The following question was closed by a community vote: "Did the Republican and Democratic parties swap ideologies at one point?"

The problem is that this seems to be well within the scope of the site from the standpoint of historical skepticism. As it stands, the historical evidence of the ideological swap is well established.

From the standpoint of this site, we should reopen the question on the grounds of if the event actually occurred.

  • 1
    It is worth noting that this question wasn't closed by moderators, but by members of the community. The community can also re-open it.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


I'll start by noting that this question wasn't closed by moderators, but by members of the community. The community can also re-open it. Below is why I, personally, am not voting to re-open it - but I would respect the community choice to do so.

Several commenters argue that the question should be asked on Politics.SE. I agree that it seems a good fit there, but that doesn't mean it isn't also a good fit here. That's not a Close reason, but it is a good suggestion to the OP about where to go next.

However, @ThunderForge linked to an existing Politics.SE question: Why have the Democratic Party and Republican Party switched positions on civil rights since the Civil War?, and the answer was very illuminating. It made a good case that the ideologies hadn't switched, if you just looked at them from a different level.

I am not saying that this answerer [Oh! Look! It was our very own @Brythan!] was right in their argument, but it demonstrates that the claim of ideology-swaps is a matter of perspective and opinion, rather than simply what the evidence reveals. Those sorts of questions aren't great fits for Skeptics.SE. That is the main reason I agree that this question should remain closed here.

Minor issue: The unreferenced meme doesn't make the claim that the ideologies of the parties has swapped. In fact, it relies on the opposite to make its implied point that the Democrats are against progressive ideas. A reference to someone actually making the "common explanation" would improve the question.

In particular:

  • Referring "at some point" in the question and "the event" in this meta-question, implies that the alleged switch was a relatively sudden point in time, rather than a gradual evolution of their views.

  • Suggesting that modern Republicans might have the exact same ideology as pre-civil rights movement Democrats is rather unfair. I do not believe that such a small number of today's Republicans would vote to repeal slavery, for example. The ideologies haven't been an exact swap, making the question just that little bit more vague - a more precise claim would help.

  • I really really really wish SE had cross-site dupe closing mechanism.
    – user5341
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 3:47

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