A Facebook friend of mine posted this last week bragging on what Republicans have done.
“BECAUSE BLACK LIVES MATTERED. Approximately 620,000 white soldiers died in the civil war in order to obtain freedom for the black slaves. The average age of the soldiers was 25 years. This does not include the Medics, both men and women. In retaliation AGAINST slavery the Republican party was born. Many of our black brothers died also fighting to free the nation of slavery, approximately 180,000. PLEASE STOP TELLING ME TO REPENT. The blood of our fathers is reparation enough.”
The tell tail reparation sentence aside, it is well to be reminded of how progressive the old time Republican were.
More bragging rights for Republicans.
A. The 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to our constitution.
B. The transcontinental railway acts.
Real progressive stuff.
The railways are essential physical features of our national economy.
The amendments were defeated by Jim Crow for decades and some say still under attack.
What like those good deeds mentioned has that political party done lately?
More recent bragging rights for Republicans.
C. Voting Rights Act—Republicans broke Democratic filibuster.
D. American Disabilities Act of 1990—signed by Bush 41
E. ADA Amendments oAct of 2008—Signed by Bush 43
President Bush when signing the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990 said:
“I know there may have been concerns that the ADA may be too vague or too costly, or may lead endlessly to litigation. But I want to reassure you right now that my administration and the United States Congress have carefully crafted this Act. “We’ve all been determined to ensure that it gives flexibility, particularly in terms of the timetable of implementation; and we’ve been committed to containing the costs that may be incurred…. Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down”
Shows me the two party system functioning as it should. Here a progressive measure toned down by conservatives.
In order for the two party system to work free and open elections are necessary. Supporters of extreme positions will lose election. Extensive gerrymandering and targeted voter suppression bills can defeat the system.
What Republicans Have Done Lately
Here in Oklahoma where even the Democrats are predominately individualist—people who like trying new stuff, human rights, free press, who are competitive, desire to stand out, attribute success to being smart, hard working. Who describe themselves by their traits and virtues, as opposed to family—it is near impossible for the Republicans now In charge of our state government to find ways to stand out. By enacting even more conservative laws they are like the fellow beating a dead horse.
What can they do? The state is about a gerrymandered as it can get.
Firstly, repair leaks in the boat. When a teacher revolt during the 1980s brought a tax increase, we got term limits on legislators and a state constitution change masking tax increases nearly impossible. After a series of defeats in statewide initiatives (prison sentencing, medical marijuana, ACA expansion) the threshold for placing a question on the ballot was raised. Limiting the powers of localities to do things the legislators don’t like; e.g., mimimim wage, drilling restrictions, COVID mask mandates.
Secondly, tax cuts. An evergreen tree.
Thirdly, repairing things not broke. Changes in our national poster child example of state voting laws. Eliminating any remaining gun controls. Enacting laws now unconstitutional to take effect if the Supreme Court breaks precedents in future rulings. Protecting female athletes from phantom competitors. A law against teaching CRT in public schools.
For the time being the two party system of government has vacated Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Democratic Party is the primary force in the state advocating a return to the two party system where the voters constrain extreme legislators by defeating the in free and fair elections.