There are no new paradigms, history repeats. We are now duplicating the Presidential election of 1912 , when TR represented the Progressive wing of the Republican Party and his adversaries were a Socialist and Woodrow Wilson , a Democrat. TR laid out the Progressive Platform, supported by Brandeis, but lost the election to Wilson. Wilson rode the Progressive Wave and implemented the Progressive Party’s platform with the help and support of the American People and progressive Plutocrats.
- By 1916 , Wilson was reelected based upon his accomplishments, and the rest is history.
Paraphrasing directly from the book, ” The Rich Don’t Always Win”, you’ll understand why TR adopted “the Progressive Platform”, my dear followers, and perhaps, you will carry the messages of 1912, to every one you meet, so that we all become students of history and decide to reintroduce the Laws of the land that freed “we the people” from an ever expanding Plutocracy?
There is one cautionary tale: be prepared always for the push back of the wealthy minority that has no social conscience and has no limits on the wealth they must accumulate . For our Republic to survive as a Democracy we must be vigilant and enforce regulations that curtail the wealth of others who profit through speculation and the labor of others. I and they did not denigrate capitalists, rather we propose through a progressive program, including progressive taxation, to regulate and restrain greed.
We , all of us, should always strive to reward the entrepreneur who produces revenue through his own sweat and the sweat and hard work of his or her employees, that is the essence of Capitalism in a Democracy!
Let me now paraphrase TR’s platform, as written by Sam Pizzigati, in his 2012, book entitled” The Rich Don’t Always Win”. I quote, ” TR covered all the progressive basis: Our natural resources, must not be monopolized for the benefit of the few. We must prohibit the use of Corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes and hold corporate officials “personally” responsible when any corporation breaks the law. Again and again, Roosevelt urged his followers to demand state and national restraint upon unfair money getting. The absence of restraint, he noted, has tended to create a small class of economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power.
” To check the growth and limit the power of these fortunes, TR called for a progressive income tax and an inheritance tax on BIG fortunes, properly safeguarding against tax evasion and increasing rapidly with the size of the estate. We need to destroy privilege for the few, TR roared, to preserve our Democracy for the many”. He called his program the New Nationalism, I call it the New New Deal! ”
Just like today, The Progressive Movement was radical because it had real problems to solve. It was practical because it dealt chiefly with the more just distribution of wealth, which is at the very bottom of the bread question in every land and age”
“Woodrow Wilson had not created the Progressive wave, but he rode that wave into office passing the following tax and reform legislation.
- The Constitution was amended to tax the incomes of the most wealthy progressively.
- The Federal Reserve Bank was created to regulate the Banks
- The FTC was created with intention to enforce , cease and desist orders, against the formation of monopolies.
- The Clayton Anti Trust Act was implemented giving the Federal Government the capacity to block corporate mergers and predatory pricing schemes.
Like today, Wall Street was free to speculate, free to create “phony” financial instruments of mass destruction, and free to make enormous amounts of money at Society’s expense. Wall Street speculation eventually led to the crash of 1929 and our own Fiscal Crisis of 2008.
How the Populists pushed back and the rise of the Middle Class Golden Age will be detailed in subsequent Posts. Stay tuned, for further updates my dear followers, as I continue to learn, it is my pleasure to share my insights with you. Together, we can change our World!
I can’t resist this last note; one of the first promoters of Wilson’s second term in office, besides Brandeis and Amos Pinchot, TR’s speech writer, was a line up of progressive celebrities, the philosopher John Dewey and America’s most eminent Rabbi Stephan Wise!!!
“the heart and pulse of the Middle Class”