History Repeats Itself: The Republican Party

by Rob Williams

There are some people in the pro-life movement who, dissatisfied with the pro-life positions of some Republican candidates, advocate the forming of a third party. Apparantly they have forgotton the effects of Ross Perot's third party run when Bill Clinton was elected by less than a majority of votes. Somehow they don't see the fantastic difference between Clinton, Gore, and Bradley on one hand and all the major Republican front runners on the other.

Perhaps they should learn from history. At its very founding, the Republican party was being attacked by radical abolitionists as not being strong enough as an anti-slavery party. The great anti-slavery leader, Frederick Douglass, pointing out that votes taken away from Henry Clay had resulted in the election of James Polk, stated "While I see ... that the Republican party is far from an abolition party, I cannot fail to see also that [it] carries with it the antislavery sentiment of the North, and that a victory gained by it in the present canvass will be a victory gained ... over the wickedly aggressive pro-slavery sentiment of the country." Whether we reach back 140 years into history or look at recent third party runs, the message is clear- those who look for perfect candidates often end up with their worst nightmares.

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