Taking the Republican Party away from these current usurpers will be a long overdue restoration, and quite frankly, it couldn’t come at a better time.
Everyone wants harmony and happy endings, I know, so I wish I could be more accommodating, but quite frankly, when Mitt Romney’s lost in 2012, just 10 years ago, his loss was laid at the feet of “conservatives” who refused to vote for him, especially after he displayed a diminishing vigor for winning in the foreign policy debate, where he should have mopped up the floor with Barack Obama.
We all came away scratching our heads, only it’s clear now that the GOP Establishment, with Romney’s niece, Ronna McDaniel, as the new head of the Party since 2017, (and Donald Trump just inaugurated) had decided to get rid of its old fashioned free-born conservative wing; the Christians, the Pro-Lifers, the farmers, small business, the rubes, the un-hip and unsophisticated….and go with the Democrats’ manual on bought-and-paid-for mass audiences, each packaged just like a Weekend Sales item at Walmart…not knowing that the Democrats already owned the top-shelf of voters, allowing their majority in Congress to hold onto their shelf inventory. By greasing the palms of Republican leadership, Democrats could allow enough second-class inventory to come in from Asia to allow the GOP to hold onto 35%-40% of the stock value of the store.
The GOP establishment today lives under the misguided belief that it either can 1) go it alone, or 2) as long as there is a Left the left-behind GOP will always vote the lesser of two evils, even as “lesser” continues to become more and more cloudy.
You see, when you get rid of 60% of your party’s voting base, without any hope of replacing it, the only other place the core GOP Establishment can go for safe haven is to be melded into the larger party…as junior partners. This is the probable strategy of the GOP today;
…sanctuary, based entirely on matters of class, economic station and the perquisites of power.
In short, being junior partners to the Democrats in a hereditary ruling class is preferable to having to roll up one’s sleeves and go back to the days of great grandmama and grandpapa, and start felling trees and clearing land all over again, and worse, hob-knobbing with dirty, sweaty farmers and shop workers.
This reaction is also in accordance with their modern educations, and manufactured nature, so remember: don’t get angry at #cottonmouths for being #cottonmouths. The Republican Party has been slowly seething over all those unkempt people coming around for dinner since Ronald Reagan first invited them over in 1981. “At least they could have the decency to come around to the back door, so the neighbors won’t see.”
About those sweaty farmers, Blacks, and the original GOP Brand
The Doctrine of Liberty
I bring this up to point out that the GOP Establishment’s claim of supremacy within the Party rises or falls on its legitimacy to carry that original Republican Party’s banner, which was all about those sweaty farmers and shopkeepers, not to mention those newly emancipated slaves and soon to arrive immigrants to work the steel mills
The Doctrine of Liberty is that original Republican banner. And its our contract with the People. (And yes, I am one…son of a coal miner, himself the son of the coal miner who ran away from 3-4 generation of farmers in east Tennessee, only too poor to afford slaves. He thus avoided becoming a Jim Crow voter, only Grandad didn’t hang around, and as a miner (for over 30 yrs) out-earned the entire Tennessee clan, by going a different way entirely. The wisest man I ever knew, He kept a loaded Colt, brass knuckles and leather blackjack right next to his open Bible and a volume of Josephus, all right next to his bed.
When seen from this angle, the Doctrine of Liberty made a lot of sense for over a century.
There has been two Republican Parties since the 1870s at least, one for Liberty, just described), the other for Wealth, (not to be confused with “free markets”.) I hereby claim the Doctrine of Liberty as the older banner of the two, as well as the one that represents the far larger number of Americans and the one that has the greater chance of actually growing the Party in size in the future.
This “meets and surpasses” all requirements for legitimacy.
I claim for that part of the Party that has paid in blood, sweat and tears the right to claim it. I claim for the inclusive Republican Party, not the exclusive one. I claim for the Party of the American Doctrine of Liberty instead the American Doctrine of Wealth and Class.
George William Curtis, who most of you have never heard of, was a co-founder of the Republican Party in 1856. He wrote platform policy for John C Fremont (the Party’s first presidential candidate in 1856) when no one knew who Abraham Lincoln was.
Although the philosophical deepest of the early Republicans, Curtis would have been considered a Tea Partier today, for he was unbending about the purposes of the Constitution and its transcendent value for all mankind. Curtis, like the Founding Fathers, sided with the aspirations of the common men and women of America, the same sort of people his own American ancestors were (The Roosevelts and Rockefellers both started out as farmers, too.). Curtis gratefully acknowledged the strength of the shoulders he stood on, the lack of which is most notable among most Establishment Republicans these days.
