Please Shut It! You are NOT the Party of Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, or Dwight D. Eisenhower Anymore!

thesepeopleDear Modern Republicans and Tea Party Members:

Please, do us all a favor and shut it! You are not the party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, or Eisenhower anymore! Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower were great men who were members of a now defunct Republican Party. The GOP that exists today is no longer that party. By your standards, all of these men would be “liberals who are ruining our country!” Therefore, you are not allowed to commandeer their successes as belonging to your party. Also, moderate Republicans – the popular term is R.I.N.O. or “Republican In Name Only” – if you are reading, this article is not totally directed at you. However, please feel free to take your party back any time now.

Let’s start with Lincoln.

Lincoln was elected to office on November 6, 1860, after running on a anti-slavery, pro-equality, and pro-public jobs platform. The platform pledged not to extend slavery, and Lincoln himself called for prompt establishment of a daily mail service and a transcontinental railroad; notably, both “public” programs.

On Equality

“That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Federal Constitution, “That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” is essential to the preservation of our Republican institutions; and that the Federal Constitution, the rights of the states, and the Union of the states, must and shall be preserved.”

On the Minimum Wage

“That while providing revenue for the support of the general government by duties upon imports, sound policy requires such an adjustment of these imposts as to encourage the development of the industrial interests of the whole country, and we commend that policy of national exchanges which secures to the workingmen liberal wages, to agriculture remunerating prices, to mechanics and manufacturers an adequate reward for their skill, labor and enterprise.”

On Immigration

“That the Republican Party is opposed to any change in our naturalization laws, or any state legislation by which the rights of citizenship hitherto accorded by emigrants from foreign lands shall be abridged or impaired; and in favor of giving a full and efficient protection to the rights of all classes of citizens, whether native or naturalized, both at home and abroad.”

On Labor

“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

Next comes Roosevelt.

Roosevelt became President in 1901 following the assassination of President McKinley. Roosevelt was a progressive who disdained wealthy businessmen and was best known for his monopoly busting.  His signature domestic program, the “Square Deal” was based on conserving  natural resources, controlling corporations, and protecting consumers. The 1908 Republican Party Platform calls one of his greatest accomplishments his “prosecution of illegal trusts and monopolies.”

On Corporations

“The Republican party passed the Sherman Antitrust law over Democratic opposition, and enforced it after Democratic dereliction. It has been a wholesome instrument for good in the hands of a wise and fearless administration. But experience has shown that its effectiveness can be strengthened and its real objects better attained by such amendments as will give to the Federal Government greater supervision and control over, and secure greater publicity in, the management of that class of corporations engaged in interstate commerce having power and opportunity to effect monopolies.”

On Labor & Unions

“The Republican party pledges its continued devotion to every cause that makes for safety and the betterment of conditions among those whose labor contributes so much to the progress and welfare of the country.”

““It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.”

On Public Health

“We commend the efforts designed to secure greater efficiency in National Public Health agencies and favor such legislation as will effect this purpose.”

Yes, you read that right, the Republican Party called for legislation to effectuate a universal healthcare system back in 1908.

And finally, Eisenhower.

Eisenhower was elected President in 1952 and then re-elected in 1956. He was a moderate conservative who continued the New Deal (a social program enacted under FDR) and expanded Social Security. He also created the Interstate Highway System and launched the NASA space program.

The 1956 Republican Party Platform explicitly stated, “We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people.”

Support for the United Nations

“We shall continue vigorously to support the United Nations.”

On Unions

“Workers have benefited by the progress which has been made in carrying out the programs and principles set forth in the 1952 Republican platform. All workers have gained and unions have grown in strength and responsibility, and have increased their membership by 2 millions. Furthermore, the process of free collective bargaining has been strengthened by the insistence of this Administration that labor and management settle their differences at the bargaining table without the intervention of the Government.”

On Unemployment, Equal Pay for Women, and the Minimum Wage 

” The Eisenhower Administration will continue to fight for dynamic and progressive programs which, among other things, will:

  • Strengthen and improve the Federal-State Employment Service and improve the effectiveness of the unemployment insurance system;
  • Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;
  • Clarify and strengthen the eight-hour laws for the benefit of workers who are subject to federal wage standards on Federal and Federally-assisted construction, and maintain and continue the vigorous administration of the Federal prevailing minimum wage law for public supply contracts;
  • Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable;
  • Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment.”

