Thayer: What it means to be Republican

Greg Thayer

By Gregory Thayer

Recently, I read a social media exchange between a mother and her teenage daughter. The mother asked the girl, “What’s wrong?” and the girl responded, “I don’t want people to think I’m a Republican.” That made me stop in my tracks, and I thought, “What is wrong with being a Republican?”

Most Republicans I know are good, moral, and upstanding citizens. When I was in high school, I enjoyed Civics and Public Policy class at the Academy. My parents owned a small grocery store, and after 9:00 PM, my dad and local politicians and residents would gather there and settle all of Rutland City’s problems. I learned about local issues and debate procedures, and how to do research. I learned the difference between Democrat and Republican ideologies and values. Most of all, I learned how to listen to other people’s points of view.

Because of all that exposure to Republican principles, falling in line with the Grand Old Party (GOP) felt natural to me. The ten major principles of the GOP, as our Founding Fathers prescribed, are pretty simple. You’d think every American would support them.

1. Personal responsibility is paramount.

2. Less government regulation is better. It should be only adopted to fit the intent of the law.

3. Preserve free-market capitalism and competition in the marketplace.

4. There is a role for government, albeit limited in nature.

5. Support growth and opportunity, no entitlements.

6. Government must be effective and efficient and work for the people.

7. Taxes should be levied based on essential public services

8. Government employees should be held accountable for their job performance.

9. Laws must be enforced not flouted.

10. Laws should protect the people, including the unborn from the moment of conception.

Since the inception of the GOP in 1854, Republicans have supported power and control by “We the People,” not “We the Government.” In 1860, with the election of Abraham Lincoln, we adopted the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to protect indentured people.  Lincoln ended slavery. President Dwight Eisenhower established the federal highway system connecting all corners of America and founded NASA. In 1972, Richard Nixon opened up China and established the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.

GOP presidents fought for the desegregation of schools in the South; President Eisenhower started the Civil Rights discussions. President Reagan ended the Cold War without one bullet being fired. Many Republican presidents cut taxes and reduced over-regulation of American businesses.

GOP presidents established the following government programs and agencies for all Americans:

Department of Agriculture: 1862 under Lincoln (Republican)

Department of Commerce (National Parks Commission): 1903 under T. Roosevelt (Republican)

Food and Drug Administration: 1906 under T. Roosevelt (Republican)

Federal Power Commission: 1920 under William Harding (Republican)

Commodities Exchange Authority: 1922 under William Harding (Republican)

Federal Communications Commission: 1927 under Calvin Coolidge (Republican)

Food and Drug Administration: 1931 under Hoover (Republican)

Department of Health, Education and Welfare (later to split into Education / Health and Human Services): 1953 under Eisenhower (Republican)

Occupational Safety and Health Administration: 1970 under Nixon (Republican)

Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Agency: 1972 under Nixon (Republican)

Federal Energy Administration: 1973 under Nixon (Republican)

Drug Enforcement Agency: 1973 under Nixon (Republican).

Atomic Energy Commission: 1973 under Nixon (Republican)

Pension and Welfare Administration: 1974 under Nixon (Republican)

Veterans Employment and Training Service: 1981 under Reagan (Republican)

Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration: 1981 under Reagan (Republican)

First US Supreme Court Female Associate Justice: Appointed by Reagan (Republican)

Department of Veterans Affairs: 1989 under George H.W. Bush (Republican)

In 1870 the first black US Senator was a Republican. The first woman to serve in the US House of Representatives was a Republican in 1916, Susan B. Anthony, a Republican wrote the text of the 16th Amendment. The Democrat Party gave us slavery, KKK thugs, Jim Crow laws, and government dependency.

Compare and contrast between Democrats and Republicans:

Public Safety & Crime: Democrats believe crimes aren’t violent, want to defund police and no jail time for criminals. Republicans want to enforce our criminal laws, prosecute offenders, and fund the police.

Education: Democrats want Common Core, Critical Race Theory, and equity. Republicans want to support parent involvement, provide family choice in education, and let the money follow the student.

Health Care: Democrats support single payer healthcare, which means big government being in control. Republicans support free-market solutions.

Tax Policy: Democrats support high taxation and demand to “tax the rich.” Republicans support low taxation for everyone to pay for essentials and to stimulate the economy.

Social Issues: Democrats want “social justice”; they teach that white Americans are oppressors and black Americans are oppressed. Republicans want to teach real US history and believe that all people are created equal in God’s imagine.

Gun Control: Democrats want to take your firearms. Republicans support the 2nd and 16th Amendments and want to teach firearm safety and maintenance.

Global Warming Solutions Act and Climate: Democrats want to make us believe that the world will end if we don’t stop using fossil fuels, they also support a One-World Order agenda. Republicans believe that we’ve made great strides in protecting the environment. Especially here in Vermont, we have clean water and air, and our CO2 emissions are under control.

Democrats have given us welfare and other social programs that are aimed at making Americans dependent on the government and cost taxpayers their hard-earned money. Republicans want all of us to keep as much of our money as possible, so we’ll be able to save and build a nest egg for ourselves.

