When the Republican Party rails about "big government", many people buy it, until they realize the protections that these programs provide. Conservatives have attacked consumer protection laws and social reform for decades. They viciously attacked our most celebrated women activists and reformers, with red-scare tactics and called them communists. Jane Addams, Florence Kelly, Lillian Wald, Alice Hamilton, Mary Elizabeth Drier, and others, who were convinced that the federal government had a responsibility to confront basic and urgent social social needs. They crusaded for safety and health standards, consumer labels, National Child Labor Laws, Minimum Wage Laws for women, and care for mothers and infants with the Sheppard-Towner act.
When a child labor amendment to the constitution was passed in 1924 it was blocked with cries of socialism by the states, raising the old states rights cry, protesting government intrusion into the "freedom" of family life. In addition to the industrialists--who preferred their economic traditions: Why hire a man for a dollar, or a woman for fifty cents, when you can hire a kid for a dime--various church groups were opponents of the amendment.
of these accomplishments were initiated by the Democrats - most of them
over strenuous opposition from Republicans.