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View Diary: Your Donations at Work in Wisconsin - Thank You (and News!) (154 comments)

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  •  Not so surprising (6+ / 0-)

    There's a strong tradition of rural progressivism in Wisconsin, especially in the northwestern part of the state.  Dont forget that two of the Wisconsin 14 (Bob Jauch and Jim Holperin) represent largely rural districts that probably have more hunters per capita than any place else in Wisconsin.  Sure there are some wingnutty hunters, but you'll find way more wingnuts per capita in the Milwaukee suburbs than in the northwoods.

    •  That's actually populism (4+ / 0-)

      up there.  My dad's home.  He taught me about good ol's farmer-labor populism, northern Wisconsin (and Minnesota) style.  And he taught me that it was much tougher than that namby-pamby Madison progressivism.:-)

      The northern populists actually allied as or more often with the Milwaukee socialists, to give a sense of what it meant.

      You're spot-on about the difference between the northern wackiness, wonderful but for fun, vs. the southeastern burban wackoness, which is just nuts and downright nasty.

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:12:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wisconsin called it progressivism (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, elwior, Puddytat

        One of the things I love about Wisconsin is the strong populist streak in Wisconsin progressivism which dates back to Fightin' Bob LaFollette, whose strongest following actually came from rural areas.  The term "populist," though, was never widely employed here.  What other places called populism, Wisconsin called progressivism.  As you point out, though, its grittier than Madison-style progressivism.

        •  Well, historians of the state (0+ / 0-)

          and their primary sources, the newspapers of the day, make the distinctions among progressivism (Madison), socialism (Milwaukee), and populism (Up North).  What some historians call progressive legislation, of course, actually was socialist or populist first.  

          The brilliance of the pols at the time was coming together in an effective coalition of the three groups to push through those laws -- and interesting to research are others that did not win, bills that one of the groups wanted but could not win without the others.  That is what we are missing today in Wisconsin, and what Walker will not do:  compromise to create consensus.

          And, again, my dad was from Up North -- right across the river from you -- and was there at the time, and he always called it populism and said that's what they called it.  I actually talked with the great Bob Jauch about that a while ago, and he agreed -- and if anyone today knows the area and it's history, it's him.

          So this is intriguing.  Your sources?

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

          by Cream City on Fri May 25, 2012 at 09:05:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I actually teach this stuff (0+ / 0-)

            Though I live in Duluth, I actually teach history at UW-Superior, including a course on Wisconsin history.  The Populist movement of the 1890s largely bypassed Wisconsin.  The movement that LaFollette led at the turn of the century bears a lot of resemblences to the Populist movement of the 1890s, but LaFollette and his followers used the word "progressive" to describe themselves rather than the word "populist."  The word "progressive" remained the term by which they identfied themselves right up through the 1930s, when Bob's kids (Phil and "Young" Bob) established the Progressive Party of Wisconsin, which for about a decade was one of the two major parties in the state.  (The Democrats were the "third party" at the time.)

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