A Lesson in History – the ‘Grand Old Party’

Go Lean Commentary

The Caribbean Community (CariCom) in general and Jamaica in particular had the great privilege of hosting the United States President Barack Obama. He is the first Black Man to hold that esteemed office. In his visit, he was hailed as a conquering hero for agreeing to attend a regional meeting on Caribbean soil, thereby facilitating consultation and collaboration on regional issues between Caribbean government officials and the Chief Executive of the American Republic. Though the Caribbean member-states have no vote in the US Capitol of Washington DC, including the US Territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Island, we do have a voice. The Jamaica meeting allowed more audiences for those voices.


The US is the world’s largest, and richest, single market economy – an economic and military Super Power – plus the largest trading partner for most Caribbean member-states. We are directly affected by the economic, security and governing policies emanating from the shores  of America. This focus aligns with the book Go Lean…Caribbean which seeks to elevate the Caribbean economic, security and governing engines. Begrudgingly, the book admits that the Caribbean is only a parasite of the American eco-system but presents a roadmap to elevate the region to a better status: protégé instead of parasite.

CU Blog - A Lesson in History - Grand Old Party - Photo 2Due to constitutionally mandated term limits, President Obama only has less than 2 years left in his administration. The focus now moves to his possible successor. The next presidential election in the US is set for November 2016. Despite being 18 months away, the jockeying has begun. Will the next president be a Democrat or a Republican? Will their policies be Pro-Caribbean, Anti-Caribbean or completely agnostic; indifferent to the Caribbean’s needs and issues? Agnosticism is not far-fetch as this is the observation given by President Obama. He concluded that 55 years of indifference towards Cuba was long-enough and he has “set the machinery in motion” to normalize relations with Cuba. Will this initiative continue with the new president? The world will have to wait-and-see.

As of this writing, 4 people have already officially declared and launched their campaigns, 1 Democrat (Hillary Clinton) and 3 Republicans (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio). Most stakeholders in the Caribbean may think that the Democratic Party may be more conducive to Caribbean elevation. But still, the decision of American leadership is not ours to make nor influence. We must simply convene, consult and collaborate with whomever the elected official is, Democrat or Republican.

This commentary therefore asserts that we need to work to influence both sides of the American political divide; perhaps even more on the Republican side, since as of late, their policies are less empowering for African-American, and less empowering for the Caribbean. Therefore, there is the need for more mitigation and remediation for the Republican party … as of late.

As of late…
… because the Republican Party, commonly referred to as the GOP (abbreviation for Grand Old Party), was founded by anti-slavery activists in 1854. (The Caribbean and the United States share the same historic legacy of slavery and the slow drag throughout history to remediate the experiences and injustices for this Black-and-Brown population). The GOP dominated politics nationally and in most of the northern U.S. for most of the period between 1860 and 1932. There have been 18 Republican U.S. presidents, the first being Abraham Lincoln, who served from 1861 until his assassination in 1865, and the most recent being George W. Bush, who served two full four-year terms 2001 to 2009. The most recent Republican presidential nominee was former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who lost in 2012 to the incumbent president, Democrat Barack Obama. See the full 19th and 20th Century history of the GOP in the Appendix below.

Today, the party’s platform is generally based on American conservatism,[8][9][10] in contrast to the contemporary American liberalism of the rival Democratic Party. The Republican Party’s conservatism involves supporting free market capitalism, limited government, strong national defense, opposing regulation and labor unions, and supporting socially conservative policies.[2] Civil rights, or issues related to empowering minorities, are not identified with the Republican Party. What a change compared to the historic beginnings of this party.

In the current 114th U.S. Congress, the Republicans have their largest majority in the U.S. House of Representatives since the 1928 election; the GOP also holds a majority of seats in the Senate.[12] The party also holds a majority of governorships and state legislatures.[13]

It is what it is!

We must seek to engage Republicans. It is only the US Presidency that is missing in their echelon of American power.

There is expected to be a full corps of Republican presidential candidates for 2016. Some of the names that have expressed interest in running include the following, but these ones have not officially launched their federal campaigns … yet:

  • Jeb Bush – former 2-term Florida Governor
  • Mike Huckabee – former Arkansas Governor and 2008 presidential candidate
  • Chris Christie – Current Governor of New Jersey
  • Donald Trump – Popular Billionaire businessman and media personality
  • Ben Carson – Retired neurosurgeon and businessman; he happens to be an African-American; see article here:

Title: Will He Run? Ben Carson Set To Address Presidential Plans In May 4 Announcement

CU Blog - A Lesson in History - Grand Old Party - Photo 3He may announce his bid to run for president in 2016. He may not.

