Abolitionists

Republican Party History And Reputation Under Attack In Present Constitutional Crisis

The Republican Party was founded in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and included many abolitionists within its midst.

The Republican Party became the Party of the Union, and under Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, the Civil War was fought, and the Confederate States of America was defeated, and slavery was abolished.

The Republican Party then promoted citizenship and the right to vote for African Americans.

Then, the party lost its way and became the party of Big Business in the Gilded Age, and was engaged in widespread corruption.

But in the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, under President Theodore Roosevelt, and Congressional leaders such as Robert La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin and George Norris of Nebraska and many others, the party became one of reform oriented ideas.

Then, in the 1920s and through the years of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the party became one of opposition to progressive ideas, with a few exceptions of leaders in Congress and in the states.

With the coming of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the rise of the liberal wing of the modern GOP, under Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, and George Romney. and many US Senators, the battle was fought against a takeover of the party by the extreme right, headed by Senator Barry Goldwater, but despite his defeat for the Presidency in 1964, the coming of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan ushered in conservative ideas, and the GOP became captive to the myth of Reagan.

The party became captive to a foreign policy of intervention in the Middle East, and promotion of massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and destruction of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but were stopped in their quest by Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Now, however, the Republican Party has become more extremist under the most corrupt President in American history, much more than Richard Nixon.

Donald Trump is for the wealthy elite, and that is why the Republicans in Congress are overlooking the disaster occurring before our eyes daily.

The Republican Party history and reputation are under attack in the present constitutional crisis, while at the time of the Nixon constitutional crisis, many Republicans spoke up and led the struggle against the illegalities of the Watergate Scandal.

The future of the Republican Party is at stake, and this could be the time that we will look back on and realize that it led to the demise of the Republican Party as we know it!

The 2017 C Span Presidential Survey First Impressions: What It Tells Us

The new 2017 C Span Presidential survey, the third in a series with earlier surveys in 2000 and 2009, reveals a lot about how scholars evaluate Presidents and their performances in office.

The survey is based on 91 Presidential historians judging our Presidents on ten categories, and adding up points to rank the Chief Executives.

What stands out as glaring is that two Presidents with earlier higher ratings have dropped dramatically, as a result of recent research.

Woodrow Wilson’s racism and civil liberties abuses in office have dropped him from 6 to 9 to 11, but with his overall performance still seen as significant enough to be in the top quarter of our 44 Presidents.

Andrew Jackson has dropped from 13 and 13 to 18, and is now behind other 19th century Presidents, including James Monroe, James K. Polk, and James Madison, who he used to be above, and that is clearly due to his anti abolitionist viewpoint and defense of slavery; his native American policy (Trail of Tears); and his destruction of the Second National Bank (causing the Panic of 1837).

One might argue that we should not judge Presidents by our own time and changing views, but it is clear historians do precisely that.

Historic Changes In American Currency A Great Movement Forward!

It is very inspiring to see recognition of race and gender on American currency for the first time in modern American history!

It is appropriate that Harriet Tubman be on the front of the $20 bill, with Andrew Jackson moved to the back.

It is also great that Alexander Hamilton remains on the front of the $10 bill, with Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, and Sojourner Truth put on the back as a group, to mark their importance in the women suffrage movement.

And the back of the Abraham Lincoln $5 bill will have Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King. Jr on it.

The only truly controversial part is Jackson being switched from front to back on the $20 bill, but realize that Jackson destroyed the National Bank; condemned abolitionists working against slavery and was a slave owner himself; and forced the removal of five native American tribes to Oklahoma, the infamous “Trail of Tears”, which caused the death of more than 10,000.

So he is not being removed, but instead being placed on the back, with Harriet Truman, the heroic former slave who saved hundreds of slaves, being given recognition that is proper.

It is important that we give tribute to more than just white males on our currency, and show our appreciation of the sacrifices of these heroes and heroines!

Republican Implosion: 1912, 1964, 2016—Each 52 Years Apart After Lincoln And First Republican Victory In 1860!

The Republican Party was born in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and also included abolitionists, those who wanted the end of slavery, in its membership.

Six years later, the Republicans won the majority of the Congress,and in a four way Presidential face, Abraham Lincoln won the Presidency with less than 40 percent of the total national vote.

Within  six weeks of the Presidential inauguration, the Civil War had begun.

For the next half century, the Republicans dominated national politics, winning control of the Presidency for 44 of 52 years (with only Democrat Grover Cleveland winning two nonconsecutive terms in 1884 and 1892), and usually held the Congressional majority with a few exceptions.

But then in 1912, 52 years after the Republicans became the national majority, the party had a “civil war” between President William Howard Taft and his predecessor in the White House, Theodore Roosevelt, leading to the formation of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party, and TR ending up second and Taft third in popular and electoral votes.  Democrat Woodrow Wilson became President, and promoted a great era of reform, known as the New Freedom, and also adopted TR’s reform platform, known as the New Nationalism.

Despite many shortcomings of Wilson, the domestic reform programs was the greatest in substance in American history.

The Republicans returned to national power in the Presidential Election of 1920 and kept it until Herbert Hoover and the coming of the Great Depression, and Franklin D. Roosevelt then brought Democratic dominance in 1932 and after, with his New Deal, a much greater reform period than that under Wilson.

The Republican Party was only able to win back Congressional majorities in the midterm election of 1946 and again in the Presidential Election of 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower won the Presidency, but two years later, the Democrats regained the majority in both houses for the next quarter century.

The more conservative wing of the GOP lost their chance to gain a Presidential nomination when Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon won the nominations for President from 1940-1960, but the conservatives overcame the Eastern Establishment, as it was known, and soared to the Presidential nomination with right wing Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964, 52 years after 1912.

But now we had “civil war” again, as Eastern Establishment Republicans who had competed against Goldwater, including most notably Nelson Rockfeeller, refused to support Goldwater in 1964, and some just sat on their hands, while others backed Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson.  This led to a massive defeat for the GOP in 1964, and LBJ went on to a landslide victory and the promotion of the Democratic Party’s Great Society.

The battle for the future began when Ronald Reagan sought the Presidency against incumbent President Gerald Ford in 1976, but going on to triumph in 1980, creating what conservatives considered a “Golden Age”.  However, after Reagan, the Establishment returned with President George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, President George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney from 1988 to 2012.

As the GOP became ever more conservative and right wing extremist, and was hijacked by the Tea Party Movement after 2009, the party has reached a point where the Establishment, including some of the 2016 Presidential candidates, but also much of Republicans Congressional leadership, was seen as unacceptable, and we have now witnessed a rebellion against “office holders”, and the rise of Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Cason, and Carly Fiorina.

It seems as if the GOP is on the way to another “civil war” 52 years after 1964, wh8ich could be the final implosion of the Republican Party as we know it, and lead to a massive Democratic victory, including the possibility yet again of a third age of reform, spurred on in the past by Wilson and LBJ, and maybe now, either Hillary Clinton, or who can say, maybe even Bernie Sanders!

Gay Marriage Finally National: The Advancement Of Human Rights Reaches A New Pinnacle Of Social Justice!

On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay restaurant and nightclub in Greenwich Village in New York City, was raided by police, leading to a large scale riot. It was the beginning of the gay rights movement, the struggle against oppression.

46 years have passed, and on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court upheld the right of gays and lesbians to marry everywhere in the United States, a path breaking advancement in human rights, reaching a new pinnacle of social justice. It makes America a more perfect democracy, promoting equality and liberty for another class of citizens who have faced oppression. It is a tremendous expansion of human rights and social justice!

America is a better nation for this fantastic development, and much credit is due to several people, including:

Then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who was the first chief executive to promote gay marriage in California, and officiate at many gay weddings n 2003. He is now Lieutenant Governor of California, and likely successor to Governor Jerry Brown in the next gubernatorial election in 2018.

Ted Olson and David Boies, opposing attorneys in the Bush-Gore Presidential battle in 2000, who pursued the constitutional case promoting gay marriage, helping to lead it to Supreme Court decision yesterday.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in four crucial Supreme Court cases, in 2003 (Lawrence V Texas), two in 2013 (Hollingsworth V Perry) and (US V Windsor), and yesterday (Obergefell V Hodges) Without him, none of this advancement of gay rights and gay marriage could ever have occurred. Interestingly, all four of these cases were decided on June 26, of those years, 2003, 2013, and 2015!

The history of the gay rights movement is yet to be written, but it will be seen as part of the great movement forward as evidenced by the abolitionist crusade against slavery; the woman suffrage movement; the civil rights movement; the labor union movement; the environmental movement; the disability reform movement; the promotion of a safety net as represented by Social Security, Medicare, and now ObamaCare; and the immigration reform movement!

Women On Currency: Replace Andrew Jackson Or Alexander Hamilton? Jackson, Definitely!

Six weeks ago, this blogger wrote of the move to have a woman on American currency, with the move being to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. In an online competition, abolitionist and runaway slave Harriet Tubman won out over Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks.

All well and good, but now the Treasury Department is proposing to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, rather than Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

Such an action would be totally wrong, as Hamilton is the founder of our national banking system, the most important economic figure in American history, and also the founder of a viewpoint in government—a belief in a strong national government, and a broad interpretation of the Constitution—-which in his time was considered to be “conservatism”, but in the past century since Franklin D. Roosevelt, has been seen as the view of government of the modern Democratic Party, namely “liberalism.”

