This is a letter written by Clint Gold to the Tulsa World Oklahoma newspaper in 10/24/1999 and read by Mike Malloy radio talk-show host periodically.
Maybe it would be good to print this out and give to relatives instead of arguing.
CLINT C. GOLD
Not too long ago, my wife and I attended a TV football
party in south Tulsa. With a lopsided score, the
conversation turned to a livelier subject -- politics. The
crowd was, of course, top-heavy with Republicans. With each
point expressed their faces became more flushed, eyes
bulging a little more and veins popping in their foreheads
as they railed against the liberal programs.
Finally a lone, liberal voice asked: "Will you people
name me one bill your party ever passed to help the working
man of this country?" The question created much din and
clamor, and someone sputtered, "Well, what have the
The liberal responded with a few programs and was
interrupted by howling and disdain. He noted that he had
not promised they would like the programs and he asked to
complete his statement -- a difficult task to ask of
He spoke of Social Security;
welfare (for the poor and
student grant and loan programs;
safety laws (OSHA);
right to collective bargaining (which brought about
paid medical insurance, paid vacations, pensions, etc.);
School Lunch Program;
He spoke of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which
established a minimum wage,
instituted child labor laws,
and set up time-and-a-half pay for over a 40-hour week.
He mentioned FHA-HUD with its public housing, urban
renewal and 44 million residential homes (before WWII
almost 70 percent of our nation were renters; by the 1970s
this had been reversed). And farm-conservation
subsidies -- USDA programs, Farmers Home Administration (the
bankers didn't want to make rural loans), small
flood-control lakes (more than 3,000 in Oklahoma alone),
rural water districts, rural electricity (REA).
The GI Bill was passed, which the Republicans at the
time bitterly opposed. They were salivating over millions
of returning veterans to hire as cheap labor. More than 8
million have used college benefits, creating millions of
entrepreneurs; most of us had never dreamed of college. For
the unemployed GI, there was $20 a week for 52 weeks to
help get started (a lot of money in those days). The
Veterans Administration provided more than 2 million home
For the bankers at the football party, it was pointed
out that the liberals saved their industry with the
creation of FDIC and FSLIC, insuring their deposits, and
saved Wall Street with the establishment of the Securities
The oil men came on bended knees to FDR at a time when
East Texas oil was 4 cents a barrel and begged him to save
their industry. He did; prorationing overturned the rule of
capture and the days of flush production were over.
Prorating has served this great industry (and nation)
And the list went on and on, but of course this group
didn't let him get halfway through. He noted they were
weary, inattentive, so again he challenged them to offer up
any Republican legislation examples.
I'm sure your party has authored one or two comparable
bills from time to time, but I can't think of any, and
apparently you can't either. What it boils down to is this:
the liberals dragged you into the 20th century scratching
and screaming with your heels in the mud, fighting anything
that"s progressive, everything that"s made this country
great. You Republicans have never understood that the
spending power of blue-collar workers, obtained through
Democrats and unions, is what really made this country
great. You really believe "The Good Life" was obtained from
your own endeavors. You cloak your greed in religion and
patriotism, railing against any form of tax, never
comprehending that these programs have benefited all of us
and our country."
Well, I almost didn't make it out of the house. My wife
and I didn't even get to see the end of the football game.
If Reps. Steve Largent or J.C. Watts had been there,
perhaps politics would never have come up, only the game
plan ... pity.
Clint C. Gold is former mayor of Moore and a retired
savings and loan executive.