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Most people know Herbert Hoover as one of the worst presidents in the nation's history, a conservative Republican who led the country into the Great Depression. If they only knew the real impact Hoover had, they would be shocked.

Up until Herbert Hoover, a majority of African-Americans had supported the Republican Party, the Party of Lincoln. Hoover changed all that with his Lily White Policy, a plan devised to get African-Americans out of the Republican Party and bring in the white Southerners. He's responsible for developing the Southern strategy that Nixon, Reagan and Bush would later embrace. He turned the party of big business into the white man's party.

Herbert Hoover was a white supremacist. He believed blacks were inherently inferior and wanted to get rid of any blacks from positions of authority and power in the Republican Party. Hoover's racism is manifest in his response to the great Mississippi Flood of 1927, his Supreme Court picks, and his use of patronage to strip blacks of power. He even fought against anti-lynching laws.

Another example of Hoover's racism is how he selected General Douglas MacArthur to reorganize the army and then watched over as the most famous black military unit in the country was eliminated. He also forbade blacks from the Air Corps and enforced segregation in the military. W.E.B. DuBois, the founder of the NAACP, saw Hoover as a "sinister enemy of the black race."

Hoover's racism extended to other groups as well. It was Hoover who deported over two million people, many of which were legal American citizens. Anyone with a Mexican-sounding name had their property confiscated and were shipped to Mexico City.

Hoover was a trained geologist and one of the first graduates of Stanford University. He holds a special place at the horse farm where the Hoover Institute carries out his vision. Few people are aware that they keep the actual day books written by the Nazi commandants of German concentration camps at Stanford's Hoover Institute.

Herbert Hoover had a special relationship with Adolph Hitler and met with him in 1938. He had become a quiet supporter of the German fuehrer. Hoover would oppose America’s involvement in World War II and fight against FDR’s Lend Lease program to aid Britain. He assured everyone that Hitler would soon conquer Europe and it was better to be his friend.

Hoover was the behind the scenes power of the America First movement, leaving the public face to the freshly scrubbed aviation hero Charles Lindbergh. According to FDR, there could be no doubt that Lindbergh was a Nazi. Lindbergh was finally exposed when he gave his famous anti-Semitic, America First speech in Iowa. After the speech, which blamed the Jews for the world’s unrest, Hoover invited Lindbergh up to his hotel suite at the Waldorf Astoria and praised him. The two would later engage in discussions of impeaching Roosevelt.

FDR hated Hoover, but Harry Truman rehabilitated the man's tattered reputation. When Nixon became vice-president, Hoover had an open line into the White House and slowly built back his power. Hoover was the kingmaker who made deals and promoted the people who thought like he did. He became the liason between Wall Street, the military, corporations, and Washington insiders. He gained enormous power operating from his hotel room at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Hoover would live to be 93 and outlive practically everybody.

Originally posted to Aaron Dahl on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 08:49 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I live a few miles away from his library. (7+ / 0-)

    I'm ashamed that he was from Iowa. Henry A. Wallace left a much better legacy.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. - A. Einstein

    by clonecone on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 08:52:10 PM PST

  •  Herbert Hoover also organized (9+ / 0-)

    the American Relief Agency in Russia during the years 1921-22. The ARA probably saved the lives of 7-10 million Russians and Ukrainians in that era, a fact that even Vladimir Lenin was forced to admit. Hoover was instrumental in other relief operations in wartorn Europe as well.

    As far as his role in the 1927 Mississippi flood disaster, his attitude was for more benevolent than many of the vicious white racists he was dealing with in his capacity as Commerce Secretary. And the record of the Democratic Party in the South during that era is not one that we modern Democrats can take pride in.

    •  And Roosevelt... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yosef 52, LNK

      ...came into office vowing to cut spending and balance the budget, and also interned tens of thousands of loyal Japanese-Americans. Not to defend H.H. who was as bad as they come, but racism was rampant in America in his era. In the movie, The Good Shepard, Robert Di Niro playing OSS head William J. Donovan explains that the agency would have no Negros or Jews in its employ, a totally unrealistic action because in the early forties no one would have expected the contrary, and such an explanation would have been totally unnecessary. Embedded racism was the natural condition of our fathers and grandfathers.

  •  He reigned over (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, LNK, Over the Edge

    the peak years of the KKK, and not just in Southern States, here in Oregon as well. Where they were Mayors and politicians and proudly marched the Klan in parades.

