Republican Fears in 1936 Same As Today

image by rarenewspapers.com

image by rarenewspapers.com

My wife bought me a book of selected front pages from the New York Times, from 1920 to 1976, at a garage sale and it is a treasure.  It imparts some amazing insights into the news and the history of our nation.  I was astonished as I read this article from 1936.

THE TEXT OF THE PLATFORM – Cleveland, June 11

Following is the text of the party platform as adopted by the
Republican National Convention tonight:

America is in peril.  The welfare of American men and women and the future of our youth are at stake.  We dedicate ourselves to the preservation of their political liberty, their individual opportunity and their character as free citizens, which today for the first time are threatened by government itself.

For three long years the administration has dishonored American traditions and flagrantly betrayed the pledge upon which the Democratic party sought and received public support.

The powers of Congress have been usurped by the President.

The integrity and authority of the Supreme Court have been flaunted.

The rights and liberties of American citizens have been violated.

Regulated monopoly has displaced free enterprise.

The administration constantly seeks to usurp the rights reserved to the States and to the people.

It has insisted on passage of laws contrary to the Constitution.

It has intimidated witnesses and interfered with the right of petition.

It has dishonored our country by repudiating its most sacred obligations.

It has been guilty of frightful waste and extravagance, using public funds for partisan political purposes.

It has promoted investigations to harass and intimidate American citizens, at the same time denying investigations into its own improper expenditures.

It has created a vast multitude of new offices, filled them with its favorites, set up a centralized bureaucracy and sent out swarms of inspectors to harass our people.

It has bred fear and hesitation in commerce and industry, thus discouraging new enterprises, preventing employment, and prolonging the depression.

It secretly has made tariff agreements with outr foreign competitors, flooding our markets with foreign commodities.

It has coerced and intimidated voters by withholding relief to those opposing its tyrannical policies.

It has destroyed the morale of many of our people and made them dependent upon government.

Appeals to passion and class prejudice have replaced reason and tolerance.

To a free people, these actions are insufferable.  This campaign cannot be waged on the traditional differences between the Republican and Democratic parties.

The responsibility of this election transcends all previous political divisions.  We invite all Americans, irrespective of party, to join us in defense of American Institutions.

Alf Landon was unanimously accepted by the GOP as its candidate for president. He asked that two more planks be added to the platform before his nomination was final:  first, that sweatshops and unrestricted child labor be abolished and that laws be passed to regulate maximum hours, minimum wages, and working conditions for women and children; and second, that the US currency should be backed by a gold standard.

I find these old newspapers fascinating in so many ways.  The articles are written in clear but advanced language and style on the assumption that its readers were intelligent, informed, and educated – unlike today’s news which is written to a fifth-grade reading and comprehension level.

It’s very hard, if not impossible, to find a bias in these pages.  Even during the war years, events were described impartially.  The standard for journalists was: facts only, double- and triple-verified.  Political coverage was painstakingly even-handed and dispassionate.

All of the news on the Times front pages was real news – coverage of real events, with no fluff or pop culture.  A box in the top left corner promises “All the News That’s Fit to Print”.

In the 79 years since this front page of the Times was published, much has changed in the relationship between the media and the public.  Is news reporting dumbed-down because of us, or we because of it?  Do we tolerate biased reporting because we have no choice, or because we are able to choose news that fits our personal bias?  Either way, the loss of accurate, salient, unbiased news harms Americans and our progress as a nation.

The stories themselves remind me that ours is not the only time in history with grave challenges, conflict and tragedy.  Our parents and grandparents lived through a period of historic human suffering and heroism.  What must they think of our squabbles today over gender identity and political correctness?

And the story above, contrasting Republicans and Democrats, reminds me that some things haven’t changed much.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

And you may ask yourself
Am I right?  Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself
My God, what have I done?
Same as it ever was . . . same as it ever was . . .
Same as it ever was . . . same as it ever was . . .

Once In A Lifetime – Talking Heads

3 thoughts on “Republican Fears in 1936 Same As Today

  1. I think the best thing for you is to put down these old newspapers and turn on the TV. Let its soft glow wash over you, embrace it, and watch the time fly by. See, life isn’t so bad. Now just go to work for a few hours and then come back and have some more. The box will always be there for you, lovingly waiting, always ready.

  2. It’s interesting that I was thinking about the lefts propaganda machine today as well. My blog is “Prairie Dogs or Babies?” It’s about how the left screams about habitat for prairie dogs but has not problem with killing babies. How do people become so confused. The answer is propaganda. Education Lady

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