Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that values and morals, along with the principles of self-reliance, integrity and faith in God would inevitably lead black Americans to the blessings of liberty, equality and enfranchisement in the American dream. He believed that his people would triumph over the forces of racism, hatred and bigotry. He dreamed that his legacy would be one in which children, including his own would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
He knew that his struggle would be a mighty one against an intractable foe, especially exemplified by the entrenched, racist Democrats, their party members, governors, legislators and government bureaucrats who imposed their hatred upon their black neighbors in Washington, DC, Alabama and elsewhere. Dr. King sought allies in his fight against racist hatred, and he found his most loyal friends in the Republican party, who marched with him for freedom, for tolerance, for unity, for a brighter future.
It was the Republicans that freed slaves from the years of bondage imposed by Democrat governing philosophy and ideology. It was the Republicans that made the work of ending segregation attainable. It was the Republicans that made passage of the Civil Rights Act possible in 1964. For all these reasons and more, Dr. King was widely believed to consider himself a member of the GOP, although he chose not to publicly identify with either party in order to avoid a partisan label. His views on those qualities which would allow blacks to achieve the American dream; hard-work, self-reliance, values, integrity and faith in God all found a natural home in the Republican Party.
Dr. King was for a time the voice of the American conscience, and that voice carries still today. It is in the voices of leaders who seek liberty for the people – for the right to practice faith, for the right to open a business, for the right to live without fear of a tyrannical government. His dream lives on in the legacy of those black children who have grown to add their voices to the American chorus. Voices of leadership, of hope, and of triumph over adversity. Most of all, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy shines brightest and most fiercely in those voices in the Republican Party.