I'll end with education policy by bringing elections into the talk. Republicans are in modern times the party of wealth and profit. The Democratic Party is the party of labor and justice. Clinton neo-liberals are as Republican as any politician so they work for wealth and corporate profits against labor and justice. I restate this because as the Democratic base of labor and justice figure out Clinton neo-liberals lied, cheated, and stole from labor and justice just as Republicans do---the neo-liberals are now trying to pretend it is the Democratic Party that created the mess of these decades of Reagan/Clinton neo-liberalism.
History is a liberal art. Anthropology is a social science. Throughout human history history has encompassed the lives of the rich and powerful.....ergo, a history of wars and royalty. After the revolutions in Europe and America in the 1700s====where Magna Carta and Rule of Law came to ALL CITIZENS AND NOT ONLY THE RICH----history came to include the history of all citizens---not only the rich and powerful. That is what liberal arts and social sciences mean to all European and American citizens----we access and are part of all arts and humanities. Now, developing nations in Asia, Latin America, and Africa do not have this history of people's revolution and Rule of Law and Magna Carta---they have no rights as citizens. So, when Clinton takes the Democratic Party in the US----he takes with it this history of all people being citizens with Rule of Law and Magna Carta----and tries to install the ancient idea of history being all about wars and the powerful.
If you listen to Republican voters they are the first to tie themselves to the rich and powerful because Republican states have never allowed a strong liberal arts and humanities take hold and these citizens often do not even know how history relates to them. I look at Baltimore City-----a stronghold of neo-conservatism Republican policy ----and I see how education is handled this way. That is why politicians can run as Democrats in Baltimore all while installing the worst of Republican policy.
Below you see what most citizens in Republican states----and over these few decades of Clinton neo-liberal education reform---even Democratic states are not being taught to understand why these laws are so important. Note how Magna Carta speaks to the control of the Church by the rich and powerful before Magna Carta and why this control was removed. Think again to today----where Republicans working for the rich and corporate power are again bringing the church into play and installing church leaders that work for the rich and corporate power.
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING FIRST IN REPUBLICAN STATES---OR CITIES LIKE BALTIMORE------AND UNDER CLINTON NEO-LIBERALISM ----AGAIN A REPUBLICAN ECONOMIC POLICY----IT IS NOW HITTING DEMOCRATIC STATES.
This is not only important to one race, class, or creed----it is important to all people----the 99% vs the 1%.
"That no freeman ought to be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land."
Magna Carta 1215
What is the Magna Carta? The Magna Carta is a document that King John of England (1166 - 1216) was forced into signing. King John was forced into signing the charter because it greatly reduced the power he held as the King of England and allowed for the formation of a powerful parliament. The Magna Carta became the basis for English citizen's rights and played a significant role in the American Constitution.
Magna Carta - 1215The Magna Carta
The Middle Ages encompass one of the most exciting periods in English History and the Magna Carta is one of the most important documents in the history of Great Britain.
One of the most important historical events of the Medieval era is the Magna Carta. What were the key dates of this famous historical event? What were the names of the Medieval people who were involved in this historical occasion? Interesting facts and information about the Magna Carta of 1215 are detailed below.
What was the purpose of the Magna Carta?
What was the purpose of the Magna Carta? The purpose of the Magna Carta was to curb the King and make him govern by the old English laws that had prevailed before the Normans came. The Magna Carta was a collection of 37 English laws - some copied, some recollected, some old and some new. The Magna Carta demonstrated that the power of the king could be limited by a written grant.
Who wrote the Magna Carta?
The content of the Magna Carta was drafted by Archbishop Stephen Langton and the most powerful Barons of England. King John signed the document which was originally called the 'Articles of the Barons' on June 10, 1215. The barons renewed the Oath of Fealty to King John on June 15, 1215. The royal chancery produced a formal royal grant, based on the agreements reached at Runnymede, which became known as Magna Carta. Copies of the Magna Carta were distributed to bishops, sheriffs and other important people throughout England.
Important Facts about the Magna Carta
Interesting information and important facts:
- Key Dates relating to the event: The Magna Carta was signed by King John on June 15, 1215
- Other names for Magna Carta: It is also referred to as the Magna Charter or the Great Charter
- Where was the Magna Carta signed? The Magna Carta was signed by King John in a meadow at Runnymede in Egham, Surrey, South England ( between Windsor and Staines)
- Key People relating to the event: King John of England, Archbishop Stephen Langton and the Barons
- Why the Magna Carta was famous and important to the history of England? The charter is considered to be the beginning of constitutional government in England. The Magna Carta demonstrated that the power of the king could be limited by a written grant.
A document signed by an English King in 1215! Why the Magna Carta was important to the history of America? The Magna Carta is considered the founding document of English liberties and hence American liberties. The influence of Magna Carta can be seen in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Article 21 from the Declaration of Rights in the Maryland Constitution of 1776 reads:
"That no freeman ought to be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land."
King John and the Magna Carta
What events led up to King John being forced into the signing of the Magna Carta?
- In 1205 King John quarrelled with the Pope Innocent III about who should be archbishop of Canterbury. The Pope wanted a man named Stephen Langton to be archbishop, but King John swore he should never come to England.
- In 1209 The pope retaliated, excommunicated King John and banned all church services in all parish churches
- King John gave in, and Pope Innocent made the king and people pay him money whenever he demanded it.
- Taxes levied by King John were extortionate. His reprisals against defaulters were ruthless and his idea justice was considered avaricious
- In 1212 King John imposes taxes on the Barons in his attempts to regain the lost lands of Aquitaine, Poitou and Anjou
- King John quarrels with the Barons over his methods of ruling England
- The Barons and Stephen Langton decided to curb the King and make him govern by the old English laws that had prevailed before the Normans came. The demands of the Barons were documented in the 'Articles of the Barons' in January 1215
- The Barons took up arms against King John
- The Barons captured London in May 1215
- In June the Barons, in full armor, took King John by surprise at Windsor and he agreed to a meeting at Runnymede
- King John signed and sealed the document on June 10, 1215
- The barons renewed the Oath of Fealty to King John on June 15, 1215
- The royal chancery produced a formal royal grant, based on the agreements reached at Runnymede, which became known as Magna Carta
- Copies of the Magna Carta were distributed to bishops, sheriffs and other important people throughout England
Biography of King John
Summary of the Magna Carta
The summary of the Magna Carta is as follows:
- The Church - The Church was to be free from royal interference, especially in the election of bishops
- Taxes - No taxes except the regular feudal dues were to be levied, except by the consent of the Great Council, or Parliament
- The right to due process which led to Trial by Jury
- Weights and Measures - All weights and measures to be kept uniform throughout the realm
Each section of this Middle Ages website addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about these great people and events in bygone Medieval times including the Magna Carta 1215. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of the Middle Ages!
The Magna Carta 1215
- The Magna Carta
- Magna Carta Summary and Definition
- The cause and the purpose of the Magna Carta
- Who wrote the Magna Carta?
- Important Facts about the Magna Carta
- Why the Magna Carta was important to the History of America
- King John and the Magna Carta
- Summary of this famous document - the Magna Carta
Southern states like Maryland and cities like Baltimore that never had the experience of progressive New Deal and War on Poverty policies allowed to be installed have many black citizens and working class white as well never knowing where their rights emanate---to even demand them. I have Republican black friends who want death to Western Civilization---because of the raging inequities Republican policies instill. I try to ask these Republican friends----what would you put into place if not Magna Carta and democratic Rule of Law?
The American people failed to keep the history alive that brought the American US Constitution and revolutionary wars---and we are right back to having the rich and corporate power trying to take away all that is our freedoms as citizens. Sadly for me it is the black leaders like Obama giving the same dys-information as Republican white leaders like Clinton. The goal being to continue to push the Democratic Party as bad----and move all to right-wing Republican policy as neo-liberal/neo-cons are.
I DON'T BLAME ANY CITIZEN OF COLOR WANTING DEATH TO WESTERN CIVILIZATION----I AM HEARING AS MANY WHITES WANTING DEATH TO THIS KIND OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION AS WELL----THE POLICIES OF WEALTH AND CORPORATE POWER BY A FEW.
IF WE KNOW OUR RIGHTS----WE KNOW WHO TO TRUST.
What is so frustrating to real Democratic leaders----social progressive Democrats is that the rich have bought the loyality of a few people of color----women----and disabled---and have them fighting against all of the US Constitution affirming that WE THE PEOPLE include people of color----women----and disabled. We didn't need the Equal Protection Constitutional Amendments for this----but that was what all the fight of the 1960s was about. So, when a black Republican tells me that are against social democracy----I am sure they are not thinking about taking their own rights as citizens away. The dys-information comes when Republicans make this fight about BUSINESS-FRIENDLY VS DEMOCRATIC POLICY THAT IS NOT BUSINESS-FRIENDLY.
