The 1920s

The Republican Party Battle Has Gone On For A Century!

When the Republican Party was founded in 1854, it was an activist liberal oriented party, against the expansion of slavery as an official doctrine, and with many of its founders and followers also being against slavery itself, wishing to abolish it.

Under Abraham Lincoln and Radical Republicans, the Republican Party advocated freedom, citizenship and voting for African Americans, while at the same time promoting the growth of industrial capitalism.

But in the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, the party lost its bearings, becoming a corrupt party, beholden to the top one percent of the nation. There was a need to reform the party, and Theodore Roosevelt came along at the turn of the century, and revolutionized the Presidency and promoted progressivism, and activist government, including labor rights, consumer rights, environmentalism, and the promotion of political reforms to bring direct democracy.

But after he left office, the party lost its bearings again and went into the darkness of the conservative 1920s, as Woodrow Wilson took on much of the progressive reform program, and set the Democratic Party on the road to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and a whole slew of domestic progressive and liberal reforms.

The Republican Party, by following the Gilded Age mentality again in the 1920s, helped to cause the greatest economic downturn in American history, and the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover put them in the wilderness, although revived by the moderate progressivism of war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s.

But then, they were again in the minority, and although Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford promoted some substantial reforms in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in the midst of the New Frontier-Great Society mentality. scandal emerged under Nixon, and the Vietnam War sapped the party, and they turned once again to conservatism and Ronald Reagan, who had a better persona than conservative Barry Goldwater, who had been soundly defeated by LBJ in 1964. Reagan appealed to the top one percent, and promoted fear of the white working class toward minorities, and the GOP dominated the next generation and more, with the Jimmy Carter respite very brief, and Bill Clinton being mildly progressive, not really the tradition of FDR, Truman, JFK, and LBJ. But that meant that the Republican Party was backing away from the traditions of Lincoln, TR, and even Ike! The middle class and the working were victims, without realizing it until very recently.

Here they are today in the era of the most progressive Democratic President since LBJ, and the Republican Party is what it was in the Gilded Age and 1920s and since the 1980s, a party that backs away from domestic reform, from compassion, from concern about the environment, from concern about working people, from concern about women and ethnic minorities and the vast majority of Americans. Instead, they are the party of the one percent, as they were in the Gilded Age and 1920s, and the attempt to move the party to the center, and return to the Lincoln–TR–Ike tradition is engaged in what seems clearly a losing battle!

That means that the Republican Party, 160 years old this year, is likely in its death throes, a party which has gone awry, a really tragic set of circumstances!

The Assault On Organized Labor And The Working Class

The year 2011 is seeing a frontal assault on the hard earned rights of organized labor and the working class, gained over the past century with the aid of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H W Bush, and Bill Clinton.

Collective bargaining is about to disappear in many states controlled by Republican Governors, and the Supreme Court has been actively restricting labor rights and promoting the rights and privileges of corporations.

We are rapidly descending back into the Gilded Age and 1920s mentality, including the possibility of National Guard actions against workers in Wisconsin, and who know where else eventually! ๐Ÿ™

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate threatens to create a permanent underclass, and employers are making things only worse.

The white population has an unemployment rate of about 8 percent; the African American population rate is 16 percent; the Hispanic rate is 12 percent; and the Asian American rate is about 7 percent. Add to this the growing number of disabled and handicapped workers as well, and then add to the mix the news that employers more than ever are refusing to consider anyone for employment who is at this point without a job.

If this strategy continues, which would seem to be against the civil rights laws on race, ethnicity and the disabled and handicapped, then we are on the way to a permanent underclass of people who will be unable to find work, and will be denied or thrown off unemployment compensation (which is only temporary in any case)!

This sets up a situation of social dynamite, which could lead to bloodshed and violence, including use of the National Guard against the American population, by bully governors who decide to use force against people marching and demonstrating and demanding a change in attitude and policy to give this underclass hope and confidence that there is a future for them.

This whole evolving situation is extremely scary and troubling! ๐Ÿ™

The Destruction Of Public Employees Labor Unions: An Assault On The Middle Class And 80 Years Of American History! :(

As the nation faces the toughest economic times since the Great Depression, we are witnessing an assault on public employees and their labor unions, wiping out eighty years of hard gained rights since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in so doing, further eroding the middle class!

It was labor unions, which came to full development and success beginning in the 1930s, which helped to create decent working conditions for millions of Americans, both in the public and private sector.

Now Republican Governors, and backed by the Republican leadership in Congress, are salivating over the loss of pension and medical benefits, the end of collective bargaining, and the return of employers, including state governments, dictating conditions of work to employees, as if this was the Gilded Age or the 1920s revived! ๐Ÿ™

In the process, the middle class is being wiped out, being added to the growing number of Americans who are falling into poverty, and yet the suggestion that raising taxes on the wealthy and business might lessen the assault on hard won labor rights is automatically dismissed.

If the states and the national government continue the Republican assault on the middle class, there is the real danger that people will not just sit by and take punch after punch, and allow their dignity and rights gained long ago to be taken away without a counter reaction.

