The Republican Platform of 2000
"We finally have a president!" This phrase has echoed throughout the land as George W. Bush emerged victorious from the political battles of the 2000 election. In many ways the phrase seemed to have been heard coming from an awakened people who had a moment of arousal from their political apathy, but who seemed anxious to return to their slumbering for another long sleep. Such seems to be the historical routine in nowadays America.
Some have boasted that after so many years the republicans now have control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency and that this is their chance to show the American people once and for all what they can really do.
Will the Republican Party of 2000 be like the Democratic Party of 1932?
If you listened to some of the political speeches during the 2000 campaign, particularly in New York, you heard the name of Al Smith mentioned several times. Al Smith was four-time governor of New York. His name continues to be mentioned by many democrats, including Hillary Clinton (thereby bringing votes of those who hold him in reverence). Al Smith was a Democrat. He helped craft the democratic platform of 1932. In 1932 he supported Franklin D. Roosevelt for President, but by 1936 he was so shocked and alarmed by what he saw happening that he decided to warn his Party. Because of the popularity of President Roosevelt this step was considered by some to be virtual treason. Nevertheless, on January 25, 1936, Alfred E. Smith gave a speech in Washington D. C., to warn the American people that the Democratic Party was being betrayed.
Excerpts from the Democratic Platform of 1932
"The Democratic Party solemnly promises by appropriate action to put into effect the principles, policies and reforms herein advocated and to eradicate the political methods and practices herein condemned..
"We advocate immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not less than 25 per cent in the cost of the Federal Government..
"We favor maintenance of the national credit by a Federal budget annually balanced on the basis of accurate Federal estimate within revenue..
"We promise the removal of Government from all fields of private enterprise except where necessary to develop public works and national resources in the common interest..
"We condemn the open and covert resistance of administrative officials to every effort made by congressional committees to curtail the extravagant expenditures of Government and improvident subsidies granted to private interests..
"We favor unemployment and old age insurance under State laws..
"We condemn the extravagance of the Farm Board, its disastrous action which made the Government a speculator of farm products, and unsound policy of restricting agricultural products to the demand of domestic markets.".
If you can believe it, these were planks in the platform under which Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected! Is it any wonder that people like Ronald Reagan and W. Cleon Skousen were registered Democrats at this time?
Al Smith Challenges Americans to Perform a Simple Test
As part of his 1936 speech, Al Smith analyzed the Roosevelt performance this way:
"Let's see how it was carried out. Make a test for yourself. Just get the platform of the Democratic Party, and get the platform of the Socialist Party, and lay them down on your dining room table, side by side, and get a heavy lead pencil and scratch out the word 'Democrat,' and scratch out the word 'Socialist,' and let the two platforms lay there.
"Then study the record of the present Administration up to date. After you have done that, make your mind up to pick up the platform that more nearly squares with the record, and you will put your hand on the Socialist platform. You don't dare touch the Democratic platform.
They Tricked Us!
"And incidentally, let me say, that it is not the first time in recorded history, that a group of men have stolen the livery of the church to do the work of the devil.
"Now, after studying this whole situation, you will find that that is at the bottom of all our troubles. This country was organized on the principles of representative democracy, and you can't mix SOCIALISM OR COMMUNISM with that. They are like oil and water, they refuse to mix. And incidentally, let me say to you, that is the reason why the United States Supreme Court is working overtime throwing the alphabet out of the window-three letters at a time.
"Now I am going to let you in on something else. How do you suppose all this happened? Here is the way it happened. The young Brain Trusters caught the Socialists in swimming and they ran away with their clothes. (to use as disguise)
"Now, it is all right with me. It is all right to me if they want to disguise themselves as Norman Thomas or Karl Marx, or Lenin, or any of the rest of that bunch, but what I won't stand for is to let them march under the banner of Jefferson, Jackson, or Cleveland.
The Correct Answers are Simple for All to Read
"Now leave the platform alone for a little while. What about this attack that has been made upon the fundamental institutions of this country? Who threatens them and did we have any warning of this threat? Why, you don't have to study party platforms. You don't have to read books. You don't have to listen to professors of economics. You can find the whole thing incorporated in the greatest declaration of political principles that ever came from the hands of men, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States."
