Transcontinental Railroad

Republican Party, The Party Of Conservatives Abraham Lincoln And Ronald Reagan: Really, Lincoln A Conservative?

As the Republican Party is imploding, we are hearing Florida Senator Marco Rubio and others talk about how Donald Trump is not a conservative, like Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, and that Trump cannot be allowed to inherit their conservatism.

Really?Β  Abraham LincolnΒ  a conservative?Β  Give us all a break!

Lincoln was NOT a conservative, as he challenged the Establishment of his time in so many ways, including opposing any expansion of slavery!

Lincoln waged war on the South, to prevent their successful secession from the Union, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln moved to promote freedom of the slaves, via the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln promoted a major national government commitment to a transcontinental railroad, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln promoted creation of a national banking system; a national currency; the first federal income tax; the first land grant colleges; the Department of Agriculture added to the Presidential cabinet; the Homestead Act; and set up the first military draft; and all of this list is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln was a Liberal, a Progressive, who believed in the use of Presidential power and authority!

Lincoln became the inspiration for another Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt, who is condemned by conservatives, because he believed, as Lincoln did, in in expansion of federal authority, and assertion of Presidential authority and Social Justice, a la Abraham Lincoln!

That is why it is two Liberals, two Progressives, Lincoln and TR, on Mount Rushmore, because they were NOT conservatives!

 

Transformative Presidents In Domestic Affairs: Impact On American Democracy!

With Presidents Day coming up on Monday, it is a good time to reflect on which Presidents were transformative in domestic policy making.

The list of Presidents who made a real difference in domestic affairs would include the following, chronologically:

George Washington—under whom a National Bank and protective tariff, promoted by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, were adopted, having a long range effect on America’s growth.

Thomas Jefferson—under whom recognition of the wisdom of Alexander Hamilton’s economic policies was recognized.

Abraham Lincoln—under whom a promotion of the transcontinental railroad, adoption of the Homestead Act providing free land for settlers, revival of a centralized banking system, and the enactment of the 13th Amendment ending slavery, occurred.

Theodore Roosevelt—under whom conservation of natural resources became a major policy, the first regulation of meat, food and drugs took place, the first intervention in labor disputes without an anti labor attitude evolved, and first anti trust law suits succeeded in breaking up monopolies.

Woodrow Wilson—who accomplished the most domestic reforms until his time, including labor laws, agricultural credit legislation, the Federal Reserve being created, and the first regulatory commission for big business (the Federal Trade Commission) was created.

Franklin D. Roosevelt—under whom the New Deal transformed America domestically with a myriad of programs, including labor laws, Social Security, agricultural aid, and public works programs, with anti trust law suits being pursued.

Lyndon B. Johnson—under whom the Great Society programs, including ideas of Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy not accomplished in their terms in the Presidency, were passed into law, including civil rights, education, Medicare, the War on Poverty, and numerous other programs, including consumer and environmental legislation, the most change since the New Deal.

Richard Nixon—under whom the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Occupational Safety Health Administration, and Affirmative Action were passed into law.

Barack Obama—under whom a national health care law was passed, the most significant legislation since the 1960s.

Other Presidents who had an impact, to a lesser extent, include:

Grover Cleveland
William Howard Taft
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush

As Second Term Of Obama Commences, An Eisenhower Second Term Is Needed!

As the second term of Barack Obama begins, and with the record of mostly troubled second terms of Presidents, one can hope for an Eisenhower second term performance.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower presided over a second term which included:

Avoidance of war, including a summit meeting at Camp David with the Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev, something no one would have believed possible.

Promotion of human rights and social justice, with the intervention of the National Guard at Little Rock, Arkansas, advancing the Civil Rights Movement.

Advocacy of the advancement of science and education as a response to the Soviet Union orbiting Sputnik I in space.

Advancement of infrastructure by promotion of the interstate highway system, the greatest transportation advancement since the transcontinental railroad under Abraham Lincoln.

