Over dinner last night, my brother Phil and I were trying to figure out how much of what we’re seeing from the modern Republican Party is new and how much has been been baked in the cake for a long time. I tried to get Phil to engage in a thought experiment, which was to imagine that Dwight D. Eisenhower had not won the 1952 nomination and had never been president. The premise of my case was that it was really only the interlude of Eisenhower that gave us the illusion that the Republican Party was a reliable partner on governance and that if the GOP had not had that experience, we would not have had a golden age of bipartisan consensus in Washington DC.
But I went back to the hotel and started looking into a couple of things. The first thing I did was to look up the Republican Platform from the 1952 convention. I’ll post it below so you can take a look at as much of it as you can take.
Republican Party Platform of 1952
July 7, 1952
We maintain that man was not born to be ruled, but that he consented to be governed; and that the reasons that moved him thereto are few and simple. He has voluntarily submitted to government because, only by the establishment of just laws, and the power to enforce those laws, can an orderly life be maintained, full and equal opportunity for all be established, and the blessings of liberty be perpetuated.
We hold that government, and those entrusted with government, should set a high example of honesty, of justice, and unselfish devotion to the public good; that they should labor to maintain tranquillity at home and peace and friendship with all the nations of the earth.
We assert that during the last twenty years, leaders of the Government of the United States under successive Democrat Administrations, and especially under this present Administration, have failed to perform these several basic duties; but, on the contrary, that they have evaded them, flouted them, and by a long succession of vicious acts, so undermined the foundations of our Republic as to threaten its existence.
We charge that they have arrogantly deprived our citizens of precious liberties by seizing powers never granted.
We charge that they work unceasingly to achieve their goal of national socialism.
We charge that they have disrupted internal tranquillity by fostering class strife for venal political purposes.
We charge that they have choked opportunity and hampered progress by unnecessary and crushing taxation.
They claim prosperity but the appearance of economic health is created by war expenditures, waste and extravagance, planned emergencies, and war crises. They have debauched our money by cutting in half the purchasing power of our dollar.
We charge that they have weakened local self-government which is the cornerstone of the freedom of men.
We charge that they have shielded traitors to the Nation in high places, and that they have created enemies abroad where we should have friends.
We charge that they have violated our liberties by turning loose upon the country a swarm of arrogant bureaucrats and their agents who meddle intolerably in the lives and occupations of our citizens.
We charge that there has been corruption in high places, and that examples of dishonesty and dishonor have shamed the moral standards of the American people.
We charge that they have plunged us into war in Korea without the consent of our citizens through their authorized representatives in the Congress, and have carried on that war without will to victory.
The present Administration, in seven years, has squandered the unprecedented power and prestige which were ours at the close of World War II.
In that time, more than 500 million non-Russian people of fifteen different countries have been absorbed into the power sphere of Communist Russia, which proceeds confidently with its plan for world conquest.
We charge that the leaders of the Administration in power lost the peace so dearly earned by World War II.
The moral incentives and hopes for a better world which sustained us through World War II were betrayed, and this has given Communist Russia a military and propaganda initiative which, if unstayed, will destroy us.
They abandoned friendly nations such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Czechoslovakia to fend for themselves against the Communist aggression which soon swallowed them.
They required the National Government of China to surrender Manchuria with its strategic ports and railroads to the control of Communist Russia. They urged that Communists be taken into the Chinese Government and its military forces. And finally they denied the military aid that had been authorized by Congress and which was crucially needed if China were to be saved. Thus they substituted on our Pacific flank a murderous enemy for an ally and friend.
In all these respects they flouted our peace-assuring pledges such as the Atlantic Charter, and did so in favor of despots, who, it was well-known, consider that murder, terror, slavery, concentration camps and the ruthless and brutal denial of human rights are legitimate means to their desired ends.
Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam were the scenes of those tragic blunders with others to follow. The leaders of the Administration in power acted without the knowledge or consent of Congress or of the American people. They traded our overwhelming victory for a new enemy and for new oppressions and new wars which were quick to come.
