From the 1956 Republican Party platform

Here's some more evidence the Republican Party has drifted far to the right from its traditional conservative positions in the 1950s. All these positions are found in the Republican Party platform of 1956:

We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances 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. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people. ...

We support this and his further offer of United States participation in an international fund for economic development financed from the savings brought by true disarmament. ...

We shall continue vigorously to support the United Nations. ...

We also propose: ... Legislation to enable closer Federal scrutiny of mergers which have a significant or potential monopolistic connotations; ... Procedural changes in the antitrust laws to facilitate their enforcement; ....

The record of performance of the Republican Administration on behalf of our working men and women goes still further. The Federal minimum wage has been raised for more than 2 million workers. Social Security has been extended to an additional 10 million workers and the benefits raised for 6 1/2 million. The protection of unemployment insurance has been brought to 4 million additional workers. There have been increased workmen's compensation benefits for longshoremen and harbor workers, increased retirement benefits for railroad employees, and wage increases and improved welfare and pension plans for federal employees. ...

Workers have benefited by the progress which has been made in carrying out the programs and principles set forth in the 1952 Republican platform. All workers have gained and unions have grown in strength and responsibility, and have increased their membership by 2 millions. ...

The Eisenhower Administration will continue to fight for dynamic and progressive programs which, among other things, will: ...

Stimulate improved job safety of our workers, through assistance to the States, employees and employers; ...

Continue and further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers; ...

Protect by law, the assets of employee welfare and benefit plans so that workers who are the beneficiaries can be assured of their rightful benefits;

Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex; ...

Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable;

Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;

Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment; ...

Four thousand communities, studying their school populations and their physical and financial resources, encouraged our Republican Administration to urge a five-year program of Federal assistance in building schools to relieve a critical classroom shortage. ...

The Republican Party is determined to press all such actions that will help insure that every child has the educational opportunity to advance to his own greatest capacity. ...

Republican leadership has enlarged Federal assistance for construction of hospitals, emphasizing low-cost care of chronic diseases and the special problems of older persons, and increased Federal aid for medical care of the needy. ...

We have supported measures that have made more housing available than ever before in history, reduced urban slums in local-federal partnership, stimulated record home ownership, and authorized additional low-rent public housing. ...

We shall continue to seek extension and perfection of a sound social security system. ...

To continue and expand the Republican-sponsored school milk program, to encourage further use of the school lunch program now benefiting 11 million children, and to foster improved nutritional levels; ...

To promote fully the Republican-sponsored Rural-Development Program to broaden the operation and increase the income of low income farm families and help tenant farmers; ...

We have provided more than 1200 badly-needed new post office buildings, and are adding two more every day. ...

We favor self-government, national suffrage and representation in the Congress of the United States for residents of the District of Columbia. ...

We recommend to Congress the submission of a constitutional amendment providing equal rights for men and women. ...

The Republican Party supports 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 from implications of discrimination between racial, nationality and religious groups, and flexible enough to conform to changing needs and conditions. ...

We favor a comprehensive study of the effect upon wildlife of the drainage of our wetlands. ...

And so on,

Of course, there's a lot of unambiguous small-government conservatism in the platform as well (not to mention some hard-core Democrat-bashing). My point isn't to suggest that in the mid-1950s Republicans were all a bunch of liberals, only that they were nowhere near so far to the right as they have become.

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