In 1862, George William Curtis delivered his “Doctrine of Liberty” address to the Phi beta Kappa Society at Harvard (yep, that Phi Beta Kappa and that Harvard), on behalf of President Lincoln, who was encouraging support for the Emancipation Proclamation.
(Note: When I first published much of this essay in 2013, I included an internet link. They no longer can be found. FYI, be your own judge, but Big Media doesn’t want this to be free read.)
In it, Curtis laid out the intellectual foundations for the purpose of American education that would last another thirty years in academe, and in public schools, nearly one hundred.
I highlighted that sentence because most people have forgotten that before the Republican Party was the party of low taxes (the “small government” plank came much later) it was the party of Liberty. That was its first banner, and the banner under which thousands of homesteads and farm-cots sent their sons and husbands to free a race of people they had never seen. (Over 300,000 died.)
The first time in Man’s history that had ever happened, by the way.
Not wealth-production, not business, low taxes, a strong military defense, but the fundamental dignity of man and liberty, the individual right to pursue life and happiness…fueled by a strong belief in God…did those men fight and die.
The GOP’s Second Coming
Of course the fabric of America would change with the post-Civil War Industrial Revolution that would bring millions of emigrant workers to our shores, and with it untold wealth to many men who would be there, firstest with the mostest, to stake claims in mining and transportation, laying the foundation for the industrial nation that would later achieve the title “The Engine of Democracy.” At one time just a handful of them would claim over a quarter of the entire US economy. But what they did not envision was that millions of those immigrants, in their next, and next generations, by then mixed with the original colonial stock, would prove Adam Smith’s laws about “free market competition” all the way down to the corner burger joint.
You gotta give the Gilded Age credit for what they achieved, too. But they were businessmen, not philosophers (as Ayn Rand always dreamt.) Some were pretty sorry apples, but most were good men. John D Rockefeller tithed a full 10% til the day he died. And they all understood power and its exercise. So they selected politicians who would protect their interests, and since the Republican Party was the big he-bull in Washington after the Civil War, they chose Republicans. Big business was their philosophical doctrine. “Small Business” would be a term their great grandchildren would encounter, and many, even today, none too kindly, reminiscent of the French and their classification of the “petite bourgeoisie” as an immobile, and lowest, class that could only feed themselves by feeding their neighbors, but never get any bigger. (The Black Death-Bubonic Plague ended that, but the upper classes, the royals, the John Kerry’s, the Clintons, the Obamas, never saw saw the world that way. Nor did the slave-aristocracy of the South, and now their children.)
So in some respects they were naive politicians, in that they saw the Constitution as a social-Darwinist contract that rewarded the winners and left the losers to their own devices, with really very few options at the time. (Go to the old Soviet Bloc today, with their new rich, and you will see this belief writ large, only they are less inclined to think God handpicked them for their good fortune.)
So these early Republican deep pockets were not much into the handshake between the man at the top of the hill and the fellow down at the bottom of the hill. But they had their occasional Andrew Carnegie’s, head-and-shoulders above the Bill Gates of the modern philanthropic world.
That would come later, on the back of the next generation of entrepreneurs, in applied technology, Henry Ford, Edison, Bell, and manufacturing and retail, John Sears, all of who spawned the first real small business expansion in America. Sam Walton passed his belief in philanthropy onto his children. Not sure how that’s worked with their next generation.
But most American’s never got a single handshake from the original barons of wealth creation, and had to build themselves up by their own bootstraps. It turns out that ability was part of the original formula going back to that “Doctrine of Liberty” Curtis described about the prospects that lay ahead for soon-to-be-free black men and women.
Still, the black-tie Republicans maintained their high political station until after WWII, when the east coast was still solidly part of the old Republican Establishment, even though the real politics of America had moved far away from their clubs and drawing rooms. By 1948 they had become a parody when Harry Truman beat Thomas Dewey in 1948.
Still, that thinking still controls the GOP…with money and class.
So, with the Doctrine of Liberty abandoned, what else can the modern GOP Establishment claim as its banner? Yes, it was the party of low taxes, but if you’ll check, it lost out on tax policy around 1913 and Woodrow Wilson, Reagan having cut rates more in 1986 than in all the previous Republican administrations since Coolidge. And the philosophy of “small government” was Reagan’s, with a little help from Coolidge, and of course, the Founders. And now Trump. (I think.)