In South Korea, they withdrew our occupation troops in the face of the aggressive, poised for action, Communist military strength on its northern border. They publicly announced that Korea was of no concern to us. Then when the Communist forces acted to take what seemed to have been invited, they committed this nation to fight back under the most unfavorable conditions. Already the tragic cost is over 110,000 American casualties.
With foresight, the Korean War would never have happened.
In going back into Korea, they evoked the patriotic and sacrificial support of the American people. But by their hampering orders they produced stalemates and ignominious bartering with our enemies, and they offer no hope of victory.
They have effectively ignored many vital areas in the face of a global threat requiring balanced handling.
The people of the other American Republics are resentful of our neglect of their legitimate aspirations and cooperative friendship.
The Middle East and much of Africa seethe with anti-American sentiment.
The peoples of the Far East who are not under Communist control find it difficult to sustain their morale as they contrast Russia’s “Asia First” policy with the “Asia Last” policy of those in control of the Administration now in power.
Here at home they have exhibited corruption, incompetence, and disloyalty in public office to such an extent that the very concept of free representative government has been tarnished and has lost its idealistic appeal to those elsewhere who are confronted with the propaganda of Communism.
They profess to be following a defensive policy of “containment” of Russian Communism which has not contained it.
Those in control of the Party in power have, in reality, no foreign policy. They swing erratically from timid appeasement to reckless bluster.
The good in our foreign policies has been accomplished with Republican cooperation, such as the organization of the United Nations, the establishment of the trusteeship principle for dependent peoples, the making of peace with Japan and Germany, and the building of more solid security in Europe. But in the main the Republican Party has been ignored and its participation has not been invited.
The American people must now decide whether to continue in office the party which has presided over this disastrous reversal of our fortunes and the loss of our hopes for a peaceful world.
The Republican Party offers, in contrast to the performances of those now running our foreign affairs, policies and actions based on enlightened self-interest and animated by courage, self-respect, steadfastness, vision, purpose, competence and spiritual faith.
The supreme goal of our foreign policy will be an honorable and just peace. We dedicate ourselves to wage peace and to win it.
We shall eliminate from the State Department and from every Federal office, all, wherever they may be found, who share responsibility for the needless predicaments and perils in which we find ourselves. We shall also sever from the public payroll the hordes of loafers, incompetents and unnecessary employees who clutter the administration of our foreign affairs. The confusions, overlappings, and extravagance of our agencies abroad hold us up to the ridicule of peoples whose friendship we seek.
We shall substitute a compact and efficient organization where men of proven loyalty and ability shall have responsibility for reaching our objectives. They will reflect a dynamic initiative. Thus we can win the support and confidence which go only to those who demonstrate a capacity to define and get results.
We shall have positive peace-building objectives wherever this will serve the enlightened self-interest of our Nation and help to frustrate the enemy’s designs against us.
In Western Europe we shall use our friendly influence, without meddling or imperialistic attitudes, for ending the political and economic divisions which alone prevent that vital area from being strong on its own right.
We shall encourage and aid the development of collective security forces there, as elsewhere, so as to end the Soviet power to intimidate directly or by satellites, and so that the free governments will be sturdy to resist Communist inroads.
In the balanced consideration of our problems, we shall end neglect of the Far East which Stalin has long identified as the road to victory over the West. We shall make it clear that we have no intention to sacrifice the East to gain time for the West.
The Republican Party has consistently advocated a national home for the Jewish people since a Republican Congress declared its support of that objective thirty years ago.
In providing a sanctuary for Jewish people rendered homeless by persecution, the State of Israel appeals to our deepest humanitarian instincts. We shall continue our friendly interest in this constructive and inspiring undertaking.
We shall put our influence at the service of peace between Israel and the Arab States, and we shall cooperate to bring economic and social stability to that area.
Our ties with the sister Republics of the Americas will be strengthened.
The Government of the United States, under Republican leadership, will repudiate all commitments contained in secret understandings such as those of Yalta which aid Communist enslavements. It will be made clear, on the highest authority of the President and the Congress, that United States policy, as one of its peaceful purposes, looks happily forward to the genuine independence of those captive peoples.
We shall again make liberty into a beacon light of hope that will penetrate the dark places. That program will give the Voice of America a real function. It will mark the end of the negative, futile and immoral policy of “containment” which abandons countless human beings to a despotism and godless terrorism, which in turn enables the rulers to forge the captives into a weapon for our destruction.
We shall support the United Nations and loyally help it to become what it was designed to be, a place where differences would be harmonized by honest discussion and a means for collective security under agreed concepts of justice. We shall seek real meaning and value for our regional security treaties, which implies that all parties shall contribute their loyal support and fair shares.
We shall see to it that no treaty or agreement with other countries deprives our citizens of the rights guaranteed them by the Federal Constitution.
We shall always measure our foreign commitments so that they can be borne without endangering the economic health or sound finances of the United States. Stalin said that “the moment for the decisive blow” would be when the free nations were isolated and were in a state of “practical bankruptcy.” We shall not allow ourselves to be isolated and economically strangled, and we shall not let ourselves go bankrupt.
Sums available by this test, if competently used, will be more effective than vastly larger sums incompetently spent for vague and endless purposes. We shall not try to buy good will. We shall earn it by sound, constructive, self-respecting policies and actions.
We favor international exchange of students and of agricultural and industrial techniques, and programs for improvement of public health.
We favor the expansion of mutually-advantageous world trade. To further this objective we shall press for the elimination of discriminatory practices against our exports, such as preferential tariffs, monetary license restrictions, and other arbitrary devices. Our reciprocal trade agreements will be entered into and maintained on a basis of true reciprocity, and to safeguard our domestic enterprises and the payrolls of our workers against unfair import competition.
The policies we espouse will revive the contagious, liberating influences which are inherent in freedom. They will inevitably set up strains and stresses within the captive world which will make the rulers impotent to continue in their monstrous ways and mark the beginning of their end.
Our nation will become again the dynamic, moral and spiritual force which was the despair of despots and the hope of the oppressed. As we resume this historic role, we ourselves will come to enjoy again the reality of peace, security and solvency, not the shabby and fleeting counterfeit which is the gift of the Administration in power.
On the prudent assumption that Communist Russia may not accommodate our own disgracefully-lagging program for preparedness, we should develop with utmost speed a force-in-being, as distinguished from paper plans, of such power as to deter sudden attack or promptly and decisively defeat it. This defense against sudden attack requires the quickest possible development of appropriate and completely-adequate air power and the simultaneous readiness of coordinated air, land, and sea forces, with all necessary installations, bases, supplies and munitions, including atomic energy weapons in abundance.
Generally, we shall see to it that our military services are adequately supported in all ways required, including manpower, to perform their appropriate tasks in relation to the defense of this country and to meet our treaty obligations.
We shall coordinate our military policy with our foreign policy, always seeking universal limitation and control of armaments on a dependable basis.
We shall review our entire preparedness program and we shall strip it clean of waste, lack of coordination, inertia, and conflict between the services. We shall see that our fighting men in Korea, or wherever they may be, shall not lack the best of weapons or other supplies or services needed for their welfare.
By the Administration’s appeasement of Communism at home and abroad it has permitted Communists and their fellow travelers to serve in many key agencies and to infiltrate our American life. When such infiltrations became notorious through the revelations of Republicans in Congress, the Executive Department stubbornly refused to deal with it openly and vigorously. It raised the false cry of “red herring” and took other measures to block and discredit investigations. It denied files and information to Congress. It set up boards of its own to keep information secret and to deal lightly with security risks and persons of doubtful loyalty. It only undertook prosecution of the most notorious Communists after public opinion forced action.
