Since World War II ended, there has been siginificant activity by groups who have been excluded from opportunities and/or rights to achieve recognition and protection for those opportunities and rights. Opposition to these civil rights movements has often been couched in terms of "real Americans" and false claims of "outside agitators." Support or opposition to these movements was not along party lines initially, but became increasingly so from the 1970s onward. Why? In what ways can these movements be seen as fighting against oligarchy and for democracy?

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These types of civil rights movements can be seen as fighting against oligarchy and in support of democracy because they are advocating for a more inclusive society. In theory, democracy means that all people have some say in how a nation is ruled. In practice, of course, this does not always happen. For example, systemic racism runs deep in the United States government, so people of color do not have the same level of say in how things are run. Civil rights movements that advocate for better representation of marginalized groups are trying to make the US more democratic and to avoid an oligarchy, a government in which only a small group of people have control.

Support for such movements is increasingly along party lines because US politics has been becoming increasingly polarized since the 1970s. It is risky for politicians to go against their party on a civil rights issue because it can jeopardize their influence. For instance, it is unlikely that a long-time far-right politician would suddenly support a pro-immigration civil rights movement, as this might make his party think he is becoming liberal.

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