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Memo to the GOP: the Eisenhower era was fifty years ago July 20, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.

The 1950s were the time of Dick and Jane books, suburban middle-class living with occasional forays into a bucolic countryside. Everyone in these stories was white and well-to-do.  This reflected the national view held by many and that was to be desired by others. The last vestiges of a Norman Rockwell Americana. Changes were on the horizon in many forms.

In the 1960s and later, diversity meant not ignoring blacks, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and other ethnic groups. Women were not automatically relegated to be Harriet Nelson or June Cleaver, stay-at-home appendages of their successful husbands, the rearers of the children. Childred were not taught anymore to become American salarymen (the Japanese euphemism for professionals who work in dompanies).

But that 1950s vision never died out. It still was held in small-town and rural America. “Hard work”, “family values”, et cetera was still the theme there, mainly aimed at whites, but also aimed to convinge the others that they ought to strive to assimilate, to become as white as possible. This message is now the theme of the GOP and especially of Sarah Palin and her followers.

Even though Palin is a successful woman, she still on the surface sells herself as wife and mother, the appendage of her husband (maybe this view comes from the Adam’s rib story in the Bible). Palin does not acknowledge any other value systems than her own. The Sotomayor hearings showed that the GOP does not understand or value ethnicity, other than the classic tokenism of choosing an African American as GOP chairman to combat the Democrat’s actual leader or to have an Indian-American governor speak for their party regularly or even Palin’s choice as vice-presidential nominaee to counter Hilary Clinton’s impressive campaign. The true voices of the GOP are the Rush Limbaugh-Pat Buchanan types – well off white men.

The GOP is still the party of well-to-do white men, attracting their populous base by allying with fundamental Christians. They will continue to marginalize themselves because Americal is now fifty years later than the Eisenhower era.



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