Tag Archives: Wilkie


When I was a little boy growing up in the Depression, my immigrant father who never had the benefit of an education, would take me for a walk in Crotona Park in the Bronx. We would pass people arguing for Socialism, capitalism, women rights, liberalism, conservatism, etc.. and my father would say: “America, America, it is a wonderful country. Here a man can speak freely and the police don’t beat him up.” During the past month, an avalanche of so-called “Patriots” have harassed meetings to discuss health care and they have uttered the most offensive garbage in the history of American politics. Ostensibly, they argue their “patriotism” is analogous to the Boston Tea Party. Unfortunately, their knowledge of American history is equivalent to their ignorance about the Obama health program. In the 1770s, Parliament granted a monopoly on the sale of tea in America to the East India Tea Company and that group proceeded to CUT THE PRICE OF TEA in order to wean Americans from buying tea from smugglers. Of course, the goal of the Obama health plan is to LOWER HEALTH COSTS. For some strange reason these loud mouth fanatics are against lowering costs and prefer that Americans spend more money.

Tea Party advocates employ the language of hate and fear because they are inherently bigots. Bill Hennessy, a St. Louis leader of the Tea Party argues life in Obama America “doesn’t feel like America” and he sees nothing wrong with referring to the president as “our Fuhrer” or the “Grand Dragon Wizard.” Rhonda Linders goes further in her complaints about President Obama and the health care plan. “What is the world going to look like for our children and grandchildren? It’s very scary to see and think that our children may be living under a dictatorship. Maybe in concentration camps.” Huh! A basic argument of Tea Party goons and thugs is that Obama is spending America into bankruptcy. Let’s look at the record:
1. Under the presidency of Republican Ronald Reagan, the national debt doubled.
2. Under the presidency of Democrat Bill Clinton the budget was balanced and even had a surplus. His plan was to use the surplus to begin paying down the national debt.
3. George Bush II inherited a balanced budget and a national debt of$5 trillion. When he left office eight years later the national debt was $11 trillion. Funny, but I don’t recall Tea Party advocates organizing demonstrations against Bush spending America into horrible debt. Could it be the so-called Tea Party is nothing more than a front for the Republican Party?

Tea Party comparisons to Nazi death camps are beyond the pale of political discourse. I gather Tea Party supporters believe Jews in
Auschwitz had health insurance. These words and expressions about Nazism insult every survivor of the Holocaust. How dare these ignorant bigots insult those who truly have suffered!

In case there is rain in your locale tomorrow, let me explain the source of the rain drops. They are the tears of great Republican leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt(by the way, Tea Party supporters it was Teddy who initially advocated the Income tax)Wendell Willkie, Robert Taft, Dwight Eisenhower, Fiorello La Guardia, crying over what has happened to their party.

Wither The Republican Party?

A hundred years ago, the Republican Party was led by Theodore Roosevelt whose progressive ideas today would undoubtedly lead to Republicans today castigating him as a “radical” or “socialist.” Theodore Roosevelt took on Big Business with his trust busting ideas, he originated the concept of conservation of our national resources, he believed in equal rights for Negroes and women, he supported labor unions, he urged transforming the Washington D.C. school system into a model for the nation, and he was the first president to actively seek to integrate immigrants into the American ethos. His famous Rough Riders was included immigrants from every ethnic group.

In the 1940s, the Republican party was led by Wendell Wilkie whose book, “One World” spoke of his desire for a world bound together. Thomas Dewey who twice ran for the presidency supported most New Deal laws and worked actively for equal rights for minorities. Senator Arthur Vandenberg led Senate Republicans in working with Roosevelt and Truman to become part of the United Nations. Even the great Republican Senator Robert Taft would today be branded by right wing kooks as a radical. During the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower consolidated the New Deal and backed the Supreme Court in Brown vs. Board of Education. It was Eisenhower who warned about the “military/industrial complex” and was probably the only president in fifty years to cut the military budget.

Today, Senator Specter has left the party because the party has abandoned its conservative ideals and its concern for human rights. Its ongoing mantra is “cut taxes to help the wealthy.” Senator Vandenberg worked closely in a spirit of bipartisanship with Democrats as did Ronald Reagan on many international issues. But, today, the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt is controlled by Rush Limbaugh mentalities of pettiness and vicious hatred toward anyone who disagrees with their belief that wealthy people are the chosen ones of God. By the way, Teddy Roosevelt violently opposed any mixing of church and state.

So, what has happened to the Republican party? It is led by men with limited vision, outdated economic ideas, and a narrowness in terms of encompassing divergent people within the framework of the American nation. Republicans, ye have tarried too long, begone and rest in the dustbin of history with other relics of lost ideas.

I am certain Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower shed a tear every night as they gaze at the motley crew of ignorant hateful people who lead their party.