In anticipation for its convention next week, the Republican Party has drafted what one committee member called “the most conservative platform in modern history.” The draft platform includes tenets like calling for women to be excluded from combat roles in the military and support for the Arizona anti-immigrant law.
But things weren’t always this way. The Republican platform was at one time surprisingly progressive — in 1956. Let’s take a look at some key planks of the party’s platform that year:
On Labor and Wages: The platform boasted that “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.” It called for changes to the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act to “more effectively protect the rights of labor unions” and to “assure equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.”
On Welfare and Health: The platform demanded “once again, despite the reluctance of the Democrat 84th Congress, Federal assistance to help build facilities to train more physicians and scientists.” It emphasized the need to continue the “extension and perfection of a sound social security system,” and boasted of the party’s recent history of supporting “enlarged Federal assistance for construction of hospitals, emphasizing low-cost care of chronic diseases and the special problems of older persons, and increased Federal aid for medical care of the needy.”
On Civil Rights, Gender Equality, and Immigration:Ai??The platform supported “Ai??self-government, national suffrage and representation in the Congress of the United States for residents of the District of Columbia.” With regards to ending discrimination against racial minorities, the party took pride that “more progress has been made in this field under the present Republican Administration than in any similar period in the last 80 years.” It also recommended to Congress “the submission of a constitutional amendment providing equal rights for men and women.” Its section on immigration actually recommended expanding immigration to America, supportingAi??”the extension of the Refugee Relief Act of 1953 in resolving this difficult refugee problem which resulted from world conflict.”
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are…a few…Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas.Ai??Their number is negligible and they are stupid,” wrote Republican President Dwight Eisenhower to his brother in 1954. Unfortunately, this splinter group is now in charge of this once-respectable political party.
By the standard of Eisenhower’s platform, Obama is a Republican!! How did the irrational extreme take over the Republicans and why can’t the majority see how out of touch with our history the current Republicans are? I can only conclude this is the failure of our education system to teach our history in a meaningful way combined with the impact of paid propaganda. There is a large segment of our population that has no memory or knowledge of what the Republican party used to stand for. They have been so brainwashed thar you cannot reach them with the truth that there is nothing radical about Obama and the Democrats?
It’s pretty easy to see what happened if you know this.
Who publishes a large portions of the text books in the U.S.?
Who owns Random House.
Who owns the largest extreme right wing propaganda network in the U.S.? Rupert Murdoch.
Um.. source that Rupert Murdoch owns Random House? According to Wikipedia it’s owned by Burtelsmann
Crap, got confused with my Publishers it’s HarperCollins he owns.
The Bertelsmann Foundation however is another source of Neo-Con/Neo-Liberal ideas and has been criticized for their engagement in the political field, especially in educational and labour politics, where they were allegedly promoting neoliberal (which in the U.S. we call neoConservatism or Free Market Economics) ideas such as an increase of competition in education and research and for the introduction of tuition fees to the German university system. The foundation has been accused of channeling their concepts into reforms of public universities in order to eliminate e.g. free access to education and academic autonomy
Additionally they are working with the Rockefeller Foundation, which is never good news, per their own web site. Thus much of the media and educational materials you see are controlled by a few men who share the same goal of robbing the middle class blind.
Random House is owned by Bertlesmann…
See my comment above and they are pretty much of the same mind set as Murdoch.
How did this happen? The religious right took over. Fundamentalist Christianty is as dangerous to America as any other threat.
This is how it happened actually:
All the federal government has to do is 1) protect our boarders 2) monitor The financial markets 3) build and maintain USA infrustructure 4) create jobs like gulf oil drilling, not banning usa jobs in the gulf but letting other countries drill in the gulf Doesn’t make. sence 5) DN bail out companies
“When fascism comes to America, it’ll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross”
— Sinclair Lewis
“When fascism comes to America, it’ll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross” -Sinclair Lewis. The 2012 Republican Party meets this definition.
Fascism arrived about 10 years ago.
Actually it started 12 years ago in the year 2000.
I never heard this comment until today. But, this sounds like today’s republican party. Yesterday Romney purposely raised the “birther” flag to stir up the rabid ultra-conservative republican base that really doesn’t believe he is one of them. Trouble is no one really knows who Romney is, not even Romney. Certainly Romney is NOT qualified to be President neither is Ryan. The rabid ultra-conservatives like Ryan, however; given Ryan’s history who in good conscience, would trust him. It is blatantly obvious that racism and bigotry is behind the ultra-conservative drive to defeat President Obama. It is unfortunate that, although; many people worked and still do, to end the evils of racism and bigotry America is still mired in these dangerous and destructive behaviors. I am 64 now and as the 1960s progressed I had great hope that racism and bigotry would be greatly rduced (I realized there will always be those who will never change) but, as a white man I personally experienced racism from unexpected quarters and saw what happened to friends, lovers and colleages my optimism virtuall y vanished. This was in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today, I’m frstrated and discouraged by the republican platform and our society overall. I guess Sinclair Lewis was right.
