The Greek philosopher of Ephesus ( 500 BCE), is best known for his doctrines that “there is nothing permanent except change.”
Not so with the Republican Party. As the world transforms, and a new group of significantly less agile leaders took the reign of power of the Republican Party it struggles to comprehend the new realities of the changing social structure of America and has failed to adapt.
A look at Abraham Lincoln , Republican, should provide some guidance for the lost crowd.
It was the 4th of July 1858. Abraham Lincoln advocated that the many immigrants who had recently arrived in the United States could nonetheless feel a sense of connection with Declaration of Independence. In his words:
"We have besides these men—descended by blood from our ancestors—among us perhaps half our people who are not descendants at all of these men, they are men who come from Europe—German, Irish, French and Scandinavian—men that have come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things. “ *
Forward, 123 years , during a primary debate between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, both past presidents spoke with empathy for immigrants living in the United States when asked if the U.S. should permit the children of undocumented immigrants to go to public schools.
In 2005, George W. Bush’s opiniom as to immigration was rejected outright by mainstream Republicans. Instead, in the fall of 2005, notwithstanding the President’s resistance, House Republicans passed a bill compelling the arrest, deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Many republicans have made clear their belief that all these non-white arrivals should “to go home,”
But it seems that modern republicans cannot make up their minds on what to do about immigration. Listen to statements made by leading republicans :
Secretary Gutierrez chief executive of Kellogg and President George W. Bush’s
commerce secretary discusses Immigration and the Future of the Republican Party (VIDEO)
» “[The issue of immigration] has been around far too long…. A comprehensive approach is long overdue.” - Speaker of the House John Boehner, 11/8/12
“Immigrants come with new skills and new ideas. They fill a critical part in our labor market. They work hard for a better life.” - President George W. Bush, 12/4/12
» “Immigration is an important part of our country's success and if policies are reformed, can be part of restoring and sustaining our greatness as a nation.” - Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, 9/13/12
» “This country needs comprehensive immigration reform. I don't care whether it is the person who will crawl across the desert to make five dollars... or Sergey Brin, who comes here from Russia and founds Google. At both ends of the spectrum, America has always been able to attract the most ambitious people.” - Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, 2009
» “I am still convinced that the overwhelming majority of our people just want what my parents had – a chance.” - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio 12/5/12
Congressman Paul Ryan “We have a broken immigration system and, if anything, what we see in Boston is that we have to fix and modernize our immigration system for lots of reasons.”
In June 27, 2013 following two weeks of contested debate with the addition of beefed-up border security measures backed by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill on Thursday by a 68-32 vote. However then House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that it would not take up the Senate bill. And so the bill died.
But let’s see who were the (14) Republicans that voted for the bill:
♣ Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
♣ Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)
♣ Jeff Chiesa (R-N.J.)
♣ Susan Collins (R-Maine)
♣ Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
♣ Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
♣ Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
♣ Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
♣ Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
♣ John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
♣ Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)
♣ John McCain (R-Ariz.)
♣ Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
♣ Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Republicans just can’t make up their minds. It’s no wonder that the Republican Party is in total chaos.
*Quoted in Garry Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remain America (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992) 86-87.