The result of these policies is the needless sacrifice of American lives, a crushing cost in dollars for defense, possession by Russia of the atomic bomb, the lowering of the Iron Curtain, and the present threats to world peace. Our people have been mired in fear and distrust and employees of integrity in the Government service have been cruelly maligned by the Administration’s tolerance of people of doubtful loyalty.
There are no Communists in the Republican Party. We have always recognized Communism to be a world conspiracy against freedom and religion. We never compromised with Communism and we have fought to expose it and to eliminate it in government and American life.
A Republican President will appoint only persons of unquestioned loyalty. We will overhaul loyalty and security programs. In achieving these purposes a Republican President will cooperate with Congress. We pledge close coordination of our intelligence services for protecting our security. We pledge fair but vigorous enforcement of laws to safeguard our country from subversion and disloyalty. By such policies we will keep the country secure and restore the confidence of the American people in the integrity of our Government.
Small Business in a Free Economy
For twenty years the Administration has praised free enterprise while actually wrecking it. Here a little, there a little, year by year, it has sought to curb, regulate, harass, restrain and punish. There is scarcely a phase of our economic and social life today in which Government does not attempt to interfere.
Such hostility deadens initiative, discourages invention and experiment, and weakens the self-reliance indispensable to the Nation’s vitality. Merciless taxation, the senseless use of controls and ceaseless effort to enter business on its own account, have led the present Government to unrestrained waste and extravagance in spending, irresponsibility in decision and corruption in administration.
The anti-monopoly laws have been employed, not to preserve and foster competition, but to further the political ambitions of the men in power. Wage and price controls have been utilized, not to maintain economic stability, but to reward the friends and punish the enemies of leaders of the Party in power.
Neither small nor large business can flourish in such an atmosphere. The Republican Party will end this hostility to initiative and enterprise.
We will aid small business in every practicable way. We shall remove tax abuses and injurious price and wage controls. Efforts to plan and regulate every phase of small business activity will cease. We will maintain special committees in Congress whose chief function will be to study and review continuously the problems of small business and recommend legislation for their relief. We shall always be mindful of the importance of keeping open the channels of opportunity for young men and women.
We will follow principles of equal enforcement of the anti-monopoly and unfair-competition statutes and will simplify their administration to assist the businessman who, in good faith, seeks to remain in compliance. At the same time, we shall relentlessly protect our free enterprise system against monopolistic and unfair trade practices.
We will oppose Federal rent control except in those areas where the expansion of defense production has been accompanied by critical housing shortages. With local cooperation we shall aid slum clearance.
Our goal is a balanced budget, a reduced national debt, an economical administration and a cut in taxes. We believe in combating inflation by encouraging full production of goods and food, and not through a program of restrictions.
Taxation and Monetary Policy
Only with a sound economy can we properly carry out both the domestic and foreign policies which we advocate. The wanton extravagance and inflationary policies of the Administration in power have cut the value of the dollar in half and imposed the most confiscatory taxes in our history. These policies have made the effective control of Government expenditures impossible. If this Administration is left in power, it will further cheapen the dollar, rob the wage earner, impoverish the farmer and reduce the true value of the savings, pensions, insurance and investments of millions of our people. Further inflation must be and can be prevented. Sound tax and monetary policies are essential to this end. We advocate the following tax policies:
1. Reduction of expenditures by the elimination of waste and extravagance so that the budget will be balanced and a general tax reduction can be made.
2. An immediate study directed toward reallocation of fields of taxation between the Federal, State, and municipal governments so as to allow greater fiscal freedom to the States and municipalities, thus minimizing double taxation and enabling the various divisions of government to meet their obligations more efficiently.
3. A thorough revision and codification of the present hodge-podge of internal revenue laws.
4. Administration of the tax laws free from politics, favoritism and corruption.
We advocate the following monetary policies:
1. A Federal Reserve System exercising its functions in the money and credit system without pressure for political purposes from the Treasury or the White House.
2. To restore a domestic economy, and to use our influence for a world economy, of such stability as will permit the realization of our aim of a dollar on a fully-convertible gold basis.
