With an election just behind, natural disasters and tragedies surrounding us, and the burdens of economic challenges looming, I've been giving a lot of thought lately to what it is I, personally, want for my nation, and what I believe is the responsibility of Government.
It's not possible to encompass everything in the diversity of a nation. But I do think that there are certain core standards.
Bear with me, there is a point to all of this. I'll get to it in a moment, but so that we have a starting point, this is what I believe is critical for America. From its past, what it stands for today, and how it will be able to go forward in the future.
Bear with me, there is a point to all of this. I'll get to it in a moment.
The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot do well, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities.
In all those things which deal with people -- be liberal, be human.
We should advance America in matters of basic human needs -- expansion of Social Security -- broadened coverage in unemployment insurance -- improved housing -- and better health protection for all our people.
America does not prosper unless all Americans prosper.
Government must have a heart as well as a head. It must further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, minority and migratory workers.
Labor, ultimately, is the United States. The men and women, who with their minds, their hearts and hands, create the wealth that is shared in this country -- they are America.
We must assure equal pay for equal work regardless of sex. Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment.
There must be increased federal aid for medical care of the needy. Increase research funds to intensify attacks on cancer, mental illness, and heart disease. Build facilities to train more physicians and scientists.
Government should reduce urban slums in local-federal partnership, and authorize additional low-rent public housing.
We must recognize that no single nation can alone defend the liberty of all nations threatened by aggression or subversion. Mutual security means effective mutual cooperation. America should continue vigorously to support the United Nations.
And as a nation, we should support an immigration policy which is in keeping with the traditions of America in providing a haven for oppressed peoples, and which is based on equality of treatment, freedom of discrimination between racial, nationality and religious groups.
But above all, our people together must warmly greet the dawn of our century of service in the cause of unity and progress.
I believe that.
I believe all of that. Every one of those words.
The thing is, though -- those aren't my words. None of them.
Everything you just read is taken from the Republican Party Platform of 1956.
All of it.
To be fair, I did change the tense of some verbs and replaced a few nouns. But everything else? It's all from the Republican Party.
To be equally fair, I didn't include statements I didn't believe in, and there was a lot of that. But the point was the show many of the things that the Republican Party did actually stand for. Once upon a time.
I also left out when the GOP platform of 1956 called itself, "the Party of the Young." I couldn't figure out a way to include that and not have my head explode.
If you liked what you read there, feel comforted that America has in its DNA the ability to have a soul. To want to "advance basic human needs." It's there, which means it has the ability to again flourish.
If you didn't like what you read here -- hey, it's not my words. It's the Republican Party. They're the ones who said, "In all those things which deal with people -- be liberal, be human."
Yes, the Republican Party actually promoted sharing the wealth. And said, "Be liberal."
And yes, the Republican Party actually made the admonishment to "Be human."
Okay, they said that in 1956. But who would have thought that would be such a challenging task a mere 56 years later? Unfortunately, this is the party today which, during its presidential primary, had a moderator ask a candidate, "Are you saying that society should just let him die?" -- and voices from the Republican audience shouted, "Yes!!"
So, I guess that whole, "Be human," thing still holds.
And if you have a problem with that -- if you have a problem with all of that above, every word, don't look at me. Take it up with the Republican Party. Get in your Wayback Machine and go to 1956.
That was the party of the American hero, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who helped save the world.
Good Lord, it was also the party of Richard Nixon.
And just look where the Republican Party has traveled to today...
What in the world did they come to? How in the world can they look in the mirror? How can they possibly defend themselves?
I'm sure they'll try. But as you listen to the empty cackle, remember the Republican Party Platform of 1956:
Robert J. Elisberg's new comic novella, A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge, has just been published and is available for humans and all life forms in paperback and ebook edition. It is currently #4 in Amazon's Hot New Releases in Humor -- though in an hour that could change to #65. So, I wouldn't sweat the #4 too much.
Follow Robert J. Elisberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RobertElisberg