Where Did the Republican Party Lose Its Way?

The United States flag flies at half staff in front of the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington

The Republican Party, somewhere along the line, has lost its way. It is no longer the party formed in 1854 by anti-slavery activists. It is no longer the party boasting Abraham Lincoln as its first president. Can anyone say it is still the party of saving the Union, ending slavery and the progression of equal rights to all men?

These are the tenants of the party. Yes sir, the GOP. In the beginning, the Grand Old Party supported business, generous pensions, high profits along with high wages, tariffs to promote growth, business and hard money. And also, the annexation of Hawaii. Good move Republicans, good move.

Today, they appear to be the party of grumpy old men waxing poetic on what women should be, what control they should have over their bodies, crazy gun owners, hatred of a population based on sexual preference and creating the largest biased media station in America. When did the Republican Party drift off and lose its way?

This is the party of the Sherman Anti Trust Act and the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission, formed as a result of complaints from small business and American farmers. This is the party of small government; not the party micromanaging every aspect of the individual. Dictating every private choice was never the moniker of this party. Where did the Republican Party take left?

About a year ago, Lindsay Graham, senior Republican senator from South Carolina uttered, “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” Really? The party of Abraham Lincoln is trying to summon only white guys? Is there a shortage of conservative leaning women, brown, black and red guys? Are there not young white and multi-hued people who stand a little to the right? Is there a reason people need to be angry to be Republican?

In Denver on Wednesday, a law and compliance seminar featured former DNC Chair Howard Dean and former RNC Chair Michael Steele. Dean reminded all why he couldn’t be elected president when he quipped gibberish about “Nixon’s strategy in 1968…the party brought this on itself.” The strategy to which he refers involved pandering to white voters in the South through declaiming African American civil rights.

They did agree on one thing and Steele noted it. “The Republic Party must change. The far right opinion that dominates the party must stop.” Evidently, there weren’t enough people in the room for the rest of us to hear a resounding, “Amen.”

In 2009, of all people, it was Meghan McCain, daughter of John, unafraid to go toe to toe with both her father and the party in summarizing young Republicanism. “I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people’s lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican.” Is she really that different from the Republicans you know? Is she really that different from the Democrats you know? Are we, mainstream American, all that different from each other?

Where the Republican Party lost its way may remain a mystery. What is not is that all of us, regardless of party, are united in the human condition. Can we vote that way?

By Linda Torkelson

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5 Responses to "Where Did the Republican Party Lose Its Way?"

  1. larry 1356   September 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    It’s not just the Republican party, the whole country has lost its way.

    Reply
  2. James Hall   September 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    In America FOX NEWS is the official propaganda network of the Republican party.
    Unfortunately, FOX owns more local TV stations than anybody else and owns more cable TV stations than anyone else in America including the highest rated cables news network.
    Rupert Murdoch owns FOX and dozens of cable channels and the Wall Street Journal and endless other shows available on TV. Murdoch has so much power granting or denying Republican politicians access to his media empire that exactly like dogs they begin to resemble their owner because the owner buys and owns the dogs.
    The Republican Party today is the personification to the last detail of Rupert Murdoch’s true life personality. Murdoch is one angry old man who filed for divorce and is taking it out on America with a bitter vengeance.

    Reply
  3. ctmusc   September 19, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Liberals lectured the Republican party about how it had lost its way in 1979 when Ronald Reagan started to look like he would win the Republican nomination.

    The party fails when it tries to be Democratic lite.

    Perhaps Linda has egg on her face when you see how two Colorado Democrats got recalled by those “crazy gun” owners.

    The writing is on the wall, hugely failed Democratics ideas including Obamacare will be swept aside in the next election.

    Reply
  4. Glen Ebert   September 19, 2013 at 4:35 am

    .Howard Dean’s comments are not just gibberish. Nixon’s southern strategy was central to bringing the GOP to where it is today. It was followed by the parties abandonment of its commitment to women’s equality. When you cant face you past your bound to repeat it.

    Reply
    • newt   October 9, 2013 at 7:20 am

      LBJ’s signing of the voting rights act in ’64 drove those Southerners to the Repub party, and George Herbert Walker Bush, as Texas Repub party chairman, welcomed them with open arms. Ironic, since it was those same Southerners who spawned the Republican Party of Lincoln some 110 years before LBJ put pen to paper.

      Reply

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