"Back to Basics for the Republican Party" is an insightful history of the Grand Old Party which recounts how the party of the Emancipation Proclamation and "forty acres and a mule" developed, step by step, into todays Republican Party, all the way through the Clinton impeachment. By explaining the partys true heritage, "Back to Basics for the Republican Party" lays the foundation for advances in the future.
Republicans get themselves outmaneuvered by Democrats endlessly because they rely for knowledge of their own party on all those distorted histories written by hordes of lefty professors. The purpose of the book is to enable Republicans to retake the policy initiative by embracing their own heritage. The Republican elephant symbol, incidentally, predates the Thomas Nast cartoon by 14 years, having first appeared during Lincolns 1860 campaign, to show our partys strength; and the Democrat donkey began as a caricature of Democrat President Andrew Jackon, as a jackass.
How many Americans know why the Republican Party began or what its original purpose was? Not many! How many Americans know, for example, that the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act were reforms that the Republican Party struggled for in vain during the Reconstruction era a hundred years earlier? Fewer still. The 13th amendment banning slavery, the 14th amendment extending the Bill of Rights to the states, and the 15th amendment according voting rights to blacks - all three were enacted by the much-maligned Radical Republicans in the face of fierce Democrat opposition. How many Americans know that? Again, very few.
Now whose fault is it that so much past glory of the Republican Party goes unnoticed today? Who should we blame? Ourselves, of course. How can we hope to convince voters to place their confidence in us when we lack confidence in our own heritage? And how can we Republicans battle Democrats effectively on economic, foreign policy, and other fronts when we act as if the world began the day we were born?
Throughout "Back to Basics for the Republican Party," we will run through our fingers the links in the chain of events between then and now. Placing events in context means reaching back to the drafting of the Constitution to describe the point of view of patriots in the 1850s who were alarmed that the slave system was extending itself northward, threatening the free market system we still cherish today. To understand this original vision of our Republican Party we look to the site of the 2000 Republican National Convention. Philadelphia is not only where the Constitution was written but where in 1856 the first Republican National Convention met in order to save it, for their generation unto ours.
One U.S. Senator called "Back to Basics for the Republican Party" "one of the best books [he] ever read," and another U.S. Senator said it is "exactly what the Republican Party needs right now." And it is! A Republican state chairman said "Back to Basics for the Republican Party" was "outstanding," and Justice Clarence Thomas dissent in a recent opinion (Federal Election Commission v. Colorado Republican Federal Election Committee) cited the book.
As George Orwell observed, whoever controls the past controls the future. For example, few people know that during the Reconstruction era the Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party, or that Republicans backed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act much more than did the Democrats. How many people know that after being arrested for casting a ballot in the 1872 election, Susan B. Anthony boasted to Elizabeth Cady Stanton that she had voted for the straight Republican ticket?
"Our Party is an athlete who has lost his balance we are in good shape, with plenty of drive, but until we regain our balance we are going nowhere." -- page eighteen
Though "Back to Basics for the Republican Party" is a history book, it is not about the past. It is about right now. To quote from page six: "As knowledge is power, we must understand how trends from the past entrap us today, for You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."