(Editor’s Note: I found this quote a few weeks ago. Although it is very old, it is still pertinent today, and proves the old saying “the more things change the more things stay the same”. Please read it first before looking for the author and date).
I am a Republican, as the two great political parties are now divided, because the Republican party is a national party seeking the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens. There is not a precinct in this vast nation where a Democrat cannot cast his ballot and have it counted as cast. No matter what the prominence of the opposite party, he can proclaim his political opinions,
even if he is only one among a thousand, without fear and without proscription on account of his opinions.
The Republican party assures protection to life and property, the public credit, and the payment of the debts of the government, State, county, or municipality, so far as it can control. The Democratic party does no promise this; if it does, it has broken its promises to the extent of hundreds of millions, as many Northern Democrats can testify to their sorrow.
I am a Republican, as between the existing parties, because it fosters the production of the field and farm, and of manufactories, and it encourages the general education of the poor as well as the rich.
The Republican party is a party of progress, and of liberty toward its opponents. It encourages the poor to strive to better their children, to enable them to compete successfully with their more fortunate associates, and, in fine, it secures an entire equality before the law of every citizen, no matter what his race, nationality, or previous condition. It tolerates no privileged class.
Everyone has the opportunity to make himself all he is capable of.
The Republican party is a party of principles; the same principles prevailing wherever it has a foothold. The Democratic party is united in but one thing, and that is in getting control of the government in all its branches. It is for internal improvement at the expense of the government in one section and against this in another. It favors repudiation of solemn obligations in one section and honest payment of its debts in another, where public opinion will not tolerate any other view… it favors the pooling of all issues not favored by the Republicans, to the end that it may secure the one principle upon which the party is a most harmonious unit — namely, getting control of the government in all its branches.
I have been in some part of every State lately in rebellion within the last year. I was most hospitably received at every place where I stopped. My receptions were not by the Union class alone, but by all classes, without distinction. I had a free talk with many who were against me in war, and who have been against the Republican party ever since. They were, in all instances, reasonable men, judging by what they said…that they want to break away from the slavery which binds them to a party name. This desirable solution can only be attained by the defeat, and continued defeat, of the Democratic party as now constituted.
Former President Ulysses S, Grant
Delivered to a Republican Gathering in Warren, Ohio
September 28, 1880