Last Friday, Joe Scarborough and MORNING JOE on MSNBC had distinguished historians assess which Presidents might be on a new, second Mount Rushmore, if such a monument were ever built.
This brought to mind the idea of who might be on a Liberal-Progressive Mount Rushmore, and who would be on a Conservative Mount Rushmore, if such were ever constructed anywhere in America.
This is mostly just interesting scholarly speculation, but here goes my suggestions for such honoring on both sides of the political spectrum.
LIBERAL/PROGRESSIVE MOUNT RUSHMORE
Robert La Follette, Sr.–Republican Governor (1900-1906) and Senator (1906-1925) of Wisconsin–Mr. Progressive of the early 20th century and 1924 Progressive Party nominee for President.
George Norris–Republican Congressman (1902-1912) and Senator (1912-1942) of Nebraska–the most creative reform figure and longevity of the first half of the 20th century, a bridge between the Progressive Era of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Hubert H. Humphrey–Democratic Mayor Of Minneapolis (1945-1949), Senator (1949-1964, 1970-1978) of Minnesota, and Vice President of the United States (1965-1969) and Democratic Presidential nominee in 1968, who had the most creative record of promoting reform in the years after World War II throughout the 1960s.
Ted Kennedy–Democratic Senator (1962-2009) of Massachusetts, the fourth longest serving US Senator in American history, and the most creative reformer in the years from the 1970s until his death in 2009.
A possible alternative would be Democratic Senator George McGovern of
South Dakota (1922-2012), who ran for President in 1972, and was a major critic of the Vietnam War, one of the most decent men ever in American politics, serving in the Senate from 1963-1981.
CONSERVATIVE MOUNT RUSHMORE
Arthur Vandenberg–Republican Senator (1928-1951) of Michigan, who opposed the New Deal and was an isolationist in foreign policy through World War II, but then became an internationalist in support of the United Nations and President Harry Truman’s Cold War policy against the Soviet Union after World War II, and potential Presidential candidate twice.
Robert Taft–Republican Senator (1939-1953) of Ohio, son of President and Chief Justice William Howard Taft, promoted the anti labor union Taft-Hartley Act, promoted an isolationist foreign policy, and considered Mr. Conservative by his party, and a potential Presidential candidate numerous times.
Barry Goldwater–Senator (1952-1964, 1968-1986) of Arizona, succeeding Robert Taft as Mr. Conservative, and 1964 Republican nominee for President, becoming the hero of conservatives long term, and having an effect on President Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan–Republican Governor of California (1966-1974), and President of the United States (1981-1989), after a career as a movie actor, influenced by the principles and ideas of Barry Goldwater, who he publicly backed in a famous speech in 1964.
The author welcomes commentary on these selections!