If you are a person of color----a woman----or a working/middle-class white citizen allowing Clinton/Obama neo-liberals take you down this road of neo-liberalism----you are allowing them to take your rights as citizens away. There will be no winners and losers that are not a few rich people.
Importance of We the People
Importance of We the People
The first words of the United States Constitution are
“We the People of the United States”. These words hold a great
significance because of the implications of those words’ inclusion in the
Constitution. While the Preamble in which those words
appear does not actually have any innate legal
implications beyond introducing the rest of the Constitution, the meaning of
the Preamble with regard to the Constitution as a whole is quite significant
towards understanding the Constitution. “We the People,” as a phrase,
exhibits this significance, as that one phrase allows the Constitution to be
interpreted in a different light.
To quickly emphasize the importance of
“We the People” in the Preamble of the Constitution, one should
examine the Preamble of the Articles of Confederation. In the Articles of
Confederation, the Preamble bears no such phrase, and instead moves quickly into
the content of the Articles with barely any such opening ideas. “We the
People” is conspicuously absent from the Preamble of the Articles.
The Constitution, on the other hand, by opening up with
“We the People” immediately affirms that the Constitution is of the
people, for the people, and by the people of the United States. This
interpretation, which arises most strongly from the presence of “We the
People” in the Preamble, effectively leads to an understanding of the
Constitution as affecting the people directly and not through regulations
imposed on the States. In other words, those words define that the interaction
between the Constitution and the citizens of the United States is direct and
immediate, meaning that the Constitution, and the government it
creates, supersedes any State government.
The words “We the People” in the
Preamble are often considered the strongest links between the Constitution and
the Declaration of Independence, in that the Declaration of Independence was
written from the perspective of the people, not of specific individuals or of
government. In beginning the Preamble of the Constitution with “We the
People,” the Constitution is immediately emphasizing the significance of
the people and is also ensuring an understanding that the people are the ones
giving power to the Government. This is also a critical element to
the American Constitution, in that the power of the Government mandated by the Constitution comes not from God
or from itself, but from “We the People.”
Starting off the Preamble in this fashion has influenced
interpretations of the Preamble and of the Constitution as a whole in that the
Preamble is often used as a kind of key for determining understanding of other
parts of the Constitution. Insofar as the Preamble begins with “We the
People,” then, it clearly emphasized the importance of the people and
their role in validating the Government,
as opposed to the Government’s role in having power over the
“We the People” is one of the most
often quoted parts of the Constitution, both because it is at the very
beginning of the entire document and because it significantly determines the
nature of the rest of the Constitution. In making the Constitution a document
for the people and by the people, the words “We the People” at the
beginning of the Preamble very much define the context in which the entire rest
of the Constitution can and should be understood.
As someone who grew up as a child of a military contractor with GE----I lived and went to school all over the nation and my history education told me that the Civil War was about an Industrial North largely Republican pressuring a President Lincoln to war with an Agricultural South largely Democrats. It had little to do with Emancipation of slaves in the south----industry simply wanted to expand and needed southern slaves as northern factory workers. Read the voices of black factory workers and they tell you life in the factories were as bad as slavery in the south----AND THE SAME FOR WHITE FACTORY WORKERS. So, Lincoln may have been a good man wanting to end slavery----but the goal was never to do that----it was one industry fighting another.
Fast forward to today and Clinton neo-liberalism over these few decades to see the same thing. Look at Republican neo-liberalism overseas again taking small farmers land and sending these farmers to these huge International Economic Zones that are global factories. Again, moving the agricultural society to industry. It matters little if we use terms like Democrat or Republican----it is wealth and corporate power vs social democratic rights of labor and justice as citizens that matters.
Now, why were southern plantation owners Democrats? The culture of slavery came to the south because agriculture has from the beginning necessitated cheap labor. We fight this even today as we allow immigrants to be subjected to agricultural slavery. Below you see when the Democratic Party modernized into what became today's social progressivism under Thomas Jefferson. When America allows BIG AG to take hold---as the American plantation south was back then----we have injustice----when we allowed people to be citizens as small farmers owning their own land---we had a social equity and that is what Jefferson's time created in the US. Fast forward again to Clinton neo-liberalism-----Clinton was the face of BIG AG in the mid-west again killing small farmers.
'While the Founders had tolerated slavery out of necessity, many Americans, especially within the Democratic Party, had come to accept the idea that slavery was a "positive good." While Thomas Jefferson, the founder of what evolved into the Democratic Party, had argued that slavery was bad not only for the slave but also for the slave owner, John C. Calhoun, had turned this principle on its head: slavery was good not only for the slave holder, but also for the slave'.
Industry and Economy during the Civil War
By Benjamin T. Arrington, National Park Service
As the war dragged on, the Union's advantages in factories, railroads, and manpower put the Confederacy at a great disadvantage.
New technologies showing America's emerging industrial greatness were refined the Civil War: the railroad, the steamboat, the telegraph, and the steam-powered printing press
Library of Congress
The American economy was caught in transition on the eve of the Civil War. What had been an almost purely agricultural economy in 1800 was in the first stages of an industrial revolution which would result in the United States becoming one of the world's leading industrial powers by 1900. But the beginnings of the industrial revolution in the prewar years was almost exclusively limited to the regions north of the Mason-Dixon line, leaving much of the South far behind.
In 1860, the South was still predominantly agricultural, highly dependent upon the sale of staples to a world market. By 1815, cotton was the most valuable export in the United States; by 1840, it was worth more than all other exports combined. But while the southern states produced two-thirds of the world's supply of cotton, the South had little manufacturing capability, about 29 percent of the railroad tracks, and only 13 percent of the nation's banks. The South did experiment with using slave labor in manufacturing, but for the most part it was well satisfied with its agricultural economy.
The North, by contrast, was well on its way toward a commercial and manufacturing economy, which would have a direct impact on its war making ability. By 1860, 90 percent of the nation's manufacturing output came from northern states. The North produced 17 times more cotton and woolen textiles than the South, 30 times more leather goods, 20 times more pig iron, and 32 times more firearms. The North produced 3,200 firearms to every 100 produced in the South. Only about 40 percent of the Northern population was still engaged in agriculture by 1860, as compared to 84 percent of the South.
Even in the agricultural sector, Northern farmers were out-producing their southern counterparts in several important areas, as Southern agriculture remained labor intensive while northern agriculture became increasingly mechanized. By 1860, the free states had nearly twice the value of farm machinery per acre and per farm worker as did the slave states, leading to increased productivity. As a result, in 1860, the Northern states produced half of the nation's corn, four-fifths of its wheat, and seven-eighths of its oats.
The industrialization of the northern states had an impact upon urbanization and immigration. By 1860, 26 percent of the Northern population lived in urban areas, led by the remarkable growth of cities such as Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Detroit, with their farm-machinery, food-processing, machine-tool, and railroad equipment factories. Only about a tenth of the southern population lived in urban areas.
Free states attracted the vast majority of the waves of European immigration through the mid-19th century. Fully seven-eighths of foreign immigrants settled in free states. As a consequence, the population of the states that stayed in the Union was approximately 23 million as compared to a population of 9 million in the states of the Confederacy. This translated directly into the Union having 3.5 million males of military age - 18 to 45 - as compared to 1 million for the South. About 75 percent of Southern males fought the war, as compared to about half of Northern men.
The Southern lag in industrial development did not result from any inherent economic disadvantages. There was great wealth in the South, but it was primarily tied up in the slave economy. In 1860, the economic value of slaves in the United States exceeded the invested value of all of the nation's railroads, factories, and banks combined. On the eve of the Civil War, cotton prices were at an all-time high. The Confederate leaders were confident that the importance of cotton on the world market, particularly in England and France, would provide the South with the diplomatic and military assistance they needed for victory.
As both the North and the South mobilized for war, the relative strengths and weaknesses of the "free market" and the "slave labor" economic systems became increasingly clear - particularly in their ability to support and sustain a war economy. The Union's industrial and economic capacity soared during the war as the North continued its rapid industrialization to suppress the rebellion. In the South, a smaller industrial base, fewer rail lines, and an agricultural economy based upon slave labor made mobilization of resources more difficult. As the war dragged on, the Union's advantages in factories, railroads, and manpower put the Confederacy at a great disadvantage.
Nearly every sector of the Union economy witnessed increased production. Mechanization of farming allowed a single farmer growing crops such as corn or wheat to plant, harvest, and process much more than was possible when hand and animal power were the only available tools. (By 1860, a threshing machine could thresh 12 times as much grain per hour as could six men.) This mechanization became even more important as many farmers left home to enlist in the Union military. Those remaining behind could continue to manage the farm through the use of labor-saving devices like reapers and horse-drawn planters.
