Friday, May 18, 2007

What Happened to the Party of Lincoln?

Today we live in a country where some enjoy a good life with the practice of getting poor foreigners to work for them. Some people here just feel like they need to have these poor foreigners doing this work that no American worker wants to do. Some people justify this practice by arguing that bringing these poor foreigners is an act of kindness. They will be taken care of here better than any place else. If we really think about it this is not the first time some folks in this country were enjoying a good life with the practice of getting poor foreigners to work for them. Today the poor foreigners come from Mexico to pick tomatoes, pack meat, or clean livestock pens. Years ago the poor foreigners came from West Africa to pick cotton, cut sugar cane, or harvest tobacco.

I let Google be my friend, and I found an interesting little item that described the history of the Republican Party. An excerpt:

The Republican Party evolved during the 1850's when the issue of slavery forced divisions within the existing Whig and Democratic Republican parties. Faced with political turmoil, a new party -- dedicated to states rights and a restricted role of government in economic and social life -- began making history.

Alan Earl Bovay, one of the founders of the Republican Party, believed that a new party should be formed to represent the interests of the North and the abolitionists. He decided to call that party "Republican" because it was a simple, yet significant word synonymous with equality. Moreover, Thomas Jefferson had earlier chosen "Republican" to refer to his party, which gave the name respect borne of historical significance.

The first stirrings of the Republican Party came in February, 1854, when Whig Party defectors met privately in Crawfordsville, Iowa, to call for the creation of a new political party. The first public meeting was held one month later at a small church in Ripon, Wisconsin, when Alan Bovay rallied anti-slavery forces and adopted resolutions opposing the Kansas Nebraska Act.

A second meeting was held in a one story schoolhouse in Ripon on March 20, 1854. Fifty-four citizens, including three women, dissolved their local committees and chose five men to serve as the committee of the new party: Alan Bovay, Jebediah Bowen, Amos Loper, Abram Thomas, and Jacob Woodruff. Said Mr. Bovay: "We went into the little meeting Whigs, Free Soilers, and Democrats. We came out Republicans and...were the first Republicans in the Union."

In July of the same year, when the meeting hall was too small, the "Anti- Nebraska Convention" met in a grove of oak trees in Jackson, Michigan, to write a national platform and concentrate its efforts to counter the Democrats plan to extend slavery to new territories joining the Union. The new party adopted a platform, nominated candidates for state offices, and produced two anti-slavery resolutions, one of which stated, " view of the necessity of battling against the schemes of an aristocracy, the most revolting and oppressive with which the Earth was ever cursed or man debased, we will cooperate and be known as Republicans."

In 1856, "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Speech, Free Men, Freemont!" was the slogan of the Republican Party. At its first national convention in Philadelphia, the party nominated John C. Freemont for president (Abraham Lincoln was proposed for vice-president, but Senator William L. Dayton won the nomination). Although the party lost the election to the Democrats, it captured a third of the total vote, boosting its optimism for the 1860 elections.

"It is the eternal struggle between these two principles—right and wrong—throughout the world: They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, 'You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it.' No matter in what shape it comes . . . it is the same tyrannical principle."

“Republicans are for both the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before the dollar.
Abraham Lincoln

Now I am certain that some wiseguy is going to tell me that I am all wet because illegal cheap labor is performed by poor foreigners who were not forced to enter this country like those poor foreigners from West Africa. The difference between then and now is not a change of heart. It is a change of strategy. The strategy then was to control poor foreigners through a brutal forceful master with a whip. The strategy now is to offer candy in the form of offering a paying job. Once they accept this deal, and come here they are told they have no rights, and they must toe the line and make no trouble. I hate this marriage of convenience between some rich guy who wants a pool of cheap labor and Democrats who want a pool of new voters. Abe, what happened to your party? I miss you. A LOT.

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