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 It is led by men with limited vision, outdated economic ideas, and a narrowness in terms of encompassing divergent people within the framework of the American nation.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.

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  • corvousier

    Well, a hundred years ago, nobody knew what a socialist society looks like. A hundred years late everybody knows what a failure they are.
    Since you like to cite Churchill in your mission statement, let Churchill answer some of your liberal ideas:
    “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
    or another one:
    “Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.”
    or yet another one(this one one of my favorites):
    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.”

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    Winston Churchill supported national health insurance for his nation.
    You apparently don’t have any understanding of socialism or its historical development. Theodore Roosevelt hated socialism but he understood modern capitalism could not be based on greed and unchecked and unsupervised capitalism.
    How about reading a book about socialism. No European socialist nation ever became a dictatorship. Europe today benefits from socialist ideas about providing a base of economic support for people. I am waiting for your ignorant remark that the USSR was a socialist nation. When the Red army entered eastern Europe in 1944, the first people they killed were leaders of local socialist parties.

  • corvousier

    I probably have more understanding than you of what socialism is because, I LIVED for 28 years. I bet you pseude-intellectuals think you know better than enybody else because you have read some books.
    Let me know when you are capable to measure “greed”. I really want to know how “evil” a person can be based in your “greedmeter”. Under socialism, the lack of “greed” brings poverty to everybody. The big problem with socialism is that once you get there, who is goin to “check and supervise” the goverment? If you think politicians will give back that power, think again.
    Are you sure what you said about the USSR? I can give you several poits to show you they were a socialist nation. Starting with the means of production in the hands of the goverment. Wealth distribution based in need, etc, etc, etc. You think Stalin, Breznev, Honecker, Causescu, Tito, et al weren’t dictators? They also kill national SOCIALISTS (you know ,NAZIS), etc.
    I hope you know nazis were a socialist party as well as italian fascist and spanish falangists were all some flavor of socialism mixed with nationalism.
    I also can give you some lessons about our neighbor 90 miles south of key west. I can give you a tour down there. But with one condition, you have to stay away from tourist hotels and live and eat like any cuban. I’ll give you less than a month before you become capitalist at hart

  • Jim

    Fred,

    I think your original article is great — insightful historical compare/contrast, moderate tone, intelligent from start to finish. I’m bummed to see you engage with corvousier, who’s comments display the exact opposite qualities — wrong conclusions, immoderate/accusatory tone. Personally, I would have simply left his post without comment — let the readers judge for themselves which author offers the more realistic and valuable point of view.
    \Jim
    Los Altos