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Comparing Platforms - One More Strike Against the Current Republican Party

PoliticsWith my recent posts on politics prompted by the latest Texas GOP platform (see the entry, The 2014 Texas Republican Platform, and the Follow-Up), I've spent a little time looking at political party platforms.

I pulled a few planks from two different platforms for a comparison. Below is a table comparing them. See if you can guess who the parties are.

Party A Party B
We support this and his further offer of United States participation in an international fund for economic development financed from the savings brought by true disarmament. We support United States withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the World Bank.
To meet the immense demands of our expanding economy, we have initiated the largest highway, air and maritime programs in history, each soundly financed. We call for all transportation and fuel taxes collected to be used for road construction, improvement, and maintenance only. We resolve that tax revenue derived from gasoline taxes and all other taxes/fees on our vehicles (including vehicle sales tax) should only be used for highway construction, and not be diverted to any other use, including mass transit, rail, and bicycle paths.
We shall continue vigorously to support the United Nations. We support the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of United Nations headquarters from United States soil.
Clarify and strengthen the eight-hour laws for the benefit of workers who are subject to federal wage standards on Federal and Federally-assisted construction, and maintain and continue the vigorous administration of the Federal prevailing minimum wage law for public supply contracts; We urge Congress to repeal the Prevailing Wage Law and the Davis Bacon Act.
Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable; We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed.

It's actually a bit of a trick question. Party A is the 1956 national Republican Party (avaiable at The American Presidency Project). Party B is the 2014 Texas Republican Party (available at TexasGOP.org). Man, what a difference 58 years can make.

I've pulled a few more highlights out below the fold, if anyone's interested in reading them. By and large, it's a platform that I wouldn't mind supporting. Sure, there are some areas of disagreement, but it's a rational platform with reasonable approaches to addressing issues. It's nothing like the current Texas GOP platform, which as I described in another entry, "seems like the type of ranting you'd hear from your crazy uncle at family reunions, not the official platform of what's supposed to be a respected political party."

Man do I wish the Republicans would return to something like what this 1956 platform represents, so that there could be sensible discussions on politics, and that elements like the Tea Party would retreat back to the fringes where they belong.

Here are some additional highlights from the platform, mostly planks that seem pretty reasonable, but that I can't imagine hearing from the current GOP (mostly - a handful you might hear from current Republicans).

Our Government was created by the people for all the people, and it must serve no less a purpose.
On its Centennial, the ... Party again calls to the minds of all Americans the great truth first spoken by Abraham Lincoln: "The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities. But in all that people can individually do as well for themselves, Government ought not to interfere."
Our great President ... has counseled us further: "In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people's money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative."
In four years we have achieved the highest economic level with the most widely shared benefits that the world has ever seen. We of the ... Party have fostered this prosperity and are dedicated to its expansion and to the preservation of the climate in which it has thrived.
We also propose: ...Legislation to enable closer Federal scrutiny of mergers which have a significant or potential monopolistic connotations; Procedural changes in the antitrust laws to facilitate their enforcement; ...Continuance of the vigorous SEC policies which are providing maximum protection to the investor and maximum opportunity for the financing of small business without costly red tape.
We hold that the major world issue today is whether Government shall be the servant or the master of men. We hold that the Bill of Rights is the sacred foundation of personal liberty. That men are created equal needs no affirmation, but they must have equality of opportunity and protection of their civil rights under the law.
America does not prosper unless all Americans prosper.
Workers have benefited by the progress which has been made in carrying out the programs and principles set forth in the 1952 ... platform. All workers have gained and unions have grown in strength and responsibility, and have increased their membership by 2 millions.
Stimulate improved job safety of our workers, through assistance to the States, employees and employers;
Continue and further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers;
Protect by law, the assets of employee welfare and benefit plans so that workers who are the beneficiaries can be assured of their rightful benefits;
Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;
Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;
[Party] action created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as the first new Federal department in 40 years, to raise the continuing consideration of these problems for the first time to the highest council of Government, the President's Cabinet.
We have asked the largest increase in research funds ever sought in one year to intensify attacks on cancer, mental illness, heart disease and other dread diseases.
We demand once again, despite the reluctance of the ... 84th Congress, Federal assistance to help build facilities to train more physicians and scientists.
We have supported measures that have made more housing available than ever before in history, reduced urban slums in local-federal partnership, stimulated record home ownership, and authorized additional low-rent public housing.
[regarding civil service jobs] We will vigorously promote, as we have in the past, a non-political career service under the merit system which will attract and retain able servants of the people. Many gains in this field, notably pay increases and a host of new benefits, have been achieved in their behalf in less than four years.
The ... Party will continue to fight for eagerly desired new advances for Government employees, and realistic reappraisement and adjustment of benefits for our retired civil service personnel.
We favor self-government, national suffrage and representation in the Congress of the United States for residents of the District of Columbia.
We recommend to Congress the submission of a constitutional amendment providing equal rights for men and women.
Great progress has been made in eliminating employment discrimination on the part of those who do business with the Federal Government and secure Federal contracts. This Administration has impartially enforced Federal civil rights statutes, and we pledge that we will continue to do so. We support the enactment of the civil rights program already presented by the President to the Second Session of the 84th Congress.
The ... Party supports an immigration policy which is in keeping with the traditions of America in providing a haven for oppressed peoples, and which is based on equality of treatment, freedom from implications of discrimination between racial, nationality and religious groups, and flexible enough to conform to changing needs and conditions.
The Middle East has been strengthened by the defensive unity of the four "northern tier" countries--Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan--which hold gateways to the vast oil resources upon which depend the industry and military strength of the free world. This was made possible by the liberation of Iran from the grip of the Communist Tudeh Party. Iran has again made its oil reserves available to the world under an equitable settlement negotiated by the United States. We have maintained, and will maintain, friendly relations with all nations in this vital area, seeking to mediate differences among them, and encouraging their legitimate national aspirations.
We will continue efforts with friends and allies to assist the underdeveloped areas of the free world in their efforts to attain greater freedom, independence and self-determination, and to raise their standards of living.
We recognize the existence of a major threat to international peace in the Near East. We support a policy of impartial friendship for the peoples of the Arab states and Israel to promote a peaceful settlement of the causes of tension in that area, including the human problem of the Palestine-Arab refugees.
We regard the preservation of Israel as an important tenet of American foreign policy. We are determined that the integrity of an independent Jewish State shall be maintained. We shall support the independence of Israel against armed aggression. The best hope for peace in the Middle East lies in the United Nations. We pledge our continued efforts to eliminate the obstacles to a lasting peace in this area.
We recognize that no single nation can alone defend the liberty of all nations threatened by Communist aggression or subversion. Mutual security means effective mutual cooperation. Poverty and unrest in less developed countries make them the target for international communism. We must help them achieve the economic growth and stability necessary to attain and preserve their independence.
We shall continue the bipartisan development of foreign policies. We hold this necessary if those policies are to have continuity, and be regarded by other free nations as dependable.
One of the brightest areas of achievement and progress under the ... Administration has been in resource conservation and development and in sound, long-range public works programming.
We subscribe to the general objectives of groups seeking to guard the beauty of our land and to promote clean, attractive surroundings throughout America.
We recognize the need for maintaining isolated wilderness areas to provide opportunity for future generations to experience some of the wilderness living through which the traditional American spirit of hardihood was developed.


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