The 1956 Republican Platform

 

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TL; DR Summary

  • This poster comes from a left wing web site “GOP-The Party of Mean” and uses the technique of quoting one’s opposition to score points.
  • This approach can be effective, even when, as Snopes points out, this stretches the truth. The poster uses words from 1956 in a clever way to imply support for 2015-2016 issues that are really quite different.
  • The poster is also “busy” – too much for a reader to process and draw a conclusion in seconds.

Click the link to see how many of the points in the poster, while sounding similar to issues in 2015-2016, are in fact, referring to something very different. How many viewers of this poster do you think will recognize that the poster’s bullet list refers to something rather different?

The old Soviet propaganda machine often made points by quoting US politicians and media (e.g. Walter Cronkite news reports). Some times the quotes are taken out of context, sometimes not.

The main problem with a poster like this is that complexity and subtle issues are lost when simplified to bullet points.

Issues regarding this poster are described by Snopes which notes discrepancies between the poster and the original 1956 platform:http://www.snopes.com/politics/politicians/1956.asp

The poster uses words from 1956 in a clever fashion to imply activities in 2015 that are not actually the same. (Full platform is here http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=25838)

  • Here is how the issues line up with the platform (my analysis, similar to Snopes):
  • #1 False, was not in the platform
  • #2 “We shall continue to seek extension and perfection of a sound social security system.” (vague)
  • #3 Refers to Refugee Relief Act asylum for refugees (not equivalent to those immigrating illegally), through a thorough screening of refugees and verifying their history for at least 2 years. The Act required refugees who lack “the essentials of life” to present evidence of US sponsorship for housing and a job. This Act has little to do with today’s legal and illegal immigration situation.
  • #4 “Extend minimum wage” referred in 1956 to covering more types of workers under minimum wage provisions, not to increasing the minimum wage $ value.
  • #5 Says they will continue to improve the unemployment insurance system (rather vague) (See alsohttp://www.dol.gov/dol/aboutdol/history/dolchp05.htm)
  • #6 False. The platform proposed to modify Taft-Hartley Act to (Republican’s claimed) strengthen rights of unions and works to participate in unions. Platform said they would push for changes opposed by Democrats. The Taft Hartley Act was passed when Congress had a Republican majority; the Democrats hated it. The Democrats were so opposed to the Taft Hartley Act that they tried to repeal it in 1952; organized labor also sought to have the Act repealed during Eisenhower’s tenure in office. Clearly, the Republican platform was not seriously making life easier for unions. (See http://www.historynewsnetwork.org/article/1036)
    #7 True

Ultimately, the truthfulness of the poster is so-so – which is pretty good for political propaganda, most of which seems to be mostly false.

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