A blast from the past.. 1948 South Dakota Republican State Platform. Platform planks on Teacher Shortages and pro-labor overtures.

I’ve had my nose buried in work lately, but as I was doing a long-overdue cleaning of nonsense off of my desk, I did stumble across a 1948 flyer for the SDGOP I’d picked up several months back.

I grab stuff like this not just because I’m a hoarder collector of old South Dakota political items, but with paper pamphlets of years gone by, we see how much politics and the SDOGP has changed over the decades.  It’s one reason I tend to roll my eyes when people have an intractable bent about “following the Republican platform,” which is as fluid a document as you can find.  Back in 1988 when I started, they didn’t want to put a pro-life plank in the platform. Now, it’s hard to imagine one without it.

As we’re shaped by the politics of our time more than anything, put on your fedora, and take a look back 75 years to the post-war era in 1948 to see if you could “follow the Republican platform.”  I’m guessing there’s a few items in there that might be a little of a challenge..

“The Republican Party of South Dakota recognizes the right of Labor, to organize, to bargain collectively, and to strike, it pledges itself to protect these fundamental rights.”  Didn’t know there was a pro-union plank in the platform at one time. Not so much anymore.

But also note some of the big issues of the day, as things have not changed so much. Such as with teacher shortages, noting  “Recognizing the problem of teacher shortage in schools and colleges, the Party pledges necessary action which will retain worthy and qualified teachers, and attract to the profession the best of talent such legislation to include adequate appropriation for the administration of the retirement system and the state’s contribution thereto.”

Ready to get on board with the Dewey – Mundt – Francis Case – George T Mickelson ticket?

5 thoughts on “A blast from the past.. 1948 South Dakota Republican State Platform. Platform planks on Teacher Shortages and pro-labor overtures.”

  1. Yes. I see absolutely nothing in error in this platform. Perhaps the outlook forecasted for the Missouri River Development is too optimistic. We are still putting that plank in place, 70 years later. The platform is reflective of the fact that the Party couldn’t beat down the New Deal and decided, to defuse Truman’s strength, by adopting some of the New Deals’ basic precepts, including the pro labor Wagner Act. Truman took advantage of a serious decline in agriculture markets to win the Midwest and defeat Dewey once again.

  2. republicans back then really had to fight their democrat opponents to win. notice their ability to change and pivot to position themselves for an effective fight. take note, modern democrats and wingnuts.

    1. i checked RealClearPolitics last night – donald trump still has a more-than 50 percent early preference rating among republicans polled, i think desantis was at 37 percent. with trump you won’t even need a platform if he’s the candidate. he’s bigger than any platform or party.

  3. I will study this in more detail later today when I can read it on a monitor instead of an iphone, but the first thing I noticed is that a lot of those planks seem to be resolutions, congratulating individuals by name for their leadership.

    Those of us who have served on the platform committee have a term for resolutions-which-don’t-belong-in-the-platform: we call them all “pine beetles.”

    It took us years to get the pine beetles out of the platform.

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