An April Fool's Republican Party Platform

The Republican Party has published a new platform that seeks to revamp the GOP's orientation toward labor unions, the working poor, environmental activists, women, and other groups they have traditionally ignored in favor of Big Business.

Here are the main changes to the party's stances:

  • Boosting labor, benefits and wages: The platform boasts of past party achievements related to the expansion of social welfare, writing that "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 6.5 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." It calls for changes to the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act to "more effectively protect the rights of labor unions" and to "assure equal pay for equal work regardless of sex."
  • Massive infrastructure and job Investments: The platform demands "federal assistance to help build facilities to train more physicians and scientists." It emphasizes the need to continue the "extension and perfection of a sound social security system," and boasts of the party's recent history of supporting "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."
  • Guaranteeing civil rights, gender equality and increased immigration: The platform supports "self-government, national suffrage and representation in the Congress of the United States for residents of the District of Columbia." With regards to ending discrimination against racial minorities." It also recommends to Congress "the submission of a constitutional amendment providing equal rights for men and women." Its section on immigration actually recommends expanding immigration to America, supporting "the extension of the Refugee Relief Act of 1953 in resolving this difficult refugee problem which resulted from world conflict."

Here's the truth behind the platform laid out above: it actually was the Republican Party's platform once upon a time—no joke. The quotations above are from the 1956 Republican Party platform, adopted during that summer's convention under presiding GOP president Dwight D. Eisenhower. Perhaps the real joke is that the party has moved so far away from its roots that this platform would be anathema to today's Republican lawmakers. 

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