Editor’s note: This commentary is by Deb Billado, chairwoman of the Vermont GOP.
Most of our younger generation has gone from child to adulthood without knowing much about Republicans and their history. It won’t be taught in school and there is little opportunity for it to be heard elsewhere unless we tell them. With the Democrats having held the reins of government through their young lives, it is not hard to understand that they would have no idea about what it means to be a conservative Republican and the role the Grand Old Party had in making America the envy of the world.
Somebody needs to tell it like it is. The Republican party became the prevailing political influence from its founding in 1854 with its profound anti-slavery posture. A color-coded historical perspective of relative party strength can be found here that is very revealing. It shows that for over a century from 1858 to 1958, no major statewide offices were held by Democrats. The same was so for the Vermont state legislature as well as our delegation to the US Senate and House. There were even periods when all thirty Vermont Senators had an (R) after their name. From and including the election of America’s first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, through 27 consecutive presidential races, Vermont voters gave their vote to the Republican running for that office. That string was interrupted in 1964 with the election of Democrat, Lyndon Johnson, but the nod was then given to Republicans in the next 6 presidential contests.
From 1992 to present, the Democrats running for president have received Vermont’s votes and by this time they were pretty much on their way to regularly controlling our state’s lawmaking Senate and House. We are aware of the over-taxation, over-regulation, over-spending government that has controlled most of that time to the present. Much has been written on Vermont’s stagnation, youth exodus and the poor showing in state surveys on affordability, business friendliness and other key indicators as Vermont has traveled down the road of a radical social agenda in many areas of life, the latest being their insistence on a statute and a Constitutional Amendment that would permit abortion of a full-term, completely healthy fetus up to seconds before delivery.
Most people believe that Democrats historically opposed slavery and were champions of civil rights. In my September 13, 2019 message, “Tell it to the Children” I pointed out how difficult it is considering our liberal press and questionably left directed search engines, to find the true history of Republicans and Democrats especially in the area of slavery and civil rights. Please click on this 5 minute 38 second video that will open the eyes of all who will take the time to watch and listen. You see, Democrats remember history as they want you to believe it was, even if it is not so.
The Republican Party grew out of the seeds of freedom planted in the fertile lands that God gave the people. When fertilized with high ideals and principles, all the people, regardless of their race, became strong and hopeful, understanding that the future was theirs for the taking and with hard work, determination, and more hard work, they could accomplish anything, and they did. For this Republican period of time, our state and the nation strengthened, garnered respect at home and abroad, and even in uncontrollable hard times, had the intestinal fortitude to face the future with hope, hard work, faith in God and this brought us out of even those troubled times. The only explanation for all that red is that Republicans from the beginning surely were doing something good as the people realized their government was theirs and dedicated to their best interests without infringing on their freedoms to innovate and create and they rewarded that with their vote.
In my September 13 message I used a verse from the Celtic song, “Your Daughters and your Sons” to make the point about the need to pass the matters of freedom to our daughters and sons. The Woods Tea Company, popular local singers, performed this song regularly at their performances in Vermont and you can hear it by clicking here. Here is another verse from that song that reminded me of what we are about as Republicans today and what we want for those we represent.
“I don’t know your religion
But one day I heard you pray
For a world where everyone can work
And children they can play”
Republicans want you to have a job, not a handout, and they want your children to be safe and not have their childhood stolen from them. Republicans understand their role is to clear the way for you to work and prosper and to provide the proper police powers to protect you and your family. That is my prayer for you!