Being a Republican today, doesn’t make you a Conservative
A historical lesson for media, stilling calling them conservatives.
Happy Thursday to TAT readers and followers
As I noted in the “New Year’s Resolutions post earlier this week, the election this year is a critical moment in US History and portends either disaster for our republic and the world, or opportunity for the US and the rest of the RBIO/ Rules-Based International Order, to continue on the post Trump path to recovery. The primary obstruction is a far-right, extremist GOP, masquerading as a political party. It is un-American, pursues unconstitutional agendas, supports our most aggressive and dangerous enemy, Putin and has created a false patriotic narrative that undermines everything our founders foresaw for our nascent representative government.
Today’s TAT will be to the point, so that we don’t go down “rabbit-holes” and lose the plot. I will be blunt, but truthful. I will as always, embed links to credible information to my arguments and above all, will seek to frame my comments within the true national US values rather than the fake patriotism of the MAGA controlled, GOP.
Hold on and buckle up. Truth as blunt as what follows, is what most folks call, “tough love.” Please read carefully and don’t make assumptions. The facts will bear me out. The entire focus today, is that the GOP and the media may call themselves “conservative” but a look at real “principled conservatism” is pretty much the exact opposite of what passes for Republican ideology today.
Most people make assumptions about my political affiliations, because I regularly tell the cold, hard truth, about today’s GOP. As my regular and requisite disclaimers always indicate, I abhor big-money political parties. I do this because I see the world politically, most often through the eyes of my favorite, and first president, George Washington. In his Farewell address, he clearly warned us of the very serious threat, that “factions” or today’s political parties, presented to our brand-new republic. Different phases of our history have proven him perfectly correct, most especially the “Trump/ MAGA era,” the “Trust-busting era,” Pre-Civil War era and the Civil Rights/ Southern Strategy era.
If were up to me, modern factions would be banned and all campaign finance, would be either fully transparent or non-existent. If it existed at all, it should minimally funded by the Federal Government, with equal sums going to each qualifying candidate.
One of the easiest to digest historical lessons that differentiate today’s MAGA/ GOP from principled conservatism, is to compare another favorite POTUS of mine, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s platform in 1956, to the agenda of today’s GOP falsely claiming to be “conservatives.” Also, for the record, POTUS Eisenhower was in the Oval Office when I was born in 1956 and followed by another remarkable POTUS, JFK. This affords me first-hand understanding of just how different both parties were in my youth. This is especially true as that my dad, was during those years, a middle school government and history teacher. He spent his entire career giving back and in education, as is family tradition. He also taught me about history and government.
Like both Veteran parents, I adhere to family traditions with one recent and glaring exception, I talk about politics and religion, publicly. To me though, they are not politics and religion. They are national security issues of the gravest form because what the GOP espouses, is neither political nor religious. It is unconstitutional and along with their, “win-by-any-means-possible, pursuit of a WCN/ White Christian Nationalism theocracy, rather than democracy, is a death knell to our republic, if we allow it to continue unabated. Tragically, their theocracy is coupled with dogged and immoral oligarchism as the methodology for imposing WCN on all Americans.
Now in the next section, let us look at the difference between Eisenhower’s 1956 platform and what today’s GOP stands for. Not only are they not on the same page, but not even in the same book. At this point, I would also recommend the piece in the embedded link as a good piece to read after this one. I wrote this a couple of months ago and make the case that our founders were progressives and “woke.” I support this with a mountain of historical facts.
In my opinion, when considering the times that my heroes like Eisenhower or “Ike” and Washington, even Lincoln lived, they could easily and factually be considered “pragmatic progressives.” Today, this means that POTUS Biden, is in the same vein as these prestigious, former presidents. The philosophy of measured and pragmatic progressivism is my political perspective. Considering that I am joining the ranks of our founders, Washington, Lincoln and Ike, I’d say that I am in good company.
MAGA vs Principled Conservatism
In this section, I will select a few portions of Ike’s 1956 GOP Platform and then compare and contrast these excerpts to modern MAGA ideology from the TX GOP, 2022 Midterm platform.
As a note going forward, the current National GOP refused to write a 2020 platform to compare with. Since Texas is about as MAGA as it gets, I will use their 2022, Midterm GOP Platform, found here at the embedded link.
If you are truly an American patriot, regardless of political beliefs, what follows may prompt you to hold your nose due to its noxiousness. Areas in bold will be some of the most glaring differences, from both platforms. Ike’s platform is broken up into sections and below, I will include a quote or two from some of these sections, beginning with the first, “Declaration of Faith.”
Declaration of Faith
“On its Centennial, the Republican Party again calls to the minds of all Americans the great truth first spoken by Abraham Lincoln: "The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities. But in all that people can individually do as well for themselves, Government ought not to interfere."
Our great President Dwight D. Eisenhower has counseled us further: "In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people's money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative."
