The Republican party has been around for a very long time — 162 years, in fact. So, needless to say, there’s a lot of history associated with one of our nation’s two largest political parties. Of course, the party we see today is not the same party it once was — not even close. Today’s Republican party is, as tea party conservatives often say about politicians they don’t deem “conservative enough,” a R.I.N.O — Republican In Name Only.
Sure, they still call themselves Republicans and refer to the party as the GOP, but this is no longer the same party it was during the days of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt or Dwight Eisenhower. Hell, it’s really not even the party of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush anymore.
That’s how far the GOP has devolved from what it once was.
The Republican party was once the party of the president who waged a civil war to end slavery. Now it has, as its presumptive presidential nominee, a candidate who shares blatantly racist tweets made by white supremacy groups trying to paint African-Americans as blood-thirsty murderers. We’ve gone from the party of the president who built the Interstate Highway system, and warned against the military industrial complex having too much influence over the country, to a party that scoffs at any mention of spending to improve our crumbling infrastructure and makes increasing our already bloated defense budget a key talking point for basically every member of the party.
Just look at what we’re seeing this year with some Republicans openly saying that they will not endorse or vote for their party’s presidential nominee. We’ve even seen some Republicans leave the party altogether because of Trump’s success. One Republican even spent many of his last days alive speaking out as much as he could against Trump.
Even the de facto leader of the GOP, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, has been less than enthusiastic about putting his support behind the candidate who overwhelming (and easily) won his party’s presidential nomination, That’s highly abnormal; typically someone in Ryan’s position would be a massive ally for a GOP presidential candidate. Instead, Ryan seems to be doing whatever he can to “endorse” Trump — but not really.
Paul Ryan’s not the only one. A lot of the “endorsements” Trump has received have been lukewarm, at best.
Then just think back to last year when then-Speaker of the House John Boehner was essentially forced into retirement by an all-out insurrection within the party because he had been deemed “not conservative enough” for the crazies. Someone who was once considered one of the most conservative Republicans in the entire country was now, suddenly, just a “RINO.”
This all began in the 50’s and 60’s during the implementation of the “Southern strategy” when the GOP decided it was going to pander to racism, bigotry and ignorance. Once it did that, that began the downward spiral to what we see today. That’s when the party officially severed ties with what it once was and embraced the right-wing crazies who’ve now fully taken it over.
Don’t get me wrong, while I don’t feel sorry for the Republican party — at all — it is rather sad to see how far it’s fallen from the days where it was the party of Lincoln, to now — the party of an orange, babbling racist buffoon like Donald Trump.
So, on this Fourth of July, the celebration of the birth of our nation, I think we should all take a moment to really take in what an absolute joke the Republican party has become.
Be safe and have fun!