In Look magazine, Oct. 5, 1943, Republican Wendell Willkie wrote:

“Under Abraham Lincoln the Republican Party took shape as the the party of progress. The cornerstone of its doctrine was a strong Union, and its ideal was the political and economic freedom of every American – big or little, black or white. For about 70 years, with only a few interruptions, our party led the American people to constantly expanding horizons. It raised the standard of living of every worker. It gave freedom a real meaning.

“But like any human institution that wields power for long, the party became corrupted by vested interests in its own ranks and by reactionary forces. It forgot its own great liberal traditions. It ceased to look ahead and plan for the interests of ordinary Americans. And so the people, who cherish freedom and opportunity, lost confidence in the Republican Party – and have never quite regained it.

“So when I say that the Republican Party must win a victory within itself I mean that the progressive and courageous members of the party must now re-establish its great liberal traditions – and not only re-establish them, but carry them forward to solve the problems of a new world.

“The Republican Party must become what it was in its origin, the great American liberal party, the party that not only speaks of freedom but actually acts for freedom, the party that knows how to give freedom meaning politically, economically, and in terms of human well-being.”

George Frederick Dole

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: