My twitter bio talks of how I left the GOP after over 30 years due to the “Tea Party theft” of the party. Many times on twitter I will get an @ mention on my timeline from a troll, usually from the Tea Party trying to insult me by saying I’m a RINO (Republican in Name Only) as are many moderates, progressives, liberals and even a few conservatives who don’t follow in lockstep with the Tea Party agenda for the party. Well it’s time to bring up some history that sadly for the Tea Party faithful, has a liberal bias; as does truth, logic, reality and math.
The Republican Party emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas-Nebraska Act that threatened to expand slavery to the territories. The party had no representation in the South and started recruiting Whigs to fill their ranks. They were made up of abolitionists, progressives and folks who wanted to modernize the nation’s economic system. The Whigs were losing support nationally while the Democrats were still a force throughout the nation. Their party dates back to Thomas Jefferson and continued to be very strong in the South.
Well the Republicans were successful and in only 6 years became a national force that gained enough control and gathered enough Electoral College votes to elect Abraham Lincoln as President. However, the GOP was also a diverse party of conservatives, progressives and radicals who worked for common goals. The Democratic control State governments of the South rebelled to defend “state rights” and the Civil War began. I need not go into the history of what happened next. The Democrats lost the War, the Union under GOP Control won, the 13th Amendment was passed despite Democratic opposition, Slavery was officially ended in this nation for all time. It was the Republicans who did this, not the Democrats.
In the generations that followed, many of the core principles in both parties changed to some degree. However both parties had their fair share of progressives, liberals, conservatives, bigots and tolerant people. It is interesting that the presidential battles in the early part of the 20th Century between the parties was between the best “progressive way” to move forward. Progressive Republican William McKinley favored “pluralism” where prosperity would be shared by all ethnic and religious groups. Though business clearly sided with the GOP, it was Teddy Roosevelt who enforced the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, breaking up monopolies. He ended child labor, he pushed for the first “living wage” and wanted national healthcare. These were GOP ideas. His successor, Taft wasn’t as progressive as Teddy but still favored the principles, if not as dramatically. A battle erupted between the two and the GOP was split allowing a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson to take the Presidency, on a Progressive Agenda (though he was also clearly racist). Wilson also unlike many Democrats at the time had strong business support due to problems they were having with the Republicans regulating their businesses.
In the years that followed both parties continued to have among their membership a mixture of conservative and liberal membership and values, pro and anti-business platforms, they were parties of who within their membership was the diversity of America. Some platform stood out over others between the parties in elections, but the representatives tended to argue for the constituency they in fact represented. The Democrats enjoyed national prominence thanks to what FDR was able to accomplish for the entire nation. However Democrats in the Northeast were far different from the Democrats in the Deep South. They were all Democrats, but the group later known to be the “Dixiecrats” didn’t favor much of what either party did in terms of civil rights and desegregation.
50 years ago the mixtures of both parties changed and began devolving to what we have today.
Democrats enjoyed nationwide success; however, racism, segregation, intolerance remained a stain on our national fabric and was enforced by Democrats in the Deep South. Using the martyred President as a rallying cry and with the help of Republicans in the House and Senate, Lyndon Johnson was able to impose Civil Rights and Voting Rights that infuriated the Southern Democrats.
Johnson knew what he was doing and knew he was losing Southern Democratic Support for a generation. Turned out to be a lot longer. A famous Democrat, Strom Thurmond who has the record of maintaining the longest filibuster in Senate History to try to stop civil rights legislation changed party affiliation to the GOP. He wasn’t alone.
In 1968 racist Democrats known as the Dixiecrats left the party to join the Republican Party claiming it was a “conservative choice” because they saw civil rights as “liberal” and anything opposite of civil rights by their definition was conservative. Seeing that, Republicans under Nixon began the “Southern Strategy” to embrace these racists, who couldn’t see past their racism, to follow a party they wanted to punish their former party, the Democrats.
This is how the former Democratic “Dixiecrats” became the base of today’s Republican Party.
The true RINOS are the Tea Party because they abandon not only traditional Republican ideas from the Party’s founding, they abandon the traditional values of the Democratic Party because they can’t see past their racism and their hate. They would rather suffer than to give in to being led by someone they see as being lesser to them.
In the years that followed the imposition of the Southern Strategy the Republicans found themselves victims of the monster they created.
More and more the rational thinking moderates, progressives, liberals and many true conservatives were pushed out of the party due to the litmus test the Republican Southern base imposed. The base began to take over the party structure outside of the Deep South. In the 1990’s, with the lockstep unity and litmus test sponsored by the Southern Base, Newt Gingrich imposed a “do not compromise” edict for the GOP in dealing with the Democrats in the House and Senate. This was something that never happened in the history of this nation founded on the principles of compromise, recognizing out of many one; E Pluribus Unum.
When Barack Obama became President, with the financial funding of the Libertarian Koch Brothers, a “grassroots” organization known as the Tea Party was created. These racists placed their hatred of Blacks on the entire Democratic Party and those who voted for and supported President Obama. So much so, they would cut their own means of support (Medicare, Social Security, Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance, Social Safety Net) in order to destroy this presidency.
This is racism; there is no doubt about it. Never in history has a President or Cabinet Member been treated with such public disrespect in Congress. This was born out of racism and racism carries it forward. Factually both Obama and Holder by policy and acts are strictly centrists. Their views are indistinguishable from those of Kennedy, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan or Clinton. The only true difference is they are Black.
The Tea Party is the base of the GOP and this base is funded by the Koch Brothers. They are the ones pulling the strings by taking advantage of their blind racist hatred of Obama and everyone and everything associated with him to gain ultimate Oligarchic power in this nation. The Tea Party is too stupid and blinded by their racism to even see this.
A true American, regardless of any party affiliation recognizes that compromise is essential to ensure the many are heard and taken care of. That all have equal rights and no one should suffer any discrimination regardless of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or ethnic background.
Today the Koch Brother’s Tea Party movement of angry racist brown shirts is leading this nation and her people to Oligarchy and national ruin for the benefit of the billionaires who apparently need more money. We cannot allow this. The Tea Party are PINOs, Patriots in Name Only
If you support American Rights for all Americans who are born or naturalized in this nation, you cannot vote GOP this or any year until that party rids themselves of their racist core and billionaire backing. Forget party labels, we’re either Americans or we’re not. Vote American values, not racism or oligarchic servitude.