Strange But True: There Was a Time When Republicans Actually Made Sense

After the thrashing Mitt Romney took in November, and the repeated rejection of politicians like Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, you’d think the GOP would get the message — running candidates who espouse beliefs that the majority of Americans outside the backwoods and hollers of the Bible Belt find repulsive is a losing strategy. What’s so hard to comprehend about that?

Instead of moving toward the political center and taking more moderate, common sense positions on issues like preventing mass shootings, the GOP has instead decided to double down on stupid. Like a desperate, drunken gambler slumped over a seedy dog track poker table at 1 AM, they keep pushing all in with a 2-7 offsuit in the hopes that somehow they’ll catch a lucky hand.

The problem for the GOP is that for too long now, they’ve relied on the votes and support of religious fanatics, UN takeover conspiracy theorists, gun nuts and the Dixiecrats who came over at the beginning of the “Southern Strategy.” What was initially a symbiotic relationship has now become a hostage situation they cannot get out of without becoming politically irrelevant sooner rather than later.

As a former member of the GOP, I have no sympathy for the bind they are now in. The party decided to sell its soul for political power and corporate dollars. Gone are the days of Eisenhower and the 1956 Republican platform. Seriously, just look at these snippets of what Republicans used to support, as stated in that platform:

Support for equal rights:

“We shall ever build anew, that our children and their children, without distinction because of race, creed or color, may know the blessings of our free land.”

“We recommend to Congress the submission of a constitutional amendment providing equal rights for men and women.”

Support for a social safety net:

“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 minimum wage:

“The record of performance of the Republican Administration on behalf of our working men and women goes still further. The Federal minimum wage has been raised for more than 2 million workers. Social Security has been extended to an additional 10 million workers and the benefits raised for 6 1/2 million. The protection of unemployment insurance has been brought to 4 million additional workers. There have been increased workmen’s compensation benefits for longshoremen and harbor workers, increased retirement benefits for railroad employees, and wage increases and improved welfare and pension plans for federal employees.”

The Republican Party of the 1950’s was also pro-labor:

“Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public. The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration.”

These are but a few of many examples of what Republicans used to stand for when they were indeed, “The Grand Old Party.” However, it’s not a “Grand Old Party” anymore. The big tent that once covered the middle class is now tattered and torn. What was once “grand” now resembles a bizarre carnival of snake oil salesmen and snake-handling End Times preachers. If the moderate Republicans don’t take their party back soon, it’s game over for the GOP.


Facebook comments

  • Lawrence Hartman

    That has been the messagae I have been espousing for the past six months. I tell people that my Republican party got hijacked back in 1980 when Reagan came along with his Southern Strategy which is just a dog whistle for being a bigot. The Southern State Rights People loved it at the long term detriment of the party. The last moderate Republican indeed was President Eisenhower and the Republicans between Ike and Ronny were only the the totally corrupt Nixon Administration and Ford Admin and then came the end of the moderate Republicans in 1976 with Barry Goldwater. I always say that we have been staring down into the abyss of Fascism ever since 1980 when the State Rights Bigotted Racist President Reagan came onto the scene. It is long overdue that the moderate Republicans throw off the yolk of Neo-Conservatism and take their rightful place at the political table and set the Neo-Conservatives by the curb for this week’s garbage pickup.

    • Obediah

      Yolk? I’m sure you mean yoke.

      • Ashley Holloway

        i don’t know… I am pretty sure the Republicans have egg on their face… maybe he is just trying to wipe it off?

      • Lawrence Hartman

        Oh yeh, whatever. The Repukes kind of remind me of an egg!!!

    • Riiiight

      Actually Nixon was a moderate in a lot of ways. He spoke eloquently about the opportunity offered by public education. He saw the writing on the wall on environmental issues as well.

