Recent Republican History, Part 1 of 3

I don’t know about everyone else, but this political junkie, a.k.a. government major, is having spectacular time watching Republicans in the throws of an identity crisis. Republican history over the last ~50 years is incredibly interesting to me and now, in the Age of Information (this cannot be understated), we basically have a front row seat to a huge transition that will affect U.S. government small and large for years to come.

The cliche “history repeats itself” and philosopher George Santayana’s quotation, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” are playing out in real time on our national theater of the absurd.

Mass Exodus of Conservative Democrats to the Republican Party

The Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s led to a great purging in the Democrat Party. Those who opposed integration, including large swathes of the South, changed their voter card to Republican. In rural areas, this transition has been slow – which is why areas of Texas countryside might still have a majority of voters registered Democrat while voting overwhelmingly for Republican candidates. This is also why Oklahoma, perhaps the slowest progressing state in the country, is also the only state in the country that had more counties go red in 2008 than in the previous election.

This is why I cringe when people say the Republican Party is the party of Lincoln. Not so, really. The demographic that populates the Republican Party today would have in no way supported Lincoln or his efforts. The current Democrat Party is the true standard bearer of Lincoln’s policies.

The make-up of the Republican Party during its massive transition in the 60’s had quite a similar representation to the current one: the know-nothing, conspiracy theorists, as personified by the John Birch Society and the “fiscal conservative,” low-tax, laissez-faire, plutocracy, corporatocracy supporters. Of course, I’m simplifying because this. Is. A. Blog.

Role of Christianity in Republican Victory

In 1980, Ronald Reagan’s ascension to the presidency, solidified a marriage between these two parties by A., catering to the religious right and B., enforcing extreme messaging discipline. The Moral Majority movement illuminated the reality that low-tax, profit-worshipping Republicans can attain greater levels of victory if they also appear fervently Christian and support legislation catering to strongly-Christian voters. Wealthy white men who previously couldn’t have cared less about a poor teenager’s pregnancy termination now had the strongest of principles opposed to the medical procedure.

The rise of Prosperity-Christianity and the mega-churches during this time-period is no coincidence. No longer were Republican voters chained to the main legacy of Jesus Christ of caring the poor and the sick. Religious leaders across the land began indoctrinating their legions with the idea that God and his son want their followers to be prosperous, even rich.

The right wing leadership, including church leaders, created a culture in which it was through the church that people should care for the poor, not the government. Church donations were the method by which one helped their fellow man, while government was called the false idol and the paying of taxes an insupportable exercise in all but the most minimum of circumstances. Instead of supporting Planned Parenthood, a health provider for millions without health insurance, most highly-religious Christians endorse adoption programs run through churches, especially in the event a gay couple would choose to adopt an orphaned child. The Catholic Church, who runs a large amount of adoption agencies across the countries, would prefer an infant remain in a foster home rather than have two loving parents of the same gender.

Over the years, the Republican party became consumed by an un-Christlike, yet highly religious ideology. This would eventually help herald the undoing of the Republican Party on a national scale. The state scale is still a story untold.

Next up:

Christians Become the Epitome of Know-Nothing Political Pawns

Recent Republican History, Part 2

Recent Republican History, Part 3

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3 Responses to Recent Republican History, Part 1 of 3

  1. Pingback: Recent Republican History, Part 2 « Sassy Liberal

  2. Pingback: Recent Republican History, Part 3 « Sassy Liberal

  3. Pingback: The Tea Party and the John Birch Society: Two peas in a pod? « The Age of Blasphemy

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