There was a time that the Republican Party was actually the Party of Civil Rights and Individual Freedom. And not just Civil Rights for Caucasians and Economic Freedom for the wealthy and Religious Freedom for Christians and Social Freedom for people who think and look at the World as they do. Who live in a certain part of the country and so fourth but Economic, Social and Religious Freedom for everyone, where Civil Rights and Individual Freedom trumped States Rights and bigotry. The Party of Lincoln lasted from around 1860 when Abraham Lincoln ran and was elected President, through, the Civil War that freed the African Slaves. Until through 1940 when the GOP nominated Wendell Willkie for President, who was pro Civil Rights, as well as Tom Dewey in 1944 and 48, Dwight Eisenhower. Had a good Civil Rights record as well, Richard Nixon with all of his flaws, had a solid Civil Rights record, same thing with Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan was completely against bigotry. George H.W. Bush had a good Civil Rights record as well as President. In the 1960s and well before that, Democrats couldn't pass Civil Rights legislation at all, in either the House or Senate. Without Republican support and Republicans working in their behalf to pass those bills, the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s don't become law, without Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, bringing Senate Republicans with him on those bills.
This stared changing in the late 1960s, well actually starting in 1966 when Congressional Republicans. Picked up a bunch of seats in Congress from the South, especially in the House, thanks to the Civil Rights Laws, Southern Democrats who were really Democrats in name only, became Republicans. Dick Nixon doesn't become President in 1969, without the South in 1968 and then the Religious Right goes Republican and starts having a loud and powerful voice in American Politics starting. In the mid 1970s, issues like abortion, homosexuality and pornography become key issues that Republicans feel the need to push and limit Americans choice when it comes to these issues and. Start pushing bans on these things, so a Republican Party that once almost looked Libertarian or Conservative in the classical sense, starts to become more Statist and Authoritarian on some of these key Social Issues.
For the Republican Party to remain a major Political Party in the future, they are simply going to have. To change and be able to adapt to the new Americans and voters, who don't want government in their homes and probably not wallets either and the good news for the GOP, they were. Once a party that could communicate to a broad base of voters, because they saw them as low tax but also as people who wouldn't interfere in their private lives and thats what they need. To get back to, to remain relevant in American Politics.