Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, January 03, 2011

Republican Party Platform from 1956

Several days ago, there were only two letters published in our local paper, and the contrast between them was just too much. You could almost picture the two letter-writers jumping off the page and breaking into a catfight.

One letter was from a local famous/infamous rightwing crackpot doing his best Michele Malkin imitation. The other letter contained excerpts from the Republican Party Platform of 1956:

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

Stimulate improved job safety of our workers, through assistance to the States, employees and employers;

Continue and further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers;

Strengthen and improve the Federal-State Employment Service and improve the effectiveness of the unemployment insurance system;

Protect by law, the assets of employee welfare and benefit plans so that workers who are the beneficiaries can be assured of their rightful benefits;

Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;

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;

Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;

Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment;

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.”

Is it just me, or has the Republican Party moved just a tad to the right since the 1950s?



Blogger jadedj said...

It must just be you, Tom. They have adhered to every one of these points...NOT.

January 3, 2011 at 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That platform would scare most so called Democrats now as too far left.

January 3, 2011 at 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprise! They weren't stupid back then, they knew they won mostly because of Eisenhower's celebrity and whereas there was an Apathy towards Truman, it was with him and Korea not with his domestic policies.

The South was still Democratic and the Rockefeller Civil Rights wing of the Republican Party was going strong.

Nixon, Goldwater and Reagan were yet to rear their ugly heads!

Back then most Blacks in California were Republicans as was our most popular Governor ever.

The Truman Roosevelt policies that built the middle class were still popular and they knew better not to mess with it!


January 3, 2011 at 9:58 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Excellent comment, Erik. I'll add few things.

Democrats tried to recruit Eisenhower, but he felt more comfortable with the GOP.

Republicans had been held out of White House power for five four-year cycles. They had been sure Dewey would win in 1948, but the fact was that a whole lot of older voters still remembered the Dewey types of the 1920s, and they were not ready to forgive or forget.

Eisenhower didn't fit the Republican mold. He was as different from the three previous Republican presidents as night is from day. People liked him, but what's more they felt completely safe with him. Even those who so clearly remembered the hardest days of the Depression.

Ike's influence might have played some part in that '56 platform, but a chastened, PR-conscious GOP establishment was well aware how quickly people could be turned off by any sign of the old, traditional Republicanism. So, protective of their first big win in ages, they were prepared to give the public some of what the public clearly preferred.

January 4, 2011 at 12:41 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Impeach Ike!

January 4, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

The Rushpubliscum Party has shifted more than a tad towards the retarded.

January 4, 2011 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Remember that was back in the McCarthy era and many of his own party called Eisenhower a socialist.

January 4, 2011 at 10:06 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Demeur, some on the extreme far right, the John Birch Society types, called Ike a socialist. I specifically said the Republican establishment, which by then included a substantial number of moderates and even some progressives.

Back in that day, Birchers and the more hard-line Taft diehards were accurately referred to as an unloved and unwanted minority of the minority party.

January 4, 2011 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger squatlo said...

Great post! Now you see Saint Ronnie held up as the ideal Republican, but even HIS policies would be unfathomable for the current crop of knuckle-dragging teabaggers.
Ike couldn't get elected today with those pussy whipped standards, not from either party!
It's not that the Bircher's were right, it's that they've spawned a new generation of "I, Me, Mine" selfish pricks who think any help for those less fortunate should come from their lily white churches and not from federal taxes.
Unions were respected then, reviled now... and look at our manufacturing base as a result.

January 4, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger MRMacrum said...

That's the Republican Party I grew up in. It was ruined the day Ronnie got his fgrips on it.

January 4, 2011 at 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Rick Massey said...

Tom: I think that generation of people who actually pulled together and survived a terrible war by personal sacrifice instead of going shopping - those people were a lot less selfish than the crowd the Republicans are sucking up to today. If more of us really cared about one another, the modern Republican platform would be tarred, feathered and ran out of town.

January 4, 2011 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

jadedj: Nope, they haven't changed a bit :)

Anonymous: You're right, most Democrats would scream "socialism!" if they saw that platform.

Erik: Excellent analysis of then vs. now. I think the voting public was better informed back then. In any case, there weren't any slick TV commercials to deceive voters. Voters had to rely on news, which wasn't as thoroughly controlled by Big Business as it is today.

Since voters were better informed, their interests weren't to be ignored, unlike today.

