Watching the Republican debates and listening to the candidates it made me think about something that Lyndon Johnson supposedly said after he signed the Civil Rights Bill in 1964. He said that he had just given the South to the Republican Party. The joining of the former Democrats from the South with the already existing Goldwater conservative Republicans has given us the Republican Party of today. The Republican Party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt no longer exists. The use of fear and intolerance seems to define the Party today. In 1968 when Mitt Romney’s father ran for the Republican nomination for President his religion was not an issue. We thought that JFK had put the candidate's religion away as an issue. So have we progressed over the past five decades when a significant number of voters indicate they could never vote for a Mormon?
It is hard to remember that the Republican Party was a fairly diverse party in the 60’s and early 70’s. It had elected officials that ranged from conservative to liberal. Remember liberal Republicans? They really did exist at one time. Here in Maryland we had a liberal Republican senator for almost 20 years, Charles Mathias. He was joined in the Senate by fellow liberal senators like Jacob Javits from New York, Charles Percy from Illinois, Mark Hatfield from Oregon, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts and Lowell Weicker from Connecticut. It is sad to see what today has replaced these statesmen in the Republican Party. The Republican Party once had elected officials interested in governing.
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