Progressivism

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.

The New America: Seven Distinct Areas, With Five Centered Around Urban Clusters, Rather Than Based On State Boundaries!

America has 50 states. but the concept of states is starting to transform into what could be called “urban clusters”.

The most prosperous parts of America is the Northeast Corridor, from New England down through the Middle Atlantic, including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

The second most prosperous area is the Pacific Coast, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

The third leading area is the Great Lakes cluster, including Chicago as its center, but also Minneapolis Milwaukee, Detroit and St Louis.

After that, we have Central and South Florida, and the Texas cluster from Dallas Fort Worth down to Austin, San Antonio, and Houston, and Atlanta Georgia-Charlotte North Carolina as the fourth urban cluster.

The fifth distinct area is the Mountain West centered around Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

Then there are the two other areas, far more rural and poor, with the Southeast–including Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee–being left behind, and still resisting social and economic change.

And finally the Great Plains and Upper West—the largest area geographically in the nation, the most backward and least populated area, very rural, an area where young people leave, as they see little economic opportunity for the long term–an area including much of Iowa along with North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho.

Notice that politically, the first three urban clusters are heavily more progressive and Democratic.

The fourth and fifth urban clusters are much more competitive between the Democrats and Republicans, and the progressive-conservative division is hotly contested, and will continue to be.

The sixth and seventh areas are reliably Republican and conservative, but have less clout in population and influence.

So the nation is clearly moving toward a more progressive stance for the long run, although large areas of the nation in land area resist that change with fury!

Wisconsin Political History: Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde!

The state of Wisconsin, the cheese and dairy state, has had a distinguished history in many respects.

It was the base of the great Mr. Progressive, Governor and Senator Robert La Follette, Sr, who also was the Progressive Party nominee for President in 1924, and had the third best percentage of the vote of any third party nominee in history, with one out of every six voters backing him.

It was the state of his son, Senator Robert La Follette, Jr, and also of his second son, Governor Philip La Follette, both leading Progressives in the 1930s.

It was the state of Senator Gaylord Nelson,  Senator Herb Kohl, Senator William Proxmire, and Senator Russ Feingold, the latter now seeking to regain his Senate seat that he lost to Ron Johnson in 2010, with these two men running against each other again in 2016.  It was also the state of Governor Patrick Lucey and Gaylord Nelson, before the latter became a Senator.

It is the state of Senator Tammy Baldwin, the first lesbian US Senator.

However, it was also the state of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the infamous Red Scare leader in the 1950s.

It is also the state of the disgraceful Governor Scott Walker; Senator Ron Johnson; and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, all very willing to work against the interests of the middle class and the poor.

How a state with a progressive tradition can often “go off the rails” is hard to understand.

But the progressive-liberal tradition remains a significant part of the Wisconsin historical story!

Now it is becoming the center of attention again, after Scott Walker endorsed Ted Cruz in the Republican primary to be held next week, with Cruz leading Donald Trump in polls; and Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton in polls for the Democrats.

Conservatives Desperate! Floating Idea Of Tom Coburn Or Rick Perry As Third Party Alternative To Donald Trump!

The conservative movement is desperate, as they foresee disaster for their movement and for the Republican Party, and rightfully so, with the almost certain nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican Presidential nominee this summer at the GOP National Convention in Cleveland.

The likelihood is, more than ever, that the Democrats will win the Presidency, regain control of the US Senate, be able to transform the Supreme Court majority to the liberal-progressive side, and possibly win the House of Representatives majority.

The latter is hard to accomplish, but the effect of Trump could cause that disaster for the Republican Party.

So now, Bill Kristol of THE WEEKLY STANDARD and other conservatives are promoting the idea of a third party movement, with former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn or former Texas Governor Rick Perry as potential nominees!

That is so hilarious, as both are terrible choices and will NOT help the conservative cause.

This blogger has already listed Coburn as one of the absolutely worst members of the Senate historically in previous posts over the last number of years, and Perry is a true example of an
“empty suit”,who can never outlive the embarrassment of his inability to remember federal agencies he wished to eliminate, during debates in the Presidential Election campaign of 2012!

With such choices, it demonstrates just how clueless and bankrupt the conservative movement has become, as it reaches a nadir in its evolution!