Northern transportation industries boomed during the conflict as well--particularly railroads. The North's larger number of tracks and better ability to construct and move parts gave it a distinct advantage over the South. Union forces moving south or west to fight often rode to battle on trains traveling on freshly lain tracks. In fact, as Northern forces traveled further south to fight and occupy the Confederacy, the War Department created the United States Military Railroads, designed to build rails to carry troops and supplies as well as operating captured Southern rail lines and equipment. By war's end, it was the world's largest railroad system.
Other Northern industries--weapons manufacturing, leather goods, iron production, textiles--grew and improved as the war progressed. The same was not true in the South. The twin disadvantages of a smaller industrial economy and having so much of the war fought in the South hampered Confederate growth and development. Southern farmers (including cotton growers) were hampered in their ability to sell their goods overseas due to Union naval blockades. Union invasions into the South resulted in the capture of Southern transportation and manufacturing facilities.
The Southern economy, while shaky throughout the war, grew markedly worse in its later years. The Emancipation Proclamation both enraged the South with its promise of freedom for their slaves, and threatened the very existence of its primary labor source. The economy continued to suffer during 1864 as Union armies battered Confederate troops in the eastern and western theaters. In the East, General Ulysses S. Grant threw men and materiel at Robert E. Lee's depleted and increasingly desperate army. Grant took advantage of railroad lines and new, improved steamships to move his soldiers and had a seemingly endless supply of troops, supplies, weapons, and materials to dedicate to crushing Lee's often ill-fed, ill-clad, and undermanned army. Though the campaign eventually fell into a stalemate at Petersburg, Virginia, Grant could afford to, as he stated, "fight it out along this line if it takes all summer," while Lee could not.
In the western theater of the war, William T. Sherman's Union troops laid waste to much of the Georgia countryside during the Atlanta Campaign and the subsequent "March to the Sea." Sherman's campaigns inflicted massive damage to Southern industry, agriculture and infrastructure. His soldiers destroyed rail lines and captured the major economic and transportation hub of Atlanta and the critical seaport of Savannah. When Sherman famously telegraphed Lincoln in December 1864, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah," his gift included "about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton." Sherman himself later estimated that this campaign, which eventually moved north and similarly impacted the Carolinas, caused $100 million of destruction. An already troubled Confederate economy simply could not absorb such massive losses and survive.
As the war progressed, substantial and far-reaching changes were taking place far from the battle lines. When Lincoln became president in March 1861, he faced a divided nation, but also a Congress dominated by Republicans after many Southern Democratic members left to join the Confederacy. Lincoln and congressional Republicans seized this opportunity to enact several pieces of legislation that had languished in Congress for years due to strong Southern opposition. Many of these bills set the course for the United States to emerge by war's end as a nation with enormous economic potential and poised for a massive and rapid westward expansion. When Southerners left Congress, the war actually provided the North with an opportunity to establish and dominate America's industrial and economic future.
Foremost among these bills was the Homestead Act, a popular measure regularly debated in Congress since the 1840s. This law provided free title to up to 160 acres of undeveloped federal land outside the 13 original colonies to anyone willing to live on and cultivate it. Southerners had for years opposed the idea because it would severely hamper any opportunity to expand slavery into the areas where settlement would be likely. In the North, "free soilers" had clamored for the bill for decades, while abolitionists viewed it as a means to populate the West with small farmers vehemently opposed to slavery's expansion. Abraham Lincoln publicly stated his support while president-elect, stating, "In regards to the homestead bill, I am in favor of cutting the wild lands into parcels, so that every poor man may have a home." He made good on his promise by signing the Homestead Act into law on May 20, 1862.
In order to make the farms more efficient and to help industries develop new and better equipment, as well as provide opportunities for students in the "industrial classes," in 1862 Congress passed the Morrill Act (Land-Grant Colleges Act), by which each state was granted land for the purposes of endowing Agricultural and Mechanical (A and M) colleges. The purpose of the act was "to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts." This unprecedented national investment in higher education also required instruction in military tactics.
Another major initiative was the Pacific Railway Act, approved by President Lincoln on July 1, 1862. The transcontinental railroad linking the East and West had, like the homestead bill, been heavily debated by pre-war Congresses. Southerners wanted a railroad built along a southern route. Northerners, not surprisingly, wanted a Northern route. Once Southerners left Congress at the outset of the war, Republicans passed legislation that actually dictated a so-called "middle route" with an eastern terminus at Omaha and a western one at Sacramento. The construction of the first transcontinental railroad meant jobs for thousands in factories producing tracks and tools as well as those that labored for years to lay the tracks across rough terrain. It also meant the literal and symbolic linking of East and West (to the exclusion of the South) and decreased travel times for passengers and goods. It improved commercial opportunities, the construction of towns along both lines, a quicker route to markets for farm products, and other economic and industrial changes.
During the war, Congress also passed several major financial bills that forever altered the American monetary system. The Legal Tender Act authorized the federal government to print and use paper money, called "greenbacks," to pay its bills and finance the war. Even though greenbacks were not backed by similar amounts of gold and silver, creditors were required to accept them at face value. By the end of the war, the government had printed over $500 million in greenbacks, and the American financial system's strict reliance on transactions in gold or silver ended. The National Bank Act created a national banking system to reduce the number of notes issued by individual banks and create a single federal currency. The Internal Revenue Act eased inflation primarily by placing excise taxes on many luxury items such as tobacco and jewelry. More famously, the first U.S. income tax was imposed in July 1861, at 3 percent of all incomes over $800 up to 10 percent for incomes over $100,000 to help pay for the war effort.
For better or worse, the political philosophies underlying the creation of the Confederate States of America, with its emphasis upon a strong state and a weak central government, coupled with its vast investments in a slave-labor-based agricultural economy, meant that the South had neither the ability nor the desire to develop the kind of industrial economy or centralized financial system required to sustain a "modern" war. By contrast, the Union's willingness and ability to vastly increase the influence and footprint of the federal government not only contributed directly to its military success in the war, but it also transformed many other areas of national life, including industrial, economic, agricultural, mechanical, and financial realms. Simply put, the United States of America would be a very different nation today than had the war never been fought. If we are truly the world's last remaining superpower, then it is, at least partially, the massive industrial and economic expansion enabled by the Civil War that allowed us to ascend to that role in the first place.
Below you see the voice of a black columnist that seems is often connected to Clinton and neo-liberalism -----but who I think describes this dynamic of Democrat as plantation outing a conservative black Republican candidate as an example. ----This one candidate is adding to this historic confusion of what is Democrat or Republican. As a white social progressive of a modern Democratic Party I fought in the 1970s for what I see as the Democratic base of labor and justice. What we see in the Republican Party are a few politicians of color that are willing to back this confusion....with Clinton neo-liberalism bringing that into the Democratic Party.
Blacks, Conservatives and Plantations
MAY 22, 2013 New York Times
Why do Republicans keep endorsing the most extreme and hyperbolic African-American voices — those intent on comparing blacks who support the Democratic candidates to slaves? That idea, which only a black person could invoke without being castigated for the flagrant racial overtones, is a trope to which an increasingly homogeneous Republican Party seems to subscribe.
The most recent example of this is E.W. Jackson, who last weekend became the Virginia Republicans’ candidate for lieutenant governor in the state.
In a video posted to YouTube in 2012 titled “Bishop E.W. Jackson Message to Black Christians,” Jackson says:
“It is time to end the slavish devotion to the Democrat party. They have insulted us, used us and manipulated us. They have saturated the black community with ridiculous lies: ‘Unless we support the Democrat party, we will be returned to slavery. We will be robbed of voting rights. The Martin Luther King holiday will be repealed.’ They think we’re stupid and these lies will hold us captive while they violate everything we believe as Christians.”
PhotoCharles M. Blow Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times
“Shame on us for allowing ourselves to be sold to the highest bidder. We belong to God. Our ancestors were sold against their will centuries ago, but we’re going to the slave market voluntarily today. Yes, it’s just that ugly.”
(Jackson also took swipes at the gay community and compared Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan.)
The Democrat Plantation theology goes something like this: Democrats use the government to addict and incapacitate blacks by giving them free things — welfare, food stamps and the like. This renders blacks dependent on and beholden to that government and the Democratic Party.
This is not completely dissimilar from Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments, although he never mentioned race:
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.
Star Parker, a Scripps Howard syndicated columnist, failed Republican Congressional candidate and author of the book “Uncle Sam’s Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America’s Poor and What We Can do About It,” argued in an article in 2009 on the conservative Web site Townhall:
“A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mind-sets from ‘How do I take care of myself?’ to ‘What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?’"
