Progressivism

The Centennial Of The Death Of Theodore Roosevelt

Today marks the Centennial of the death of the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.

Although TR passed away at the young age of 60, he had led a life few people, and few Presidents, had led.

He had run for Mayor of New York City at the young age of 28 in 1886. He had been the head of the NYC Police Board in 1895-1897, the equivalent in modern terms of being Police Commissioner. He had been Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897-1898, and then at age 39 had led troops into battle (The Rough Riders) in the Spanish American War in the spring and summer of 1898, becoming a war hero. He had then, immediately after his war service, been elected Governor of New York in the fall of 1898, followed by becoming Vice President at the young age of 42 in 1901.

And then, fate would have it that President William McKinley would be assassinated in September 1901, making TR our youngest President at 42 years and 10 and a half months, with TR being a path breaking President for the next seven and a half years. He would expand the authority and scope of the Presidency, and become a model for many future Presidents.

TR would become the greatest environmental President, and promote the growing role of the federal government in American life, and advocating “progressivism”, proclaiming he was proud to call himself a “progressive”, and ushering in what has become known in American history as the “Progressive Era” years from 1900-1917.

TR would bring America also into world diplomacy and naval supremacy, with his winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for negotiating the end of the Russo Japanese War at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and his manipulation that led to the building of the Panama Canal.

TR was larger than life, and promoted newspapers and periodicals across the nation to send White House correspondents to follow the statements, actions, and antics of the 26th President. He was always the center of attention, in and out of office, as he craved public adulation. He has been regarded by historians and political scientists, on a consistent basis, as a “Near Great” President, as number 4 in scholarly polls over the long haul, just behind three “Great” Presidents–Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

TR’s impact on the nation has been massive and will continue to be so, and only Lincoln is rated higher as a Republican President in American history. And it is clear that TR would be shocked, were he to return and see the conservative swing of the party in the past four decades since Ronald Reagan, and the extremist and dangerous trend of Donald Trump in the past two years. It seems certain that TR would be on the barricades protesting the great damage done to the Presidency by the 45th President, who has set out to destroy everything the 26th President brought about in the early 20th century.

Barack Obama Reaches 57 Years Of Age: His Legacy, Despite Donald Trump’s Temporary Destruction, Is Insured, And Will Be Restored Over Time

Barack Obama reached the age of 57 two days ago, and many would think that his legacy is destroyed, by the words and actions of Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Temporarily, yes, much harm and damage has been done, but the long term legacy of Barack Obama will survive the temporary setbacks, and his accomplishments will be restored over time.

The same desire to destroy the legacy of a successful Presidency was attempted by the Republican Party and the conservative movement after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in 1945.

The same motivation, to destroy both the New Deal of FDR and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson was attempted in the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan.

Both times, the Republican Party was unable to destroy the good programs that had been accomplished, although funding was often cut.

Now, under Donald Trump and the worst group of Republicans, far more disgraceful and despicable than after World War II or in the 1980s, the desire is not just to destroy everything Barack Obama did, but also to strike at the heart of progressive and liberal America, which brought about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Civil Rights, and environmental and consumer reforms.

But the American people, or at least the majority of them, have seen the virtues of what FDR, LBJ and Barack Obama have done for the nation, as they are the three Presidents who accomplished the most of any Presidents in the past 85 years, although Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton made smaller contributions, and even Republican Richard Nixon, despite all of the reprehensible policies he pursued, actually did improve on the New Deal and Great Society.

The hate and viciousness of Donald Trump will never erase the decency, dignity, warmth, sincerity, empathy, compassion, ethics, morality, and accomplishments of the 44th President of the United States.

The record of the 45th President will be marked as the absolute bottom of the Presidency, while Barack Obama, already rated number 12 by the C Span 2017 Presidential Historians Survey, and number 8 by the 2018 American Political Science Association Executive Leadership Survey Presidential poll, will soar higher as time passes, and further reflection makes Americans realize just how great a President he was. Of course, he had his faults as all Presidents and human beings have, but he will rank in the top tier throughout the long run of American history.

If Joe Arpaio Ran For US Senate, He Would Be Oldest First Term Elected Senator At Age 86 And Seven And A Half Months!

Donald Trump is suggesting that former Maricopa county Sheriff Joe Arpaio, just pardoned by Trump, run for the Republican nomination for the US Senate against Republican critic Senator Jeff Flake next year in Arizona.

Whether Arpaio would actually take such a step is unsettled, and it would seem that Arpaio would be unlikely to win the nomination or election, with both Flake and Senator John McCain highly critical of him, and of Trump’s pardon of the controversial former Sheriff in Phoenix.

However, were Arpaio to run and be successful, he would be the oldest first term U S Senator ever elected in American history, at age 86 and 7 and a half months in January 2019, making him older than the oldest members of the present US Senate, California Senator Diane Feinstein and Utah Senator and President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Previously, only two US Senators were sworn in at an older age than Arpaio would be, but both were appointed to finish out a term, not elected by popular vote.