We are entering very dangerous territory and conditions, and yet the Republican Party seems to be tone deaf and immune to the reality of human suffering, only concerning themselves with the comfort of the elite wealthy and corporations.

It may remind many of the arrogance of the elite in other societies, and how their short sightedness led to unfortunate tragedy!

Democrats and progressives must continue to speak up and oppose with all of their energy this great tragedy of the middle class being destroyed, without any concern as to the long range effect!

The Reality Of Budget Cuts To Come In The 112th Congress: The Poor, The Young, The Retired To Suffer Greatly While The Rich And Privileged Suffer No Pain! :(

We hear a lot these days about “cost cutting”, and “budget cuts” and “reckless spending” as code words for what the 112th Congress under House Speaker to be John Boehner will be addressing next year.

What it comes down to, though, is that the rich and privileged and the corporations will suffer no pain at all, and instead the poor, the young, and the retired (mostly elderly) Americans will bear the brunt of such a dramatic slashing of the budget!

It means that medical care will be denied, as it is, for instance, in Arizona to Medicaid recipients who need heart, lung, kidney and liver transplants, and instead will die, being given a “death panel” decision by Governor Jan Brewer! ๐Ÿ™

It means that class sizes will be dramatically raised, making educational conditions in thousands of school districts across the country far worse than they already are!

It means that crime fighting and fire fighting will be impeded, which will affect poorer communities more than wealthier areas within the states!

It means many prisoners will be released because of overcrowding and budget cuts in state prisons, and that will add to the crime rate, particularly in poorer areas!

It means that college students in community colleges and state universities across the nation will, in many cases, be priced out of higher education, or go so deep into debt with rising tuition and housing costs, that they will be forced into bankruptcy in future years! ๐Ÿ™

It means that dedicated civil service employees who have devoted their lives to serving the public in many capacities will now be cheated out of labor arrangements and retirement plans that they thought were legally binding!

It means that basic amenities such as parks, beaches, libraries, and other public services will be cut back dramatically, making the quality of life far worse!

It means that basic services to the elderly poor will be cut back, endangering many in their health and safety, and the whole concept of the “golden years”!

The more one thinks about this series of realities, the more the inequities of the situation scream out. So the rich and privileged will do just fine, while large portions of the population will suffer in an age of selfishness and greed, unparalleled since the 1920s and the previous Gilded Age (1865-1897), which one would think we would not repeat.

And now we will have a Republican leadership that does not apologize for this circumstance, and instead embraces it with impunity! ๐Ÿ™

The Roberts Supreme Court: Back To The Gilded Age And The 1920s! :(

New evidence is now available indicating that the Supreme Court headed by John Roberts, the 17th Chief Justice, since 2005, has become the most pro business Supreme Court since the 1920s and the earlier Gilded Age, both periods in which corporations were given license to run amuck over small business, labor, and consumers in their mad dash for maximum profits and exploitation! ๐Ÿ™

The Citizens United case in January, allowing unlimited corporate contributions in political campaigns, upending a century of regulatory laws on that subject, is just the most obvious case.

But with a five member majority, with two appointments by Ronald Reagan, one by father George H W Bush and two by son George W. Bush, the Supreme Court now has demonstrated that 61 percent of the time, they favor big business, as compared to 46 percent in the last five years under Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and 42 percent in all the years since Earl Warren became Chief Justice in 1953.

The Chamber of Commerce and other business groups have been able to get a sympathetic ear from the Supreme Court in greater percentages as the years go by, and this is another troubling piece of evidence, shown by many legal scholarly analyses, that the concept of “an equal day in court” for everyone is really a myth! ๐Ÿ™

What is emerging is the disturbing reality of a growing oligarchy which wins the day in the courts and in the Congress so often that the idea of a “land of opportunity” and the “American dream” is more than ever, for almost everyone, except a small elite, a total distortion of reality! ๐Ÿ™

Former Senator John Danforth, Senator Richard Lugar, And The Collapse Of The GOP As A Respectable Party! :(

Former Republican Senator John Danforth of Missouri, a well respected moderate conservative, has denounced the turn of the GOP toward the extreme right Tea Party Movement, and has declared that the Republican Party of history may be lost forever!

Danforth is particularly scathing of the refusal of the Republicans in the Senate to cooperate on the ratification of the START Treaty with the Russian government, an action denounced also by the very respectable and acknowledged expert on foreign policy, Indiana Senator Richard Lugar!

Lugar’s opposition to his own party on the START treaty, and to the Tea Party Movement, has led to a move to try to defeat him in 2012, a move that Danforth bitterly opposes as the end of rational policy and principle by the party that he sees rapidly deteriorating! ๐Ÿ™

Danforth and Lugar are a few of the rare remnants of the Republican Party which once was a respectable mainstream party, but is rapidly descending into darkness as an extreme right wing, regressive party that is trying to return America to the era of the 1920s or the Gilded Age! ๐Ÿ™

If Richard Lugar is in trouble, the country is the loser! ๐Ÿ™