When Abraham Lincoln helped create the Republican Party on the eve of the Civil War, his goal was to promote economic opportunity for all Americans, not just the slaveholding Southern planters who steered national politics. Yet while visionary Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower shared Lincoln’s egalitarian dream, their attempts to use government to guard against the concentration of wealth have repeatedly been undone by the country’s moneyed interests and members of their own party. Ronald Reagan’s embrace of big business—and the ensuing financial crisis—is the latest example of this calamitous cycle, but it is by no means the first.
In To Make Men Free, historian Heather Cox Richardson traces the shifting ideology of the Grand Old Party from the antebellum era to the Great Recession, showing how Republicans’ ideological vacillations have had terrible repercussions for minorities, the middle class, and America at large.
Despite the utopian proclamations that we are now live in a color-blind, postracial country, the grim reality is that implicit racial biases are more entrenched than ever.
In Wrongs of the Right, Matthew W. Hughey and Gregory S. Parks set postracial claims into relief against a background of pre- and post-election racial animus directed at Obama, his administration, and African Americans.
A veteran state legislator from western Massachusetts is leaving office. Republican State Senator Michael Knapik of Westfield confirms he will resign Friday to take a new post in the administration at Westfield State University. Knapik is in his 10th term. His departure will leave only 3 Republicans in the 40 member senate. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Knapik this morning.
The Massachusetts Republican Party remains optimistic about the upcoming special election to fill the senate seat formerly held by Secretary of State John Kerry. But it appears the minority party in the Bay State is facing long odds.
Republicans are facing a number of challenges in their quest to pick off a Democratic seat in the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts. The immediate challenge for the party is getting a candidate willing to commit to the race, according to Tim Vercellotti, a political science professor at Western New England University.