  •  Nothing new under the sun (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, LNK

    HH was also the gasbag engineer/idiot that sicced those other gasbags MaCarthur and Patton on the Bonus Army where later FDR sent Eleanor to adress their petitions.
    Funny how all those Hoovervilles will be springing up again this Spring as people abandon their foreclosed homes in droves. Get your underpass reserved early.

  •  Lived to be 90, not 93 (0+ / 0-)

    Hoover's dates: August 10, 1874-October 20, 1964.

    Still, this does encompass a wide swath of history--born during Reconstruction, died after Kennedy's assassination.

    Only Gerald Ford and Ronnie Reagan made it to 93, although we have to give a shout out to early record-holder John Adams, who made it to 90 (just a few months shy of 91) w-a-y back in the day.

    Sorry for the school-marmish correction, but I'm a bit of a history geek. Love seeing history-themed diaries--thanks for the work!

  •  Watch out for Hoover-type thinking that lives on (0+ / 0-)

    Hoover deeply believed in the Efficiency Movement (a major component of the Progressive Era), arguing that there were technical solutions to all social and economic problems.

    Note: One of the key elements of that kind of thinking is to leave out the human factor....Speed up the pace of work even if it exhausts, injures, kills the workers.....

    [this part could make you tear your hair out:]

    Returning home in 1919, Hoover confronted a world of political possibilities. At one point, Democratic party bosses looked on him as a potential candidate for the presidency. "There could not be a finer one," claimed a young and rising star from New York named Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, Hoover rejected the call of the Democrats, confessing that he could not run for a party whose only member in his boyhood home had been the town drunk

    [Heh heh...typical hypocrite:]

    What few voters knew, however, was that Hoover was much more tentative in his support for [Prohibition] in private, and that for years he practiced a certain ritual: often after work at the Commerce Department, he would stop by the Belgian Embassy for a visit with friends. While there, as it was technically foreign soil, he was able to enjoy an alcoholic drink before heading for home.

    Still commonly mouthed in America:

    Hoover feared that too much intervention or coercion by the government would destroy individuality and self-reliance, which he considered to be important American values. Though he was not averse to taking action which he considered was in the public good, such as regulating radio broadcasting and aviation, he preferred a voluntary, non-government approach to economic recovery.

    I suggest revising a few details in the diary if all this is true, including his dislike of Hitler:

    The Mighty Wurlitzer--A History of how we got here:

    by LNK on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:37:50 AM PST

    •  Wikipedia is wrong (0+ / 0-)

      Hitler wasn't seen as he is now. Hitler was the Western world’s biggest fighter against communism and Hitler had a lot of supporters on the West Coast, including Hoover. Many saw Hitler as the person who would deliver the world from the Jewish-communist conspiracy that was intent on dominating the world. Also, Hoover was the first president of German ancestry and he was extremely proud of his race. Like TR, WW and CC, Hoover was a big backer of the eugenics movement and Hitler's ideas on racial purity would not have offended him in the least.

      Hoover made a fortune working for mining interests in Australia and China, actually fought off the Chinese in Shanghai at one point. He saw firsthand the threat the "Asiatics and colored races" were to the white race. This is one of the reasons he helped the Belgiums in World War I, a controversial action that had the Brits calling him a traitor for helping the German war effort.

      Hoover certainly helped his Northern European brothers, but to say he cared about all men is a mistake in logic. A similar misinterpretation exists with Henry Ford who some view as a pacifist for not wanting to fight the Germans. Ford, of course, would have liked nothing better than to get rid of all the Jews. Not exactly a pacifist at heart.

      An interesting fact about Hoover that I wouldn't mind seeing pursued further is his involvement with the Scottish Rite. Like many presidents he was a 33 degree member and a follower of Albert Pike. Pike worked closely with Native Americans in the Civil War and I always wondered if this was the reason Hoover had for picking his vice-president.

  •  And ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Smoot-Hawley and the follow-on made things worse.

    Still, I take exception that he led America into the Great Depression. The plot was afoot from 1920 with the plan to prop up the British pound -- somewhat endangered from the idiocy of World War One. Fed rates went down and irrational exuberance popped its stock market cork only months after Herbert was on the catbird seat.

    So HH can't really be blamed for what the Fed initiated.

    Admittedly, the engineering mind of Hoover made things worse. (Full disclosure: retired engineer here but with remedial training, ha!)

    What is past, is prologue

    by US2oz on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 12:47:23 AM PST

  •  OT, Hoover's VP set two records (0+ / 0-)

    First man with largely Native American ancestry/heritage to achieve such high office.

    Last high office holder to wear mustache.

    The Mighty Wurlitzer--A History of how we got here:

    by LNK on Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 01:03:21 AM PST

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