Today’s Republican party is anti-equality, anti-union, anti-minimum wage, anti-unemployment, anti-welfare, anti-woman, anti-United Nations, anti-healthcare, anti-immigration, and pro-corporation. So, again, Republicans, please do us all a favor and stop calling yourselves the party of the above named men – you are nothing like them.

I think Will McAvoy described this perfectly in the TV show “The Newsroom,” when he said:

“I am not ashamed to say that I, however, am a Republican.  And that brings us to tonight’s second story. I’m what the leaders of the Tea Party would call a RINO:  Republican in Name Only.  And that’s ironic because that’s exactly what I think about the leaders of the Tea Party. Because the most conservative Republicans today…aren’t Republicans. Republicans believe in a prohibitive military.  We believe in a common sense government. And that there are social programs enacted in the last half century that work but that there are way too many costing way too much, that don’t.

…They can call themselves Conservatives.   And they can even call themselves Republicans.  Though Republicans certainly shouldn’t.”

So the lesson you should take away from this is, when you call Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower “great members of your party,” the truth is they were Republicans and they were arguably great men. But, they were not members of your party, so stop trying to say that they were!

Ilyssa Fuchs

Ilyssa Fuchs is an attorney, freelance writer, and activist from New York City, who holds both a juris doctor and a political science degree. She is the founder of the popular Facebook page Politically Preposterous and a blog of the same name. Follow Ilyssa on Twitter @IlyssaFuchs, and be sure to check out her archives on Forward Progressives as well!

Comments

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  • Frank I.

    Amen sister

  • Pipercat

    Will, could you move the Blackberry out of frame!

  • louis

    your preaching to the choir. if this article is meant to inform republicans, you should know by they are unteachable. morons who should all be placed in special education within whatever prison system we can usher their traitor asses into. good article though, as usual.

    • David Hanchett

      I am no more a republican then I am a demicrat, I do however know meny of both. Many republicans are frustrated and angry with tea partiers and other extreamist conservitives. Be careful throwing out hate speach like calling a group of people “unteachable. morons who should all be placed in special education” replace the word republican with most any other name for a group and how does it sound? we need to be bringing the people of this country together not pushing these deviding lines further. We need to find where we argee and work from there insted of focusing on where we don’t.

      • Thank you, David. Well said.

        I’m the exact same party-wise: neither Rep nor Dem. Though I vote at election time, I’ve never voted for either of the main choices.

        The system itself is broken. Demonizing any major portion of the American people is only counter productive.

  • Tom Fewya

    yet its the democratic party that started the KKK Klan was founded the democratic party that never stood for freedom .

    Klan was founded in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by six veterans of the Confederate Army.[16] The name is probably derived from the Greek word kuklos (κύκλος) which means circle, suggesting a circle or band of brothers.
    Although there was little organizational structure above the local level, similar groups rose across the South and adopted the same name and methods.[18] Klan groups spread throughout the South as an insurgent movement during the Reconstruction era in the United States. As a secret vigilante group, the Klan targeted freedmen and their allies; it sought to restore white supremacy by threats and violence, including murder, against black and white Republicans. In 1870 and 1871, the federal government passed the Force Acts, which were used to prosecute Klan crimes.[19] Prosecution of Klan crimes and enforcement of the Force Acts suppressed Klan activity. In 1874 and later, however, newly organized and openly active paramilitary organizations, such as the White League and the Red Shirts, started a fresh round of violence aimed at suppressing blacks’ voting and running Republicans out of office. These contributed to segregationist

    So your theory of who the real good guys are has holes in it . and as far as Lincoln wanting to free the slaves that is true to an extent , However there is more to the story then you would care to admit . He wanted to send them back .

    The ACS, a private organization supported by prominent American politicians such as Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, and James Monroe, believed repatriation was preferable to emancipation of slaves. On July 26, 1847, the settlers issued a Declaration of Independence and promulgated a constitution, which, based on the political principles denoted in the United States Constitution, created the independent Republic of Liberia.
    Fact
    So your misconception of American history is pitiful . Now that you in fact have been schooled on the truth . PLEASE SHUT UP.