Mackubin Thomas Owens, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R. I., put it more bluntly in an editorial on the Ashbrook University Web site in 2002:
“For the modern liberal Democratic racist as for the old-fashioned one, blacks are simply incapable of freedom. They will always need Ol’ Massa’s help. And woe be to any African-American who wanders off of the Democratic plantation.”
That last bit hints at the other part of Democrat Plantation theology: that black Democrats and white liberals are equal enforcers of enslavement.
A 2010 unsigned article published on the Web site of the conservative weekly Human Events reads:
“If black Americans wish to be Democrats, that is their choice — or is it? Despite the fact that Democrats enjoy the support of over 90% of black America, the other 10%, those who dare to ‘stray from the plantation,’ have been routinely vilified — by other black Americans.”
The article continued:
“The not-so-subtle message? Support liberal dogma — or face social ostracism.”
Dr. Ben Carson, who delivered a speech blasting the president during the National Prayer breakfast this year and quickly became a darling of the right (The Wall Street Journal declared: “Ben Carson for President”), said of white liberals in a radio interview:
“They are the most racist people there are. Because they put you in a little category, a little box. You have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?”
(Carson also got in trouble for comparing homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality. He later apologized for those comments, “if anybody was offended.”)
Unfortunately, the runaway slave image among many black Republican politicians is becoming ingrained and conservative audiences are applauding them for it.
Herman Cain, for example, built an entire presidential campaign on slave imagery.
C. Mason Weaver, a radio talk show host, failed Republican Congressional candidate from California and author of the book “It’s OK to Leave the Plantation,” said of President Obama at a 2009 Tea Party rally in Washington: “You thought he was saying was ‘hope and change’; he was saying was ‘ropes and chains,’ not ‘hope and change.’ ” Weaver continued: “Decide today if you’re going to be free or slaves. Decide today if you’re going to be a slave to your master or the master of your own destiny.” Weaver would repeat the “rope and chains” line on Fox and Friends that year.
The Rev. C.L. Bryant, a Tea Party member and occasional Fox News guest, even made a movie called “Runaway Slave,” in which he says that America should “run away from socialism, run from statism, run away from progressivism.”
While these politicians accuse the vast majority of African-Americans of being mindless drones of the Democrats, they are skating dangerously close to — if not beyond — the point where they become conservative caricatures.
The implication that most African-Americans can’t be discerning, that they can’t weigh the pros and cons of political parties and make informed decisions, that they are rendered servile in exchange for social services, is the highest level of insult. And black politicians are the ones Republicans are cheering on as they deliver it.
Now who, exactly, is being used here?
What Bill Clinton did as a Republican sent in to pose as a Democrat to break up the coalition of labor and justice is take what was an old political platform short-lived in the south and play on the members of the Democratic base to install this neo-liberalism to replace social democratic platform in place for almost a century.
The mantra of state's rights is a Republican mantra----it comes from this Lincoln Civil War Federal breakup of the southern agricultural society. Dixie-crats were the old-school plantation Democrats wanting to keep an agricultural control of the south---so it wanted state's rights over Federal control and as the article below shows---this was a short-lived moment in the Democratic Party. It's true----some of the pols elected as Dixie-crats remained in office as Democrats---but they were few during the progressive Democratic era.
This was the Clinton strategy----to bring back to life the idea of Republican state's rights over Federal government and that brought in these former Dixie-crats that went Republican. This is why Clinton as a Democrat used Executive Order to install Federalism Act----saying he would ignore Federal laws moving power to states. Clinton didn't do that as a Democrat----he did that as a Republican running as a Democrat.
THIS IS WHERE ALL THE CONFUSION OF DEMOCRAT AS SOUTHERN PLANTATION COMES----DEMOCRATS THROUGH MODERN TIMES WHERE NOT CONNECTED TO STATE'S RIGHTS---THEY WERE CONNECTED TO THE FEDERAL US CONSTITUTION.
Clinton targeted white working class labor with this stance and indeed----the strongest supporters of Clinton even now are the white working class. This is why national labor union leaders stayed with Clinton neo-liberalism long after it was clear that Clinton was killing white labor and much as justice. Now I think this election with Bernie Sanders taking voters all over the South as Democrats represents this movement of the white-working class back to the real social democratic labor and justice.
DixiecratFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Southern Party.
States' Rights Democratic Party (Dixiecrats)
The States' Rights Democratic Party (usually called the Dixiecrats) was a short-lived segregationist political party in the United States in 1948. It originated as a breakaway faction of the Democratic Party in 1948, determined to protect what they portrayed as the southern way of life beset by an oppressive federal government, and supporters assumed control of the state Democratic parties in part or in full in several Southern states.
There is a reason that today's corporate media always refers to FDR when they talk of social democracy and not Woodrow Wilson ------FDR was a Republican and Woodrow Wilson was a Democrat. So, corporate media will try to move labor and justice to connect with a Republican FDR. We know that FDR turned to social democratic policies simply because of the massive economic crash from Wall Street fraud and a need to get out of the Great Depression. The FDR as a Republican social democrat died immediately after FDR did because the need was gone. The problem for REAL social Democratic labor and justice today lies with the Woodrow Wilson as Democrat acting as a social progressive.
THIS IS THE POINT OF DIVISION IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY THAT LED TO CLINTON NEO-LIBERALISM VS FDR-SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC POLICY.
Woodrow Wilson served as a social Democrat but those continuing in his footsteps moved this progressivism to global empire-building----today's neo-liberalism having nothing to do with social democracy.
The point is this-----political terms like Democrat and Republican ----progressive and conservative are all relative to time and place. We are not captured as social democrats to what this term meant a century ago---or what it means in other nations. Modern social democratic platforms are those working towards the interests of labor and justice----A WE THE PEOPLE, MAGNA CARTE, AND RULE OF LAW WITH EQUAL PROTECTION.
Today's Democratic social democracy relates more to then FDR Republican because FDR was forced to hold power accountable and work towards social equity after a massive Wall Street fraud just as occurred in 2008 and continues. We are not connected to FDR because he was a Republican ---we are connected to him because of his labor and justice social democratic policy. Meanwhile, Woodrow Wilson as empire-builder never had social democratic goals in mind.
'Although the high ideals of Roosevelt’s Progressive Party campaign were never achieved, leaving their advocates in some ways bitterly disappointed, the election marked a critical juncture between the Founders’ limited constitutional government rooted in a natural rights understanding of the Constitution and the Progressive vision of an executive-centered administrative state that presumed to give authoritative expression to mass public opinion'.
The empire-building neo-cons and neo-liberals are connected to Woodrow Wilson and could care less about the social democratic foundation Woodrow Wilson espoused other than to make it the basis of corporation as centralized government.
This is a long article---please glance through to the last article!
The Transformation of American Democracy: Teddy Roosevelt, the 1912 Election, and the Progressive Party
By Sidney M. Milkis
Abstract: Progressivism came to the forefront of our national politics for the first time in the election of 1912. The two leading candidates after the votes were tallied were both Progressives: the Democratic Party’s Woodrow Wilson, who won the presidency, and the Progressive Party’s Theodore Roosevelt. The election was truly transformative. It challenged voters to think seriously about their rights and the Constitution and marked a fundamental departure from the decentralized republic that had prevailed since the early 19th century. The 1912 election did not completely remake American democracy, but it marked a critical way station on the long road to doing so. In a very real sense, Theodore Roosevelt won the 1912 election: The causes he championed with extraordinary panache still live on today.
I have always been interested in the way elections and parties have shaped America’s constitutional democracy. The 1912 presidential election was one of those rare campaigns that challenged voters to think seriously about their rights and the Constitution. It was the climactic battle of the Progressive Era that arose at the dawn of the 20th century, when the country first tried to come to terms with the profound challenges posed by the Industrial Revolution.
It should be noted that the 1912 election was not a major realigning election: It did not determine the fortunes of parties as decisively—or lead to the emergence of a new political order—as did the election of 1800, the election of 1860, or the election of 1936. But it was a critical prelude to the New Deal and, more than this, a contest that initiated important changes that redefined the meaning and practice of self-government in the United States.
The election showcased four impressive candidates who engaged in a remarkable debate about the future of American politics.
- Theodore Roosevelt bolted from the Republican Party and ran as the standard bearer of the Progressive Party—or the “Bull Moose Party,” as he famously called it.
- William Howard Taft, the incumbent Republican President, defended conservatism, albeit a particular form of conservatism that sought to reconcile constitutional sobriety and Progressive policies.
- Eugene Debs, the labor leader from Terre Haute, Indiana, ran on the Socialist Party ticket at the high tide of Socialism.
- Finally, of course, Woodrow Wilson, the governor of New Jersey, was the Democratic candidate and eventual winner of the election.
