One of my moderate Republican friends made the very anti-GOP claim that the role of the government is to regulate.
He finds it ridiculous that the House Republicans signed a pledge never to raise taxes and are not willing to give up their stance even when the debt continues to grow.
He says it is best if the Republican Party loses big so that they realize they are going in the wrong direction and hopefully go back to the good old days (from 40+ years ago).
He mentioned that the Republicans from the generation of his parents used to support and sign into law many regulations. He told me, and this surprised me, as I was not aware of it (I came to the US in 1996), that Nixon signed into law many environmental regulations. But he forgot to tell me that it was the Democratic Congresses that passed the environmental initiatives; it was therefore a shared effort between Republicans and Democrats, back in the olden days when these two species coexisted.
The National Environmental Act of 1969, the Clean Air Act in 1970, the Clean Water Act of 1972, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and last but certainly not least, the Safe Drinking Act of 1974. Not only did Richard Nixon sign all this legislation but he took a big step on his own when he signed an executive order creating the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.
The big question is why a conservative like Nixon created EPA and why did he sign the green legislation passed by Congress.
To begin with, Nixon was much more interested in foreign policy than he was in domestic policy… And the president was busy fighting the war in Vietnam at the time and making overtures to the communist governments of the Soviet Union and China.
And there was a tradition of progressive GOP environmentalism in the form of Teddy Roosevelt. It's hard to believe but, in the 1970s, there were moderate Republicans. Of course, they should have been put on the Endangered Species list before they died off, became Democrats, or were herded into re-education camps during the Ronald Reagan's presidency.
I am not sure Republicans can go back to the Nixon era. Too much time, money and effort has been invested by the corporate cronies, big oil, the Koch brothers and many among the 1% to buy Republican politicians to help each other stay in power. I don’t see how they can go back.
But hey, I don’t mind if they believe this voting for Obama strategy may work.