Jess Phoenix, Democratic candidate for California House district 25, last week tweeted a series of points from the 1956 Republican platform. It’s easy to see how the two parties could, back then, come together over a number of issues. I’m going to put the tweets into something that looks more like text. The tweetstream is available here.
I went & read the actual 1956 Republican platform thanks to this tweet. Holy crap. Pro-unions, pro-equal pay, pro-“progressive programs,” pro-expanding Federal minimum wage & Social Security, free vaccines, more facilities to train scientists, pro-affordable housing, & then this gem really stood out: “We promise unwavering vigilance against corruption and waste, and shall continue so to manage the public business as to warrant our people’s full confidence in the integrity of their Government.” Wow.
This part is salient: “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.” It gets better.
“We will overlook no opportunity that, with prudence, can be taken to bring about a progressive elimination of the barriers that interfere with the free flow of news, information and ideas, and the exchange of persons between the free peoples & the captive peoples of the world.”
My favorite may be this: “We fully appreciate the importance of scientific knowledge and its application particularly in the military field.” Would be nice if the current admin listened to DOD re: climate.
The last bit I’ll quote is this: “We recognize the need for maintaining isolated wilderness areas to provide opportunity for future generations to experience some of the wilderness living through which the traditional American spirit of hardihood was developed.”
She then goes on to speculate why things (i.e. the Republican Party) have changed so much. She mentions the end of the Fairness Doctrine and says there’s more. I like this summing up, in which I have combined parts of two of her tweets, although I don’t know how we get there.
We need to define our shared ideals again, & then we must lift them up as high as we can. There are no perfect candidates, because we’re all human. Our job as voters is to find candidates with whom we agree on our ideals. It doesn’t have to be 100% agreement, either. Remember, we create the system. That means we can change it. That much, I believe.
And open thread!