A September issue of Life, a very popular magazine at the time, depicted Wilson as a Roman consul with the owl of learning sitting nearby, and it celebrated him in Latin as “an executive, a teacher, and a spokesman of the people.” This celebration of Wilson’s academic credentials, gilded as a professor and president of Princeton University, conformed to Progressives’ belief that, as the prominent reform thinker and publicist Herbert Croly put it, the best way remake American democracy was “to popularize higher education.”
All four candidates acknowledged that fundamental changes were occurring in the American political landscape, and each attempted to define the Progressive Era’s answer to the questions raised by the rise of a new industrial order within the American constitutional system. In particular, each candidate tried to grapple with the emergence of corporations—the trusts, as reformers dubbed them—embodying a concentration of economic power that posed fundamental challenges to the foundations of the decentralized republic of the 19th century.
During the 1830s, the brilliant French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville had identified local self-government as the foundation of American democracy, but federalism now seemed overawed and corrupted by giant corporations. These combinations of wealth aroused widespread fears that growing corporate influence might jeopardize the equality of opportunity of individuals to climb the economic ladder.
Reformers excoriated the economic conditions of this period—dubbed the “Gilded Age”—as excessively opulent and holding little promise for industrial workers and small farmers. Moreover, many believed that great business interests had captured and corrupted the men and methods of government for their own profit. Party leaders—Democrats and Republicans—were seen as irresponsible bosses who did the bidding of “special interests.”
The fundamental changes that the 1912 election registered and inspired in American politics underscore the importance of the Progressive Party. The party represented the vanguard of the Progressive movement. It was joined by an array of crusading reformers who viewed Roosevelt’s campaign as their best hope to advance a program of national transformation. Not only did it dominate the agenda of the election, but, with the important exception of the Republican Party of the 1850s, it was the most important third party in American history. With the celebrated former two-term President Roosevelt—arguably the most important figure of his age—as its candidate, the Progressive Party won over 27 percent of the popular vote and 88 electoral votes.
This was extraordinary for a third party. No other third-party candidate for the presidency has ever received as large a percentage of the popular vote or as many electoral votes as TR did. In fact, had the Democrats not responded to the excitement aroused by TR and the Progressive Party and nominated their own Progressive candidate—and it took 46 ballots for Wilson to get the nomination—Roosevelt might have been elected to a third term in 1912 as the head of a party and movement dedicated to completely transforming America.
The Progressive Party and “Modern” American PoliticsAs it was, the Progressive Party pioneered a new form of politics explicitly defined as modern—one that would eventually displace the traditional localized democracy shaped by the two-party system that had dominated representative government in the U.S. since the beginning of the 19th century. Many characteristics of our politics that are conventionally understood as new or as being of recent vintage were born of or critically advanced by the Progressive Party campaign of 1912.
Having been denied the Republican nomination in spite of trouncing incumbent William Howard Taft in the primaries—this was the first primary contest in American presidential politics—TR bolted from the Republican Party. Then he declared in his “Confession of Faith” at the Progressive Party convention, “We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord.”
The religious language was no accident, as Roosevelt was drawing support and inspiration from the Social Gospel Movement, whose members saw the Progressive Party as a political expression of their commitment to promoting Christian social action on Earth. It was, if you will, a religious Left that was very important at the beginning of the 20th century.
Roosevelt and his fellow Bull Moosers defined the Lord’s cause as a new idea and practice of democracy. TR’s crusade made universal use of the direct primary, a cause célèbre. Political reforms had established the popular selection of candidates as a fixture of local, state, and congressional elections during the first decade of the 20th century; however, the 1912 campaign was the first time that direct primaries played a significant role in a presidential election.
Prior to TR’s campaign, the direct primary was used to select delegates in only six states: North Dakota, California, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Nebraska. All of these states—save New Jersey, which enacted a direct primary law as part of Governor Woodrow Wilson’s reform program—were in the Midwest and West, where Progressive reforms to this point had made the greatest impact.
As a consequence of Roosevelt’s championing the direct primary during his 1912 campaign, many northern states fought fiercely over the adoption of electoral reform. In the end, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, and South Dakota adopted the device. “With the six states in which the system was already in operation,” historian George Mowry wrote, “this made a sizable block of normal Republican states from which a popular referendum could be obtained.”
Roosevelt carried carried nine of these 12 states in the primary, accumulating 278 delegates to Taft’s 48 and Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette’s 36. Roosevelt even won Taft’s home state of Ohio by an almost three-to-two margin. But two-thirds of the convention delegates were selected at gatherings still dominated by state party leaders, who much preferred Taft’s stolidity to Roosevelt’s militant Progressivism. With good reason, they perceived that Roosevelt’s celebration of the popular primary presupposed a direct relationship between candidates and public opinion that portended a fundamental challenge to the essential role that party organizations had played in American politics since they had become critical intermediaries in politics and government.
Indeed, Roosevelt’s direct appeal to mass opinion also involved an assault on traditional partisan loyalties, the championing of candidate-centered campaigns, and innovative uses of a newly emergent mass media. There was no television yet, but there were independent newspapers, popular magazines, and movies. The latter, which featured campaign advertisements for the first time in 1912, were especially important in circumventing party leaders and organizations. Movies were still silent, but Roosevelt also made audio recordings of his most important campaign rhetoric that were central to the campaign.
Finally, Roosevelt convened an energetic but uneasy coalition of self-styled public advocacy groups, many of which became core constituencies of contemporary Progressive politics. For example, 1912 was the first presidential election in which African Americans and women played an important part.
All of these features of the Progressive Party campaign of 1912 make the election of 1912 look more like that of 2008 than that of 1908. This is not to argue that so-called modern politics was created out of whole cloth in 1912. The candidate-centered campaign and the biblical assault on corporate power first became an important feature of American politics in 1896, when William Jennings Bryan—the Great Commoner—became the first presidential candidate to campaign throughout the country. He did so by train, and the “whistle-stop tour” became a staple of American politics after that.
What is different about the Progressive Party was that it launched a systematic attack on political parties and the critical role these organizations had played in American elections and government. It championed instead a fully elaborated “modern” presidency as the leading instrument of popular rule. Public opinion, Progressives argued, now buried by inept Presidents and party bosses, would reach its fulfillment with the formation of an independent executive power, freed from the provincial and corrupt influence of political parties.
Prior to the Progressive Era, the executive was considered a threat to self-government. The decentralized institutions of the Constitution—states and the Congress, buttressed by an intensely mobilized and highly decentralized two-party system—kept power close to the people and were thus thought to be more democratic than the executive branch. But in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, TR argued that the President, rather than Congress and the states, must become the “steward of the public welfare.” As a party that embraced and went far in legitimizing new social movements and candidate-centered campaigns, the Progressive Party animated a presidency-centered democracy that evolved over the course of the 20th century and appears, for better or worse, to have come into its own in recent elections.
Both Barack Obama and John McCain channeled TR in 2008. In fact, neither McCain nor Obama would have won his nomination were it not for the primaries and caucuses where rank-and-file voters and party activists, not elected officials and party veterans who dominated the political process prior to 1912, choose the candidates.
The Progressive Party’s Assault on Constitutional GovernmentRoosevelt’s celebration of Progressive democracy was perhaps the most radical campaign ever undertaken by a major American political figure. It was rooted in a belief that localized parties arrested the development of what Progressives saw as the national character of the Constitution.
As Croly lamented, the Democratic and Republican parties “bestowed upon the divided Federal government a certain unity of control, while at the same time it prevented increased efficiency of the Federal system from being obnoxious to local interests.” This was a “state of courts and parties,” as political scientist Stephen Skowronek has put it, for the shackles it placed on the national government and the President were codified by a judiciary that proscribed economic regulations that presumed to curb the worst abuses of big business and to protect workers as violations of “natural rights.”
Progressives charged that the 1905 case of Lochner v. New York, which struck down a New York state law that prohibited the employment of bakery workers for more than 10 hours a day or 60 hours a week on the grounds that such codes violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s right of due process, illustrated all too clearly that a natural rights understanding of constitutionalism simply could not cope with the realities of a 20th century industrial order. Reformers were especially outraged by state court decisions like Ives v. South Buffalo Ry. Co., handed down by the highest court in New York in March 1911, which held that the state’s recently enacted workmen’s compensation law was unconstitutional.
The Ives decision was so disturbing to Progressives because it confirmed the enduring importance of “Lochnerism,” which interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment as a rampart of property that forbade the sort of basic protections against corporate power that had gained currency in most other industrial countries. Although they excoriated the limits imposed on the states’ police power, TR and his Progressive allies believed that only federal authority, in the form of national laws and regulatory bodies, could match the strength of the corporations and trusts.
Reformers acknowledged that popular sovereignty had increased dramatically during the 19th century, but the Industrial Revolution created new economic needs that had to be met. “Our aim,” Roosevelt argued, “should be to make [the United States] as far as may be not merely a political, but an industrial democracy.” This meant, he elaborated, that “we will protect the rights of the wealthy man, but we maintain that he holds his wealth subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use as the public welfare requires.”
Although the high ideals of Roosevelt’s Progressive Party campaign were never achieved, leaving their advocates in some ways bitterly disappointed, the election marked a critical juncture between the Founders’ limited constitutional government rooted in a natural rights understanding of the Constitution and the Progressive vision of an executive-centered administrative state that presumed to give authoritative expression to mass public opinion. That many Americans and their representatives today believe that Social Security and Medicare are not merely policies but programmatic rights that transcend party politics and elections is an important sign that Progressive democracy has become a powerful, enduring part of the country’s political life. For many, rights are no longer pre-political and, therefore, a limitation on government action but instead are subject to changes in economic conditions that require leaders to guide Americans in redefining the social contract for their own time.
The Progressive Party itself had a brief life. When TR refused to run again in 1916, he doomed the party to the dustbin of history. Still, the platform of the Progressive Party and the causes it championed would endure. It was not, as many historians and political scientists assert, merely an extension of TR’s enormous ambition—as enormous as it was. Rather, it represented the culmination of a concerted programmatic effort that began three years before, one that included many reformers who stood at the vanguard of Progressive reform.
For example, the Progressive Party included the celebrated journalist Jane Addams, the highly regarded journalist William Allen White, and the aforementioned Herbert Croly, one of the founders of the important journal The New Republic and arguably the prophet of Progressive democracy. All of these individuals played a critical part in the platform’s creation.
Among the platform’s planks were proposals for national regulations and social welfare—such as minimum wage and maximum hours legislation, restraints on financial markets, protection against unemployment, and security for the elderly—that would not be enacted until the New Deal. In fact, with respect to certain measures, most notably national health insurance, the Progressive Party prescribed core Progressive commitments that remained unfulfilled at the dawn of the 21st century.
During the battle over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), enacted in 2010, President Obama often pointed out that Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to champion a national health insurance plan. Yet TR’s support for a full-blown social insurance state did not occur during his presidency between 1901 and 1909, when his reform ambitions were far more modest. Rather, TR promoted, as the Progressive platform read, “the protection of the home life against the hazards of sickness, irregular employment and old age through a system of social insurance adopted to American use” during the Bull Moose campaign, when he was out of power and scrambling to catch up with a surging movement.
In addition to these social welfare measures, the Progressive Party advocated important political reforms—not just measures to strengthen representative government, such as the right of women to vote and the direct election of Senators, but also reforms dedicated to what TR called “pure” democracy that would remove the constitutional obstacles that obstructed the direct rule of the people. As Roosevelt put it in his “Confession of Faith:”
The people themselves must be the ultimate makers of their own Constitution, and where their agents differ in their interpretations of the Constitution the people themselves should be given the chance, after full and deliberate judgment, authoritatively to settle what interpretation it is that their representatives shall thereafter adopt as binding.
These measures included the universal use of the direct primary, marking a full-scale attack on the party convention system that denied TR the Republican nomination; the initiative, which would allow voters themselves to make laws; the recall of public officials, which would allow voters to remove their representatives from office before their elected term had expired; and, most controversially, popular referenda on laws that the state courts declared unconstitutional.
Although this proposal allowing voters to overturn judicial decisions was limited to the state courts, the Progressives set their sights on national judges as well, calling for an easier method to amend the Constitution. This assault on constitutional obstacles to national reform ambitions anticipated Franklin D. Roosevelt’s court-packing plan, and these measures continue to guide reformers—liberals and conservatives alike—who seek a more direct relationship between government and public opinion.
Varieties of ProgressivismThe Progressive Party’s declaration of “pure democracy” was especially important in defining its collective mission. Above all, these proposals unified the Progressive movement and ensured its lasting legacy. As Roosevelt said in his “Confession of Faith,” “the first essential of the Progressive programme is the right of the people to rule.” This right demanded more than writing into law such measures as the direct primary, recall, and referendum. It also required rooting firmly in custom the unwritten law that the people’s representatives derived their authority “directly” from the people.
Then and now, critics of the Progressive Party have pointed to the apparent contradiction between its supporters’ celebration of direct democracy and their pledge to build a full-blown welfare and regulatory state, which presupposed, as Croly admitted, “administrative aggrandizement”—that is, reliance on a powerful and independent bureaucracy. But Progressives viewed the expansion of social welfare and “pure democracy” as inextricably linked: Unlike their European and British counterparts, American reformers were reluctant “state builders.”
As Jane Addams counseled her fellow reformers, there was no prospect in the United States—where centralized administration was a cardinal vice—that the people would grant legitimacy to a welfare state “unless the power of direct legislation is placed in the hands of the people, in order that these changes may come not as the centralized government [has] given them, from above down, but may come from the people up; that the people should be the directing and controlling force of legislation.”
In fact, the Progressive Party was seriously threatened by fundamental disagreements among its supporters over issues that betrayed an acute sensitivity to the deep-rooted fear of centralized power in American democracy. For example, the Progressive Party was bitterly divided over civil rights, a division that led to struggles at its convention over delegate selection rules and the platform—struggles that turned on whether the party should confront the shame of Jim Crow. In the end, the party preferred to let the states and localities resolve for themselves the matter of race relations in the U.S.
The Progressive Party also waged a fractious struggle at its convention over the appropriate methods to tame big business, especially the trusts that had obtained monopoly power over entire industries. This was a contest to determine whether an interstate trade commission, vested with considerable administrative discretion, should regulate business practices or whether that reform would be better achieved through aggressive federal and state efforts to dismantle powerful business interests.
Led by Roosevelt, the militant New Nationalists, as they called themselves, prevailed, pledging that the party would regulate rather than dismantle corporate power. But this disagreement carried over to the general election. The Democratic Party, under the guidance of their candidate for President Woodrow Wilson and his adviser Louis Brandeis, embraced the New Freedom version of Progressivism, which prescribed antitrust measures and state regulations as an alternative to the expansion of national administrative power.
Anticipating the debate of our own time about whether corporations can grow too big to fail, Wilson and Brandeis argued that the American people would not accept the aggrandizement of national administrative power that would be required to control immense trusts. Although Wilson and Brandeis hoped that much reform to ameliorate corporate abuses could occur at the state level, they recognized that national action was necessary as well. But rather than creating a regulatory juggernaut, New Freedom Progressives called for tariff reform, which would disentangle the unsavory partnership between business and government that restricted international trade, and stronger anti-trust laws, which would empower the Justice Department and courts to break up corporations that held monopoly power. A sign of the Democratic Progressives’ anti-statism was that Wilson ran on a platform calling for a constitutional amendment that would establish a one-term limit for the President.
Progressivism and the “Rule of the People”In the final analysis, then, the Progressive Party’s program disguised fundamental disagreements among leading Progressive reformers about the critical issue of the national government’s role in regulating the economy and society. There was, however, one party doctrine that unified the disparate strands of Progressivism: rule of the people. Sensing that pure democracy was the glue that held together the movement he sought to lead, Roosevelt made the cause of popular rule the centerpiece of his insurgent presidential campaign.
This program itself was highly controversial, in particular the plan calling for popular referenda on court decisions, but TR’s championing of an unvarnished majoritarianism was even more controversial than the Progressive Party’s platform. In September, he announced during a speech in Phoenix, Arizona, that he would go even further than the Progressive Party platform in promoting the recall of public officials: He would apply the recall to everybody, including the President!
Roosevelt “stands upon the bald doctrine of unrestricted majority rule,” the Nation warned. “But it is just against the dangers threatened, by such majority rule, in those crises that try the temper of nations, that the safeguard of constitutional government as the outgrowth of the ages of experience has been erected.” Even the Great Commoner blushed: Plebiscitary measures such as the recall and referendum, Bryan insisted, should be confined to the states.
Roosevelt’s defense of direct democracy infused his campaign with deep constitutional significance. In its ambition to establish a direct relationship between public officials and mass public opinion, the Progressive program seemed to challenge the very foundation of republican democracy that James Madison prescribed in the Federalist Papers: the idea, underlying the U.S. Constitution, that space created by institutional devices such as the separation of powers and federalism allowed representatives to govern competently and fairly and that the task of representatives was not to serve public opinion, but rather, as Madison put it in Federalist 10, “to refine and enlarge the public views.”
