1967 and 1968

After 1966, I felt the Republican Party would become a Moderate to Progressive force in our country.  They would address the issues and use the combined resources of federal, state and local governments, private enterprise, unions, and other interests.  The basic idea was, in a joint effort to identify problems, take coordinated  action, and  move toward a final goal.  We will never achieve these goals which will, of course, change at intervals; but we should see progress.

This was in marked contrast to the approach of the Democratic Party.  Democrats often presented their ideas in regional and group terms not in ways that would benefits the entire country.  These programs may have been desirable but they did not comprise a comprehensive national policy.  All they reflected was a knee jerk reaction to a perceived problem and a rush to spend money.

This progress was lacking as we recall the urban unrest of the next two years after the Republican gains in 1966.   We still had a long way to go.  The summer of 1967 saw riots erupting all across the country.  Following the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 the same type violence continued.

In Washington, D.C. , the area around the White House became an armed camp.  Other sections of the city and suburbs were marginally better.   The Democratic Convention in Chicago is still a bitter memory with clashes between police, delegates, students, and minorities.  No doubt this was a big factor in Richard Nixon’s narrow victory over Vice President Humphrey in November of 1968.  Both New York and Philadelphia stayed quiet during both summers.

In willing the Presidency,  Richard Nixon was able to gain the support of  Liberals within the Republican Party.  Edward Brooke from Massachusetts,  Margaret Chase Smith from Maine,  Robert Griffin and George Romney from Michigan,  Charles Percy from Illinois, Thruston Morton of Kentucky, and Mark Hatfield from Oregon all preferred Governor Rockefeller but supported Nixon after the Convention.  Repubican Liberals later began a nose dive.

TBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Republican Gains in 1966

After their 1964 debacle,  a few Republicans met at the Capitol with  the Conservative Philosophy seemingly dead,  or nearly so.  They talked about ways to bring the party in line with the times involving new faces, new ideas, and new programs. One year after the Goldwater loss stood a major Republican victory.

In November of 1965, John Lindsay won the election as Mayor of New York with a plurality of votes.   Lindsay had won four elections in the 17th Congressional District for New York State.   Halfway into his fourth term,  Lindsay decided to stay at home and take care of business from Gracie Mansion.  In percentages, here were the final results.  No one can really measure the effect that William Buckley had on the final outcome.  We can say that 14% is a good measure of how voters were dissatisfied with both the Republicans and Democrats.

R-Lindsay 45%…..D-Abraham Beame 41%…..Conservative….William F. Buckley 14%

With this victory, Republicans began laying the groundwork for 1966.   Former Vice President Richard Nixon campaigned for Repubican candidates from all over the country  regardless of their positions on the issues.  Nixon campaigned for Republican Liberals  like Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky and Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York; and for Conservatives such as John Tower of Texas and Howard Baker from Tennessee.

Hurting the Democrats was a war of words between Nixon and President Johnson over the Conference in Manila related to the Vietnam war in late October.  Nixon appeared conciliatory and Johnson seemed on the defensive and vindictive.  Republicans maintained their hold on Governors across the country, won 47 new House seats, and three new Senate seats.

On the cover of Newsweek stood pictures of the new  GOP galaxy.  Republican winners in 1966 were Mark Hatfield of Oregon, Charles Percy of Illinois,  Edward Brooke and Elliot Richardson of Massachusetts, the Rockefellers, Nelson in New York and Winthrop in Arkansas,  and George Romney and Robert Griffin, of Michigan.  TBC

Republican Progressives

Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, believed in the primacy of the Federal Government to assure a better standard of living for everyone.  To preserve and extend freedom is goal of our government.  That is a simple statement but the tasks involved are interlocking, numerous, and complicated.

The Republican Party has throughout the 20th century followed a Moderate to Progressive stance that has at times served the country well at least at the national level. Here is a quick incomplete  summary

Presidents-Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Dwight Eisenhower

Wendell Willkie and Tom Dewey lost Presidential Elections but jump started  the Republican  Party with a sense modernism and international responsibility.  They laid the track for Senator Arthur Vandenberg’s change from isolationism to the internationalism.

Senators-Robert LaFollotte, George Norris, Robert A. Taft, and Henry Cabot Lodge.

William Howard Taft won the election for President in 1908.  While basically progressive in his outlook,  big business had its way on several key issues.  In a three way Presidential Election in 1912,  Taft carried only Vermont and Utah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moderate Republicans

The lessons from the 1964 debacle is that the government exists to enhance freedom, provide economic security, and protect us from enemies be they foreign or domestic.  It has a vital role in our society together with corporations, small business, the military, trade unions, and the individual.  It is not something to fear or avoid.  A political party or the entire government has no philosophy if it rests on the assumption that there is no government responsibly whatever.   Lacking this responsibility, a country will decline in power uncertain of where it is and  the directions it’s going.

At the same time real danger of modern central government is the pervasive threat to individual liberties that stems from any undue concentration of power.  Our citizens must never entrust to any hands but their own the task of  the preservation and perpetuity of their own liberties and institutions.  The safeguarding of individual worth includes the creation or protection of basic conditions of living that will not permit people who cannot help themselves to live below a minimum standard of decency.