  • Talespinning

    I remember my grandpa (born in 1892) as an advocate of the real Grand Ole Party – he was a a brilliant , contemplative, self-educated Lincolnesque kinda guy who always seemed to make sense when talking politics and social reforms. And when we talked of such things, I could always understand and respect his point of view, as well as question my own when we disagreed. I’m sure he’s somewhere out there, puffing on his pipe and shaking his head sadly at the knee jerk, anti-intellectual, obstructionism displayed by his party today. In fact, he’s probably wondering how conservative thoughtfulness, and a healthy wariness of legislated morality, church involvement in state issues, and loss of individual privacy has turned into what he’d consider rabid paranoia and hatespeak…things he would have, in his day, considered the danger of the old Southern Democrats being in charge.

  • Ember

    I have been thinking about this exact issue this last week after reading another forward progressive article that pissed me off. The Republican party was once something to be proud of. Really putting in a fight for candidates that fought for the people. It changed, so the Republican party no longer reflects Republican values. The Democratic party reflects them better, and their original values have kind of faded. What we need a different system where people who actually want to make the US great again are the ones pushed to the ranks instead of being squeezed and bullied out.

  • LibertarianBiker

    The Republican party has been a warmongering machine since its inception. Lincoln was perhaps the worst of all.

    • felacia

      Could you please go into more detail about this. I would like to hear your views, since most fail to realize that after Lincoln there was a gradual shift in the parties to where the Republicans (once supportive of many things) became close minded to everything, and the Democrats (once close minded to everything) became supportive of many things. The full shift, I would say, happened sometime in the early 1900s, right around the time of President Hoover and President Roosevelt. Hoover, opposed to helping anyone during the Depression, started greatly toward this uncaring attitude and figured “Let Capitalism take its course” whereas President Roosevelt cared to help others, as did his wife. Though I agree that, overall, Republicans do care far too much about war and how to get into wars (really reminds me of a Cardassian mindset) I don’t believe that was the “goal” in the beginning. In my view, Lincoln was trying to hold a country together (and in the end freed many enslaved people) as it started to rip apart. Any president at the time, I believe, would have done the same thing: gone to war. Civil wars happen, this is how changes are most often made in a country. Drastic though the changes can be, they are certainly needed at times in order to progress forward. I would much rather see the money that is put into the government go toward more productive things though, and do myself oppose war on a moral standing, but understand the necessity could arise for war. People shouldn’t go out looking for it though; that’s not how we move forward as a people.

  • robert

    If republicans would support unions and stop tryin to send companies over seas I would support them, but its all greed and the want for all the money instead of allowing the middle class to make a FAIR living too

  • Darryn Foley

    If the moderate Democrats don’t take their party back soon, it’s game over for the DNCC.

    Oh wait, they tried, and then the Blue Dogs got expelled from the party for being moderate.

    • Deserteagle911

      They got expelled for being corporate shills who would not look out for the middle class. Many were southern DINOS. Not a good look for a modern populist party. Good riddance.

  • Art Toegemann

    Shared your Young Republicans Labor Day 1956 meme at facebook. “Social Security Expanded”; such a relief to today’s noise of nothing but cuts.

  • Karla Ibsen

    At this point, I’m not sure the Republican Party is a political party. I think the TEA Party has replaced it. We’re seeing a strong TEA Party with a lot of former Republicans desperately trying to hold on to what they had. Those moderate Republicans, who were the substance of the former Republican Party, are now more like independents who caucus with the TEA Party for want of a better option. They are unorganized and seeking the direction that a party structure would normally provide. What we knew as the Republican Party is no more.

  • Ms. Samantha Sapde

    But look at bunch underneath…
    They got them crazy-eyes!!!

    Like that “Runaway Bride” woman…
    She had them crazy-eyes, too.

    You gotta watch people with them crazy-assed-eyes.
    That’s the truth.
    No shit.

    Look at their damn eyes.
    Now tell me they don’t have “crazy-eyes.”

    The eyes, Dude.



  • Brian

    It’s simple. Anarcho-capitalist fascists hijacked over the GOP when Nixon came into power.