Why I am Not a Republican

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The RNC Web page has a section called Why Are You a Republican? where they invite their people to give sound-bite explanations of their deepest values. Kos and I pointed and laughed (☺ ☞) at the low quality and absurdities of the site. Still, I don't see any reason why we should be left out, so you can add something below if you like. But the more interesting question to me is why so many of the alleged Heroes of Republicans on the same RNC site are not Conservatives, as the term is understood today.--Cherlin 05:15, 14 October 2009 (EDT)


Republican Heroes 1

These are taken from the LOL Republican National Committee Heroes page. The entire point of the page is to claim credit for advances in Civil Rights that the Republicans now vehemently oppose. All of these people were Liberal/Progressives (even Ronald Reagan before marrying Nancy). Almost all are pre-Nixon Republicans, back when the GOP still stood for the rights of minorities and women, the environment, and even sometimes for trust-busting, before the Southern Strategy of racism that Nixon launched and Reagan perfected.

Susan B. Anthony


Ronald Reagan

The Great Prevaricator, previously an equally convincing Liberal/Progressive. You should hear him denouncing the evil corporate bosses. But let's give him credit where it is due. He insisted on trying terrorists as common criminals in civilian courts, and signed the international Convention Against Torture.

Pinckney Pinchback

Active in Post-Civil War civil rights.

Octavius Catto

Co-founded the National Equal Rights League.

Mary Terrell

Mary Terrell, along with Ida Wells, was one of two African-American Republican women who in 1909 co-founded the NAACP. The daughter of former slaves, Terrell became a prominent writer and civil rights activist. She campaigned tirelessly for women’s suffrage.

As president of the Women’s Republican League, Terrell campaigned for Republican presidential candidate Warren Harding in 1920. Her husband was an African-American attorney who served in the administration of Republican President Benjamin Harrison and later received judicial appointments from Republican Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

In the words of Mary Terrell: “Every right that has been bestowed upon blacks was initiated by the Republican Party.”

But that was then. Check out Jackie Robinson, below.

Joseph Rainey

Joseph Rainey (R-SC) was the first African-American congressman, born in 1832.

José Celso Barbosa

On July 4, 1899, Dr. Barbosa established the pro-statehood Puerto Rico Republican Party. The next year, President William McKinley (R-OH) appointed him to the territorial governor’s advisory council. In 1907, he established the newspaper "El Tiempo", the first bilingual newspaper on the island. In 1917, he was elected to the territorial legislature.

A Democratic Socialist, it turns out. In an article in El Tiempo called Negrofobia (Negrophobia) he wrote, "¡Negro!, ¡Negro!, ¡Negro! ¡Y bien! Estamos orgullosos de serlo..." ("Black! Black! Black! Good! We are proud to be such...")

John Langston

John Langston was the first African-American public official, elected in 1855 as a township clerk in Ohio. He later worked for the Freedmen’s Bureau to assist emancipated slaves. Langston helped establish Howard University Law School and the National Equal Rights League. His great-nephew, Langston Hughes, is named after him.

Jackie Robinson

In 1960 Robinson had supported Nixon, who seemed to have a better record on Civil Rights than Kennedy, but the 1964 Republican Convention gave him the willies. Robinson said that he "had a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany."

Hiram Revels

The first African-American in the U.S. Senate was a Republican, Hiram Revels.

Frederick Douglass

Already a renowned anti-slavery activist, Frederick Douglass campaigned for Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and became one of his key advisors. Years later, as a token of their friendship, Mary Lincoln presented him with her husband’s walking stick.

Douglass served in a total of six Republican administrations. President Ulysses Grant appointed Douglass to the Santo Domingo Commission, and President Hayes appointed him Marshall of the District of Columbia. During the Garfield and Arthur administrations, Douglass served as Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia. He served on an envoy to Haiti during the Benjamin Harrison administration. Many prominent Republican, including Members of Congress and Justices of the Supreme Court, attended his funeral in 1895.

Frank Johnson

Frank Johnson was a delegate to the 1948 Republican National Convention. He managed Alabama’s “Veterans for Eisenhower” during the 1952 campaign.

