A quote for our times

"I want the Republican party to be liberal enough to march with the times, to dare new answers, to new problems and to use the power and strength and initiative of government to help citizens to help themselves when they confront problems beyond their own resources and their own control."

I ran into this quote recently and was quite surprised by it. It came from a famous speech by Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, a Republican who served twenty years in the Senate.

When Vandenberg was accused by some in his party of abandoning his principles, he simply replied, "I want the oak to stand, but I want the branches to grow."

He was widely admired for his conservative principles. He opposed the New Deal and was an isolationist. But he was practical enough to understand the role of the US on the world stage, serving as the Republican representative of the Senate that helped set up the United Nations.

Vandenberg died in 1951. When you see the Republcians on the national stage and who control the NC legislature and executive branch, you can't help but think how far down the toilet American politics - and the Republicans in particular - have gone.

One subtle approach I think that liberals and progressives can take is to dig up quotes from and other info about level-headed and well-respected conservetives like that. Confront today's politicians with the traditions of their own party.

No, you won't embarrass a modern day Republican legislator this way - these clowns have no sense of shame. But, with moderate conservative voters, you can demonstrate the stark contrast between the harsh, temperamental and extremist Republicans of today who can only think of obstruction and returning to the worst parts of the past and people who want to solve problems and see our state move forward.

Don't be afraid to say, "Sir - your father would be ashamed of you."

Read more about Vandenberg's career here.

Comments

It's Jean-Luc, actually

Or...so one of my trekkie friends tells me. ;)

And so did ...

... Joseph Welch. And he wasn't even a starship captain.

A sane conservative party

is necessary for the bi-party political system to function. We don't have the liberty for disfunction in these times of serious climate change reality and inequality of our citizens. The voters have been divided and conquered by a hyper partizan media. There is some kind of healing that needs to take place in the collective psyche. Comparing quotes from true conservative thinkers is a great way to give context to the madness of the policies we see the current crop carrying out.