Andrew Jackson Houston of Texas, son of the famous Sam Houston, served by appointment for 67 days to fill a vacancy from April 21, 1941 to June 26, 1941 as a member of the Democratic Party, and he was 86 years 10 months and 1 day old when he became a member of the Senate. His brief term ended with his death, and he had been ill most of the time while a Senator, mostly being in a hospital during his tenure in the upper chamber. His death came five days after his 87th birthday.

Rebecca Felton of Georgia was the first woman to serve in the US Senate, and the only one to date from Georgia, and the oldest person ever sworn in to the US Senate, at age 87 years, 3 months and 24 days old, and serving only one day in the Senate as a Democrat from November 21 to November 22, 1922. Her husband had served in the House of Representatives, and Rebecca Felton had been a prominent reformer in the Progressive Era, an advocate of women suffrage and equal pay for equal work for women, as well as prison reform. However, at the same time, Felton supported white supremacy and had been a slave owner in her younger years, and had spoken in favor of lynching of African Americans, so her so called “Progressivism” had major shortcomings. She died at age 94 in 1930.

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!

“Change” Elections: 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1912, 1932, 1960, 1968, 1980, 2000, 2008, And Now 2016?

America has now had 58 Presidential elections, and it can now be said that 12 of them, about 20 percent, have been transformational elections.

In 1800, for the first time. the “opposition” won the Presidency, when Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams.

In 1828, the “common man”, Andrew Jackson, was elected over John Quincy Adams, and all white males over 21, whether or not property owners, were able to vote, and Jackson was perceived as representing the western frontiersman and the urban worker.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln’s victory ushered in a new political party, the Republican Party, as dominant for the next half century, and the Civil War developed out of the split over slavery and its expansion between the Union and the Confederacy. But the sectionalism of that period still exists in many ways in 2017.

In 1896, William McKinley’s victory over William Jennings Bryan promoted the growth of industry and urbanizastion over the previously predominant agricultural and rural nature of America, but in reality, that conflict still exists in 2017.

In 1912, the high point of progressive reform, and the evolution of government playing a major role in the economy from that point on, became a long term reality, with three Presidents–the past President Theodore Roosevelt; the incumbent President William Howard Taft; and the future President Woodrow Wilson—all competing in promoting what one could call the most reform oriented election, with all three Presidents being “progressive” to different degrees.

In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s victory over Herbert Hoover, was the time of the beginning of Democratic Party dominance, and ever bigger national government, even beyond the Progressive Era of the early 20th century.

In 1960, the election of John F. Kennedy was the triumph of overcoming the “religion issue”, as our first non Protestant President, a Roman Catholic from Massachusetts, was accomplished.

In 1968, the election of Richard Nixon marked the beginning of a turn to the Right, although Nixon actually continued and expanded elements of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson in domestic affairs.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan’s victory marked the sharpest turn to the Right since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s, and began an era of conservative government, that in many respects, continued under his successors, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

In 2000, the Supreme Court intervention in the Florida vote count, and the awarding of Florida to George W. Bush by 537 votes, giving him the Presidency, was a revolutionary change that changed the course of history, when Al Gore won the popular vote by more than a half million, and with the economy having improved during the Clinton years, should have led to Gore in the White House.

In 2008, Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain was a sharp turn to the left after what were arguably 40 years of conservative government to different degrees, including under Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and Obama overcame the race issue, in becoming the first African American President.

And now, in 2016, Donald Trump’s victory MIGHT be a sign of another “change” election, with the white working class voting for Trump, giving him the victory in the Electoral College, even though rival Hillary Clinton won the biggest popular vote margin of a losing candidate (2.85 million), greater than many Presidents won on their road to the White House,

But it may eventually be seen as a “fluke” election, and may not be long lasting, and only time and events will tell us what the reality is.

Time For Supreme Court To Intervene, And Overturn Trump Executive Order On Travel Ban

A federal District Court judge has stopped the Trump executive order travel ban for the time being, but it is being appealed by the Trump Administration, meanwhile causing chaos, as the future of the order is uncertain.

It is time for the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups to appeal to the Supreme Court, and find at least one Justice willing to put his or her neck out to use their influence to stop the travel ban permanently, and have the entire Supreme Court consider the ban immediately.

I would propose that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the true hero of progressivism, do so, and force the issue.

We know that Trump hates Ginsburg, and has tried to bully her into retirement, but she is a tough lady, who will not be intimidated.

But it would be perfect for the 84 year old Justice, who is less than 5 feet tall, to challenge BULLY Trump, and give his executive order a “Punch in the Mouth”!

Of course, no one can be sure what the eight member Court would do, but it seems highly likely that besides Ginsburg, we would have Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elana Kagan join her, making for at least a tie vote.

And somehow, it seems also likely that the “swing vote” on the Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy, would also join these four Justices, making for a 5-3 vote.

So bring it on, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, intervene and make for a confrontation with Donald Trump!

Productive Year On History News Network Concludes With 50th Article, All Posted On Right Side Of Blog

The year 2016 has been an amazing year for this author and blogger, in a way one could not imagine when the year began.

I contacted Rick Shenkman of HistoryNewsNetwork.org in January about contributing to his website which gains an average of 800,000 hits per month, and publishes multiple articles on all kinds of historical and current events topics three times per week.

He agreed, and I have been fortunate enough to publish the grand total of 50 articles this year, mostly on the Presidential Election of 2016, but also some on other historical topics, and also some articles related to my Assassinations book, which came out in August 2015, and will be issued in paperback in March 2017.

The most recent article, on reassessing Jimmy Carter after a record 13,000 plus days out of the Presidency, was published on Christmas Day, and is now posted on the right side of this blog with the other articles for easy reading.

I would not expect that I will be as productive in the future, as 2016 was an unusual year, but I plan to continue to contribute articles in this coming year of 2017 and future years, as events require it, and they will be posted on the blog.

All my articles on HNN, plus two reproduced on TIME Magazine’s website, and two TheHill.com articles in late 2015 on my book, are now easily found.

Meanwhile, I continue to write regularly on this blog, and the total is now over 5,450 entries since its inception in August 2008, and I hope to continue to do this for many more years, and wish to thank those readers who have contributed their ideas and thoughts in response to my entries.

If anything, the coming of the Trump Presidency requires more vigilance and watchfulness, so we can promote the progressive cause long term. It will not be an easy struggle, but is required to fight the good fight for one’s principles.

So Happy New Year everyone, and to the health and prosperity of America, and of progressive reform ideas surviving in a difficult era!

Most Significant Issue Of Entire Campaign: The Supreme Court Future And A Democratic Majority US Senate!

No more important issue is on the plate for this election year than the Supreme Court future, tied into a Democratic Majority US Senate!

The Republicans have made it clear that if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency, but the Republicans retain the control of the Senate, that NO Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed, and in fact, not even considered in hearings.

This is totally unacceptable, and cannot be allowed to occur for the next four years, as effectively, that is destroying the whole purpose of the separation of powers and constitutional government!

The Supreme Court has been Republican majority since 1972, and finally, the tipping point to a Democratic and more progressive/liberal Court is in the offing.

Such issues as the following could end up before the Court in the next four years:

Abortion
Affirmative Action
Campaign Finance
Class Action Suits
Climate Change
Contraception
Gun Rights
Immigration Reform
LGBTQ Rights
ObamaCare
Redistricting
Unions
Voter ID Laws
Voting Rights

Why Hillary Clinton Will Win On Election Day: Ten Key Factors

The ten factors that will insure that Hillary Clinton will win the Presidency on Tuesday are as follows:

The strong support of the Latino community across America, including all groups, even Cuban Americans in large numbers, who will react to the racism and nativism of Donald Trump.

The strong support of women across America, who refuse to accept the misogyny and sexual aggressiveness of Donald Trump.

The strong support of African Americans, who can see Donald Trump’s racism for what it is, disgraceful.

The strong support of college educated people, who do not wish to put an ignoramus in office, who appeals to bigotry and prejudice.

The strong support of Independents who are horrified by the authoritarian tendencies of Donald Trump.

The strong support of Asian Americans, a growing group, who are alarmed by white supremacists who back Donald Trump, and fully remember what happened to Japanese Americans in World War II.

The strong support of those who believe in labor rights, the environment, civil liberties, and preserving the virtues of the New Deal and Great Society.

The strong support of those who wish to preserve the great gains of the Obama Presidency, and promote his legacy.

The strong support of Millennials, who are oriented in great percentages toward progressive goals.

The strong support of principled conservatives and Republicans who are terrified at the thought of a demagogue named Donald Trump doing great harm to American democracy.

Donald Trump is, without question, the most dangerous major party Presidential nominee in American history–ill informed, terrible judgment, bad temperament, a believer in conspiracy theories, crooked and corrupt, immoral and unethical, reckless and authoritarian, who represents the worst elements in American society!

Barack Obama Enters His Last Six Months As The 44th President Of The United States!

Today marks six months until the end of the Obama Presidency.

Barack Obama has survived, literally and figuratively, for seven and a half tumultuous years as the 44th President of the United States.

He has come under the most blistering attacks of any President, including Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, since the times of Abraham Lincoln.

He has been insulted, ridiculed, not given proper respect, and accused of every sin imaginable.

No matter what he says and does, no matter how innocuous it is, right wing talk radio and Fox News Channel and Republican politicians at all levels have refused to cooperate on anything that would be beneficial to the nation at large.

His opponents make him out to be evil incarnate and constantly having ulterior motives, and they have stoked racism to new levels that are shocking in 21st century America.

Blockade, stalemate and gridlock have occurred on an every day basis, but despite that, Barack Obama has been an historic President, and has moved to add to the progressive tradition of Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt and Progressivism in the early 20th century, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal in the 1930s, and Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society in the 1960s.

So when history is written, Barack Obama will stand out as a path breaking President, and will, assuredly, end up in the top ten of all Presidents over the long haul of historical analysis.