Johnson was a resolute foe of the Democratic Party's segregationist policies, which the Republicans soon took over. President Eisenhower named him U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and then to the federal bench. In 1956, Judge Johnson ruled in favor of Rosa Parks, striking down the “blacks in the back of the bus” law. In 1965, it was Judge Johnson who struck down attempts by Alabama's Democrat governor to block the Selma voting rights march led by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everett Dirksen

Senator Dirksen strongly condemned a Southern Democratic-led 57-day filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act: “The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing of government, in education, and in employment. It must not be stayed or denied. It is here!”

Senator Dirksen co-authored the 1965 Voting Rights Act and helped outmaneuver Southern Democratic opposition: “This cannot go on forever, this denial of the right to vote by ruses and devices and tests and whatever the mind can contrive to either make it very difficult or to make it impossible to vote.”

And he had a little bit of help from President Lyndon Johnson and the northern Democrats, but that's not worth mentioning on an RNC page.

Ellen Foster

Ellen Foster was one of the first female attorneys in the United States. Beginning with the 1884 campaign, she campaigned for Republican candidates across the nation. In 1888, she became the first president of the Women’s National Republican Association and established dozens of Republican Women's clubs across the country.

In a first for either major political party, two women – Theresa Jenkins and Cora Carleton – attended the 1892 National Convention in an official capacity, as alternate delegates from Wyoming. Speaking at the convention, Ellen Foster declared: “We are here to help you. And we have come to stay.”

Edward Brooke

One of the most prominent of the early post-Nixon Black Republicans, Brooke was elected Senator from Massachusetts, the first Black Senator in the 20th century. A liberal on most issues except the economy and national security, he was also a key Senate supporter of allowing abortions funded by Medicaid. Brooke's reputation and liberal politics, together with his political skill and personal charm, meant that he was able for a time to secure support from Democrats as well as Republicans in his state. Following an easy re-election victory in 1972, Brooke's seat seemed secure until 1978 when the Boston Globe reported a series of financial and ethical problems including the fact that Brooke had lied about his financial worth in divorce proceedings.

Dwight Eisenhower

His administration opposed the Democrats’ segregationist policies. President Eisenhower appointed to the federal bench southern Republicans such as Frank Johnson, John Wisdom, and Elbert Tuttle, who would become civil rights champions. The day after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, President Eisenhower ordered public schools in Washington, D.C. desegregated immediately, not waiting for judges to make “all deliberate speed.” He sent troops to Little Rock to force the Democratic Governor of Arkansas to obey a Federal court order to racially integrate the public schools.

Hey, what happened to Earl Warren? He was a Republican.
  • Interstate Highway System
  • Favorite Book: The True Believer, by Eric Hoffer, warning against the authoritarians who were about to take over the Republican Party

Clara Barton

Clara Barton volunteered at field hospitals during the Civil War and became Superintendant of Nurses. She later campaigned for many Republican candidates and was a political ally of Senator John Logan (R-IL). In 1880, Barton campaigned for the Republican presidential nominee, James Garfield.

The following year, Senator Omar Conger (R-MI) convened a meeting in his home at which Barton made plans to establish the American Red Cross. Her friend Frederick Douglass, the Washington, DC Recorder of Deeds, registered the new organization. She then met with Secretary of State James Blaine, a future Republican presidential nominee, and President Garfield to discuss setting up chapters nationwide.

President Abraham Lincoln

  • Freed the slaves
  • Asserted Federal power over states to regulate slavery and prevent secession
  • Actually bipartisan

Republican Heroes 2

The RNC forgot to mention these.

Edmund Burke

The Father of Conservatism, Mr. Tax and Spend himself.

President Theodore Roosevelt

  • National Parks
  • Major scientific publications
  • Trust-busting

Economist F. A. Hayek

  • Why I am Not a Conservative

President Richard Nixon

  • Voted for early Civil Rights legislation as Senator
  • EPA
  • Guaranteed minimum income
  • Ended Vietnam War
  • Went to China
  • Crook

Senator Barry Goldwater

  • Favored gays in the military
  • Despised Christian Right intolerance
  • Supported Roe v. Wade

Senator Bob Dole

  • Food stamps
  • International school lunch program
  • The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics was established to bring bipartisanship back to politics.
  • "We're the new liberals of the Republican Party," Goldwater told Dole, who was then facing criticisms from hard-line conservatives in the presidential campaign. "Can you imagine that?"

The rest of us

I am a radical anti-authoritarian, scoring 20, the minimum score, on the Altemeyer Authoritarianism scale. I pursue truth based on evidence.--Cherlin 02:26, 14 October 2009 (EDT)

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