But whatever Ben Carson’s political aspirations are, we’ll all know when he makes them public in a May 4 announcement in Detroit, his team tells [news outlet] CNN.

The announcement, set to take place at the Detroit Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, is expected to be the launch for his presidential bid. Details, including ticketing and the subject of the announcement, however, have “yet to be hammered out,” Carson spokeswoman Deana Bass said.

“He will make an announcement. But he’s still very much in the exploratory phase, so he hasn’t made a decision yet,” she said.

From CNN:
The retired neurosurgeon has been traveling the nation over the past six months, giving paid speeches and meeting with supporters to gauge interest in a bid. He recently traveled to Iowa and New Hampshire, and spoke last weekend at the National Rifle Association’s meeting in Tennessee.  Carson’s relative political inexperience, however, hasn’t turned him away from the campaign — if he runs, he’ll look to make it an asset, framing himself as a common-sense alternative to the broken policies of Washington politicians.

So far, the presidential race has gained three GOP senators — Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Marco Rubio of Florida — but Carson’s green political experience (and the already full pot of GOP candidates) doesn’t seem to be a deterrent. And according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, he may have a real shot.

From CNN:
Carson surveys right in the middle of the potential GOP field, ahead of more seasoned or better-known GOP contenders like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee or Rubio, and he took fifth place with 9% support in the last CNN/ORC survey, conducted in March.

Still, that’s a marked decline from late February, when he was polling in the top three of the pack, indicating he still has some work to do in proving his credibility with voters.

We’ll wait to see if Carson will join the Election 2016 club, but if May 4 turns out to be his bid announcement, will you vote for him?
Source: News One – Media Suite Targeting African-Americans – Posted 04/14/2015 from: http://newsone.com/3107603/ben-carson-set-to-address-presidential-plans-may-4-announcement/

Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon from Detroit. The publishers of the book Go Lean…Caribbean has come to this city to observe-and-report on the turn-around of this once great industrial city that is a national icon of urban dysfunction; (Page 140). There have been countless blog/commentaries that have described the Detroit (and surrounding Michigan) dynamics.

Is the United States ready for a second Black Man to assume the highest office in the land? Is Ben Carson ready? Is Black America ready for this Black Republican?

These are all appropriate questions. From the Caribbean perspective, we will observe-and-report on these developments.

The focus of the Go Lean book is not American politics, but rather the economic, security and governing engines of the Caribbean. Yet still, we need to have a productive relationship with the American federal government and whichever administration is in the White House. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU); an initiative to bring “Hope and Change” to the Caribbean region; to make the region a better place to live, work and play. This Go Lean roadmap also has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The book describes the CU as a technocratic administration with 144 different missions to elevate the Caribbean homeland. The underlying goal is stated early in the book with this pronouncement in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12):

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law…

The Go Lean roadmap represents “Hope and Change” for the Caribbean. In 2008, Barack Obama propelled forward into American conscience with that theme “Hope and Change“, now the effort is to propel an initiative for the Caribbean. We have some serious crises to contend with. We need hope and we need change…now.

This fact was enunciated by Obama in his visit to Jamaica. He explained how we have to better manage our interactions with Super Powers to ensure we are getting the sought-after benefits, and not being exploited for their self-interest. The President prescribed a formula for the Caribbean’s dealing with China … and also America itself.

VIDEO: President Barack Obama’s response on China’s involvement in Jamaica’s Development – https://youtu.be/rRaQjukEPOo

Published on 

Apr 22, 2015 — We are a movement of Jamaicans both at Home and Abroad who are willing to fight for real and lasting change. This isn’t for everyone — we’re Changing Jamaica Through Leadership, and we’re proud of it. If you’re someone who’d rather get involved than sit back, if you refuse to be cynical about what we can get done together, then you should be part of this at www.ourjamaicavote.org

The Go Lean roadmap was constructed with the following community ethos in mind, plus the execution of strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies to elevate the Caribbean eco-system. The following is a sample of these specific details from the book:

Assessment – Caribbean Community’s stalled Single Market Initiative Page 15
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Choose Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – All Choices Involve Costs Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Security Principles – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Minority Equalization Page 24
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius – Leadership Skills/Development Page 27
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederation of the 30 Caribbean Member-States into a Single Market Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Celebrate the Music, Sports, Art, People and Culture of the Caribbean Page 46
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation of Powers: Federal Administration versus Member-States Governance Page 71
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region Page 127
Planning – Ways to Improve Trade Page 128
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Ways to Better Manage Image Page 133
Planning – Lessons Learned from Detroit Page 140
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways   to Improve Governance in the Caribbean Region Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Leadership Page 171
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security Page 180
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Communications Page 186
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to Reboot Cuba Page 236

There is a consistency with this Go Lean commentary, applying lessons from a consideration of historic events and people. The premise is simple:

Those who refuse to learn from history are forced to repeat it.

