I got a chance to watch bits and pieces of both the Democratic and the Republican Conventions these past two weeks. The Democratic Convention was better run, with better speeches and the speakers were a greater representation of the diverse population of this country. The Republican Convention, though, had more drama, as many of the Republican Party have great antipathy towards their Republican nominee for President, Donald Trump. The most dramatic part of the Republican Convention was when Ted Cruz spoke and wouldn’t endorse Donald Trump for President. Watching Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell and many other leaders endorse Trump, in spite of their criticisms of his unsuitability for the office of the Presidency, I’m glad there was a speaker in the Convention who had the courage to take a stand against Trump. I just wish it wasn’t Ted Cruz. I have to give grudging respect to Cruz, though, for being willing to take the criticism and hold firm in his beliefs.
In 1964 another Republican took a strong stand for his beliefs against an extremist element in the Republican Party. Harold Meyerson wrote in the American Prospect:
In ’64, a party that had been dominated by moderate Eastern elites, friendly to civil rights and even resigned to living with unions, personified by such big-spending governors as Nelson Rockefeller (of New York), George Romney (Michigan) and William Scranton (Pennsylvania), was upended by the triumph of Barry Goldwater. The Arizona senator had voted against the Civil Rights bill earlier that year, railed against government and unions, cozied up to Southern segregationists, and declined to denounce far-right conspiracy theorists who believed that many of the nation’s leading centrists were actually Communist agents.
…Delegates voted down a measure declaring the party’s support for the Civil Rights Act, and a Rockefeller’s resolution to denounce extremism. As Rockefeller spoke to the convention, the delegates erupted in boos and catcalls—much as they did last night when Cruz pointedly declined to support Trump.
Cruz’s heresy came in a cause a good deal less noble than Rockefeller’s. He obviously calculated that if Trump loses, he’ll be the candidate best positioned to pick up the pieces, the guy who stood on principle—unlike Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and other losing White House hopefuls who knuckled under. (Jeb Bush and John Kasich also declined to endorse, but they’re not likely to seek the presidency again.)
…Cruz’s decision not to endorse likely wasn’t purely a matter of calculation, however. In the course of the campaign, after all, Trump tweeted an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife and accused his father of involvement in President Kennedy’s assassination. These are the kinds of things that just might deter a guy from endorsing the perpetrator for the office of president.
Nelson Rockefeller represented a moderate Republican type that was supportive of the civil rights of African Americans, women and other minorities. For several decades, the Republican Party was better in the area of civil rights than the Democrats, whose Dixecrat wing were strong supporters of segregation laws in the South. Because of this historic support of civil rights, many African Americans like Jackie Robinson were Republicans.
In 1964, however, the Republican Party began a major shift away from its historic support of civil rights. When Jackie Robinson attended the 1964 Republican Party to support Nelson Rockefeller and voice his opposition to Barry Goldwater’s anti-civil rights stands, Robinson got involved with several shouting matches with Goldwater supporters. Rockefeller made a bold stance against the right wing extremism of Goldwater. In an article in the PBS website of the documentary on the Rockefeller family, it stated:
The scene was set for the battle over the heart and soul of the Republican Party. After years as the target of ridicule, the conservative wing of the party had staged an impressive comeback through a grassroots campaign in the South, the Southwest and the West. Their leader was Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, a staunch critic of the liberal slant he perceived among his fellow Republicans…
…The atmosphere at the Republican convention was heated as Nelson Rockefeller stepped up to the podium to address the belligerent crowd: ‘During this year I have crisscrossed this nation, fighting … to keep the Republican party the party of all the people … and warning of the extremist threat, its danger to the party, and danger to the nation,’ he said, taking his time as the crowd cheered ‘We want Barry!’ ‘These extremists feed on fear, hate and terror, [they have] no program for America and the Republican Party… [they] operate from dark shadows of secrecy. It is essential that this convention repudiate here and now any doctrinaire, militant minority whether Communist, Ku Klux Klan or Birchers.’ It was, according to many, Nelson Rockefeller’s finest moment — but it did little to stop the conservative wave that was transforming the GOP.
Decades after Nelson Rockefeller made his principled stand against the extremism of his Republican Party, the Republican Party now embraces a candidate that caters to the xenophobia and racism of an extremist element of the Republican Party.
Though many Republicans embrace Trump and his ideas, many more Republicans are repulsed at the Trump candidacy and have fought the racist elements in the Republican Party. I’m hoping that the battle that will take place within the Republican Party will hopefully move the GOP back to the type of party that was represented by Nelson Rockefeller and Jackie Robinson.
Here are some video links of Republicans criticizing the Trump candidacy.
In this youtube video, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz had harsh words for rival Donald Trump after Trump alleged that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy and Trump made disparaging remarks about Cruz’s wife.
In this youtube video former 2016 Republican candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich talks about his reservations about Donald Trump.
In this youtube video former Communications Director to President George W. Bush Nicolle Wallace spoke to Jeb Bush about Donald Trump, his mastery of the media and whether he’d stick to his proposed policies if elected president.
In this video Marco Rubio issued a sharp rebuke to Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric during the Florida primary.
In this video Sen. Lindsey Graham called Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot.
Mitt Romney suggested that Donald Trump’s election could legitimize racism and misogyny, ushering in a change in the moral fabric of American society
in this video Paul Ryan told reporters that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel are “textbook definition of a racist comment.”
In this video David Brooks, a Republican journalist who works for the New York Times, talks about why he doesn’t support Donald Trump
In this video, George Will explains in detail the reason why he’s opted to leave the Republican Party
A New York Times video about anti-Trump Republicans and their struggles with their political party
In this video, Republicans Doug Elmets and Jennifer Pierotti Lim discussed why they’re voting for Democratic presidential nominee on final day of the Democratic National Convention. Elmets is a political consultant and former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, while Pierotti Lim is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.