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Origin of the term "GOP"

A favorite of headline writers, GOP dates back to the 1870s and '80s. The abbreviation was cited in a New York Herald story on October 15, 1884; "' The G.O.P. Doomed,' shouted the Boston Post.... The Grand Old Party is in condition to inquire...."

But what GOP stands for has changed with the times. In 1875 there was a citation in the Congressional Record referring to "this gallant old party," and , according to Harper's Weekly, in the Cincinnati Commercial in 1876 to "Grand Old Party."

Perhaps the use of "the G.O.M." for Britain's Prime Minister William E. Gladstone in 1882 as " the Grand Old Man" stimulated the use of GOP in the United States soon after.

In early motorcar days, GOP took on the term "get out and push." During the 1964 presidential campaign, "Go-Party" was used briefly, and during the Nixon Administration, frequent references to the "generation of peace" had happy overtones. In line with moves in the '70s to modernize the party, Republican leaders took to referring to the "grand old party," harkening back to a 1971 speech by President Nixon at the dedication of the Eisenhower Republican Center in Washington, D.C.

Indeed, the "grand old party" is an ironic term, since the Democrat Party was organized some 22 years earlier in 1832.

The Republican Creed

I do not choose to be a common man.
It is my right to be uncommon.
If I can seek opportunity, not security,
I want to take the calculated risk to dream and
 build, to fail and to succeed.
I refused to barter incentive for dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to
guaranteed security, the thrill of fulfillment
to the state of calm utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence,
nor my dignity for a handout.
I will never cower before any master, save my God.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid.
To think and act for myself, enjoy the
benefit of my creations; to face the whole
world boldly and say, "I am a free American."
 The History of the Republican Party

The Republican Party was born in the early 1850's by anti-slavery activists and individuals who believed that government should grant western lands to settlers free of charge. The first informal meeting of the party took place in Ripon, Wisconsin, a small town northwest of Milwaukee. The first official Republican meeting took place on July 6th, 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. The name "Republican" was chosen because it alluded to equality and reminded individuals of Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party. At the Jackson convention, the new party adopted a platform and nominated candidates for office in Michigan.

In 1856, the Republicans became a national party when John C. Fremont was nominated for President under the slogan: "Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men, Fremont." Even though they were considered a "third party" because the Democrats and Whigs represented the two-party system at the time, Fremont received 33% of the vote. Four years later, Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican to win the White House.

The Civil War erupted in 1861 and lasted four grueling years. During the war, against the advice of his cabinet, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves. The Republicans of the day worked to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery, the Fourteenth, which guaranteed equal protection under the laws, and the Fifteenth, which helped secure voting rights for African-Americans.

The Republican Party also played a leading role in securing women the right to vote. In 1896, Republicans were the first major party to favor women's suffrage. When the 19th Amendment finally was added to the Constitution, 26 of 36 state legislatures that had voted to ratify it were under Republican control. The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican, Jeanette Rankin from Montana in 1917.

Presidents during most of the late nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century were Republicans. The White House was in Republican hands under Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush. Under the last two, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the United States became the world's only superpower, winning the Cold War from the old Soviet Union and releasing millions from Communist oppression.

Behind all the elected officials and the candidates of any political party are thousands of hard-working staff and volunteers who raise money, lick the envelopes, and make the phone calls that every winning campaign must have. The national structure of our party starts with the Republican National Committee. Each state has its own Republican State Committee with a Chairman and staff. The Republican structure goes right down to the neighborhoods, where a Republican precinct captain every Election Day organizes Republican workers to get out the vote.

Most states ask voters when they register to express party preference. Voters don't have to do so, but registration lists let the parties know exactly which voters they want to be sure vote on Election Day. Just because voters register as a Republican, they don't need to vote that way - many voters split their tickets, voting for candidates in both parties. But the national party is made up of all registered Republicans in all 50 states. They are the heart and soul of the party. Republicans have a long and rich history with basic principles: Individuals, not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home.