The Go Lean book posits that the Caribbean has a dysfunctional history. Despite having the greatest address on the planet, the region suffers from an alarmingly high abandonment rate. We can… and must do better. By applying this lesson from history we should be able to better prosper where we’re planted here in the Caribbean.

There are other lessons for the Caribbean to learn from considering history; the following previous blog/commentaries apply:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4720 A Lesson in History: SARS in Hong Kong
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4166 A Lesson in History: Panamanian Balboa
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2809 A Lesson in History: Economics of East Berlin
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2670 A Lesson in History: Rockefeller’s Pipeline
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2585 A Lesson in History: Concorde SST
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2480 A Lesson in History: Community Ethos of WW II
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2297 A Lesson in History: Booker T versus Du Bois
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1531 A Lesson in History: 100 Years Ago Today – World War I
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=789 A Lesson in History: America’s War on the Caribbean

The Go Lean roadmap seeks to empower and elevate Caribbean engines. It is out-of-scope to impact the US. That will be the campaign of the presidential candidates, perhaps also including Ben Carson. He would not be the first Black Republican presidential candidate; in fact in 2012 Herman Cain ran a substantial campaign for much of that “season” – a one-time front-runner. Further, in 2000, former ambassador Alan Keyes sought the Republican nomination for President.

Will “Ben Carson” campaign change the Republican party, making it more amiable to the Black Community? Did the previous candidates (Herman Cain & Alan Keyes) impact the party? It is only logical to conclude that each attempt by serious Black candidates will “crack the glass ceiling”; then eventually a substantial Black candidate will “break through”.

Will “Ben Carson” be that candidate? Let’s observe-and-report.


Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


APPENDIX – History of the Grand Old Party
(Source: Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia – Retrieved 04/19/2015 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States) )

Founding and 19th century

CU Blog - A Lesson in History - Grand Old Party - Photo 4Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by anti-slavery activists, modernizers, ex-Whigs, and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party quickly became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the briefly popular Know Nothing Party. The main cause was opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise by which slavery was kept out of Kansas. The Northern Republicans saw the expansion of slavery as a great evil. The first public meeting where the name “Republican” was suggested for a new anti-slavery party was held on March 20, 1854 in a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin.[14] The name was partly chosen to pay homage to Thomas Jefferson’s Republican Party.

The first official party convention was held on July 6, 1854, in Jackson, Michigan.[15] By 1858, the Republicans dominated nearly all Northern states. The Republican Party first came to power in 1860 with the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency and Republicans in control of Congress and again, the Northern states. It oversaw the preserving of the union, the end of slavery, and the provision of equal rights to all men in the American Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861–1877.[16]

The Republicans’ initial base was in the Northeast and the upper Midwest [States].

Early Republican ideology was reflected in the 1856 slogan “free labor, free land, free men”, which had been coined by Salmon P. Chase, a Senator from Ohio (and future Secretary of the Treasury and Chief Justice of the United States).[17] “Free labor” referred to the Republican opposition to slave labor and belief in independent artisans and businessmen. “Free land” referred to Republican opposition to plantation system whereby slave-owners could buy up all the good farm land, leaving the yeoman independent farmers the leftovers. The Party strived to contain the expansion of slavery, which would cause the collapse of the slave power (“slaveocracy”) and the expansion of freedom.[18]

Lincoln, representing the fast-growing western states, won the Republican nomination in 1860 and subsequently won the presidency. The party took on the mission of preserving the Union and destroying slavery during the American Civil War and over Reconstruction. In the election of 1864, it united with War Democrats to nominate Lincoln on the National Union Party ticket.

The party’s success created factionalism within the party in the 1870s. Those who felt that Reconstruction had been accomplished and was continued mostly to promote the large-scale corruption tolerated by President Ulysses S. Grant ran Horace Greeley for the presidency. The Stalwarts defended Grant and the spoils system; the Half-Breeds pushed for reform of the civil service.

The GOP supported business generally, hard money (i.e., the gold standard), high tariffs to promote economic growth, high wages and high profits, generous pensions for Union veterans, and (after 1893) the annexation of Hawaii. The Republicans supported the pietistic Protestants who demanded Prohibition. As the northern post-bellum economy boomed with heavy and light industry, railroads, mines, fast-growing cities and prosperous agriculture, the Republicans took credit and promoted policies to sustain the fast growth.

Nevertheless, by 1890 the Republicans had agreed to the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Interstate Commerce Commission in response to complaints from owners of small businesses and farmers. The high McKinley Tariff of 1890 hurt the party and the Democrats swept to a landslide in the off-year elections, even defeating McKinley himself.