If these kinds of accomplishments are possible under Dwight D. Eisenhower, with an opposition Democratic Congress in both houses, it should be possible under Barack Obama, with a split Congress, a Republican House of Representatives and a Democratic Senate, working together for the public good!

A Long Range Vision For The Future Of American Transportation: Bullet Trains

As America continues to grow in population and become more congested on the coastlines, in Texas, and in the Midwest around Chicago, there needs to be a long range vision for the future of American transportation.

In the past, we had the transcontinental railroad system, promoted by Abraham Lincoln and others in the 1860s.

We also had the interstate highway system, originally promoted by Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s.

Now we need other Republicans, which Lincoln and Eisenhower were, to join hands with Democrats, and people of good will, to recognize the need to commit funding to the long range vision of bullet trains in key areas of the nation, highly congested areas, which are already being strangled by traffic jams, no matter how fast road building and expansion go on.

It is also an issue of the automobile never going down in cost, and the gasoline utilized going sky high in price, and unlikely to go down very much in the long term future.

More and more young people are seeing the cost of automobiles, and fewer are buying cars and using cars, preferring to use modern technology and live closer to urban areas, as the great suburban expansion is winding down.

Therefore, for the reason of costs of automobiles and oil, plus the desire to live closer to metropolitan areas, and the traffic congestion which is exasperating to millions, the future is in bullet trains that will travel between major cities all over America.

Florida Governor Rick Scott made a mistake in rejecting the idea of a bullet train between Tampa and Orlando, with connections down to Miami, and Florida will suffer for it in the long term future.

But there are other areas that really need to plan ahead for bullet trains, including:

The Northeast Corridor between Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC.

The Midwest Corridor, centered around Chicago, but including Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland and St Louis at a minimum.

The Texas Corridor, connecting major cities in this gigantic state, including El Paso, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston.

The California Corridor, connecting the state capital of Sacramento with San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

If we do not recognize the value of these bullet train projects, and the environmental and transportation advantages, we will pay for it in the long run. We cannot afford to be ostriches with our heads in the sand, but instead need a long range vision, as Lincoln and Eisenhower had!

The Need To Build And Reconstruct Infrastructure For The Future Of America

America is at a crossroads, and it is essential that America understand the need to rebuild much of our infrastructure, as well as expand our technology to meet the demands of the future, and compete with other world nations, including China, India and Brazil, all emerging powers.

Our highways, tunnels, bridges, train systems, power grid, energy supply, internet networks, and all other infrastructure need a commitment equivalent to the building of the transcontinental railroad system during and after the Civil War; the urgency to the building of the atomic bomb during World War II; the building of the interstate highway system beginning in the 1950s; and the competition with the Soviet Union in the space program to go to the moon in the 1960s.

Millions of jobs could be created in these infrastructure projects, and could help America to compete in the world economy and keep the excellence that America is noted for. But instead, there seems to be no imagination or creativity to look to the long term future in the midst of the present economic crisis.

This requires strong presidential leadership, to move beyond the pettiness and the politics of the minute, and think long range!

Rapid Rail System Needed For Economic Growth And To Get Off Oil Obsession!

America is in deep trouble economically, and the unemployment rate is not expected to improve anytime soon! πŸ™

America is in desperate need of creation of employment producing something, and the ideal thing to do is develop a nationwide rapid rail system to promote economic growth and get the country off its oil obsession!

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln continued to promote the development of the Transcontinental Railroad, which changed the whole economy of the country for the long run!

Dwight D. Eisenhower became the promoter of the greatest public works project in history, when he advocated the Interstate Highway system, which led to the greatest economic expansion in American history, in the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s!

An updated transportation system that could move people rapidly and with convenience and less cost than automobile driving would revolutionize the country’s economy long run, and make the country less dependent on foreign oil and domestic oil drilling!

President Obama needs to promote this rail system as part and parcel of the economic growth that would revive the American economy sooner, rather than later!