Louisiana Senator Elbert Guillory is the new rising star in the Republican Party. The internet has been buzzing for the past two weeks with news that Sen. Guillory left the Democrat Party to become Louisiana’s first black Republican senator since Reconstruction. The news has finally reached its crescendo when Sen. Guillory released a video titled, “Why I Am A Republican”. In this stirring speech, Sen. Guillory points out how the Republican Party has always stood for civil rights while it was the Democrat Party that stood in the way of black progress. Sen. Guillory gives the viewer a valuable history lesson of the Democrat and Republican influences on the civil rights of black America while making a strong argument for why all blacks should become Republicans. It is a rock solid message that every American should listen to and take to heart. It’s just a shame that in this case the messenger that delivers this message is suspect.
While everyone in the GOP is celebrating Sen. Guillory’s switch, what is not being mentioned is this is not his first time as a Republican. In 2006 candidate Guillory left the Republican Party to run as a Democratic candidate for the State House of Representatives. The reason he gave for leaving the Republican Party is he would be representing a staunch Democratic district. Even though his constituents were strongly Democrat, he did vote with the Republicans more often than not. For someone who gave such an eloquent reason to leave the party of Jim Crowe for the party of Lincoln, it seems like such a trivial reason to become a Democrat in the first place.
When looking further it appears that his political career might be served better if Sen. Guillory switched back to the Republican Party. Sen. Guillory told KATC’s Erin Steuber:
“Today every state-wide elected official is a Republican…So for my community, for my district, in order to represent them, I needed to be where the power is, at the seats of power and decision making.”
One must question if Sen. Guillory is doing this because he has the best interest of his constituents in mind or if he’s doing this to position himself in a more powerful position in the future. Also, what would stop him from switching back to the Democrat Party should an opportunity arise that would benefit his political career?
Another thing that makes Sen. Guillory’s motives questionable is it appears that his history is in the process of being rewritten. If you look at his Wikipedia page it looks rather light with regards to his personal and political history. Even his official State Senate page lacks a biography. It also looks like he must have taken a few years off from his duties as State Senator because there are some years where the news releases are missing.
It is hard for people to look at a man who inspires so many and question his motives. But this is a necessary exercise in finding the truth. Recently the Tea Party has discovered that some of the candidates they backed as small government patriots have betrayed those who fought for their election in the US Senate. Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte all back the comprehensive immigration reform bill that the Gang of Eight is working to pass. Many of their supporters feel duped for investing their time and treasure in candidates that decided to go against the founding principles they promised to represent. Conservative groups will continue to be duped into supporting wolves in sheep clothing if they don’t examine the person who is telling these groups what they wish to hear.
It’s time to stop taking politicians at face value–especially those who decide to switch their political parties.