Sunday, July 3, 2011

This isn't your grandfather's GOP

What’s this, two posts in one day?! That’s right, there’s so much good stuff to write on that I thought I would post more than once today.

We’ve all heard the phrase “this isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile,” the failed advertising campaign General Motors used in the late 1980s to revitalize Oldsmobile from its old-man image. The same can be said for the Republican party, it’s definitely not your father or grandfather’s GOP. With the current crop of presidential hopefuls, Congressman, and governors, the old stalwarts of the party are rolling in the graves. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln. But instead of embracing the great presidents such as Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower, they like to put all their political stock in Ronald Reagan.

President Lincoln, facing fierce opposition from southern Democrats, put morals ahead of so-called public interest and freed the slaves, after fighting a fierce war to preserve the country after the south decided to secede and start a military campaign. Teddy Roosevelt, an environmentalist and outdoorsman, saw fit to preserve nature and established the National Parks system, so that everyone could experience what nature had to offer. Dwight Eisenhower, facing mounting debt from WWII and the Korean War, put aside his own ideology and kept Social Security in place, recognizing that while it went against his political views, it was a widely popular and successful New Deal program. He also saw the need to keep up with the rest of the world and authorized the formation of the nation’s first interstate highway system and the creation of NASA, so that we wouldn’t fall behind the Soviets in the space race.

Instead, what we have today is a GOP that doesn’t care about morals. They don’t care about giving everybody in the country affordable health insurance because they’re in the pockets of the health care industry and Big Pharm. They don’t care about saving the environment, as proof of the BP oil spill, fracking, and the constant pleas to continue drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and to open up the Alaska Wildlife Refuge and the Great Lakes to oil and gas drilling. All they care about is once again the money since they’re also in the pockets of the energy industry, mainly Big Oil. And they also don’t care about infrastructure or saving popular programs. Republicans have constantly stalled President Obama’s plans for a nationwide network of high speed rail lines that would rival the ones in China. This would enable people to travel across the country in record time and save money. They have also stalled the president’s plans to overhaul our interstate highway system, especially the bridges that are in dire need of repair. Finally, the Republicans are still trying to destroy Social Security and Medicare. Why is that? You guessed it, because they were programs started by Democrats, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson respectively.

If the afore mentioned presidents were still alive today, they would be shaking their heads at what their party has become. In fact, the party has changed so much since Eisenhower that my grandfather, a lifelong Republican, switched his affiliation to Democrat 5 years ago, unknown until recently to my family. So at 80 years old, my grandfather realized that the GOP didn’t stand for what it used and realized that while still conservative, the Democrats were his real party. If the GOP keeps this up, they won’t exist 50 years from now.

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