I now present part II of the abridged 1960 Republican Party platform, in an effort to prove how far rightward that wretched party has drifted over the past 50 years. Just as in part I, my comments will be found from time to time in bold italic, like this.
...We must undertake further reorganization of the Defense Department to achieve the most effective unification of defense planning and command.
Improved conflict-of-interest laws should be enacted for vigilant protection of the public interest and to remove deterrents to governmental service by our most able citizens.
The federal government must constantly strengthen its career service and must be truly progressive as an employer. Government employment must be a vocation deserving of high public respect. Common sense demands continued improvements in employment, training and promotion practices based on merit, effective procedures for dealing with employment grievances, and salaries which are comparable to those offered by private employers. PROGRESSIVE EMPLOYER? Hear that, O'Reilly, Beck, and Limbaugh? Your 1960 forefathers were saying that government employ was noble and deserving of respect and that those employed in government should earn a salary comparable to those doing similar work in private industry! How DARE you preach otherwise today, or insinuate that they are paid too much!
Needed federal judgeships, appointed on the basis of the highest qualifications and without limitation to a single political party, should be created to expedite administration of justice in federal courts. Today's conservative Republicans would have no use for such a provision---they only want CONSERVATIVE judges issuing CONSERVATIVE verdicts, and true justice be damned!
We favor a change in the Electoral College system to give every voter a fair voice in presidential elections. Today's GOP would rather limit minority voters and make creation of all political ads open to corporate money.
We condemn bigotry, smear and other unfair tactics in political campaigns. We favor realistic and effective safeguards against diverting non-political funds to partisan political purposes. Not any more, they don't! The past2 presidential elections have been FULL of smear ads put forth by shadowy big-money front groups (Swift Boat veterans, Obama pals with terrorists, etc.).
...We express our gratefulness and we praise the countless thousands of teachers who have devoted themselves in an inspired way towards the development of our greatest heritage—our own children—the youth of the country. Today's Republicans are far more anti-education, and some, like Wisconsin's Scott Walker and Ohio's Jon Kasich, want to strip teachers of their collective bargaining rights. They also ridicule college professors.
Education is not a luxury, nor a gift to be bestowed upon ourselves and our children. Education is an investment; our schools cannot become second best. Each person possesses the right to education—it is his birthright in a free Republic. Only now, a number of Republicans want to do away with public education altogether, favoring a system of pay-as-you-go private schools. Some want to completely dismantle the Department of Education!
Toward the goal of fullest possible educational opportunity for every American, we pledge these actions:
Federal support to the primary and secondary schools by a program of federal aid for school construction—pacing it to the real needs of individual school districts in states and territories, and requiring state approval and participation...
Support of efforts to make adequate library facilities available to all our citizens.
Continued support of programs to strengthen basic research in education; to discover the best methods for helping handicapped, retarded, and gifted children to realize their highest potential.
The federal government can also play a part in stimulating higher education. Constructive action would include:
The federal program to assist in construction of college housing.
Extension of the federal student loan program and graduate fellowship program.
Consideration of means through tax laws to help offset tuition costs.
Federal matching grants to help states finance the cost of state surveys and inventories of the status and needs of their school systems.
Provision should be made for continuous attention to education at all levels by the creation of a permanent, top-level commission to advise the President and the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, constantly striving to focus the interest of each citizen on the quality of our education at every level, from primary through postgraduate, and for every age group from children to adults... Isn't that what the Department of Education, which many Republicans now want to do away with, does?
Science and Technology
Much of America's future depends upon the inquisitive mind, freely searching nature for ways to conquer disease, poverty and grinding physical demands, and for knowledge of space and the atom.
We Republicans express our profound gratitude to the great scientists and engineers of our country, both in and out of government, for the remarkable progress they have made. Reliable evidence indicates, all areas of scientific knowledge considered, that our country has been, is, and under our system of free inquiry, will continue to be the greatest arsenal and reservoir of effective scientific knowledge in the world. Today's GOP no longer values questioning of the status quo or free inquiry. Instead, THEY question and ridicule important and far-reaching scientific positions on climate change and they ridicule the concept of evolution. They simply try to dismiss and demean all who don't agree with them by calling them "socialists" and not listening what they have to say.
We pledge our continued leadership in every field of science and technology, earthbound as well as spacial, to assure a citadel of liberty from which the fruits of freedom may be carried to all people.
Our continuing and great national need is for basic research—a wellspring of knowledge and progress. Government must continue to take a responsible role in science to assure that worth-while endeavors of national significance are not retarded by practical limitations of private and local support. This demands from all Americans the intellectual leadership and understanding so necessary for these creative endeavors and an equal understanding by our scientists and technicians of the needs and hopes of mankind.
We believe the federal roles in research to be in the area of ( 1 ) basic research which industry cannot be reasonably expected to pursue, and (2) applied research in fields of prime national concern such as national defense, exploration and use of space, public health, and better common use of all natural resources, both human and physical. We endorse the contracting by government agencies for research and urge allowance for reasonable charges for overhead and management in connection therewith.
The vigor of American science and technology may best be inspired by:
An environment of freedom and public understanding in which intellectual achievement and scientific research may flourish.
A decentralization of research into as many centers of creativity as possible.
