Few people today are aware that the birth of the Republican Party was a movement of anti-slavery activists in the northern states. That statement should cause a few folks to take off their hoods and scratch their heads. This new party was a powerful force in the north from shortly after its birth until 1932 when demographics changed. The party was named for its ancestors from the Revolution and their intense interest in republicanism.
The party grew big and strong, spawning many powerful and influential politicians. The Grand Old Party (GOP as it was nicknamed), provided 18 presidents, among the most notable were Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. The most recent, and final president was George W. Bush, elected in a fiercely debated election ultimately decided by the Supreme Court.
The Republican Party suffered significant losses under the presidency of Democrat Franklin Roosevelt. His “New Deal” coalition nearly broke the Republican Party, and dramatically changed the political alliances of the entire nation. Minority voters fled to the other party and the strength of the GOP eventually shifted from the industrialized north to the rural south. The Republican Party was the underdog party until the latter half of the 20th century and the election of several Republican presidents.
Ronald Reagan served from 1981 to 1989, and still to this day, Republicans invoke his name at the conclusion of prayers, and when they seek respect from the party faithful. The Republican Party has held strong to conservative values, and frequently claims to own the high ground on moral issues.
However, with the loss of the White House in 2008, the Grand Old Party suffered a serious setback and never recovered. In a touch of irony, the party, which was started by anti-slavery folks, found it unbearable that a black man was now president.
Since the 2008 election, the Republican Party tried to return to relevance. There was a momentary spark of life when it appeared the patient might make it with successful elections in 2010. However, the Party relapsed into a coma once it was obvious that the Tea Party faction was nothing more than a shot of adrenaline, having no significant long-term benefits.
The Republican Party tried to rally around a common hated for the president and the vow to do nothing and make sure no one else could do anything either. It was a strategy that not only angered the opposition, but also alienated many of the rank and file Party members.
Finally, with one last hope, a presidential election slated for 2016, Republicans thought they might be able to breathe life back into the lifeless party. Every Republican Party member who had ever dreamed of being President threw his/her hat in the ring. However, it came to an abrupt end when Donald Trump floated down an escalator spouting even more hatred and anger than Republican leaders had ever heard from one another.
The Republican Party was officially pronounced dead on June 16, 2015, as it lay crumpled on the floor of Trump Towers in New York City. It took months for party faithful to recognize the truth, with Ted Cruz and John Kasich desperately clinging to life until May 3, 2016.
The Republican Party was preceded in death by the following:
- Federalist Party in 1820
- Democratic-Republican Party in 1824
- Anti-Masonic Party in 1835
- Greenback Party in 1884
- Anti-Monopoly Party also in 1884 (obviously a difficult year for politicians)
- Silver Republican Party in 1900
- Bull Moose Party in 1914
- Vegetarian Party in 1964
- America First Party in 1996 (although Donald Trump might be reviving this party)
- Christian Freedom Party in 2004
- American Party in 2008
Survivors of the Republican Party include:
- Jeb Bush – the man who was supposed to be the Party’s Presidential Candidate
- Paul Ryan – Speaker of the House and leader of a group of politicians who no longer have a place to call home
- Ted Cruz – a stepchild of the Republican Party who was never invited to sit at the grownup’s table
- John Kasich – a longtime member of the party who refuses to admit the Party is dead. Last word is that he is in the Witness Protection Program until the Cleveland convention in July when he plans to magically appear with his 153 Delegates along with Benny Hinn and miraculously raise the Party from the dead.
- John McCain who is still living in a retirement community in Arizona, popping up every time a television camera is in the vicinity
- Fox News – soon to petition the FCC for a name change to the Trump Channel.
Funeral services for the Republican Party are scheduled for November 8, 2016. Rush Limbaugh will read the eulogy. Pall bearers include George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Glen Beck, and Dick Chaney. Plans for a twenty-one gun salute have been cancelled for fear that too many attendees will be armed and a massive gun battle might break out. Instead of flowers, you are asked to send a contribution to the “Make America Great Again” super-PAC.