The good earth is the food storehouse for future generations. The tending of the soil is a sacred responsibility. Development of a sound farm program is a high national duty. Any program that will benefit farmers must serve the national welfare. A prosperous agriculture with free and independent farmers is fundamental to the national interest.
We charge the present Administration with seeking to destroy the farmers’ freedom. We denounce the Administration’s use of tax money and a multitude of Federal agencies to put agriculture under partisan political dictation and to make the farmer dependent upon government. We condemn the Brannan plan which aims to control the farmer and to socialize agriculture. We brand as unscrupulous the Administration’s manipulation of grain markets during the 1948 election campaign to drive down farm prices, and its deliberate misrepresentation of laws passed by the Republican 80th Congress, which authorized a long-range farm price support program and provided for adequate grain storage.
We condemn as a fraud on both the farmer and the consumer the Brannan plan scheme to pay direct subsidies from the Federal Treasury in lieu of prices to producers.
We favor a farm program aimed at full parity prices for all farm products in the market place. Our program includes commodity loans on non-perishable products, “on-the-farm” storage, sufficient farm credit, and voluntary self-supporting crop insurance. Where government action on perishable commodities is desirable, we recommend locally-controlled marketing agreements and other voluntary methods.
Our program should include commodity loans on all non-perishable products supported at the level necessary to maintain a balanced production. We do not believe in restrictions on the American farmers’ ability to produce.
We favor a bi-partisan Federal Agricultural Commission with power to review the policies and administration of our farm programs and to make recommendations.
We support a constructive and expanded soil conservation program administered through locally-controlled local districts, and which shall emphasize that payments shall be made for practices and improvements of a permanent nature.
Flood control programs should include the application of sound land use, reforestation and water-management practices on each watershed. These, so far as feasible, should be decentralized and locally-controlled to insure economy and effective soil conservation.
We recommend expanded agricultural research and education to promote new crops and uses, new markets, both foreign and domestic, more trustworthy crop and market estimates, a realistic trade program for agriculture aimed at restoring foreign markets and developing new outlets at home. Promotion of world trade must be on a basis of fair competition.
We support the principle of bona fide farmer-owned, farmer-operated co-operatives and urge the further development of rural electrification and communication, with federally-assisted production of power and facilities for distribution when these are not adequately available through private enterprise at fair rates.
We insist that an adequate supply of manpower on the farm is necessary to our national welfare and security and shall do those things required to assure this result.
The Republican Party will create conditions providing for farm prosperity and stability, safe-guarding the farmers’ independence and opening opportunities for young people in rural communities. We will do those things necessary to simplify and make efficient the operation of the Department of Agriculture, prevent that Department from assuming powers neither intended nor delegated by Congress, and to place the administration of farm programs as closely as possible to State and local levels.
The Republican Party believes that regular and adequate income for the employee together with uninterrupted production of goods and services, through the medium of private enterprise, are essential to a sound national economy. This can only be obtained in an era of industrial peace.
With the above in mind, we favor the retention of the Taft-Hartley Act, which guarantees:
To the Working Man:
The right to quit his job at any time.
The right to take part in legal union activities.
The right to remain in his union so long as he pays his dues.
The right to protection against unfair practices by either employer or union officials.
The right to political activity of his own choice and freedom to contribute thereto.
The right to a job without first joining a union.
The right to a secret ballot in any election concerned with his livelihood.
The right to protection from personal financial responsibility in damage cases against his union.
To the Labor Unions:
The right to establish “union shop” contracts by agreement with management.
The right to strike.
The right to free collective bargaining.
The right to protection from rival unions during the life of union contracts.
The right to assurance from employers that they will bargain only with certified unions as a protection against unfair labor practices.
We urge the adoption of such amendments to the Taft-Hartley Act as time and experience show to be desirable, and which further protect the rights of labor, management and the public.
We condemn the President’s seizure of plants and industries to force the settlement of labor disputes by claims of inherent Constitutional powers.
