In Ripon, Wisconsin, anti-slavery activists met on February 28, 1854, then held their first State Convention in Jackson, Michigan, on this day – July 6 – 1854. They named their party Republican, with the chief plank being “to prohibit…those twin relics of barbarism: polygamy and slavery.”
Phyllis Schlafly had much to say about the Republican Party and its positions. She particularly addressed this founding notion of the GOP in a 1994 speech about Abortion and the Republican Party. She implored Republicans to remember their founding principles. We would also do well to listen to her wisdom.
“The Republican Party has a tradition of standing for certain principles,” Phyllis said. “And it has and should have an identity different from other parties. The Republican Party was born on the principle that no human being should be considered the property of another. That is our heritage as Republicans and it would be a tragic mistake to abandon that fundamental precedent now.”
Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president, said in one of his famous debates with Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, that the real issue in the controversy of slavery is that the Republican Party “looks upon the institution of slavery as a wrong. And the Democratic Party does not look upon it as a wrong.” Lincoln proclaimed the slavery issue represented, “The eternal struggle between these two principles. Right and wrong.” Phyllis reminded us in 1994: “Abortion is the right or wrong issue of our times.”
She concluded: “The Declaration of Independence does not mention abortion. But you will search in vain for a single affirmation that the Creator-endowed right to life was to be withheld from a baby until the moment of birth.” “The Republican Party was founded on the principle that no human being should be considered the property of another…Our first Republican President Abraham Lincoln relied on our nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, for authority to uphold the Creator-endowed inalienable right of life and liberty of every individual, and the proposition that government has the duty to protect that right.