visited a great historical site, the Seward House in Auburn. The tour guide was a young woman, a college student studying history at Hobart. She said that Lincoln may have been a Republican, but he became a “liberal” and that’s why he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. Obviously, the young woman was poorly served by her professors. Jo tried to set her straight, but she would have none of it. If conservatives preserve that which is true and has been shown to work from the past, then Mr. Lincoln was every inch a conservative. He based his opposition to slavery largely on the Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal and endowed by their creator…” That’s not progressive fadism. It is rock-ribbed conservatism.

Recall what Obama said of traditional people living in small towns: “…and it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment…” A few years later, Hillary Clinton said, “…half of Trump supporters are a basket of deplorables…” She continued, calling them “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.”

The message is clear—many Americans are stupid, ignorant and worst, racist. Flash back to Biden: I think he was speaking in code. He was banking on people’s ignorance of basic history, especially the Democrat base, betting they’d think “Republicans” when he said “southern segregationists.” Translation: I’m the guy who can work with those racist Republicans.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.


Running for office as a Republican is needlessly difficult. It’s a system that is crying out for reform.

Just to get on the ballot, Republican candidates must go through the “petition process,” getting petitions from the Board of Elections and getting them signed by not less than 3% of registered Republicans in the district in which they’re running. To accomplish this, the candidate and members of the Republican Committee, all good people and volunteers, go door to door to obtain the required signatures. A Republican candidate for Corning Town Council, for example, will need about 70 signatures to appear on the November ballot.

Gathering signatures may sound simple. It is not. Citizens can be reluctant, even defensive, when asked to sign a document they’ve never seen before. They ask, “What is this? Why do you need my signature? What for? Why are you bothering me with this?” Lengthy explanations are necessary.

Finally, the completed petitions are submitted to the Board of Elections, and only then does the candidate get on the ballot. At this point, the committee members are done, and it is up to the candidate to campaign in the fall election. No one can blame the committee people for feeling they have done enough.

Republicans front-load all their volunteer time and energy into signing petitions. It’s hard to imagine a greater misallocation of people’s effort.

In contrast, the Democrat Committee in the Town of Corning does not circulate petitions to put their candidates on the November ballot. They caucus and select a candidate. I’ve never met a Democrat who is burning to circulate a petition or is angry because they did not sign one. They don’t waste their volunteers’ efforts months before the general election. Democrats focus on the contest that matters—THE ELECTION! In 2017, Democrat Committee members in the Town campaigned alongside the candidate and helped elect a Democrat in a largely Republican district.

I rarely agree with Democrats on anything, but they have us on this one. New York is a deep blue state that gets bluer by the day. As of now, Democrats enjoy at least a 2:1 advantage over us in voter registration. Doesn’t it make sense to put our energy into the November election?

We are, incidentally, discouraging good Republicans from running for office.

We need to abandon petitions and go to a caucus system. We need to change the role of a committee person from late winter signature-gatherer to fall campaigner. Republican Committee members could concentrate on knocking on doors, distributing literature and lawn signs, stuffing envelopes – in short, doing what is necessary to win an election. The focus of committee members should not be on getting signatures in March, but on helping candidates win in November.

Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.