We vigorously advocate a full and orderly program for the development and conservation of our natural resources.
We deplore the policies of the present Administration which allow special premiums to foreign producers of minerals available in the United States. We favor reasonable depletion allowances, defense procurement policies, synthetic fuels research, and public land policies, including good-faith administration of our mining laws, which will encourage exploration and development of our mineral resources consistent with our growing industrial and defense needs.
We favor stockpiling of strategic and critical raw materials and special premium incentives for their domestic exploration and development.
We favor restoration to the States of their rights to all lands and resources beneath navigable inland and offshore waters within their historic boundaries.
We favor protection of our fisheries by domestic regulation and treaties, including safeguards against unfair foreign competition.
Public Works and Water Policy
The Federal Government and State and local governments should continuously plan programs of economically justifiable public works.
We favor continuous and comprehensive investigations of our water resources and orderly execution of programs approved by the Congress. Authorized water projects should go forward progressively with immediate priority for those with defense significance, those in critical flood and water-shortage areas, and those substantially completed.
We favor greater local participation in the operation and control, and eventual local ownership, of federally-sponsored, reimbursable water projects.
We vigorously oppose the efforts of this national Administration, in California and elsewhere, to undermine state control over water use, to acquire paramount water rights without just compensation, and to establish all-powerful federal socialistic valley authorities.
We favor restoration of the traditional Republican public land policy, which provided opportunity for ownership by citizens to promote the highest land use. We favor an impartial study of tax-free Federal lands and their uses to determine their effects on the economic and fiscal structures of our States and local communities.
In the management of public lands and forests we pledge the elimination of arbitrary bureaucratic practices. To this end we favor legislation to define the rights and privileges of grazers and other cooperators and users, to provide the protection of independent judicial review against administrative invasions of those rights and privileges, and to protect the public against corrupt or monopolistic exploitation and bureaucratic favoritism.
We believe that active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States of America during a state of war or National emergency constitutes a special service to our Nation, and entitles those who have so served to aid and compensation in return for this service.
Consequently we propose:
That the aid and compensation given to veterans of previous wars be extended to veterans of the Korean conflict;
That compensation be fairly and adequately adjusted to meet changes in the cost of living;
That aid be given to veterans, particularly disabled veterans, to obtain suitable employment, by providing training and education, and through strict compliance with veterans’ preference laws in Federal service;
That the Veterans’ Administration be maintained as a single, independent agency in full charge of all veterans’ affairs, and that the Veterans’ Administration manage veterans’ affairs in an efficient, prompt and uniform manner;
That the Veterans’ Administration should be equipped to provide and maintain medical and hospital care of the highest possible standard for all eligible veterans.
Inflation has already cut in half the purchasing power of the retirement and other benefits under the Federal Old Age and Survivors Insurance system. Sixty million persons are covered under the system and four and one-half million are now receiving benefits.
The best assurance of preserving the benefits for which the worker has paid is to stop the inflation which causes the tragic loss of purchasing power, and that we propose to do.
We favor amendment of the Old Age and Survivors Insurance system to provide coverage for those justly entitled to it but who are now excluded.
We shall work to achieve a simple, more effective and more economical method of administration.
We shall make a thorough study of universal pay-as-we-go pension plans.
We recognize that the health of our people as well as their proper medical care cannot be maintained if subject to Federal bureaucratic dictation. There should be a division of responsibility between government, the physician, the voluntary hospital, and voluntary health insurance. We are opposed to Federal compulsory health insurance with its crushing cost, wasteful inefficiency, bureaucratic dead weight, and debased standards of medical care. We shall support those health activities by government which stimulate the development of adequate hospital services without Federal interference in local administration. We favor support of scientific research. We pledge our continuous encouragement of improved methods of assuring health protection.
The tradition of popular education, tax-supported and free to all, is strong with our people. The responsibility for sustaining this system of popular education has always rested upon the local communities and the States. We subscribe fully to this principle.