So, whatever else the original rich ruling class country club Republicans were, they were lousy at governance for all the people, who they only knew as employees. From 1865 until 1900 the only Democrat conservative in the White House was the Grover Cleveland, who was so good at conservatism the Democrat Party was restructured in 1896 into the leftwing party it has been since, casting Cleveland out.
All that held it check in 1896 was the Doctrine of Liberty at the grass roots.
(Conservatives might wish to study how that Democrat Party transition took place, for within a decade, those new-and-improved Democrats controlled our government entirely, and have since, except for that brief hiatus with Reagan, and more recently with Trump, Trump with well over 80 million chomping at the bit to re-introduce the Doctrine of Liberty. Although Dems have been in an out of power several times, they have always controlled the debate except until Reagan and Trump stepped forward to reclaim the field at the national level for the original party banner, the Doctrine of Liberty.)
In summary, by 1900 the Doctrine of Liberty had been expelled from the major colleges and universities in the East, replaced by the Euro-centric class-based doctrines of Hegel and Marx, brought here by the very children of those wealthy businessmen who thought their children would be better served to study abroad. (Euro-penis envy.)
Socialism had been introduced as if it were a new song from Tin Pan Alley or a new Paris fashion. It was introduced the same way for another 30-50 years to the rest of higher education in America. You could see the “in-group” look on Occupy kid’s faces in 2011, Antifa and “female college bratlings” of today, just as it was at the University of Illinois in 1931, or my University of Kentucky in 1964.
But public schools in America, mainly because they were controlled by the local taxpayers, held to the Doctrine of Liberty, even through the FDR years, into the Vietnam War era, when finally the iron grip of federal money in public schools engulfed them. Now they are grooming kinds in Third Grade, with the help of school unions.
The Doctrine of Liberty still lives on, especially in those who were lucky enough (like Thomas Sowell, to be schooled before affirmative action”) to be grounded in the Doctrine in late 50s and early 60s, before it was kicked out.
Recently they were called “Tea Party”, the last repository of Curtis’ Doctrine of Liberty and since 2020, MAGA.
The people of the Doctrine have always been there to stop any apparent threat, with or without the Republican Party. They rushed to the barricades to elect George W Bush to prevent a continuation of the Clinton brothel, and just in time it seems. They rallied to beat Obama in 2010 in the mid-terms. And in 2012, 2014 and 2016, they stormed from their recesses to elect “the know-nothing” Donald Trump, who appears to have always been deeply invested in the Doctrine of Liberty.
It’s time this nonsense is ended.
The Republican Party establishment hasn’t had its fingerprint on the Doctrine of Liberty in over 130 years. Still, that’s what kept the Leftism of the Democrats from consuming America in the Wilson era, the Roosevelt era, and into the modern era. It is still alive, despite several attempts on its life,
…and Donald Trump is its Banner. But there need to be at least five more coming after him, only I doubt the Republican Party will stand for it. They may even sue in New York.
I’m no fan of third parties, but quite frankly, the prospect doesn’t frighten me, for the natural constituency of the Doctrine of Liberty is 70% of the current Republican Party but also easily 40% of the Democrat Party. Yes, I mean their client base, too. I already stated (above) what the political basis for immigration should be. Well, imagine going into the inner city with the promise that “We’re going to get you out, no more more drugs, no more gangs, no more organizers. Here’s the ladder.”
It will take some work, but we already know this is a place the GOP doesn’t want to dirty their hands.
Demographically, the GOP Establishment is strongest where it is already a minority, in the old GOP strongholds of the east and urban centers. GOP Establishment types like to hang out at courthouses, municipal buildings and state GOP headquarters, and never on street corners, so really have no chance of getting larger. Why should we worry if we’re going to lose half of the votes in blue states we’re going to lose anyway, especially if we can, over time, take twice as many away from the Democrats?
I’m sure the GOP is made up of some fine people originally. But we also know the system that pervades the Party once they enter Congress or the front office of GOP state and national headquarters; they are seduced and threatened, always with money or lack of it, and that money is tied to virtually every vote. It’s a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, just give the handlers time.
Personally, I like Trump’s chances. So, let’s take the Doctrine of Liberty and turn it into a Doctrine of Emancipation. Only the Doctrine can prevail against this evil wind.
Shake the dust of the current GOP off your shoes. Either form a third party, or declare yourselves and cry, “Lay on, and damned be him who first cries “Hold enough.”
Drop the Tea Party moniker and a new Party. MAGA might work for awhile.
But wrap yourselves in the original Republican brand and you will see several ways forward to accomplish either.
Me? I want to live to see the next Conservative president elected, because if I don’t, neither my children nor my grandchildren will either.