Tag Archives: Reagan

Obituary for the Republican Party: 1854-2016

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.GOP

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.

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