Republican Party Philosophy

The Republican Party was formed in 1854 by people who were opposed to slavery. Today, the principle of liberty that led individuals to oppose slavery inspires the Republican Party to oppose the idea that the rewards of a person’s labors should be given to others and that our lives should be managed by government bureaucracies.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln expressed the philosophy of the Republican Party with these words.

“to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves, in their individual capacities. In all that people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.”

After the Civil War, Republicans passed the Thirteenth Amendment which outlawed slavery. They also passed the Fourteenth Amendment which guaranteed equal protection under the law and the Fifteenth Amendment which helped secure voting rights for African-Americans. The first African-American Congressional Representatives and Senators were Republicans.

Republicans believe that the principles of the party should be based upon the precepts laid down by the founders of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

– Limitations on the powers of government
– Emphasis on individual freedom and rights
– Equality under the law for all persons
– Separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches

Republicans believe that good government is based upon the individual and that each person’s ability, dignity, freedom and responsibility must be honored and recognized.

Republicans also believe that Free Enterprise and the encouragement of individual initiative and incentive have given the United States an economic system unparalleled in history.

Republicans further believe that Americans should value and preserve their feelings of national strength and pride and, at the same time, share with people everywhere a desire for peace and freedom and the extension of human rights throughout the world.

Differences Between Republicans and Democrats

The modern Democratic Party was founded by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The central idea of the Party is for the government to adjudicate the distribution of resources among various groups competing for the same monies. Present day Democrats view the United States as an array of groups whose demands must be met and not as a community of individuals.

Democrat administrations have worked to centralize power in Washington D.C. The party has favored federal interventions instead of allowing states and local communities to solve their problems. These federal interventions have resulted in federal regulations and controls that are usually written and administered by unelected bureaucrats.

I AM A REPUBLICAN BECAUSE …

I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.

I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.

I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.

I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.

I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations, and that the best government is that which governs least.

I BELIEVE most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.

I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.

I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.

FINALLY, I BELIEVE the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful government.

GOP Beliefs

I believe that our:

– Country is exceptional.
– America should be energy independent.
– Culture should respect and protect life.
– Children should never be left in failing schools.
– Leaders should serve people, not special interests.
– Constitution should be honored, valued, and upheld.
– Social programs should help lift people out of poverty.
– Government should be smaller, smarter and more efficient.
– Military must be strong and prepared to defend our shores.
– Health care decisions should be made by us and our doctors.
– Institution of traditional marriage is the foundation of society.
– Paychecks should not be wasted on poorly run government programs.
– Veterans should have the best care and opportunities in the world.
– Families and communities should be strong and free from government intrusion.

Republican Party, GOP History

Abraham LincolnThe Republican Party was born in the early 1850’s by anti-slavery activists and individuals who believed that government should grant western lands to settlers free of charge. The first informal meeting of the party took place in Ripon, Wisconsin, a small town northwest of Milwaukee. The first official Republican meeting took place on July 6th, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. The name “Republican” was chosen because it alluded to equality and reminded individuals of Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party. At the Jackson convention, the new party adopted a platform and nominated candidates for office in Michigan.

In 1856, the Republicans became a national party when John C. Fremont was nominated for President under the slogan: “Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men, Fremont.” Even though they were considered a “third party” because the Democrats and Whigs represented the two-party system at the time, Fremont received 33% of the vote. Four years later, Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican to win the White House.

The Civil War erupted in 1861 and lasted four grueling years. During the war, against the advice of his cabinet, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves. The Republicans of the day worked to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery, the Fourteenth, which guaranteed equal protection under the laws, and the Fifteenth, which helped secure voting rights for African-Americans.

The Republican Party also played a leading role in securing women the right to vote. In 1896, Republicans were the first major party to favor women’s suffrage. When the 19th Amendment finally was added to the Constitution, 26 of 36 state legislatures that had voted to ratify it were under Republican control. The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican, Jeanette Rankin from Montana in 1917.

Presidents during most of the late nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century were Republicans. The White House was in Republican hands under Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush. Under the last two, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the United States became the world’s only superpower, winning the Cold War from the old Soviet Union and releasing millions from Communist oppression.

Behind all the elected officials and the candidates of any political party are thousands of hard-working staff and volunteers who raise money, lick the envelopes, and make the phone calls that every winning campaign must have. The national structure of our party starts with the Republican National Committee. Each state has its own Republican State Committee with a Chairman and staff. The Republican structure goes right down to the neighborhoods, where a Republican precinct captain every Election Day organizes Republican workers to get out the vote.

Most states ask voters when they register to express party preference. Voters don’t have to do so, but registration lists let the parties know exactly which voters they want to be sure vote on Election Day. Just because voters register as a Republican, they don’t need to vote that way – many voters split their tickets, voting for candidates in both parties. But the national party is made up of all registered Republicans in all 50 states. They are the heart and soul of the party. Republicans have a long and rich history with basic principles: Individuals, not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home.

The symbol of the Republican Party is the elephant. During the mid term elections way back in 1874, Democrats tried to scare voters into thinking President Grant would seek to run for an unprecedented third term. Thomas Nast, a cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly, depicted a Democratic jackass trying to scare a Republican elephant – and both symbols stuck. For a long time Republicans have been known as the “G.O.P.” And party faithfuls thought it meant the “Grand Old Party.” But apparently the original meaning (in 1875) was “gallant old party.” And when automobiles were invented it also came to mean, “get out and push.” That’s still a pretty good slogan for Republicans who depend every campaign year on the hard work of hundreds of thousands of volunteers to get out and vote and push people to support the causes of the Republican Party.

From the Beginning
Abolishing slavery. Free speech. Women’s suffrage. These are all stances the Republican Party, in opposition to the Democratic Party, adopted early on.

The First Republican
With the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the Republicans firmly established themselves as a major party capable of holding onto the White House for 60 of the next 100 years.

The Bull Moose
Assuming the presidency when McKinley was assassinated in 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt busied himself with what he considered to be the most pressing issue, ensuring the Republican principle of competition in a free market.

Leading The Way On the Issues
Republicans fought to abolish slavery, give blacks equal rights and then the vote. Many Republican politicians risked their careers on that period’s “third rail” of politics.

Republican Women
Once again the Republican Party was the vanguard in relation to women. In 1917, Jeannette Rankin, a Montana Republican, became the first woman to serve in the House.

Miss Marion E. Martin, left, Executive Director
Mrs. James R. Arneill Jr, President
National Federation of Women’s Republican Clubs
Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs