In the last election of the 19th century, the Presidential Election Of 1896, the corporate plutocrats of the time period—John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J P Morgan—gave financial support to the Republican Presidential nominee, William McKinley, to defeat Democratic nominee William Jennings Bryan, and threatened their workers with lost jobs and closed down industries if Bryan won. They succeeded in electing McKinley, but fortunately within five years, with the assassination of McKinley in 1901, they met their match in the new President, Theodore Roosevelt, who ushered in the Progressive Era, setting the standard for progressives and the later evolution of liberalism among members of Congress and numerous Presidents of both parties, who would work to copy TR’s vision of leadership for the people against the special interests, the powerful corporations. TR also made sure that corporations were unable, ever again, to wield the spending power in campaigns as they had done in 1896.
116 years later, the corporate plutocrats of 2012—including the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump and a small group of others led by Karl Rove—emboldened by a Supreme Court decision (Citizens United Case) allowing corporations unchecked power to do what was done in 1896, unlimited spending in political campaigns, set out to buy an election, as had occurred in 1896.
So corporate leaders threatened to lay off people if Barack Obama won, and they fully supported the ultimate plutocrat, Mitt Romney, a man who made his fortune destroying jobs and companies, a true Robber Baron, who did not contribute anything to American economic growth, but only his own economic growth!
And despite their massive spending and intrusion into the political process, these plutocrats FAILED MISERABLY!
Democracy won out with the second term victory of Barack Obama, who by winning a second majority popular vote victory, insured the legacy of what he had done on national health care, as well as all of the ideas and visions of TR and every progressive President and program ever since the time of TR, including the New Deal and Great Society.
So TR, belatedly, a century ago, and particularly in 1912, as well as Barack Obama in 2012, reaffirmed the massive victory of progressive ideas and programs, and sent a warning to the corporate plutocrats—YOUR DAYS OF ABSOLUTE CONTROL AND LAWLESSNESS ARE OVER! More government regulation and oversight is on the horizon! The people have won over special interests!