We condemn bigots who inject class, racial and religious prejudice into public and political matters. Bigotry is un-American and a danger to the Republic.
We deplore the duplicity and insincerity of the Party in power in racial and religious matters. Although they have been in office as a Majority Party for many years, they have not kept nor do they intend to keep their promises.
The Republican Party will not mislead, exploit or attempt to confuse minority groups for political purposes. All American citizens are entitled to full, impartial enforcement of Federal laws relating to their civil rights.
We believe that it is the primary responsibility of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions, and this power, reserved to the states, is essential to the maintenance of our Federal Republic. However, we believe that the Federal Government should take supplemental action within its constitutional jurisdiction to oppose discrimination against race, religion or national origin.
We will prove our good faith by:
Appointing qualified persons, without distinction of race, religion or national origin, to responsible positions in the Government.
Federal action toward the elimination of lynching.
Federal action toward the elimination of poll taxes as a prerequisite to voting.
Appropriate action to end segregation in the District of Columbia.
Enacting Federal legislation to further just and equitable treatment in the area of discriminatory employment practices. Federal action should not duplicate state efforts to end such practices; should not set up another huge bureaucracy.
We pledge not to infringe by censorship or gag-order the right of a free people to know what their Government is doing.
We recommend to Congress the submission of a Constitutional Amendment providing equal rights for men and women.
We favor legislation assuring equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.
We favor immediate statehood for Hawaii.
We favor statehood for Alaska under an equitable enabling act.
We favor eventual statehood for Puerto Rico.
District of Columbia
We favor self-government and national suffrage for the residents of the Nation’s Capital.
All Indians are citizens of the United States and no longer should be denied full enjoyment of their rights of citizenship.
We shall eliminate the existing shameful waste by the Bureau of Indian Affairs which has obstructed the accomplishment of our national responsibility for improving the condition of our Indian friends. We pledge to undertake programs to provide the Indians with equal opportunities for education, health protection and economic development.
The next Republican Administration will welcome the advice and counsel of Indian leaders in selecting the Indian Commissioner.
We condemn the flagrant violations of the Civil Service merit system by the Party in power.
We favor a personnel program for the Federal career service comparable to the best practices of progressive private employers. Federal employees shall be selected under a strengthened and extended merit system. Civil servants of ability and integrity shall receive proper recognition, with merit the sole test for promotion.
Delivery of Mail
We pledge a more efficient and frequent mail delivery service.
We pledge a thorough reorganization of the Federal Government in accordance with the principles set forth in the report of the Hoover Commission which was established by the Republican 80th Congress.
We denounce the duplicity in submitting to Congress for approval, reorganization plans which were represented as being in accordance with the principles of the Hoover Commission recommendations, but which in fact were actually intended to further partisan political purposes of the Administration in power.
The present Administration’s sordid record of corruption has shocked and sickened the American people. Its leaders have forfeited any right to public faith by the way they transact the Federal Government’s business.
Fraud, bribery, graft, favoritism and influence-peddling have come to light. Immorality and unethical behavior have been found to exist among some who were entrusted with high policy-making positions, and there have been disclosures of close alliances between the present Government and underworld characters.
Republicans exposed eases of questionable and criminal conduct and relentlessly pressed for full investigations into the cancer-like spread of corruption in the Administration. These investigations uncovered a double standard in Federal tax law enforcement—lenient treatment to political favorites including even some gangsters and crooks, but harassment and threats of prosecution for many honest taxpayers over minor discrepancies.
Besides tax fixes and scandals in the Internal Revenue Bureau, investigations have disclosed links between high officials and crime, favoritism and influence in the RFC, profiteering in grain, sale of postmasterships, tanker-ship deals in the Maritime Commission, ballot-box stuffing and thievery, and bribes and pay-offs in contract awards by officials in agencies exercising extraordinary powers and disbursing billions of dollars.
Under public pressure, the Administration took reluctant steps to clean house. But it was so eager to cover up and block more revelations that its clean-up drive launched with much fanfare ended in a farce.