Madison’s constitutional sobriety had not gone unchallenged prior to 1912. Jefferson, Jackson, and Lincoln all championed, as Jefferson put it, “the people in mass.” Indeed, Lincoln acknowledged during the debate over slavery that “public opinion in this country is everything.” But these great reformers of the 19th century believed public opinion should be filtered by political parties and the states. In contrast, TR’s Progressivism threatened to sweep all intermediary institutions off the stage, to usher in a cult of personality—or, as the Progressive political scientist Charles Merriam candidly put it, “a democratic Caesarism.”
Taft’s Constitutional ProgressivismIn the face of Roosevelt’s powerful challenge to the prevailing doctrine and practices of representative government in the U.S., the burden of defending constitutional sobriety fell most heavily on William Howard Taft. In a certain real sense, the most important exchange in the constitutional debate of 1912 was between TR and Taft—a struggle that flared in the battle for the Republican nomination.
Taft did not take easily to this contest with TR. He thought it humiliating to be the first President to have to campaign for his party’s nomination. He was personally offended—even brought to tears, the press tells us. After all, Roosevelt had passed the Progressive scepter to him in 1908. He was TR’s heir apparent.
As a member of TR’s Cabinet—he was Secretary of War—Taft had supported the pragmatic Progressive program that TR had pushed while he was in the White House, when Roosevelt worked for specific proposals such as moderate railroad reform (the 1906 Hepburn Act) within existing constitutional boundaries and with the cooperation of the Republican Party. Now Taft found his own efforts to carry on further pragmatic and constitutional reforms the object of scorn as a result of TR’s celebration of pure democracy. “The initiative, the referendum, and the recall, together with a complete adoption of the direct primary as a means of selecting nominees and an entire destruction of the convention system are now all made the sine qua non of a real reformer,” Taft lamented. “Everyone who hesitates to follow all of these or any of them is regarded with suspicion and is denounced as an enemy of popular government and of the people.”
And yet Taft’s very hesitation enabled him to find honor in the charge of conservatism leveled against him. Even as TR’s defense of direct democracy found great favor throughout the country, Taft resisted the attempt “to tear down all the checks and balances of a well, adjusted, democratic, constitutional, representative government.”
Although not uncritical of prevailing partisan practices, Taft considered political parties a vital part of a “well adjusted” form of American democracy: “the sheet anchor of popular government.” Competition between two parties refined checks and balances in American constitutional government, transforming narrow factionalism into contests of principle.
The Progressives’ attack on representative institutions called forth a new understanding of Republican conservatism. His was a “progressive conservatism,” Taft claimed, which was rooted less in a defense of business, as formulated by former President William McKinley and Republican Senator Mark Hanna, than it was leavened by a Whiggish—that is, a more legalistic—understanding of ordered liberty. “The real usefulness of the Republican Party,” Taft argued, “consisted in its conservative tendencies to preserve our constitutional system and prevent its serious injury.”
Such a defense of constitutional forms was not reactionary, Taft insisted; only “conservative progressive government” buttressed by constitutional forms made lasting reform possible. Roosevelt’s proposal to wed national regulation and mass opinion would undermine the foundation of a free enterprise system, providing “no means of determining what is a good trust or a bad trust.” Offering no guide other than that of “executive discretion exercised for the good of the public,” Roosevelt’s Progressive democracy amounted “to nothing but the establishment of a benevolent despotism.”
Taft’s ultimate fear was that an executive tribunal would jeopardize the right of property. Without the right of property and constitutional protection of minority rights, he believed, an excited and untrammeled majority aroused by a demagogue would ride roughshod over the “unalienable rights” championed by the Declaration of Independence, “taking away from the poor man the opportunity to become wealthy by the use of the abilities that God has given him, the cultivation of the virtues with which practice of self-restraint and the exercise of moral courage will fortify him.”
The danger he saw in TR’s “pure democracy” was a constant source of strife in the cyclical life of the ancient republics: the same threat, Taft claimed, that motivated the Founders toward a properly checked and balanced republican government. As the President warned his fellow Republicans at a Lincoln day celebration in 1912:
With the effort to make the selection of candidates, the enactment of legislation, and the decision of the courts depend on the momentary passions of the people necessarily indifferently informed as to the issues presented, and without the opportunity to them for time and study and that deliberation that gives security and common sense to the government of the people, such extremists would hurry us into a condition which would find no parallel except in the French revolution, or in that bubbling anarchy that once characterized the South American Republics. Such extremists are not progressives—they are political emotionalists or neurotics—who have lost that sense of proportion, that clear and candid consideration of their own weaknesses as a whole, and that clear perception of the necessity for checks upon hasty popular action which made our people who fought the Revolution and who drafted the Federal Constitution, the greatest self-governing people that the world ever knew.
Support for “pure democracy,” Taft charged, found its “mainspring” in the very same “factional spirit” that James Madison warned against in his celebrated discussion of republican government in Federalist 10: an unruly majority that would “sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.”
Despite Taft’s indictment that the Progressives threatened to trash the Constitution, and despite the hope of TR’s political enemies that such a bold campaign would kill him politically, it was not Roosevelt but Taft who suffered humiliating defeat. TR thrashed him in the primary contests, even in Taft’s home state of Ohio. In the general election, Taft won only two states, Utah and Vermont, garnering 23.2 percent of the popular vote. In contrast, although his most radical proposals would never be implemented, TR’s strong showing—he came in second to Wilson—and dominant presence in that campaign signaled the birth of a modern, mass democracy in the United States, one that placed the President, whose authority rested in national public opinion, rather than Congress, the states, or political parties at the center of American democracy.
Indeed, in the wake of the excitement aroused by the Progressive Party, Wilson, whose New Freedom campaign was far more sympathetic to the decentralized state of courts and parties than TR’s, felt compelled (or embraced the opportunity) as President to govern as a New Nationalist Progressive. Wilson quickly abandoned the Democratic Party’s platform plank that called for a constitutional amendment to limit the President to one term. He said nothing about the term limits provision prior to Election Day but now argued, much as Roosevelt had throughout his insurgency campaign, that it would betray the critical need for a strong executive in a nation transformed by the Industrial Revolution.\
The proper task, Wilson insisted, was to reconstitute the executive as the embodiment of popular will. As he lamented to Representative A. Mitchell Palmer of Pennsylvania in February 1913, Progressive Democrats “are seeking in every way to extend the power of the people, but in the matter of the Presidency we fear and distrust the people and seek to bind them hand and foot by rigid constitutional provision.” Hoping to deflate support for a single term, Wilson proposed a national primary that, rather than diminish the exercise of executive power, would make it more democratic.
Having embraced Roosevelt’s concept of the executive as steward of the people, Wilson also supported the idea of a regulatory commission with broad responsibilities for overseeing business practices, resulting in the creation in 1915 of the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, in 1913, Wilson and the Democratic Congress enacted the Federal Reserve Act, which established a board to oversee the national banking and currency system. Under the editorial leadership of Croly, the New Republic celebrated rather than scorned the inconsistency of Wilson and the Democrats: “The Progressive party is dead, but its principles are more alive than ever, because they are to a greater extent embodied in the official organization of the nation.”
The New “Voice of the People”Taft and Wilson, as well as most Democrats and Republicans, were surprised that Roosevelt’s provocative campaign for pure democracy was so well received in many parts of the country. Communicated directly to voters through a newly emergent mass media—the independent newspapers, popular magazines, audio recordings, and movies that Progressives used so skillfully—the Bull Moose campaign resonated especially well in urban and industrial counties with the highest rate of population growth. As a result, Roosevelt’s support appeared to reveal how the Progressive commitments to political and social reform appealed to those who best represented the future of the country, just as Wilson and (even more so) Taft tended to celebrate the virtues of the decentralized republic of the past.
Progressives insisted, with considerable political effect, that they did not seek to destroy the Constitution. Rather, they argued that they sought to revitalize and democratize the Constitution and to restore the dignity of the individual in the face of the Industrial Revolution and the hard challenges it posed for constitutional government.
In their earlier calls for reforms, Jefferson, Jackson, and Lincoln drew inspiration from the Declaration and Bill of Rights, championing an understanding of natural rights that recognized the importance of maintaining limited constitutional government. The Progressives were the first reformers to emphasize the Preamble of the Constitution. Their task, they claimed, was to make practical the exalted yet elusive idea of “We the people.”
This idea would receive its highest expression in the autonomous political executive freed from the gravitational pull of party-dominated legislatures and lawyer-dominated courts. As the Progressive journal The Arena put it, echoing the Jacksonians: “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” But they added: “This means the voice of the whole people.” Rejecting the partisan and sectional disputes that hitherto had characterized American democracy, Progressives promised a “living Constitution” that would empower the President, as steward of the “whole people,” to meet the imposing domestic and international challenges of modern America.
The Progressive Party’s attempt to join heroic popular leadership and effective government received welcome support in its well-publicized endorsement by Thomas Edison. In going through the archives, I learned that the famed inventor contributed $100 to its cause, but his endorsement was worth far more. A mark of his celebrity was that a 1913 readers’ poll conducted by Independent magazine rated him “the most useful contemporary American.” His allegiance was announced with great fanfare by The New York Times in an article with the appropriate headline, “Edison discovers he is a Bull Mooser.”
Although constitutional conservatives like President Taft feared Progressive democracy’s faith in public opinion, Edison saw it as a virtue, especially as it would free the country to experiment politically. His experiments led to electric light bulbs replacing gas lights; by the same token, Edison claimed, the Progressive Party heralded the displacement of party politics—the political anchor of limited constitutional government—by democratic innovations such as the referendum and recall. Such political experimentation, Edison insisted, celebrated rather than denigrated American individualism.
Progressivism and Socialism in the 1912 ElectionParadoxically, TR’s more radical critics on the Left agreed, albeit grumpily, that Progressive democracy did not pose a radical threat to the American political tradition. Eugene Debs attacked the Progressive Party as a “reactionary protest of the middle classes, built largely upon the personality of one man and not destined for permanence.”
The Progressive Party’s fragility stemmed not just from TR’s notoriety, Debs argued, but also from the flimsy doctrine that underlay its campaign. Although the Bull Moose platform endorsed many of the more moderate objectives supported by the Socialist Party—the regulation of hours and wages; the prohibition of social insurance that would protect against the hazards of old age, sickness, and unemployment; and equal suffrage for men and women—Debs insisted that these limited measures were badly compromised by Roosevelt’s celebration of “pure democracy” as the centerpiece of his crusade.
Though supportive of political reform, Debs had long considered devices such as the referendum a very small part of the Socialist Party program. “You will never be able, in my opinion, to organize any formidable movement upon [the referendum] or any other single issue,” he wrote in 1895:
The battle is narrowing down to capitalism and socialism, and there can be no compromise or half way ground …. Not until the workingman comprehends the trend…of economic development and is conscious of his class interests will he be fit to properly use the referendum, and when he has reached that point he will be a Socialist.
Given his view of Progressivism, Debs was chagrined that TR “stole the red flag of socialism” to symbolize his fight for the rule of the people. Debs had good reason to regret that Roosevelt selected the red bandanna handkerchief as a symbol of the Progressive Party. Like President Obama today, Roosevelt was often accused of being a stalking horse for socialism, but he and his Progressive allies insisted that, to the contrary, their movement—promising to reform rather than destroy capitalism—was a necessary antidote to a more radical solution.
In fact, Roosevelt’s most dramatic speech in this campaign came in October in Milwaukee, a hotbed of Socialism. Although he was nearly assassinated while standing in a car outside the hotel, waiting to go to the Milwaukee Auditorium, he insisted on giving the speech anyway.
Roosevelt’s determination to keep this appointed hour with a bullet in his chest not only brought the “bloody shirt” to a new level, but also was a remarkable effort to establish himself as the martyr of Progressivism. Although the would-be assassin, John Schrank, had no known connections to any political movement, Roosevelt denied, as he would repeatedly afterward, that the attempt on his life was the random act of a madman. Rather, it was an act of violence related to, if not directly caused by, the advent of raw and disruptive class conflict in the country. Only the Progressive Party, TR insisted, seeking to forge a third way between socialism and laissez faire—between the “greed” of the “haves” and the “have nots”—could stave off the violent confrontation foreshadowed by the attempt on his life.
“Roosevelt’s performance,” historian Patricia O’Toole has written, “was an astonishing effort to capitalize on the moment.” With this dramatic stroke and his effective appeal to the whole people, TR stole the thunder of the Socialist movement just as it was becoming an important force in American politics. Although Socialist Party candidate Eugene Debs received 6 percent of the popular vote—the most votes a Socialist presidential candidate had ever gotten—he would by all accounts have received many more votes were it not for the preemption of the Progressive Party.
Political scientists and historians have forever asked the question of “Why no Socialism in America?” I think the Progressive Party is an important part of the answer. We can, of course, debate whether Progressivism, as Taft and his supporters argued, posed a more insidious threat to representative constitutional government. I will close instead by saying that TR and the Progressives’ successful positioning of their party as a reform alternative to Socialism—and this under circumstances of great economic stress—goes far to explain why the 1912 election initiated a critical transformation of American democracy.
Here is a Republican think tank take on LBJ and the continuation of social progressive democratic principles. This is where Republicans began the idea of political correctness over simply the movement to equal rights for all. Republicans took exception to actually having in place mechanisms that showed oversight and accountability to assure equal rights and Constitutional protections were occurring. From FDR's time the Federal government assessed this-----Federal data collection to protect for equal rights and justice broadened into sociology in US academics added to social sciences and the idea that the history of the people was just as important as the history of the rich and powerful. REPUBLICANS REALLY DO NOT LIKE THIS AS THEY REPRESENT THE RICH AND CORPORATE POWER. That is why this Republican think tank----the Heritage Foundation came out with this article. It is no coincidence that Clinton and now Obama as neo-liberals----pushed every Republican policy often written by this Republican think tank.
This is why Republicans have pushed dismantling all oversight and accountability---especially at the Federal level---so Federal US Constitutional laws and rights would not be enforced. Clinton used Executive Order to install the Republican Federalism Act to do just that----and Obama embraced the same to do just that.
THIS IS WHY LABOR AND JUSTICE ARE SEEING THE LEVEL OF ATTACK AGAINST ALL ACCUMULATED WEALTH AND STATUS---AND IT IS ALL ILLEGAL AND DONE SIMPLY BECAUSE WE THE PEOPLE FAILED TO KNOW OUR HISTORY AND PUBLIC POLICY!If white working class labor does not support black citizens and their equal protection-------if black professionals do not support low-income social democratic programs------if women do not support labor or labor support the disabled-----
DIVIDED WE FALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EQUAL RIGHTS MEANS THAT -----RIGHTS FOR ALL.
From Opportunity to Outcomes: LBJ Expands the Meaning of Equality
June 4, 1965In his commencement address at Howard University, the historically black college in Washington, D.C., President Lyndon Johnson maintains that equal results—not equal rights and equal opportunity—are the measure of the civil rights revolution’s success. In doing so, he abandons the natural rights principles of the Declaration of Independence in favor of the power of society and bureaucracy to remake individuals.
As Congress debates the Voting Rights Act, Johnson hails court decisions and laws that extended civil rights to black Americans. “But freedom is not enough,” he adds. While equal opportunity is “essential,” still it is “not enough, not enough”—for a person long in chains is not immediately free to compete equally in a demanding race. Therefore, “We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result” (emphasis added). Johnson and his scholarly advisers, especially Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who drafted the speech, might have allowed individual freedom its maximum scope instead of using an absurd metaphor. By insisting on equality of results they unjustly burden all the runners.
Thus, Johnson follows Progressives in denying the importance of individual rights. Ability is primarily a social quality—“the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the little infant, the child, and finally the man.” Ultimately America must change the social and economic environment of its citizens. Despite black middle-class achievements, “the great majority of Negro Americans” are increasingly “another nation.”
Johnson enlists depressing statistics: growing racial discrepancies in unemployment, income, poverty, infant mortality, and residential segregation. “Negro poverty” and its consequences “are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice, and present prejudice” (emphasis added). This deterministic formulation relieved blacks of any sense of responsibility.
But the most important cause of black misery—“its influence radiating to every part of life—is the breakdown of the Negro family structure. For this, most of all, white America must accept responsibility” (emphasis added). Without the family all other public policy measures “will never be enough to cut completely the circle of despair and deprivation,” Johnson aptly observes. But less than two-thirds of “all Negro children” live in a two-parent family. He maintains that the collapse of the black family is a legacy of slavery (a dubious claim, given the rise of divorce among all Americans). Johnson constantly speaks in racial terms, not in an American voice that requires a color-blind solution. Had the Great Society promoted programs that bolstered the family (especially those of civil society, including those run by churches), America might know stronger families today.
A sense of white guilt would drive the social science studies, White House conferences, and eventually affirmative action preferences that seek to remake America. Johnson fosters moral posturing and more bureaucracy to expand racial classifications and preferences. Unfortunately, too, he avoids exploring the reasons for the growing black middle class’s success. Instead, the Great Society led Americans to think that the flaw with regard to race was in America’s principles. In fact, the Declaration of Independence is America’s greatest resource in this, as in other great issues. Johnson’s error thus reproduces all the stages of Progressivism—an attack on individual liberty, the need for bureaucracy, and a redefinition of freedom, making it a good conferred by society.