The encouragement of colleges and universities, private enterprise, and foundations as a growing source of new ideas and new applications.
Opportunity for scientists and engineers, in and out of government, to pursue their search with utmost aggressiveness.
Continuation of the advisory committee to represent the views of the scientific community to the President and of the Federal Council for Science and Technology to foster coordination in planning and execution.
Continued expansion of the Eisenhower-Nixon Atoms-for-Peace program and a constant striving, backed by scientific advice, for international agreement for peaceful and cooperative exploration and use of space.
The ultimate objective of our free society and of an ever-growing economy is to enable the individual to pursue a life of dignity and to develop his own capacities to his maximum potential. Today's conservative GOP still believes this to be true: for workers outside of our borders. That's why they support outsourcing of good-paying American jobs to cheap foreign-labor markets. So long as corporations and their board of directors thrive and prosper, that's all they care about. In adopting this approach, today's GOP has reduced American workers to a mere commodity (hardly a position or life of "dignity") and has completely turned their back on them. Their actions have started a stampede of wealth flowing upward rather than evenly throughout the economy. Government's primary role is to help provide the environment within which the individual can seek his own goals. In some areas this requires federal action to supplement individual, local and state initiative. The Republican Party has acted and will act decisively, compassionately, and with deep human understanding in approaching such problems as those of the aged, the infirm, the mentally ill, and the needy. That's right: today's GOP has acted to avoid and even exploit most of them!
This is demonstrated by the significant increase in social security coverage and benefits as a result of recommendations made by the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration. As a result of these recommendations and normal growth, 14 million persons are receiving benefits today compared to five million in 1952, and benefit payments total $10.3 billion as compared to $2.5 billion in 1952. Today's conservatives want to privatize Social Security and leave it vulnerable to Wall Street speculation. They also want to restrict the age at which one becomes eligible for it to those 70 and over. That is a HUGE difference in approach compared with their forefathers! In addition, there have been increases in payments to those on public assistance, both for their basic needs and for their health and medical care; and a broad expansion in our federal-state program for restoring disabled persons to useful lives—an expansion which has accomplished the rehabilitation of over half a million persons during this Administration... Today's teabaggers and conservative Republicans, in their current budget-cutting mania, would DECREASE rather than increase such payments!
To meet the needs of the aging, we pledge: Expansion of coverage, and liberalization of selected social security benefits on a basis which would maintain the fiscal integrity of the system.
Support of federal-state grant programs to improve health, welfare and rehabilitation services for the handicapped older persons and to improve standards of nursing home care and care and treatment facilities for the chronically and mentally ill.
Federal leadership to encourage policies that will make retirement at a fixed age voluntary and not compulsory.
Support of programs that will persuade and encourage the nation to utilize fully the skills, wisdom and experience of older citizens... Today's Republicans would refuse to spend anything more for any of these people. In their view, the defense budget and tax cuts for the very wealthy are far more important.
...For the needs which individuals of all age groups cannot meet by themselves, we propose:
Removing the arbitrary 50-year age requirement under the disability insurance program while amending the law also to provide incentives for rehabilitated persons to return to useful work...
A strengthened federal-state program to rehabilitate the estimated 200,000 persons who annually could become independent after proper medical services and occupational training.
A new federal-state program, for handicapped persons completely dependent on others, to help them meet their needs for personal care. Again, modern Republicans would rather spend money on defense and give it to the rich than invest in these people.
The Federal Government can and should help state and local communities combat juvenile delinquency by inaugurating a grant program for research, demonstration, and training projects and by placing greater emphasis on strengthening family life in all welfare programs for which it shares responsibility. Today's GOP would never favor such an approach and would instead defer such programs to private institutions or churches, neither of which could handle the job.
We believe that military service in the defense of our Republic against aggressors who have sought to destroy the freedom and dignity of man imposes upon the nation a special responsibility to those who have served. To meet this responsibility, we pledge:
Continuance of the Veterans Administration as an independent agency.
The highest possible standard of medical care with increasing emphasis on rehabilitation. Neocon Republicans like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld decided that it wasn't important to give soldiers in the field secure-enough Humvees. They negated their responsibility for safety and implemented a featherbedding system of rewarding huge campaign donors like Halliburton with lucrative non-bid military contracts. Also, a number of today's teabaggers have advocated privatizing the VA.
Again, today's overly conservative Republican Party has embarked on a course so reactionary it almost contradicts the policies favored by the GOP 50 years ago. Instead of moving forward with their agenda, they have chosen to look and move BACKWARD, to a time where government involvement in the economy and business was practically nil. Whereas in 1960 the GOP recognized a spot for both government and organized labor to be at the table, today they want both entities as powerless as possible. They turn a very blind eye toward the shrinking of the middle class and the growing numbers cof American poor, even as they pursue policies that benefit the very wealthy almost exclusively. In so doing, they have become more self-centered and ignorant than ever before.Their aim is to maximize personal profit, and they will attack anybody or anything that stands in their way.Reasoned and responsible Republicans like Margaret Chase Smith, Everett Dirksen, and Clifford Case would feel very out of place in the 2011 edition of the GOP, and with good reason!
COMING IN PART III: Housing, Health, Protection of Consumers, Civil Rights, and a list of catergorized 1960 pledges by the GOP, and my summation.
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