The Republican Party pledges to put an end to corruption, to oust the crooks and grafters, to administer tax laws fairly and impartially, and to restore honest government to the people.
Republican 80th Congress
The Republican Party does not rest its case upon promises alone. We have a record of performance which was grossly defamed by the Party in power. The Republican 80th Congress launched the program to stop Communism; unified the armed services; authorized a 70-group Air Force which the President blocked; enacted a national service law; balanced the budget; accumulated an eight-billion-dollar surplus; reduced taxes, with 70 per cent of the tax savings to those with incomes under $5,000; freed 7,400,000 wage earners in the lower brackets from having to pay any further income tax at all, allowed married couples to divide their incomes for tax purposes, and granted an additional $600 exemption to those over 65 years of age and to the blind; enacted the Taft-Hartley law for equitable labor-management relations; passed the first long-range agriculture program; increased social security benefits; and carried out every single pledge they made to the voters in the 1946 election.
Upon this statement of truths and this pledge of performance, the Republican Party stands confident that it expresses the hopes of the citizens of America and certain that it points out with integrity a road upon which free men may march into a new day—a new and better day—in which shall be fulfilled the decent aspirations of our people for peace, for solvency and for the fulfillment of our best welfare, under the guidance of Divine Providence.
There’s a whole lot of stuff in there that we could talk about. It’s a very interesting document and I’d like to know more about it. The basic dispute at the convention was between internationalists who favored NATO and the United Nations, and isolationists who were highly skeptical (to say the least) of multilateral commitments. The internationalists were led by Thomas Dewey who had lost the 1944 and 1948 elections and had recruited Eisenhower to run in his stead. The isolationists were led by Sen. Robert Taft of Ohio. Without getting into the details of how Eisenhower prevailed at the convention, suffice to say that the delegates were pretty evenly split between them. The platform reflects this, with most of it representing the more conservative views of the isolationist Taft faction but the key foreign policy issues reflecting the wishes of the more liberal multinational Dewey faction.
It provides pretty good evidence for my thesis.
I could really write about this for a while, but I just want to look at the accusations leveled in the preamble, which are obviously intended to be reminiscent of Jefferson’s complaints against the Crown in the Declaration of Independence.
So, right away we have patently absurd hyperbole, accusing FDR and Truman of committing “vicious acts” that threaten the very existence of the country. This seems familiar.
Yes, and today the president is a tyrant who rules by executive order.
It’s probably not an accident that the English translation of Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei is The National Socialist German Workers’ Party. So, they’re accusing the Democrats of pursuing a socialist program but they make sure to make it sound like their opponents are Nazis. Ben Carson would be proud.
I can hear Bill O’Reilly railing about “class warfare” as we speak.
Yes, long before trickle-down economics were a thing, the GOP was telling us that we could have a economic miracle if we just cut taxes.
Here they are telling people not to believe their lying eyes about the economy because it’s all smoke and mirrors and a dollar ain’t worth what it used to be. I have to admit, though, that “debauched our money” is better than “audit the Federal Reserve!”
The IRS is targeting us. Help!
Remind of you of the GOP demanding more action in Syria and refusing to authorize it?
If you really want to get the full flavor of their paranoia, you should scroll down to their sections on foreign policy and communism. It’s filled with the worst kind of revisionist history and the most familiar kind of panic about the threats facing the country.
I’ll leave you with just one choice sample.
The point here is that the conservatives have been like this forever. Nutty fruitcakes, scared of their own shadows, seeing the seeds of our destruction in everything from fluoridated water to the replacement of incandescent light bulbs.
Had these loons taken control of the party in 1952, it’s doubtful that there ever would have been a point that people could look back to fondly and say that Washington DC used to function– that there was a postwar consensus on anything.
Their rhetoric is old. Their tactics are old. Their belief systems have been warped forever.
For a while, though, they were sidelined.
That’s no longer the case.