The GOP I knew, and for whom I worked for over four decades is as dead as its founders. The Republican Party had a long life, 162 years. From 1854 until 2016, the year of its passing, the GOP saw many triumphs.
Abraham Lincoln, the Party’s very first President, preserved the union, signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves, and many cite his Administration as the actual start of the United States.
There are other GOP accomplishments that America forgets.
Republicans Susan B. Anthony and Cady Stanton wrote the text of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. GOP Senator Aaron Sargent introduced the Amendment with ratification in 1920.
In 1916, Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Republican Dwight Eisenhower sent the 82nd Airborne Division to desegregate schools in Little Rock, Arkansas and signed the GOP civil rights act of 1960, the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.
Republican Jesse Owens humiliated Adolf Hitler, and Republican Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.
Republican President Richard Nixon created the EPA putting an end to killer smogs and rescuing our lakes and rivers from dying or catching on fire.
Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush won the Cold War and watched the Berlin Wall come down.
The history has been tremendous, and many important achievements have belonged to the GOP. All that has changed in recent years, and the GOP no longer seeks greatness.
The GOP used to have great policy thinkers. Intellectuals such as William F. Buckley Jr, Jonah Goldberg, and Bill Kristol provided in-depth analysis of policy with an eye to addressing problems in society offering principled conservative solutions. Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Kristol are joined by George H. Nash rounding out a troika of deep thinkers in the tradition of Barry Goldwater and William Buckley.
The problem is they are no longer relevant. Replacing the great conservative thinkers is the hate spewing of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter. The guy in the screen-grab from Twitter is their creation. The GOP no longer is working to expand the economy or preserve liberty.
The GOP of today thrives on hate, paranoia, and resentment. It does so via something called “confirmation bias.” That is a fancy term for belief without question of the propaganda put out by a political party or movement which one uses to confirm their own opinions. Throw in the Facebook and Twitter algorithms that provide our news feeds with only the content with which we agree, and we are further walling ourselves off from competing ideas and each other.
Once the news walls bolstered by social media, make it a simple task for the parties to turn what should be national discussions about momentous issues into tribal warfare and thereby dividing the nation further. The nameless, faceless world of social media makes it easy for us to deal with people and ideas that disrupt our view of the world.
With a couple of simple clicks, we can eliminate those with a differing opinion from our online existence.
The advent of social media has changed the very content of their messages and is why people like Bill Kristol is drowned out by the mass audience of the Fox News propaganda outlet. The GOP agenda today is set by Fox and not by the intellectuals at Heritage Foundation or periodicals like The Weekly Standard, and National Review.
The GOP message in my day was “It is better to give a poor person a job, than a government program,” which was a signal to business to create new jobs. In today’s GOP, it is a dog-whistle for racism, paranoia, and xenophobia. Imagine replacing free trade which generates jobs with sending the message to followers that foreigners that come to the USA are merely awful criminals.
The GOP of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush 41 recognized throwing excess carbon dioxide in the air, toxic chemicals in the water supply and encouraging gas-guzzling vehicles is not good for us.
The GOP of today does not believe in science, and in the name of profits is rolling back nearly 50 years of progress. The skies are clear in Los Angeles today because of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (C.A.F.E.) standards set after the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s. The GOP is making our skies and water dirty again, as well as making our economy vulnerable to foreigners who can cripple us by turning off the oil.
The new message of the unrecognizable GOP is that vast conspiracies have run unchecked, and only a strongman can make society just. It sounds like a pitch for a dictatorship to me. A non-existent boogeyman made up of liberals, posers, and foreigners are the wolves at the door that must be slain for America to be great again, is the GOP platform today.
That does not sound much like respect for the Constitution, liberty, or freedom to me. Those were the principles that kept me in the GOP longer than I should have been a member.
The GOP is gone. It had a good run, but it is no more. What masquerades as the Republican Party of today is a poser and the home racism, ignorance, and xenophobia. Those are the base ingredients for an ugly form of nationalism.
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Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Ann Coulter, Barry Goldwater, Bill Kristol, confirmation bias, Dwight Eisenhower, Facebook, GOP, Jackie Robinson, Jeannette Rankin, Jesse Owens, Jonah Goldberg, President Ford, Republican Party, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Ted Cruz, Trump GOP, twitter, William F Buckley Jr