The symbol of the Republican Party is the elephant. During the mid term elections way back in 1874, Democrats tried to scare voters into thinking President Grant would seek to run for an unprecedented third term. Thomas Nast, a cartoonist for Harper's Weekly, depicted a Democratic jackass trying to scare a Republican elephant - and both symbols stuck. For a long time Republicans have been known as the "G.O.P." And party faithfuls thought it meant the "Grand Old Party." But apparently the original meaning (in 1875) was "gallant old party." And when automobiles were invented it also came to mean, "get out and push." That's still a pretty good slogan for Republicans who depend every campaign year on the hard work of hundreds of thousands of volunteers to get out and vote and push people to support the causes of the Republican Party.

I'm a Republican Because...

I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.

I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.

I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.

I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.

I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations, and that the best government is that which governs least.

I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.

I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.

I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.

FINALLY, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.

Controversial Issues


Democrats: The Patriot Act is an assault on American civil liberties.The Patriot Act’s benefits to Americans’ security is miniscule when compared to its implications for their civil liberties

Republicans: Extensive congressional overseeing has found no civil liberties violations since thelegislation was enacted four years ago. Six reports by the Justice Department's independent Inspector General, who is required to solicit and investigate any allegations of abuse, found no violations. Intense public scrutiny has yet to find a single civil liberty abuse. Even Diane Feinstein (D-CA) noted she had “never had a single abuse” reported to her.  The Patriot Act has been widely successfully in its objective: preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Americans at home.

  • more than 150 terrorist threats and cells have been disrupted
  • nearly two-thirds of al-Qaeda’s known senior leadership has been captured or killed
  • more than 3,000 operatives worldwide haven been incapacitated
  • more than 500 individuals linked to 9/11 have been removed from the country
  • more than 400 individuals in the United States have been criminally charged for
  • terrorism-related offenses


Democrats: Only the wealthy benefited from President Bush’s tax cuts. President Bush continues to widen the gap between the wealthy and the lower class with his tax cuts. His tax breaks for the rich are just that—tax relief for wealthy Americans alone, and the wealthy have disproportionately benefited from these tax cuts.

Republicans:  Every taxpayer received a federal tax cut in 2003. A family of four with an income of $40,000 per year received a 96% federal tax cut 2003 legislation. The President's tax relief has helped workers keep more of their paychecks, it helped families by lowering rates and doubling the child credit, and it has reduced the marriage penalty. The Bush 2003 tax cuts have undeniably helped spur the current jobs expansion by providing businesses more incentive to invest in equipment and technology, which in turn has increased the demand for workers (Editorial, "Help (Very Much) Wanted," The Wall Street Journal, 4/10/06). Bush’s 2003 tax cuts alone gave $880 billion back to our nation's workers, small business owners and families. They've used that money to fuel our economic resurgence—and the facts are undeniable.• Last year, the economy grew at a healthy 3.5 percent rate – faster than any other major industrialized country.

  • • The real GPD rate grew at an annual rate of 5.6 percent for the first quarter of 2006.
  • • Since August 2003, we have added more than 5.4 million new jobs – more than and the
  • European Union combined.
  • • The unemployment rate is at 4.6 percent – lower than the average of the 1960s, 1970s,
  • 1980s, and 1990s.
  • The Dow average rose 71.24, or 0.6 percent, to 11,354.49, its highest since Jan. 19,
  • 2000.• Sales of new homes soared in March 2006 by the largest amount in 13 years.

“Every taxpayer received a [federal] tax cut. And while everyone is paying less in [federal] taxes, the rich are now paying a higher percentage of the federal tax burden than before the tax cuts went into place. The Tax Foundation estimates that roughly 44 million people [in the United States] pay no [federal] income taxes. At the same time, tax revenues are surging in the form of non-wage income, which means capital gains, dividends, stock options, and small businesses that tend to have higher incomes. So the burden has actually shifted more to wealthy taxpayers—but that is not a story the mainstream press likes to tell.” –Dan Clifton, American Shareholders Association

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