So, people, do not be afraid to be a Republican; be proud because for 168 years Republicans have protected mankind!

Greg Thayer is a Rutland resident and candidate for lieutenant governor.

13 replies »


    I’m sure you’ll be dismissed and condemned for daring to speak out and define what it “should mean” to be a “Republican.” Being a “nice guy or girl” and “going along to get along” under “a big tent” is more the current Platform of many so-called Republicans.

    They think they are too important and all-knowing to be accountable to an “unwoke and old fashioned set of Principles.” They are blind to the affect on their trustworthiness, both as a Major Political Party and individually.
    Our current GOP Chair in Vermont thinks it is his job to buddy up to any/all officials and candidates as long as they “say they are Republicans.” Our supposed GOP Governor, violated several Laws and Individual Constitutional Freedoms during the many past months.

    Did the Vermont GOP Party speak out for WE THE PEOPLE of Vermont? Does the Vermont GOP Party believe The Principles in our State and US Constitutions?

  2. Greg is oblivious to the realities of our body politic, and seems blind, and perhaps willfully, that our two political parties are bought and thus our government is. The entirety of the GOP has no qualms about that. Bill Clinton turned the Democratic party into the “Republican” party, and pushed THE Republican party so far to the right, that it went insane. Clinton did this by increasing the Democrats dependence on corporate donors. This was exasperated by Citizens United, where the SCOTUS ruled that Corporations were People and money is speech. The modern day Republican party is dead, a zombie, animated by white nationalists/Christian fascists. And we may be on our way to being a full blown authoritarian state if Trump, or someone carrying the mantle of Trumpism assumes power. By the way, in 1960 the top marginal tax rate was 90% on income over $250k. And Eisenhower was just fine with that. Oh, and it was Hoover that raised it to 90% The middle class did better, and government wasn’t as bought.

    • Re: “Greg is oblivious to the realities of our body politic,….”

      One of you, certainly, is… obliviouos… and clearly “…exasperated”.

  3. Kudos! I’d love to see this published in every newspaper in Vermont. We trust people and Dems trust government – that’s what it all boils down to.

    • The Democrats trust Governments as their gods to control their freedoms and rights.

      Republicans “are supposed to” Trust GOD as the SOURCE of their Individual Constitutional Unalienable RIGHTS and FREEDOMS.

  4. I love how he strawmans the present state Democrat’s positions, while cherry picking what Republicans have done, and ignoring that the GOP is the new Jim Crow party. There is a history he ignores. In 1965, 142 Republicans voted for the Voting Right Act. The latest incarnation of that, voted on recently received no GOP votes, not One.

    • Republicans of the past are more similar to Democrats of today due to white voter shift in mid 1900s. Republicans of today don’t even believe in climate change yet try to claim the EPA as “theirs”? What a joke.

      How can you have a principle of “no entitlements” yet claim the creation of the “Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration: 1981 under Reagan (Republican)”. How many Republicans utilize the masive entitlement program known as Social Security? We all know what Thayer mean is: entitlements for people like me, not people other than me. 100% cognitive dissonance like usual.

      Before critcizing Democrats maybe Thayer should look at the dark side of modern day Republicanism: anti-vax, QANON, pro-Russia, culture warriors. I imagine Reagan is rolling in his grave.

      • Christian, forgive me if my presumption that you lean toward the Democrat Party is wrong. If I’m right though, how is it that you take all of the things Thayer said about the Democrats as criticism? As a Democrat you should wear them with pride.

      • Greg is trying to lay out the main Principles Republicans should adhere to. He never said they are or were perfect. No human being is without mistakes, Democrat or Republican.

        The point is: if we don’t define ourselves and agree to be accountable to some Basic Principles, how can we be trusted or expect others to want to join us?
        How do voters know who they are voting for? This is how RINOS were born.
        There is no accountability for the Party at both the Federal and State Levels.

  5. It may be helpful to lay aside the past temporarily and examine each party’s platform to see what they stand for today. There is a vast difference. Which you prefer says a lot about who you are. Granted, neither party completely lives up to their own standards, but that is the human condition. However, each should show some resolve along those lines, or call it quits.

    I am not sure that those who identify with either party well understand why they do.

    I like to think that I side with the party that, more than any other, tries to seek out and follow truth. The other parties for the most part see truth as subjective and unknowable except for their own personal perceptions. Thus every issue for them reduces to a power play for who will receive the most benefit, either personally or as a member of the group they identify with, regardless of the associated objective truths. The so called partisan divide we see today is not a partisan divide but a world view divide.

    To me power is the heritage of those who don’t seek it for themselves, but seek and defend truth for the benefit of all, even for those who disagree and oppose them.

    “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.” –Abraham Lincoln

    Truth is not for the faint hearted.

  6. If the D’s were not frustrated to the n’th degree, they would not be reading Chronicle. Yes, we have some work to do, but it can be done and must be if the state is to avoid a one party rule.

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