159th Anniversary Of Founding Of Republican Party: Not A Celebration!

The Republican Party, which gave us Abraham Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, William Seward in the years of the 1850s and 1860s; which gave us Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette, Sr, George Norris, William Borah, Hiram Johnson in the 1900s-1940s; which gave us Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr,, George Romney in the 1950s-1960s; and which gave us Mark Hatfield, Charles Mathias, Charles Percy, Howard Baker, Bob Dole, Gerald Ford in the 1970s–1990s, reached its 159th birthday today.

The Republican Party began as an anti slavery expansion party, with elements of abolitionism also present when the party began on this day in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854.

It became the party of civil rights legislation, three civil rights constitutional amendments, progressive legislation, and supportive of much bipartisan legislation with Democrats in the New Deal and Great Society eras.

Of course, they had their evil elements, including McCarthyism, nativism, and tying themselves to organized religious influences that wished to take America backward, but until the past few years, they always had redeeming values in many ways, and would often denounce the extremists in their midst.

But now the Republican Party has become a party dominated by Tea Party radicals, who promote racism, misogyny, nativism, concern only to promote the welfare of the wealthy, and willingness to engage in foreign wars that have cost us dearly in treasure and loss of life and limb!

The Republican Party is no longer, in any way, reflective of its past, and in fact, insults its honorable, respectable history, sullying the names of its heroes and champions over a century and a half!

This is a tragedy of massive proportions, and the name “Republican” should be co-opted by the true moderates who are sitting by, watching the destruction going on, and holding their heads in their hands, ashamed that the name has been so damaged by reckless, anarchistic haters of the federal government! The party which fought the Civil War to uphold the Union is now more like the secessionist Democrats of that era!

The “Occupy” Movement Nationally: In The Best American Political Tradition!

As the “Occupy Wall Street” and other “Occupy” movements throughout the United States take hold, we see and hear bitter denunciations by the Tea Party Movement in the most wretched and venal manner!

This Tea Party Movement, which brought guns to gatherings, spit on members of Congress, and used racist language against President Barack Obama, and has no concern about the future of millions of middle class and poor families, has the gall and nerve to set out to destroy the reputation of ordinary citizens, who are having their homes taken away from them, their jobs lost, their children’s college education debts soar beyond ability to pay, their health care being denied, and their pensions being decimated, and seem to think this should be reacted to in silence, while the top one percent control 40 percent of the income, and continue through Wall Street to victimize America daily with their greed and selfishness!

The “Occupy” movement is in the best tradition of other reform movements, including the abolitionist crusade against slavery; the populist movement against the rich and powerful a century ago; the labor union movement; the civil rights movement after World War II; the woman’s rights movement in the 1960s and after; the anti Vietnam war movement in the 1960s and 1970s; and the gay rights movement since 1969.

Without public participation in the form of protest movements, nothing can be done to overcome injustice and unfairness! All those involved in protest movements will be bitterly attacked, but the answer is to deflect the criticism, and focus on the job at hand, and it does not look as if the “Occupy” movement is going away anytime soon!