“We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people”
MAGA/ TX GOP perspectives
“Affirming our belief in God, we still hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Throughout the world, people dare to dream of freedom and opportunity. The Republican Party of Texas unequivocally defends that dream. We strive to preserve the freedom given to us by God, implemented by our Founding Fathers, and embodied in the Constitution. We recognize that human nature is immutable. We further recognize that the traditional family is the strength of our nation. It is our solemn duty to protect innocent life and develop responsible citizens. We understand that our economic success depends upon free market principles. If we fail to maintain our sovereignty, we risk losing the freedom to live these ideals.”
“Social Security Privatization: We support privatization of the Social Security system.”
“We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people.”
“Welfare Reform: We support the abolition of all federal welfare programs, as they are not an appropriate role of the federal government. Until such time, welfare reform should encourage partnerships with faith-based institutions, community, and business organizations to assist individuals in need.”
“Every honorable means at our command has been exercised to alleviate the grievances and causes of armed conflict among nations. The advance of Communism and its enslavement of people has been checked, and, at key points, thrown back. Austria, Iran and Guatemala have been liberated from Kremlin control. Forces of freedom are at work in the nations still enslaved by Communist imperialism.'“
The MAGA platform mentions all state security threats by name but omits one, the most dangerous and prominent, Russia. Ironic don’t you think that our entire IC/ Intelligence Community confirms that Russia attacked us with influence campaigns to support Trump and MAGA.
Dynamic economy - Free Labor
“Further reductions in taxes with particular consideration for low and middle income families.
Initiation of a sound policy of tax reductions which will encourage small independent businesses to modernize and progress.
Continual study of additional ways to correct inequities in the effect of various taxes.”
“82. Repeal Taxes: We support abolishing the following: a. Estate tax (commonly known as the Death Tax). b. Inventory taxes. c. Business franchise taxes. d. Taxes on phone and internet services. e. Affordable Care Act Home Sales Tax.
83. Federal Taxes: We support a flat tax or the replacement of the income tax with a consumption tax that reduces the overall tax burden. 13 Table of Contents
84. Let Texans Run Texas: The Texas Legislature shall pass legislation that prohibits political subdivisions of Texas and State agencies from accepting federal funds that violate Texas law.
85. Impact Fees: We support the use of impact fees by counties, municipalities, and school districts to ensure that new growth pays for the impact on governmental services without forcing the current residents to subsidize newcomers moving in.
86. Higher Education Spending Control: We support freezing public spending on State higher education until waste and administrative costs are reduced. School Finance and Property Taxation
87. Defund Big Government, Not the Police: Any large city or county that cuts its police budget by more than 10% should be required to cut its property tax revenue by the same or greater percentage.
88. Management Districts: We oppose the creation of management or special purpose districts with the authority to impose taxes and bonded debt, and we oppose the use of eminent domain by these districts.
89. Permanent School Fund: We support saving the Permanent School Fund for future generations and oppose raiding it or using it as a source of additional funding for the State budget. We oppose any effort to remove State Board of Education authority over the Fund, whose constitutionally intended purpose is to fund SBOE-approved instructional materials.
90. Axe the Property Tax: We support replacing the property tax system for businesses and individuals with an alternative other than the income tax and requiring voter approval to increase the overall tax burden. We urge the Legislature to immediately develop and implement a transition plan that is a net tax cut.
91. Property Tax Relief: We support these incremental steps toward the ultimate abolition of property tax: a. Dedicate surpluses to buy down school district maintenance and operation property tax. b. Replace the appraisal system with a system that values property at the purchase price. c. Require appraisal districts to publish the amount of property taxes and appraisals attributable to each rental unit. d. Close the loophole called the “Unused Increment Rate,” which allows taxing entities to bypass recently added limits to increases in property taxes.”
“We endorse the present policy of freedom for the Federal Reserve System to combat both inflation and deflation by wise fiscal policy.”
“End the Fed: We support abolishing the Federal Reserve. Until that is accomplished, we support additional accountability and transparency for the Federal Reserve System, including regular performance audits.”
“The record of performance of the Republican Administration on behalf of our working men and women goes still further. The Federal minimum wage has been raised for more than 2 million workers. Social Security has been extended to an additional 10 million workers and the benefits raised for 6 1/2 million. The protection of unemployment insurance has been brought to 4 million additional workers. There have been increased workmen's compensation benefits for longshoremen and harbor workers, increased retirement benefits for railroad employees, and wage increases and improved welfare and pension plans for federal employees.”
“Workers have benefited by the progress which has been made in carrying out the programs and principles set forth in the 1952 Republican platform. All workers have gained and unions have grown in strength and responsibility, and have increased their membership by 2 millions.
Furthermore, the process of free collective bargaining has been strengthened by the insistence of this Administration that labor and management settle their differences at the bargaining table without the intervention of the Government. This policy has brought to our country an unprecedented period of labor-management peace and understanding.”
“Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public. The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration. In 1954, 1955 and again in 1956, President Eisenhower recommended constructive amendments to this Act. The Democrats in Congress have consistently blocked these needed changes by parliamentary maneuvers. The Republican Party pledges itself to overhaul and improve the Taft-Hartley Act along the lines of these recommendations.
“Government Accountability: We call upon the Texas Legislature to eliminate all special collective bargaining statutes for public employees and to hold all public servants accountable to taxpayers through existing civil statutes. We oppose any distribution of taxpayer dollars to unions.”
Health, Education and Welfare
“The Republican Party believes that the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of the people is as important as their economic health. It will continue to support this conviction with vigorous action.”
“Through the White House Conference on Education, our Republican Administration initiated the most comprehensive Community-State-Federal attempt ever made to solve the pressing problems of primary and secondary education.”
“Through the White House Conference on Education, our Republican Administration initiated the most comprehensive Community-State-Federal attempt ever made to solve the pressing problems of primary and secondary education.”
“The Republican Party is determined to press all such actions that will help insure that every child has the educational opportunity to advance to his own greatest capacity.”
“We have fully resolved to continue our steady gains in man's unending struggle against disease and disability.
We have supported the distribution of free vaccine to protect millions of children against dreaded polio.
Republican leadership has enlarged Federal assistance for construction of hospitals, emphasizing low-cost care of chronic diseases and the special problems of older persons, and increased Federal aid for medical care of the needy.”
“The Republican Party accepts the decision of the U.S.. Supreme Court that racial discrimination in publicly supported schools must be progressively eliminated. We concur in the conclusion of the Supreme Court that its decision directing school desegregation should be accomplished with "all deliberate speed" locally through Federal District Courts. The implementation order of the Supreme Court recognizes the complex and acutely emotional problems created by its decision in certain sections of our country where racial patterns have been developed in accordance with prior and long-standing decisions of the same tribunal.”
“We believe that true progress can be attained through intelligent study, understanding, education and good will. Use of force or violence by any group or agency will tend only to worsen the many problems inherent in the situation. This progress must be encouraged and the work of the courts supported in every legal manner by all branches of the Federal Government to the end that the constitutional ideal of the law, regardless of race, creed or color, be steadily achieved”
“The Republican Party has unequivocally recognized that the supreme law of the land is embodied in the Constitution, which guarantees to all people the blessings of liberty, due process and equal protection of the laws. It confers upon all native-born and naturalized citizens not only citizenship in the State where the individual resides but citizenship of the United States as well. This is an unqualified right, regardless of race, creed or color.”
“American Identity: We favor strengthening our common American identity, which includes the contribution and assimilation of diverse racial and ethnic groups. We reject Critical Race Theory as a post Marxist ideology that seeks to undermine the system of law and order itself and to reduce individuals to their group identity alone. We support legislation to remove this ideology from government programs, including education involving race, discrimination, and racial awareness. To facilitate the appreciation of our American identity, the contrast between freedom and the tyrannical history of socialism/communism throughout history must be taught. Students shall pledge allegiance to the United States and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism. Students have the right to display patriotic items on school property.”
“The Republican Party supports an immigration policy which is in keeping with the traditions of America in providing a haven for oppressed peoples, and which is based on equality of treatment, freedom from implications of discrimination between racial, nationality and religious groups, and flexible enough to conform to changing needs and conditions.
We believe that such a policy serves our self-interest, reflects our responsibility for world leadership and develops maximum cooperation with other nations in resolving problems in this area.
We support the President's program submitted to the 84th Congress to carry out needed modifications in existing law and to take such further steps as may be necessary to carry out our traditional policy.
In that concept, this Republican Administration sponsored the Refugee Relief Act to provide asylum for thousands of refugees, expellees and displaced persons, and undertook in the face of Democrat opposition to correct the inequities in existing law and to bring our immigration policies in line with the dynamic needs of the country and principles of equity and justice.
We believe also that the Congress should consider the extension of the Refugee Relief Act of 1953 in resolving this difficult refugee problem which resulted from world conflict. To all this we give our wholehearted support.”
“256. Border Security Funding: We expect both the Texas Legislature and the United States Congress to make a priority of allocating funds to effectively secure the border through whatever means necessary, including but not limited to barriers, a border wall, and/or fence everywhere along the border where it is feasible and useful, as well as personnel and technology over land, sea, and air. Texas shall seek repayment from the Federal Government for expenses incurred in securing the border.
257. State Self-Defense: We urge the Texas Legislature to invoke Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the US Constitution, also known as the “state self-defense clause,” which asserts that under an active invasion (as defined or declared by the Governor of the State or Texas Legislature), the sovereign state of Texas has the authority and duty to defend Texas citizens against “imminent Danger,” not admitting delay, by any and all appropriate measures the sovereign state defines as necessary to defend from such assaults. We must immediately equip the Texas Military with the necessary tools and authority to serve and protect Texas State territories and citizens.”
