First I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who reading this and to the people of the 22nd Ward, 26th Division whom I have represented over the last 4 years in both the Republican Party and outside of it.
I’ve been a Republican for a majority of my life in large part because in Philadelphia, if you want to change the political landscape, you need to be a Republican in a city of Democrats. When I won my election as a Republican Committee Person in 2014 I saw it as a chance to make the party the most viable it has been since 2003 and make the Philly GOP the strong loyal opposition. Along the way I saw first hand why the Republican Party has fallen short of that in Philadelphia, and the problems that have led us down this path.
The Republican Party’s history finds it origins as a rejection of the mainstream of its time. We were founded by proud liberals who wanted to abolish slavery and within 4 years time we nominated Abraham Lincoln for President. For over a century we brought about liberal and progressive ideals as civil rights for all and protecting workers rights with the likes of Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower. Those leaders saw a nation that needed strong and moral leadership, and thanks to them we not only saved the Union but made it better for everyone.
Yet in the last 50 years with the start of the Southern Strategy under Nixon, and before that the failed election of Barry Goldwater, that this fair party began to be subjugated by the Southern Dixiecrats and the more religious conservative movements of the 1980’s. The party has since careened into a whirlwind of pushing Christian Moral laws, Libertarianism, Ayn Randian style Capitalism, and dismissing its long history as a party that fought for everyone by pushing an extremely narrow idea of what the nation should be. The nationalistic far-right and racist alt-right took over and more and more being a Republican became synonymous with being a racist, intolerant, xenophobic, and bigoted.
Bob Bruhin is a web developer, tour guide, art photographer, author, blogger, and graphic designer. His love of urban landscapes, especially in post-industrial Philadelphia, PA, leads him to document some of the darker corners of his city.
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