Republican platforms, then and now

A look back at things Republicans believed before they lost their minds.

Wow, what a surprise! Have you seen the National Republican Party’s official platform?

Perhaps, like me, you would have expected it to be a mish-mash of Trumpian miasma, laissez fairyland corporate economics, QAnon lunacy, police state authoritarianism, and all the other wackiness that today’s GOP has been embracing.

But, no. Astonishingly, this 18-page policy statement flat-out rejects the elitism, know-nothingism, and nutballism coming out of the White House and out of the mouths of nearly every Republican congress critter.

For example, instead of the GOP’s usual claptrap about the moral superiority of “wealth creators,” the platform unequivocally hails the egalitarian ethic of the common good. “Our government was created for all the people, and it must serve no less a purpose,” proclaim the Republicans.

Moreover, they issue an in-your-face rebuttal to recent Republican policies of inequality: “America does not prosper unless all Americans prosper,” they state. All Americans.

And, believe it or not, their platform provides the means for a shared prosperity, declaring that “the protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the [party].”

Plus, they profess solidarity with America’s working class: “Labor is the United States. The men and women, who with their minds, their hearts and hands, create the wealth that is shared in the country—they are America.”

Holy Woody Guthrie, let’s all sing “This Land Is Your Land!” With Republicans converting to the principle that we’re all in this together, even adopting it as formal policy, we could become one nation again and join in building a little-d democratic society based on fairness, justice, and equal opportunity for all.

But is this document a fake, a plant, a joke? No, it’s what the party was before it lost its mind—it’s the national Republican platform of 1956.

This year, the party produced no platform whatsoever, deferring on all matters entirely to Donald Trump. That leaves an entire party with a sole operating principle: “What he said.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. Distributed by OtherWords.org.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>