“We shall continue to carry forward, vigorously and effectively, the valued services of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as all other Government intelligence agencies, so as to insure that we are protected at all times against subversive activities. We will never relax our determined efforts to keep our Government, and our people, safely guarded against all enemies from within.”
“One of the brightest areas of achievement and progress under the Eisenhower Administration has been in resource conservation and development and in sound, long-range public works programming.
Policies of sound conservation and wise development—originally advanced half a century ago under that preeminent Republican conservation team of President Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot and amplified by succeeding Republican Administrations—have been pursued by the Eisenhower Administration. While meeting the essential development needs of the people, this Administration has conserved and safeguarded our natural resources for the greatest good of all, now and in the future.”
“57. Environment: We oppose environmentalism that obstructs legitimate business interests and private property use, including the regulatory taking of property by governmental agencies. We oppose the abuse of the Endangered Species Act to confiscate and limit the use of personal property and to infringe on a property owner’s livelihood. We support the defunding of “climate justice” initiatives, the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency, and repeal of the Endangered Species Act, and we oppose the “America the Beautiful” Initiative, also known as the 30 x 30 program.”
“Tidelands and Resources: We assert that the State of Texas and all coastal states shall enjoy and maintain jurisdiction and control of their offshore waters up to the international water boundaries, as well as state inland waterways, regarding all natural resources therein, and that the federal government shall not set limits on harvesting or taking natural resources therein, nor allow foreign entities to harvest or take such natural resources therein, including minerals, game, fisheries, and hydrocarbons. Also, we demand that no entity shall usurp Texas’s original tideland boundaries”
My friends and followers,
The examples above clearly show the enormous difference between principled conservatism and the extreme, right-wing ideology of today’s Republican Party. Again, these are only examples and I encourage you, to read both Ike’s and the Texas GOP documents in full and objectively. The one caveat that I would add is that even though the TX version is beyond un-American, the agendas being pushed in Congress today by the extremists leading the US House of Representatives, are far worse and in my opinion, bordering on treasonous and at a minimum… aiding and abetting of our enemies. This in particular stems from their refusal to fund our democratic allies in Ukraine, against a genocidal Putin. Ike, like our founders, are rolling in their graves at what has become of the GOP.
The 1956 Republican Platform: https: Republican Party Platform of 1956 | The American Presidency Project (ucsb.edu)
The Texas/ MAGA 2022 Republican Platform 2022-RPT-Platform.pdf (texasgop.org)
I take no pleasure in drawing the conclusions I am publishing today. It is an overt admission of how vulnerable American democracy is, to a party, falsely claiming to be conservative. Their ideological support of Putin has been evident since Trump’s now infamous escalator ride. Like Pavlov’s dog, they’ve been conditioned by the 30-year evolution of the Republican identity into an identity that is treasonous, and insurrectionist and a product of media like FOX, Breitbart, NewsMax and so many even worse. Their identity has been conditioned to a false patriotism that revolves around guns, racism, WCN and misogyny. This is not the America I was raised in awe of, and I will honor my oath of service to protect it from this threat.
I know that there are principled conservatives out there. They’ve been beaten down and intimidated by the same jack-booted MAGA crowd, that we watched try to overthrow the US government and literally, our constitution, January 6th of 2021. They, more than anyone else must find their moral spines, to stand up for what our last principled Republican President, General Eisenhower, laid out so carefully in his platform. Sure, I realize that he did not write the entire platform but when he took over the party, post WW II, the GOP was darn near as loony as they are now but somewhat less dangerous, with the exception of the McCarthy era. He put his foot down and put it down hard. Who will do this today? There is no one on the GOP debate stage with enough courage or integrity to do this.
Our nation’s most prestigious calling card and what helped us and our NATO allies win the Cold War, was our values broadly defined as Western Liberal Democracy. American opportunity post WW II and the exceptionalism demonstrated on anti-Fascist battlefields around the world, spoke more than any speech, message or factor. We must once again learn how to portray this core rock of our identity. I won’t go into “how” in this piece, but I’ve written often on this topic before, which can be seen in a couple of the links below.
Combat ineffective, the rusted, broken hulk of US Influence Operations (truthaboutthreats.com)
Without a core, shared, national identity, there is no national security. (truthaboutthreats.com)
Saving American democracy is key to mitigating the current, right-wing extremist movement infecting many of the most prominent nations in the world. It is just this important. If nothing else, I hope and pray that today’s insights and history lessons, triggers real American values deep down inside the souls of true patriots, regardless of political affiliation. That is the key to restoring our honor, peace and hope for ours and the world’s future.
My very best to all,