SW: Another excellent take. In those days, it was voters' sentiments that motivated politicians; unlike today, when lobbyists are the only people who call the shots.

Randal: And his little dog Checkers too. Oh wait...

JR: They're shifting towards the retarded, and from there towards the vegetative.

Demeur: The extreme Republicans were still on the fringes back then. Today they're in charge of the whole party.

Squatlo: Good point. If Obama tried to reinstate the tax rates that existed under Reagan, Republicans would call him a Commie. Of course, they're already doing that anyway.

And those lily white churches are too busy fighting the homosexual agenda to have any money left over for charity.

MRM: First Reagan, then Dumbya, now the current gang that's taking over the House. How much further the right can they go? (Don't answer that.)

Rick: That's very true. WWII had everybody pulling together. Everything was rationed, and from what I've heard, nobody screamed about "government meddling" or "class warfare" like they would today.

January 4, 2011 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's the Republican Party I grew up in. It was ruined the day Ronnie got his grips on it."

Nixon and Goldwater had well set the Party in it's direction for Ronnie. But you have a point, Ronnie was the one who turned the Californian Party into the all white party we know nationally today.

Tom Harper

"I think the voting public was better informed back then.."

Remember we didn't have voting rights yet


January 4, 2011 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

I keep on saying that the present day GOP doesn't sound, look or feel like it was when I was a kid. Now we have the party that only cares about the rich class and those political contributions. On that note there are also many Dems that are very similar.

March 21, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Wisconsin Jim, the Republican said...

Some thoughts here:

1.) Eisenhower kept his politics private for a long time. The Democrats wanted to draft him in 1948, in which he broke his silence saying "I'm sorry, but I'm just a Kansas Republican." He didn't get along well with most Democrats while he was President, but was able to work with them. Much like Clinton did in the 90's

2.) The Election of 1960 was the turning point for American Republicanism. If Nixon would have beaten Kennedy, the GOP would look much more like Ike's GOP than the current. The Bay of Pigs, CMC and Vietnam probably wouldn't have happened.

3.) A majority of American's thought Ike handled Joe McCarthy and McCarthyism with a respectable manner. He took a laid back approach and let it fizzle out. He agreed with McCarthy's goals but didn't agree with how he went about them. Ike won Wisconsin with 61% of the vote. McCarthy only recieved 45% in his home state in the Senate Elections, which showed that McCarthy was losing ground with McCarthyism.

4.) Reagan had nothing to with the party shift of blacks in California. Nixon was mainly the one who did it, but not on purpose. He was in favor of Civil Rights and the Civil Rights movement, but unlike Kennedy, he didn't speak a word - good or bad, about MLK being in jail for rally. Because of this, MLK and his wife spoke in favor of JFK and most blacks who were influenced by MLK voted for JFK, then LBJ and so on and so forth.

5.) Gerald Ford was the last Eisnehower Republican to serve as President, and because of the Liberal Propaganda of Jimmy Carter and the Democrats of the late
1970's, Republicanism had to change to the Goldwater-Reagan Republicansim and then transition from that into what we have today. Had Gerald Ford won in 1976, we would've have a surplus by 1979, unemployment would've been under what it was when Ike was President, interest rates would've been lower than what they are today, and those below the poverty line would have drastically decreased and the 1980's would've been vastly different. Instead Jimmy Carter reversed every one of Ford's actions and flipped the country upside down.

6.) When Nixon became President, he ran on an Eisenhower Platform and it got a lot of good things done. Nixon had two big problems -He became President of LBJ's America - so it was an uphill climb to begin with and Nixon put too much trust in his cabinet members who, not Nixon, planned the break in and issued the cover up in Nixon's name. The Nixon Platform of 1968 and 1972 was an Ike Platform of '52 or '56.

Bottom line, the GOP can be saved with an Eisenhower Platform and Eisenhower Republicanism, but something has to be done to make a shift happen.

I'm a Republican and proud of it. I consider myself an Eisenhower or Ford Republican, I like Nixon, admire Reagan and think Mike Huckabee is the answer for America. I can embrace the other side - unlike a lot in todays GOP. I like Bill Cliton, Harry Truman and Jack Kenndedy.

March 28, 2012 at 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's clear that today's republican is hell bent on destroying the one and only space ship we humans have- Thanks greedy gop!!

December 5, 2012 at 6:39 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home