- A question that I've been asking myself lately: when did the Democratic party change from being the rump party of the revanchist South to being the US' national left of center party.  It's actually a a surprisingly complex question as the transformation started taking place even before the civil war ended, and wasn't complete until the last of the Dixiecrats switched to the Republican party, arguably with Zell Miller's speech at the 2004 Republican convention.  The existence of such a long lasting schizoid, political phenomena points to the the deep structural challenges of assembling a cohesive national political ideology in the US, and almost certainly the same structural undercurrents are what is driving the nihilistic, self-destructive political antics of the Republican party at the moment.

But if identifying a time is where the transition occurred is impossible, the way is market with a number of important events and interesting characters.  One of the lesser know of which is Al Smith, a NE Democratic contemporary of FDR.  He's one of the more attractive political figures of the era.  His primary interests were in good government, tolerance, and repealing prohibition.  In many ways he typified what is now the standard Democratic politician, urban, technical, modern and inclusive.   Yet, he also became an extreme opponent of FDR and especially of the New Deal.  So much so that campaigned for and vote Republican against FDR's reelection.  And his rhetoric, that the New Deal was a direct assault on American's personal liberty  has an unmistakable analog in today's political environment.


- Also, restored WW I clips



I also agree that WWI is forgotten and   overlooked.  But I think, looking back on the short 20th century as historians sometimes call the period of 1914 -- 1991, it no longer makes sense to think of WWW I and WW II as separate world wars.

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