Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: People's Republic of North Carolina
Member Number: 10927
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Re: presidential debate
In the national election two years later, in 1918, Republicans won majorities in both the House and the Senate. We then swiftly passed the Women’s Suffrage Amendment. And 1920, therefore, was the first presidential election in which all women could vote. What do you think most women in America did? They voted for Warren Harding. In fact, I remember having a conversation with my grandmother about this. I talked to her about the first time she was able to vote, and I asked her, “Who did you vote for?” She looked at me as if I were crazy. “Of course,” she answered, “I voted for the Republicans. They gave us the vote.” That’s why the Republican
landslide for Harding was so big that year.
Meanwhile, in the face of the Democrats’ continued terrorizing of Republican organizational activity in the South, many courageous Republicans were standing up nonetheless. One of the great Southern leaders of that era who was openly calling himself a Republican and drawing attention to his cause was Booker T. Washington, the famed educator and founder of Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute. But even a man as distinguished as this, and even in the 20th century, was opposed by a still-racist Democratic Party. When Republican President Teddy Roosevelt had the temerity to invite Booker T. Washington to dine with him in the White House, the Democrats raised holy hell through the media. They said it was a scandal, and outrageous, and an atrocity.
Republicans led the integration of pro sports. Branch Rickey, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was a Republican businessman who hired his fellow Republican, Jackie Robinson. Together they integrated Major League Baseball when Jackie Robinson took the field in 1947 for his first game. In addition to being a great athlete, a great Dodger, and a great American, Jackie Robinson was a great Republican -- and a very outspoken one.
This year, 2004, is the 50th anniversary of the modern civil rights movement, which most people date to the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. That opinion was written by a Republican Chief Justice appointed by a Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower. And of course that Republican Chief Justice had been our three-term Republican Governor here in California, and he’d been our Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1948: Earl Warren.
Three years after Brown, President Eisenhower won passage of his landmark Civil Rights Act of 1957. Now remember, the nation had just ended a long stretch of Democratic administrations -- nearly four terms of FDR, and seven years of Truman -- and yet there had been no civil rights legislation at all. In fact, the Republican Civil Rights Act of 1957 was the first U.S. civil rights legislation in eight decades.
Another great Republican, U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, authored and introduced the 1960 Civil Rights Act. It was also he who was most responsible -- more than any other individual -- for the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As Republican Leader in the Senate, even though his party was in the minority, Dirksen crafted the strategy that overcame long odds and tenacious Democratic opposition.
The Democrats weren’t just internally conflicted about the 1964 Civil Rights Act; a significant number of them actually filibustered it -- preventing an up or down vote on the bill. Eventually, however -- thanks to Dirksen’s leadership -- this landmark legislation did get the vote it deserved. As with all of the previous civil rights legislation in our nation’s history, it passed with significantly more support from Republicans than from Democrats. The same was true for the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which became law the following year.
Which political party gave our nation the first Asian American Senator in the United States Senate? The Republican Party -- and it was the esteemed Hiram Fong of Hawaii. The first African American Senator after Reconstruction? Republican Ed Brooke from Massachusetts. The first Asian American federal judge? Republican Herbert Choy, appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, by President Nixon, for whom I served as law clerk.
The first woman on the Supreme Court? Everyone knows that. But you may not have known that before she became a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Arizona Republican Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to be Majority Leader in the legislature of any state.
The first Hispanic member of the President’s Cabinet? Republican Lauro Cavazos, Secretary of Education under President Reagan.
It was President Ford who, in 1976, repealed FDR’s notorious executive order interning 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.
We can be proud of Republican appointments such as Justice Clarence Thomas, the former Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Colin Powell, the first African American to be National Security Advisor or Secretary of State; Condoleezza Rice, the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor; and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, the first Asian American woman in any president’s
This remarkable, unbroken 150-year string of civil rights achievements is the reason that, this year, we are so proud to publish the 2005 Republican Freedom Calendar. Our party has a great story to tell. There is also much work still to be done to secure the God-given rights of all men and women, and the Republican Party is
leading the way.
Ronald Reagan was fond of saying that the United States of America is the only country on Earth, now or at any time in history, that was founded not on race or nationality, but on an ideal. Republicans, from the founding of our party to this very day, have been carrying forward this ideal of individual freedom.
Now, in our 150th year as a party, we have not only an opportunity to reflect, but also a chance to advance our cause of promoting freedom. This is a presidential election year, and the choice could not be more stark.
Today, our nation is carrying the torch of freedom to oppressed people across the globe. President Bush and the Republican Party have led America to throw off the “chains of oppression” in Afghanistan, and to free millions of women from the shackles of Taliban rule. Afghan women can now vote; they can go to school; they can practice their professions; and women are no longer required to be fully covered from head to toe when in public. In response to this American victory for human rights, Michael Moore, John Kerry, and John Edwards have only criticism.
President Bush and the Republican Party have led America to liberate Iraq, freeing more than 24 million people from a brutal, murderous dictator who piled more than 400,000 men, women, and children in mass graves -- and who killed more than one million of his fellow citizens. Iraqi men and women are now building their own democracy, as a free people. But John Kerry, Michael Moore, and John Edwards say that spreading democracy in the Middle East is a fool’s errand unworthy of America.
Republicans disagree, as we have for 150 years. We believe that governments have no right to enslave people, and that our own liberties are at risk when racists, theocrats, terrorists, and murderers go unpunished and unchecked. That is why, in the end, our Republican commitment to civil rights and individual freedom undergirds our policies of limited government and peace through strength.
This year, the cause for freedom can advance or retreat. With your help, it will prevail. Pick up a 2005 Freedom Calendar. Share it with a friend. Remember: if you don’t spread the message of our party, the media, academia, and Hollywood won’t do it for you.
Congratulations on being a Republican. And happy 150th Birthday!
Speech by Rep. Christopher Cox
"We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress & the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution,
but overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."