After the two terms of Democrat Grover Cleveland, the election of William McKinley in 1896 is widely seen as a resurgence of Republican dominance and is sometimes cited as a realigning election. McKinley promised that high tariffs would end the severe hardship caused by the [Economic] Panic of 1893, and that the GOP would guarantee a sort of pluralism in which all groups would benefit.

20th century

CU Blog - A Lesson in History - Grand Old Party - Photo 5The 1896 realignment cemented the GOP as the party of big business, while Theodore Roosevelt added more small business support by his embrace of trust busting. He handpicked his successor William Howard Taft in 1908, but they became enemies on economic issues. Defeated by Taft for the 1912 nomination, Roosevelt bolted the party and led the third party ticket of the Progressive Party. The party returned to the White House throughout the 1920s, running on platforms of normalcy, business-oriented efficiency, and high tariffs. The national party avoided the prohibition issue after it became law in 1920.

Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover were resoundingly elected in 1920, 1924, and 1928 respectively. The pro-business policies of the decade seemed to produce an unprecedented prosperity until the Wall Street Crash of 1929 heralded the Great Depression.

New Deal Era

CU Blog - A Lesson in History - Grand Old Party - Photo 6The New Deal coalition of Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt controlled American politics for most of the next three decades, excepting the two-term presidency of Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. Blacks moved into the Democratic Party during the New Deal era; they could vote in the North but not in the South. After Roosevelt took office in 1933, New Deal legislation sailed through Congress and the economy moved sharply upward from the nadir in early 1933. However long-term unemployment remained a drag until 1940. In the 1934 midterm elections, 10 Republican senators went down to defeat, leaving them with only 25 against 71 Democrats. The House of Representatives likewise had overwhelming Democratic majorities.

The GOP split into a majority “Old Right” (based in the Midwest) and a liberal wing based in the Northeast that supported much of the New Deal. The Old Right sharply attacked the “Second New Deal” and said it represented class warfare and socialism. Roosevelt was reelected in a landslide in 1936 but everything went awry in his second term, as the economy plunged, strikes soared, and FDR failed to take control of the Supreme Court or to purge the Southern conservatives in the Democratic party. The GOP made a major comeback in the 1938 elections, and had new rising stars such as Robert A. Taft of Ohio on the right and Thomas E. Dewey of New York on the left.[19] Southern conservatives joined with most Republicans to form the conservative coalition, which dominated domestic issues in Congress until 1964. Both parties split on foreign policy issues, with the anti-war isolationists dominant in the GOP and the interventionists who wanted to stop Hitler dominant in the Democratic party. Roosevelt won a third and fourth term in 1940 and 1944. Conservatives abolished most of the New Deal during the war, but did not attempt to reverse Social Security or the agencies that regulated business.

Historian George H. Nash argues:

Unlike the “moderate”, internationalist, largely eastern bloc of Republicans who accepted (or at least acquiesced in) some of the “Roosevelt Revolution” and the essential premises of President Truman’s foreign policy, the Republican Right at heart was counter-revolutionary, anti-collectivist, anti-Communist, anti-New Deal, passionately committed to limited government, free market economics, and congressional (as opposed to executive) prerogatives, the G.O.P. conservatives were obliged from the start to wage a constant two-front war: against liberal Democrats from without and “me-too” Republicans from within.[20]

The Democrats elected majorities to Congress almost continuously after 1932 (the GOP won only in 1946 and 1952), but the Conservative Coalition blocked practically all major liberal proposals in domestic policy. After 1945, the internationalist wing of the GOP cooperated with Harry Truman’s Cold War foreign policy, funded the Marshall Plan, and supported NATO, despite the continued isolationism of the Old Right.

CU Blog - A Lesson in History - Grand Old Party - Photo 7CU Blog - A Lesson in History - Grand Old Party - Photo 8The second half of the 20th century saw election or succession of Republican presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Eisenhower had defeated conservative leader Senator Robert A. Taft for the 1952 nomination, but conservatives dominated the domestic policies of the Eisenhower Administration. Voters liked Ike much more than they liked the GOP, and he proved unable to shift the party to a more moderate position. After 1970, the liberal wing faded away.[21]

Ever since he left office in 1989, Reagan has been the iconic Republican; and Republican presidential candidates frequently claim to share his views and aim to establish themselves and their policies as the more appropriate heir to his legacy.[22] In 1994, the Party, led by House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich campaigning on the Contract with America, was elected to majorities to both houses of Congress in the Republican Revolution. However Gingrich was unable to deliver on most of its promises, and after the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998 and subsequent Republican losses in the House, he resigned. Since Reagan’s day, presidential elections have been close. However, the Republican presidential candidate won a majority of the popular vote only in 2004, while coming in second in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2012.

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