Happy 168th birthday to the GOP!

We say happy birthday to the Grand Old Party, the GOP, or, the Republican Party.    

The birth of the party happened in Ripon, Wisconsin, on this day in 1854. 

The new party was formed by former members of the Whig Party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories.

In my case, I became a de facto Republican after the Kennedy administration fumbled The Bay of Pigs invasion. 

For many of us Cuban-Americans, the invasion was personal. 

I mean that some of us had relatives in the ill-fated Brigade 2506, or else they themselves had been arrested while on the island. 

After the Bay of Pigs, the Castro regime came down very hard on dissent.  My father's cousin, a young doctor, was arrested and spent 14 years in a political prison without a trial.   He was eventually released when the president of France negotiated the release of some men from prison.   The Catholic schools were closed around that time and I can still remember my father picking us up and driving home. So I guess we became anti-JFK Republicans!

In the mid-1970s, I found an ideological home in the Reagan movement.  I cheered his anti-communism but also related to his conservative message.   

The small government and free-market message hit home!

And I laughed with my parents when Ronald Reagan told those great Soviet jokes.

Since 1854, the GOP has elected many of our greatest presidents:

"Lincoln (1861-1865), 

Grant (1869-1877), 

Hayes (1877-1881), 

Garfield (1881), 

Arthur (1881-1885), 

Harrison (1889-1893), 

McKinley (1897-1901), 

T. Roosevelt (1901-1909), 

Taft (1909-1913), 

Harding (1921-1923), 

Coolidge (1923-1929),  

Hoover (1929-1933), 

Eisenhower (1953-1961), 

Nixon (1969-1974), 

Ford (1974-1977), 

Reagan (1981-1989), 

Bush, GHW (1989-1993), 

Bush, GW (2001-2009) &Trump (2017-2021)"

We also nominated some great men who did not win, such as McCain in '08, Romney in '12, and Dole in '96.  Two, at least, were talented men and war heroes.

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