    • Pipercat

      .. only you stop cutting and pasting.

      • Charles Vincent

        Cut and paste is the way to provide information since posting links gets your post deleted.

      • Pipercat

        Yes, but citing the material is also proper. Moreover, in this case, it has no logical argument and is omitting subsequent events that changed the overall picture . Our friend here is engaging in contextonomy; hence my quip. Links aren’t really necessary if you can articulate your position. A little thoughtful word play helps with that too, dot dot dot! On a different note, I was glad to see the author chime in for a change.

      • Charles Vincent

        Articulating an argument is good but one still needs facts to support the argument. I have used word play but some times it is missed by readers. Miss Fuchs has replied on several of her articles, and on more than one occasion to my posts.

    • Ilyssa

      Wave good bye the point clearly went right over your head. Democrats are not running around calling the Klan members of their party nor did I make any statements in regards to the Democrats being a better party. This article is about one thing and one thing only, that Republicans are trying to claim these men as part of their party when they aren’t. Get it? I can’t make it much simpler. Also, on 1847….. yea a lot changed between 1847 and 1860 which is the Lincoln Era I am citing. I have a law degree, a political science degree and have studied history, economics, philosophy, and sociology extensively so I don’t think I need any schooling. You on the other hand might want to learn how to read.

      • Keith Jenkins

        Thank you for your direct, clear response to Tom’s comment. I doubt it will make any difference to him, but it’s always good to see smart people who refuse to let stupidity pass without a challenge.

    • Nathan

      I don’t recall a single prominent modern Democrat saying, “We are the party of the KKK,” whereas many Republicans have stated “We are the party of Lincoln/Roosevelt/Eisenhower,” so your entire argument is a complete non-sequitur designed to blow smoke up our asses.

      The South used to be called the “Solid South” because they consistently voted Democratic, in loyalty to their hatred of the party of Lincoln and at a time when Democrats weren’t any better than Republicans on the race issue (President Woodrow Wilson is famous for his overt racism). All of that changed when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Acts and the Voting Rights Act. They left the Democratic party in droves because they liked having the legal right to marginalize African Americans. So that should tell you a bit about why Southern Republicans aren’t Southern Democrats, and likewise why they can no longer hold the mantle of “The party of Lincoln.”

  • Andy

    Can someone please tell me how the KKK got involved in this article. I don’t remembering reading anything about them.

  • Wally

    This article take traditional republican ideas and tries to twist them to be anti-currrent day- republican. The problem being that the nuance is in the words. For example quoting Lincoln on Immigrants, The words refer to CITIZENS not, illegal immigrants. Lincoln would have been for a legal process to become a citizen as evidenced by him saying ” protection to the rights of all classes of citizens, whether native or naturalized, both at home and abroad.” Also when quoting Eisenhower on Unions. He is not saying He is for or against Unions, only that the government needs to stay out of the way, and not take sides, unlike today’s administration, Eisenhower’s policy was this “insistence of this Administration that labor and management settle their differences at the bargaining table without the intervention of the Government.” Government should be ther referee, not a player in the game as it is in Banking, GM, Mortgages, etc, etc. It is there to enforce the rules, not pick the winner. I call BS on this article as it is distortionist propaganda

  • Ross

    The author of this propaganda needs a history lesson…. Lincoln was not an anti-slavery crusader… The Roosevelt Corollary was the start of the US becoming the world police and a global imperialist bully nation… Eisenhower expanded socialist programs that had began under FDR and continue to go broke to this day…. How can a nation tax itself into prosperity?

    Stop turning to your public school “fairytale” version of history and read some truly objective sources before you put this flawed information out to the sheeple. They will believe every word because after all; it has to be true… ITS ON THE INTERNET!!!

    • Mecha343

      You were told by someone from Bullsh*t Mountain.

      • Ross

        History… read a book sometime… Lincoln Unmasked by Tom DiLorenzo is a good place to start. Or maybe A Politically Incorrect Guide to US History by Tom Woods would be a better starter for you. It would be more like a history book…

  • Realist.

    As opposed to your great president you fool.