This summary of Lincoln’s is whether any government not to strong for the liberties of is people can be strong enough to maintain its own existence in great emergencies.  It is a question of a balance that is precarious and requires constant vigilance.

TBC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservative Movement II

After the GOP debacle in 1964, the Republican Leaders met in Washington DC in January 1965 to develop in some new ideas.  Their old lines  “… Reduce spending, cut taxes, balance the budget,  leave the workload to the private sector …”  just was not practical in a modern complex society.

Abraham Lincoln, a hundred years earlier said it best.  “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.

Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations wrote that “…the last duty of the sovereign or commonwealth is that of erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works, which though they may be in the highest degree advantageous to society, are, however, of such a nature that the project could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, and which it cannot therefore be expected that the individual or small number of individuals should erect or maintain. The performance of this duty requires very different degrees of expense in different periods of society.

Republicans generally followed this tradition until the 1964.  The convention which nominated Senator Goldwater dropped to a all time low in democratic procedures culminating in the audience booing Governor Nelson Rockefeller.  All Rockefeller asked for, in eloquent terms, was a condemnation  of extremist views of the Communist Party, the American Nazi Party, the John Birch Society, and the Klu Klux Klan.

I don’t need to recount the bitter feelings which existed after the Republican Convention.  The avalanche that took place on election day swept out legions of Republican office holders across the land.   Over 600 Republican state and city legislators lost their seats.  A total of 37 Representatives went down to defeat, among them the strongest Goldwater supporters.  TBC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Political Novel-Allen Drury

BACKGROUND

Novels and movies about politics in America for years were off limits.  I suspect authors and writers were afraid that their novels might, in a subtle way, influence national elections, laws and bills in Congress, and even Supreme Court decisions.  Law Suites were  a constant fear.

Of course no writing is free from bias.  Even so, I don’t think that reporting true stories, even with this certain bias, poses a real problem.  The subtle message is what worries the authors.   Writers can gradually influence public opinion or erode confidence in our basic ideas set forth in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other historic documents.  That is the real threat.   Also, writers will not mention the political party but just state the Majority and Minority party.

Finally readers should not attempt to find real life counterparts to the characters in the novels.  Or if done, to keep to an absolute minimum.   Otherwise, readers will spend too much time in character analysis and lose the whole meaning  of the plot.

BASIC MESSAGES IN HIS BOOK

In virtually all of Allen Drury’s books the two central themes are the Cold War tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and our attempts to maintain law and order in this country.  Here are some basic ideas.

–We must have a National Defense second to none in the word.  This includes the latest  most sophisticated systems from Research and Development to Procurement covering both first strike capability as well as pure defense against attack.

–Defense has a higher priority than Social Programs.  Defense is all that worries our potential adversaries.  Social programs exist at all levels of government; defense is all within the Federal Government.

–Drury views organized labor as a great threat.  Drury mentioned labor unrest in the novel The Throne Of Saturn with left wing sympathizers sabotaging the entire effort.

–The last point the author made was his distrust of the liberal media in television, newspapers,  and movies.  Drury feels that they downplay the threats from  Russia, Mainland China,  and smaller Left Wing Governments.   At the same time, the media holds our country to  standards which perhaps are too high to be realistic.  Drury certainly does not deny that social problems exist in this country.   He does make a valid point.  Meaningful progress will most always be slow.

The media should state and show where improvements have occurred.  To use a phrase from President Nixon;  it’s time to state what’s right about America.

 

 

 

 

 

The Conservative Movement I

There is some disagreement as to what started this country on its shift to the right.  So far I have not heard my idea from anyone.  Just hold on.

Barry Goldwater was a high minded most likable person who was effective in writing and speaking for his beliefs; but the 1964 Presidential Election was  not the beginning of this country accepting Conservative ideas.  I have read his book the Conscience of a Conservative many times.   Goldwater was neither a racist, a warmonger, or a man insensitive to human needs.

Having said this,  this book contained many proposals that were impractical and even dangerous.  He wanted to withdraw our recognition from the Soviet Union and not even consider a mission to Communist China.  Goldwater wanted private philanthropy and state governments to  handle all social welfare.  He voted against the landmark Civil Rights bill of 1964 driving minorities and the urban poor away from the Repubican Party right into the lap of the Democrats.

His nay vote on the Civil Rights Bill did enable the Repubican Party, for the first time since Reconstruction to easily  carry the five sates of the Deep South-Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.   Elsewhere it was a disaster.

Consider his home state Arizona.  With the exception of 1996, Republicans have easily won Arizona.  This Copper State did go for Bill Clinton in 1996. The only other time the Democrats  came close to winning Arizona ironically was 1964 when Barry Goldwater defeated Lyndon Johnson with 50.2% of the popular vote or a margin off just under 5,000 votes.  For the only time since 1952,  the Democrats in 1964 won with President Johnson  in Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

In January of 1965, Republicans held a meeting in Washington, DC with the idea of bringing the GOP more in tunes with the times.  More later