Liberalism, and the alternative word “progressivism” has been the backbone of all of the major political, social and economic reforms of the past century, and Hamilton’s philosophy is something that needs to continue to be honored.

On the other hand, Andrew Jackson, while regarded as one of the more significant Presidents, destroyed the Second National Bank of the United States, a major mistake; promoted slavery and condemned abolitionists; and promoted the death of thousands of native Americans in the despicable action, known as the “Trail of Tears”, the forced removal of five Indian tribes to Oklahoma, later taken away from native Americans, when oil was discovered in Tulsa in 1889.

Ben Bernanke, the former head of the Federal Reserve, has called for just what this blogger is proposing: leave Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill, and replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill!

The Proposal To Have A Woman Replace Andrew Jackson On The $20 Bill

A movement has developed to place a woman on the $20 bill, in place of Andrew Jackson, our 7th President, who is highly controversial for his support of slavery; condemnation of abolitionists; participation in gun duels that killed several rivals; and his mass forced migration of Native Americans from the Southeast to Oklahoma, infamously known as the “Trail of Tears” in the 1830s.

A contest was held on line, on the website womenon20s.org, and the result was that the following women were selected as possible candidates to replace Jackson:

Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady and wife of FDR)
Harriet Tubman (Runaway slave and abolitionist)
Rosa Parks (Montgomery Bus Boycott)
Wilma Mankiller (Chief of Cherokee Nation)

The author would select Eleanor Roosevelt, although an alternative idea would be a portrait of both Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, as FDR was the second or third greatest President in American History, and is only memorialized on the dime.

A portrait of the two Roosevelts would be an excellent way to commemorate the greatest First Couple in the history of the nation!

PS–Since this entry yesterday, the organization has counted the votes, and Harriet Tubman is the winner, instead of Eleanor Roosevelt, so congratulations on that, and Tubman would represent the idea of a woman on the $20 bill very well, but it is up to the Treasury Department if such a change in our currency takes place!

Harpers Ferry Anniversary 1859 And America On The Economic Brink 2013: A Lot In Common!

On this day in 1859, 154 years ago, radical abolitionist John Brown led a raid on the military arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (today in West Virginia), killing about 60 people in an an attempt to begin a racial war to end slavery.

While Brown had a great purpose in mind, to end slavery, his tactics were reprehensible, but started the movement toward civil war and the breakup of the Union.

Today, 154 years later, America faces an economic brink, as those who wish to change the course of our economic system, including the destruction of ObamaCare, are about to put us into an economic collapse that will reverberate throughout America and the world at large, and could also incite bloodshed and conflict that might never stop, as citizens turn against each other, and right wing elements plot to overthrow the government, and force President Obama out of office!

We are in a time more dangerous than any since September 11, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and it is self induced by anarchists on the right who refuse to accept the results of legislation passed legally by both houses of Congress, approved by the Supreme Court, and reaffirmed by the Presidential Election Of 2012.

It is time for responsible, sane heads in government to push back, and refuse to allow reckless, irresponsible, ignorant lunatics to hijack our government, and its good name in terms of economic responsibility. This is a day to pray for strong leadership in Congress and the White House! It is time for the Republican Party to take back control from its Tea Party lunatics!

The Wisconsin Capitol Demonstrations: Men, Women And Children To Be Honored For Their Principles And Sacrifices!

Conservative talk show hosts on radio and Fox News Channel have been portraying the men, women and children involved in the Wisconsin Capitol demonstrations for the past two weeks as “losers”, “slobs”, “radicals”, “left wingers”, “free loaders”, and many other insulting and disrespectful terms.

The fact that 70,000 to 100,000 people at a minimum have been dedicated to these peaceful protests, marches and demonstrations, and have sacrificed their salaries, their comforts, and their peace of mind to commit themselves to a cause they believe in, and that they know is justified and moral, is extremely inspiring!

If these people were not certain of the righteousness of their cause, the retention of collective bargaining, they would not be spending two weeks on the cold floor of the state Capitol in Madison. It is not something they would recommend to anyone, but just like the marchers for civil rights in the 1960s, the woman suffragettes in the early 20th century, and the abolitionists in the preCivil War period, they will not give up, and even if they lose for now, the battle will go on until the dastardly evil intent of Scott Walker and the Republicans is repudiated by the voters!

Already, polls indicate both in Wisconsin and nationally that the demonstrators have an overwhelming public support for the continuation of collective bargaining for public service workers who have devoted their careers to a commitment to service for the citizens of their states!