April 12th, 2021


Grumpy Old Democrats

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published August 21, 2015

Grumpy Old Democrats

Here's a little known fact that might interest you, or not interest you depending on your mood. The Republican Party, also known as the GOP, was not always the GOP. In case you don't know, the initials GOP is actually an acronym that stands for the "Grand Old Party." We accept that GOP and Republican are the same entity now, but it wasn't always. I'll explain why, if you're still interested.

Originally GOP was used by Southern Democrats, probably shortened from GOPYA, meaning Grand Old Party, You All. (That last part I made up.) There are several stories on how the term GOP stopped being associated with the Democrats, and came to be associated with the Republicans. Of course the obvious answer is that the Democrats stopped being grand.

According to CBS news, "The Republican National Committee says the acronym dates back to 1875, at which time it meant "Gallant Old Party." That was back at a time when political parties could actually be gallant. (For those of you under the age of 80, I'll pause for a moment while you look up the meaning of the word "gallant.")

Another story has it that in 1888 GOP was used as a moniker for the Republican Party following a newspaper editorial in the Chicago Tribune, after the election of a Republican president and majority of Congress. The editorial writer said he was grateful that "under the rule of the Grand Old Party," progress stymied by Democrat Grover Cleveland's term of office would resume.

And still another story, claimed by the National Federation of Republican Women, says the term "Gallant Old Party" may have preceded Grand Old Party as early as 1875, which supports the CBS story. I'm sure there must be even more stories about the GOP origins, but if you think I'm going to spend any more of my valuable time digging into this thing, you're out of your mind. I've got a column to finish, y'know.

So what's the point to all of this? Well, if you have to ask that, you haven't been reading my column very much. We don't necessarily deal in "points" around here. If you want a point go sharpen a pencil. Now, before I was so rudely interrupted, I will continue for those one or two of you who are still interested.

Since the term "GOP" has been forever taken over by the Republicans, it's clear that the Dems desperately need their very own nickname. I propose we come up with a new term for the Democrats, something that truly encompasses what they are today. In looking over the current Democratic field of possible presidential candidates, (i.e., Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Jim Webb, and even Al Gore) I see a line up of senior citizens. They are in effect Grumpy Old Democrats. So that should be their new moniker, Grumpy Old Democrats. And that gives them the perfect acronym for how they really think of themselves, "G0D." It's pure genius.

Let's face it; in this election cycle the Republicans are the party of youth while the Democrats are the party of poopers. Compare the ages: Republicans Marco Rubio 44, Ted Cruz 44, Scott Walker 47, Chris Christie 52, and Rand Paul 52. As opposed to Democrats Hilary Clinton 68 this October, Bernie Saunders 74, Joe Biden 73 this November, Jim Webb 69, Elizabeth Warren 66 and Al Gore 67.

The Dems are aging Boomers whose boom is more like a wheeze. They're old Hippies with hip replacements. Old flower children that have been dried and stuck between the pages of Marx's Communist Manifesto and Mao's Little Red Book.

Can you imagine a Hilary Clinton/Joe Biden presidential ticket? Their slogan could be "A Bridge to Yesterday." Or how about a Clinton/Gore ticket? Their slogan would be "Together Again." They could save money by using the leftover campaign stickers, buttons, and placards from the 1992 and 1996 campaigns. The Bernie Sanders campaign slogan would be "If You Want to Be Right, Go Left With Bernie."

There's something sad and creepy about old liberals, I mean besides the fact that they look used up and smell bad. Old liberals remind me of Norma Desmond from "Sunset Boulevard," the washed-up actress who couldn't accept that time had passed her by. She lived in the past, hiding within the walls of her secluded house, re-running her old movies, refusing to believe that the world had moved on.

Grumpy Old Democrats. Maybe there's a movie in that. Too bad Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon aren't around. They'd be great in it. Of course we can always remake "Sunset Boulevard" starring Hillary Clinton.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's also a Southern California-based freelance writer.