GOP Platform Flashback: “Government Must Have a Heart”

<a href="http://www.zumapress.com">Andrew Shurtleff</a>/ZUMAPress & <a href="http://www.flickr.com">davelawrence8</a>/Flickr

Last week, President Obama accused the GOP of time-warping back to the days of “black and white TV.” True, the party’s policies, especially on women and civil rights, are straight out of the 50s (if not the Middle Ages). But Obama’s jab wasn’t quite fair to Republicans of the Leave it To Beaver era, whose 1956 platform seems downright progressive when compared with some of the retrograde planks laid out in the 2012 version. The year President Dwight Eisenhower ran for a second term against Adlai Stevenson, the platform sung the praises of unions, called for government to have a “heart as well as a head,” and backed the doomed Equal Rights Amendment. Oh, and the 1956 Dems were a lot more agro on labor, and positively chest-thumping when it came to defense. Scroll down to check out how the parties’ positions have shifted over the past 50-plus years.

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Image credits: donkey: The Noun Project; elephant: Adrijan Karavdic, from The Noun Project.

 

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  • Jaeah is a former reporter at Mother Jones. For more of her stories, click here.

  • Erika Eichelberger is a reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. She has also written for The NationThe Brooklyn Rail, and TomDispatch. Email her at eeichelberger [at] motherjones [dot] com.