Fundamentalist Christians being used by some of the greediest people on earth. Greed is a disease: it is an addiction to money. Next time you see your local crack addict pawn his grandmother’s medications for his next fix, think Addleson.
a lot of southern democrats were extremely conservative back then, and that was a bastion of power for the democrats way back when, it wasn’t until the President at the time started supporting civil rights is when the region and the party parted ways. the roles were really flip flopped on social rights as a whole until the early fifties and sixties
Agree that today’s Republican Party has issues, but do does the Democratic party. Interestingly enough this article leaves out a few key points from the Republican Party Platform of 1956:
1) “America’s trust is in the merciful providence of God, in whose image every man is created … the source of every man’s dignity and freedom.”
2) “But in all that people can individually do as well for themselves, Government ought not to interfere.”
3) “In all those things which deal with people’s money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative.”
I think those 3 key points you make are more in line with what most Republicans adhere to philosophically today than any of the others. That sure sounds reasonable to me!
Please note it says God, not a certain god. The religious right have become as bad or worse than those our founders fled in England. This country was founded for religious freedom. Christianity is only one religion, certainly not the religion of all.
Hard to believe the republicans were like that given their bigoted and racist policies today.
Eisenhower was, in fact, the LAST Republican prez who balanced the budget, MORE than half a century ago! Under Ike there were far more tax brackets than today and the top *marginal* tax rate was 91%, and the economy boomed.
Today the top *marginal* tax rate is all of 35%, but the very wealthy have tax planning devices available that reduce their *effective* rates. Example: of his very limited disclosure, it is known that Romney has paid an *effective* tax rate of only 13%, much below what middle class people pay.
Since Ike not one Repub prez balanced the budget and two of them [Reagan and Bush Jr.] BOTH in their 8 years MORE than DOUBLED the debt that had accumulated in the CENTURIES before they came into office. As a result it is an arithmetical certainty that the vast majority of today’s national debt was incurred under Repub presidents since 1981, but the fools and liars on the Right blame Obama for today’s debt!
Is anyone else as concerned about voter suppression as I am? I’d like to see a major activism movement on this issue.
Republicans are aware that due to demographic changes in the make up of the American electorate that if every US citizen was allowed to vote that the chances are very good that Republicans would lose. Thus, the Republican policy is to attempt to prevent as many Democrats from voting as is possible. There are millions of American citizens who do not have “Picture ID” simply because they don’t drive, but their spouses do. They don’t open bank accounts, but their spouses do. They don’t need ID to buy alcoholic beverages or cigarettes because their spouses do. Same for renting apartments, motel rooms, anything else. Or they are seniors living with their children and don’t need ID for anything on their own. Or they reside in an assisted living center due to age or handicap and don’t need ID because they don’t do anything that needs ID. However, these people are still American citizens and should have the right to vote. But Republicans believe that they can legally deprive these people of the right to vote by making it as difficult as possible to obtain the required ID now necessary. There is a case of a World War 2 veteran living in an assisted living center who will be prevented from voting because he doesn’t have current ID. So the Republicans don’t care if you’ve been voting since Eisenhower was President, they want you to have current unexpired Picture ID anyway!
I’m with you. Voter supression is illegal and the grounds the republicans use;”voter fraud” for their illegal laws and activities ais virtually non-existent. In the recent PA. court case that opposed the new PA voter ID law one state administartion official, under oath, stated there was NO evidence of voter fraud in PA. The idiot judge with his lame excuses upheld the new law but the state Supreme Court will hear the appeals on Sept. 13th. The republicans wanted the appeals heard after the Nov. election. Wonder why?!! What is truly disturbing is that DOJ seems to lack the will to aggressively enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and too many courts and willing (or paid) to uphold the illegal voter suppression laws. The public outcry is increasing but, it seems we are fighting a losing battle. One thing is clear, if the elections in Nov. appear tainted due to voter suppression or other illegal activities, the people won’t wait for legal resolutions,anarchy will occur spontaneously and quickly. When this occurs, who will be held accountable and responsible for their part in creating the anarchy?
There is an ongoing, and growing movement to end voter supression.
I too am very concerned about voter suppression. That is how they stole 2 elections for W. (Florida and Ohio)
Like you, I’m concerned that the republicans are doing everything they can to rig the election through voter suppression. They know they can’t win legitemately, so cheating and debauchery is their alternati ve. Unfortunately, the super-rich and Wall St. really want to control America and the republicans are their lackeys.
I graduated from high school in 1954 and became active in the Republican party. I did not remember the party platform so clearly but this is a good reminder of why I changed parties in l970. If ever a party grew away from it’s members it is this one. I will vote for Obama, I had totally given up hope in 2007 when he came along and restored my last little thread of maybe. Now it is a question of the horror of Mitt Romney /Paul Ryan or hanging by ones nails to see if we will still have a country with Obama.
I think I might have to question how I could have been dumb enough all these years to keep on working politically and believing that we were heading towards a better future for this country. Sorry to be handing out such a downer. I don’t know if looking backwards or forward is more depressing these days.
I’m a Libertarian (since 1983) because I didn’t like the way that the two major parties are going. I will however vote straight Democrat in November simply because the Republican has become so extreme that Sinclair Lewis’ comment does seem to apply to the Republicans of today. They are embracing fascism. They have become “extremists” who will not ever consider any other viewpoint.
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