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Please help me discover the origins of this brilliant party platform:

We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social securitybroadened coverage in unemployment insuranceimproved housingand better health protection for all our people.

Which also includes this inspiring sentiment:

In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human.

And this:

Government must have a heart as well as a head.

I think a majority of Americans would get behind this platform, how about you?

A foreign policy based on international cooperation:

We shall continue vigorously to support the United Nations.

A call to civil service:

We will vigorously promote, as we have in the past, a non-political career service under the merit system which will attract and retain able servants of the people.

Progressive taxation:

Further reductions in taxes with particular consideration for low and middle income families.


To meet the immense demands of our expanding economy, we [will initiate] the largest highway, air and maritime programs in history, each soundly financed.

Statehood for D.C.

We favor self-government, national suffrage and representation in the Congress of the United States for residents of the District of Columbia.


We favor a comprehensive study of the effect upon wildlife of the drainage of our wetlands.

We recognize the need for maintaining isolated wilderness areas

Taking on big business

A continuously vigorous enforcement of anti-trust laws

Legislation to enable closer Federal scrutiny of mergers which have a significant or potential monopolistic connotations;

Procedural changes in the antitrust laws to facilitate their enforcement

But wait, it gets even better. Just look at how pro-labor it is:

Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable.

Stimulate improved job safety of our workers
, through assistance to the States, employees and employers.

Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex.

Clarify and strengthen the eight-hour laws
for the benefit of workers who are subject to federal wage standards...

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.

It even favors bringing back the Equal Rights Amendment!

We recommend to Congress the submission of a constitutional amendment providing equal rights for men and women.

Public works projects. Equal pay for equal work. Environmentalism. Antitrust enforcement. Even the fricking ERA. Holy cow, who on earth is proposing such unabashedly progressive ideals? Who is unafraid to use the word "liberal" to describe their values? Can you possibly guess?

Wait for it...

It's the Republican Party Platform of 1956.

Yes, you read that correctly. Every one of the above planks comes directly from the GOP's platform in Eisenhower's reelection year. And did the American people support it? Yep, overwhelmingly so.

To be sure, there are some things that I omitted, both because it would have given it away, and because it didn't always fit my theme. But still: can you believe this shit? Dwight D. Eisenhower would not only not be welcome in today's GOP, if he tried to crash their convention he would be forcibly removed -- possibly with firehoses. This brings into stunning relief just how far to the right the Republican Party has gone in a relatively short time (54 years ain't that long, folks). And how far out of touch with most Americans they've truly gotten. The American people back in those halcyon, crewcut 1950's agreed with this platform overwhelmingly. But today, Republicans would label it as "socialist".

Wait a minute, what am I saying? They already have.


Originally posted to MeMeMeMeMe on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:00 PM PST.

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