Last week House Minority Leader John Boehner said that the Democrats were “snuffing out the America I grew up in.” Seeing as how he grew up in the 1950’s — a time of segregation, Red scares, “duck and cover”, Jim Crow, and institutionalized misogyny, it was thought that he might want to revise his view. Perhaps he’d rather have grown up in a time when political parties aspired to greater and better things; a more just and equal society, an unfettered global economy, and — perhaps — lower taxes for the rich since the maximum rate in 1959 was 87%.
There was a party at the time that did aspire to those goals and more, including fair labor laws, equal pay for women, immigration, clean water, and preserving natural resources.
We shall ever build anew, that our children and their children, without distinction because of race, creed or color, may know the blessings of our free land.
We believe that basic to governmental integrity are unimpeachable ethical standards and irreproachable personal conduct by all people in government. We shall continue our insistence on honesty as an indispensable requirement of public service. We shall continue to root out corruption whenever and wherever it appears.
We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people.
We shall continue vigorously to support the United Nations.
The spirit of our people is the strength of our nation.
America does not prosper unless all Americans prosper.
Government must have a heart as well as a head.
Courage in principle, cooperation in practice make freedom positive.
Business and Economic Policy
We shall continue to advocate the maintenance and expansion of a strong, efficient, privately-owned and operated and soundly financed system of transportation that will serve all of the needs of our Nation under Federal regulatory policies that will enable each carrier to realize its inherent economic advantages and its full competitive capabilities.
…[C]ontinue to fight for dynamic and progressive programs which, among other things, will:
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;
Strengthen and improve the Federal-State Employment Service and improve the effectiveness of the unemployment insurance system;
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;
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;
Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable;
Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;
Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment;
…[P]rotect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public. The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy…
Health, Education and Welfare
…[T]he physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of the people is as important as their economic health. It will continue to support this conviction with vigorous action.
…[L]eadership has enlarged Federal assistance for construction of hospitals, emphasizing low-cost care of chronic diseases and the special problems of older persons, and increased Federal aid for medical care of the needy.
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, […], Federal assistance to help build facilities to train more physicians and scientists.
We have encouraged a notable expansion and improvement of voluntary health insurance, and urge that reinsurance and pooling arrangements be authorized to speed this progress.
We have strengthened the Food and Drug Administration, and we have increased the vocational rehabilitation program to enable a larger number of the disabled to return to satisfying activity.
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.
We initiated the first flood insurance program in history under Government sponsorship in cooperation with private enterprise.
We shall continue to seek extension and perfection of a sound social security system.
…[S]upports 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.
We believe that such a policy serves our self-interest, reflects our responsibility for world leadership and develops maximum cooperation with other nations in resolving problems in this area.
Recreation, parks and wildlife.
We favor a comprehensive study of the effect upon wildlife of the drainage of our wetlands.
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…
If this platform was presented today, I daresay Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann and John Boehner would pronounce it as liberal pablum and leftist Armageddon. Ironically, it is the Republican Platform of 1956. In other words, it’s from the America he grew up in.
And the Republicans won in 1956.
HT to Misty.