The Forgetful Elephant: A Quick History Lesson for Today’s GOP
This political party is doing everything it can to get the word out about these issues and concerns. Its backers have major influence in today’s media. This party is aided by its ties to the churches, who often implore their members to vote for this party. This party has a wide variety of supporters from all socio-economic backgrounds; however, its opponents have been successful in casting this political party as the party of the wealthy.
Despite all this, this major political party is being pulled about by the major social issues of its day. The broad coalition within this part is being torn apart and cannot seem to come to a consensus concerning major issues affecting today’s average American citizen. At a time where the economy is doing fairly well, many of the best and brightest minds of the political party are opting for other, more lucrative careers rather than getting into politics.
Such is life here in 1850′s America.
Yes, you read that correctly. The issues of the Republican Party circa 2013 are eerily reminiscent of the Whig Party, which became a major political party in the United States from the 1830s through the early part of the 1850s. The Whigs believed that “King” Andrew Jackson was a tyrant who was abusing the office of the presidency, much like today’s Republicans believe Barack Obama is doing. The Whigs of the 1830s and 1840s controlled the day’s media, largely thanks to the efforts of Horace Greeley at The New York Tribune. Today’s Republican Party has a massive media presence thanks to the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch. The Whigs of the 1830s and 1840s were made up of people from all walks of life, but Democrats were able to successfully paint them as the party of the rich. The same idea holds true today with Democrats casting Republicans as the “party of the 1%”.
What caused the demise of the Whigs of the 1850s was the fact that they were unable to deal with the issue of slavery after the Compromise of 1850, which, oddly enough, was originally a Whig idea by Henry Clay from Kentucky. Northern Whigs wanted to see slavery abolished while southern Whigs, many of them slave owners, wanted to see the institution of slavery continue. Today’s Republican Party is unable to deal with the Affordable Care Act, originally a Republican idea from Mitt Romney and the Heritage Foundation. As we have seen this past week, Republicans remain sharply divided about what to do with the law. With the Whig party lost out on a central issue it had originally supported, its best and brightest members left the party. With today’s Republican Party speaking out against The Affordable Care Act, we’ve seen the best and brightest member of the party speak out against the law by quoting Dr. Seuss, Ashton Kutcher, and Ayn Rand.