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Take me back to 1976

Posted by Rob Mania on

Do you think of 1976 as a long time ago? It was the year after Jaws, the year of Rocky, and the year before the first Star Wars movie. Sure, there are now twenty sequels between those movies, but I think the originals don’t feel too dated. If you were transported back to 1976, you’d have to get used to not having things like cell phones and the Internet, but you wouldn’t have to learn to talk like Shakespeare, or worry about some weird old diseases, and you’d generally recognize everything.

But one thing you might not recognize is the Republican party of 1976. Here, taken directly, word-for-word, are some selections from…

The Republican Party Platform of 1976

  • We believe that liberty can be measured by how much freedom you have to make your own decisions—even your own mistakes.
  • Government must step in when your liberties impinge on your neighbor’s.
  • Government must protect your constitutional rights.
  • Government must assure equal opportunity. And government must be compassionate in caring for those citizens who are unable to care for themselves.
  • Your elected officials, their appointees, and government workers are expected to perform their public acts with honesty, openness, diligence, and special integrity. At the heart of our system must be confidence that these people are always working for you.
  • Government must work for the goal of justice and the elimination of unfair practices, but no government has yet designed a more productive economic system or one which benefits as many people.
  • The beauty of our land is our legacy to our children. It must be protected by us so that they can pass it on intact to their children.
  • …We are proposing only actions that the nation can afford and are opposing excessive tinkering with an economic system that works better than any other in the world.
  • The number one destroyer of jobs is inflation …the number one cause of inflation is the government's expansion of the nation’s supply of money and credit needed to pay for deficit spending.
  • Our rural areas are entitled to services comparable to their urban neighbors, such as water and sewer systems, improved electricity and telephone service, adequate transportation, available and adequate financial credit, and employment opportunities which will allow small farmers to supplement their incomes.
  • We believe that non-farm corporations and tax-loss farming should be prevented from unfairly competing against family farms, which we support as the preferred method of farm organization.
  • Vigorous and equitable enforcement of antitrust laws heightens competition and enables consumers to obtain the lowest possible price in the marketplace.
  • We are intensely aware of the need to protect our environment and provide safe working conditions in American industry, while at the same time preventing the loss of jobs and the closing of small businesses through unrealistic or over-rigorous government regulations. 
  • Repeal of legislation which permits automatic increases in the salaries of Members of Congress, congressional staffs, and official expense allowances
  • Full public disclosure of financial interests by Members and divestiture of those interests which present conflicts of interest.
  • Improved lobby disclosure legislation so that the people will know how much money is being spent to influence public officials.
  • We are alarmed by Washington’s growing collection of information. The number of federal data banks is now estimated at between 800 and 900 and more than 50 agencies are involved. We question the need for all these computers to be storing the records of our lives
  • Every American should have access to quality health care at an affordable price.
  • The possibility of an extended illness in a family is a frightening prospect, but, if it does happen, a person should at least be protected from having it wipe out lifetime savings. 
  • Alcoholism and drug abuse, growing problems in America today, should receive the utmost attention.
  • Every child should have enough to eat. Good nutrition is a prerequisite of a healthy life. 
  • Wiping out past discrimination requires continued emphasis on providing educational opportunities for minority citizens, increasing direct and guaranteed loans to minority business enterprises, and affording qualified minority persons equal opportunities for government positions at all levels.
  • We reaffirm our pledge to work to eliminate discrimination in all areas for reasons of race, color, national origin, age, creed or sex and to enforce vigorously laws guaranteeing women equal rights
  • The Republican Party reaffirms its support for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Hispanic-Americans must not be treated as second-class citizens in schools, employment or any other aspect of life just because English is not their first language. 
  • We again support statehood for Puerto Rico
  • We advocate the elimination of needless barriers for all handicapped persons.
  • Increased part-time and flexible-hour work should be encouraged wherever feasible. In keeping with our belief in family life, we want to expand more opportunities for men and women to combine family responsibilities and employment.
  • Younger veterans, especially those who served in the Vietnam conflict, deserve education, job and housing loan benefits equivalent to those of World War II and the Korean conflict. 
  • Research must be continued to find safe, more fuel-efficient automobile engines and airplanes; safer, faster rail service; and more convenient, less expensive urban transportation. Tax policies should be considered which would stimulate the development and installation of new energy sources in transportation, such as railroad electrification.
  • We must reduce sharply our dependence on other nations for energy and strive to achieve energy independence at the earliest possible date.
  • We believe that it is a national responsibility to support scientific and technological research and development to identify environmental problems and arrive at solutions.
  • We support a policy which will reward recycling and economic incentives which will encourage its expansion.
  • We are firmly committed to a foreign policy in which secret agreements, hidden from our people, will have no part.
  • While we shall support a global increase of investment in natural resources of all types, we shall also oppose the replacement of the free market mechanism by cartels, price-fixing arrangements or commodity agreements.

And, as part of their conclusion:

  • We are at peace.
  • We are strong.
  • We re-emphasize the importance of our ties with the nations of the Americas.
  • Our relations with allies in the Atlantic community and with japan have never been closer.
  • Significant progress has been made toward a just and durable settlement in the Middle East.
  • We have sought negotiation rather than confrontation with our adversaries, while maintaining our strategic deterrent.
  • We, the Republican Party, proudly submit our record and our Platform to you.

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