Socialist Norman Thomas Claims Great Victories
for Socialism under both Democrats and Republicans
Norman Thomas was the Socialist candidate for President in 1928 and for every single election during the next twenty years. However, he never received more than 190,000 votes because he ran on the Socialist ticket and Americans have always despised socialism whenever it was labeled as such. Unfortunately, however, they had never been educated to recognize socialist principles if they bore no label. This made it possible for some administrations, both democrat and republican, to restructure the country on socialist lines without the American people realizing it.
By 1953 Norman Thomas was jubilant. He wrote a pamphlet called, Democratic Socialism in which he stated that:
"... here in America more measures once praised or denounced as socialist have been adopted than once I should have thought possible short of a socialist victory at the polls."
Under President Eisenhower, Norman Thomas still found reasons to be jubilant. In the Congressional Record for April 17, 1958 (p. A-3080) Norman Thomas is quoted as saying:
"The United States is making greater strides toward Socialism under Eisenhower than even under Roosevelt, particularly in the fields of Federal spending and welfare legislation."
By 1962 Norman Thomas summed up the whole situation as follows:
"The difference between Democrats and Republicans is: Democrats have accepted some ideas of Socialism cheerfully, while Republicans have accepted them reluctantly." (as quoted in The Naked Capitalist, page 130)
The Republican Platform of 2000
Now let's jump ahead to today. The platform under which George W. Bush was elected is not even as impressive as the 1932 Democratic platform, but he should be expected to at least do these things. Here are a few excerpts:
"Raise academic standards through increased local control and accountability to parents, shrinking a multitude of federal programs into five flexible grants in exchange for real, measured progress in student achievement.
"Reward work with tax reform that takes 6 million families off the tax rolls, cuts the rate for those who remain on the rolls, and doubles the child tax credit to $1,000.
"Increase domestic supplies of coal, oil, and natural gas. Our country does have ample energy resources waiting to be developed, and there is simply no substitute for an increase in their domestic production.
"We will safeguard private property rights by enforcing the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment and by providing just compensation whenever private property is needed to achieve a compelling public purpose.
"The new Republican president will deploy a national missile defense for reasons of national security; but he will also do so because there is a moral imperative involved: The American people deserve to be protected. It is the president's constitutional obligation.
"Replace the five current tax brackets with four lower ones, ensuring all taxpayers significant tax relief while targeting it especially toward low-income workers.
"Help families by doubling the child tax credit to $1,000, making it available to more families, and eliminating the marriage penalty.
"Encourage entrepreneurship and growth by capping the top marginal rate, ending the death tax, and making permanent the Research and Development credit.
"Promote charitable giving and education.
"Foster capital investment and savings to boost today's dangerously low personal savings rate.
"Anyone currently receiving Social Security, or close to being eligible for it, will not be impacted by any changes.
"Real [Social Security] reform does not require, and will not include, tax increases.
"Personal savings accounts must be the cornerstone of restructuring [Social Security]. Each of today's workers should be free to direct a portion of their payroll taxes to personal investments for their retirement future. It is crucial that individuals be offered a variety of investment alternatives and that detailed information be provided to each participant to help them judge the risks and benefits of each plan. Today's financial markets offer a variety of investment options, including some that guarantee a rate of return higher than the current Social Security system with no risk to the investor.
"Choice is the key. Any new options for retirement security should be voluntary, so workers can choose to remain in the current system or opt for something different.
Will They Trick Us Again?
Needless to say, the Republican Platform could have been written much stronger from a Constitutional perspective. But if the republicans are bold enough to accomplish at least what they said they would, it would be a strong signal that things might really be changing for the better. If not, another Al Smith will surely come along, as some have already done previously, and declare that the principles have been abandoned and the Socialists have again had their way. Perhaps this is the republicans' last chance to show Americans they will not follow the same path as the victors of 1932.
"Not Yours To Give"
As a special thank you for your donation to NCCS, we will send you, at no charge, the videotape entitled, "Not Yours To Give". This is the story of a hard lesson learned by Congressman Davy Crockett when he voted to spend public money for a private welfare cause - money which was not his to give. It's a timely gift for those keeping there eyes on their representatives in government.
Happy New Year from NCCS!
Earl Taylor, Jr.