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Old Blue Collar Joe
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guillam's avatar

Liberal Bloodsucker

50 years ago republicans were the progressive ones
Darth Acheron's avatar

Vicious Cutesmasher

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I think with the absorption of the Tea Party into the GOP, it has made the party go more towards the far-right than it was 40 or 50 years ago.
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guillam
50 years ago republicans were the progressive ones
What, 1963? It was only 1964 that they took the dead weight of the crotchety racist segment of the Democratic party for new members. An' they ran Goldwater in '64, he of the classy coded racism. (Voted against that there Civil Rights Act, on the grounds that it intruded in the rights of individuals and businesses to discriminate, if that pleases them, and states to allow discrimination; at issue the prerogative of, say, a hotel to refuse service to a person on the basis of his race.)

I think it's more correct to say "the Democrats were the regressive ones" 50 years ago, because that's pretty much how things sat for a while. As the Democratic party was for a good long while representative of a certain class of southern gentleman.
Wendigo
Well, originally, the Republican party (to wit, the "party of Lincoln" ) was defined by abolitionism. Since abolitionism comes into conflict with "states' rights" and with the property 'rights' of slave-owners, it's a form of big government.

The one thing I ever hear consistently from Republicans NOWADAYS is that "big government" is bad. Reagan, for example, said that "government isn't the solution, government is the problem." And Grover Norquist, the evil wizard who holds the entire House of Representatives in his thrall, once suggested that he just wants the government to shrink down small enough that he can "drown it in a bathtub."

The one and the other would not appear to be consistent.

Don't you find it ironic how you're complaining about how much you hate certain government officials, yet you're opposing the idea of a less powerful government at the same time?
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Caffienated Sprite

Don't you find it ironic how you're complaining about how much you hate certain government officials, yet you're opposing the idea of a less powerful government at the same time?
I don't oppose the idea of a less powerful government. In some specific areas, I believe that the government should become much less powerful than it is now. I oppose specific implementations of the idea of a less powerful government, which are rooted in less than savory motives and/or which would have undesirable consequences if implemented.

Like anti-discrimination laws, for example, ought to be applied in the same way nationwide, regardless of local attitudes. The alternative being for states and counties to selectively deny people their rights. As a long history of attempting to operate on that model has proven.
Avgvsto's avatar

Anxious Knight

Ammo Amy
What I don't get is why people would vote for people running for government office that claim that government is the problem. It would seem to me they would work their asses off to make that a self-fulling prophesy, and pretty much have.

There is a role for government out there and making it small enough to drown in a bathtub isn't it.
Thats like telling a fat person that if they eat more they'll get in shape.
imbadspankme's avatar

Blessed Hunter

Ammo Amy
What I don't get is why people would vote for people running for government office that claim that government is the problem. It would seem to me they would work their asses off to make that a self-fulling prophesy, and pretty much have.

There is a role for government out there and making it small enough to drown in a bathtub isn't it.
I agree with you that they have done a terrible job, I disagree that we have much of a valid use for government. We could be perfectly fine with no government, and a private company maintaining roads as a source of ad space. Most of our laws are violations of human rights that have been a declaration of war on the citizens the government should be serving. Most people are sane enough to not need laws at all, and our means of enforcing them is immoral and unjust.

Perhaps I should agree that making it small enough to drown in a bathtub isn't right, because that's still far more government than we will ever need.
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The rise of Reaganomics and the Religious Right. Take a look at the policies of Eisenhower of Nixon and compare them to the Republican party now.
Bogotanian's avatar

Heroic Hero

Hmm that's a very good question. I would say that it all started way back with Jefferson's Democratic-Republican party being ideologically opposed to Hamilton's Federalist policies. Basically it goes back to states rights. Jefferson originally adhered to the idea of less central government and that the states should hold the political power while the Federalists argued for strong centralization of the federal government including things like the establishment of the national bank. It's very interesting because several times in history the party name has switched their position on federalism vs anti-federalism

However, that being said, unfortunately I think that whatever party gets in the executive office really runs the government like a federalist. After all, the office makes the person and power corrupts.

As for Lincoln, true he had the absolute support of abolitionists at the time. However, I feel that he used that for his own political agenda and acted in a very Hamiltonian way, employing the full power of the federal government during the civil war. Lincoln was a strong federalist in the end. Although the slavery issue was resolved, there is still the debate as to whether the civil war truly ended the right of a state to secede and how much power the state government has. I think an interesting example of this is modern-day Colorado with... you guessed it weed. While Marijuana is technically illegal at the federal level, this is a case of a state that has made their own hearing on the matter, and refuse to enforce this federal law. Does that mean that the federal government should come in and make Colorado obey? It's an ongoing issue with the states rights.

But anyways, the South used to be the solid south for the latter part of the 18th century and for the first half of the 19th century. The south was overwhelmingly democrat. Many rural people were democrat as well, and this played to the advantage of many progressive reforms at the time. FDR had a grand old time employing the New Deal in the 1930s. One thing that began to rift away the solid south was the fact that many democrats were actually conservatives and had very conservative, traditional values. Several presidents, such as Nixon and Reagan were able to appeal to the fact that many democrats were in fact conservative.

It's interesting that Reagan used to be a democrat. However, he shifted parties and claimed "I didn't leave the democratic party, the democratic party left me." This is evident with several blue dog democrats as well, in the sense that they are conservative but still democrats. This shifted everything around. To this day, rural, especially rural southern areas tend to be red, while the north, and especially urban areas tend to vote blue. It's an interesting paradigm shift with politics involved. I would say that a core value of each party (again, I think that both really act like federalists in the executive branch, because power corrupts!) is that Republicans can trace their ideology to that of the anti-federalist (states rights) while Democrats can trace their ideology to Alexander Hamilton (stronger centralized government).

Sorry I got off on some side issues that could be their own topics. Thanks to anyone who read that
Bogotanian's avatar

Heroic Hero

guillam
50 years ago republicans were the progressive ones

What is your definition of progressive? Are you talking about progressivism? Because that was a democratic movement. Many presidents, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR implemented progressive policies. FDR enacted the New Deal, which brought about many social reforms and expanded the bureaucracy. Also, many amendments during the early part of the 20th century were progressive. Amendment 16, which brought about the income tax, 17 which enabled direct vote of US senators by popular vote, 18 prohibition of alcohol, 19 women's suffrage were all progressive amendments which they thought would fix many problems in society. These were progressive ideas, which were passed by the Democratic party. Progressivism has always been associated with the liberals so I'm not sure what you are talking about. Perhaps you are talking about how many Republicans at the time who were more liberal (progressive) switched over to the Democratic party?

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