Skip to main content

Wow. For proof that the GOP is running with a more extreme version of the same mentality they had during the Great Depression, here is the perfect example. Tell me which parts of this speech sound like they could come out of a Mitt Romney speech. Also, look for which parts prove just how far to the right our entire body politic and the Republican party is now compared to back then.

If you want to be simply STUNNED today read this, it's the 1936 Republican Presidential Nomination Acceptance speech of Alf Landon. Here are a few excerpts . . .

I intend to approach the issues fairly, as I see them, without rancor or passion. If we are to go forward permanently, it must be with a united nation—not with a people torn by appeals to prejudice and divided by class feeling.

The time has come to pull together.

No people can make headway where great numbers are supported in idleness. There is no future on the relief rolls. The law of this world is that man shall eat bread by the sweat of his brow.

Oh yeah, here's more?
Mounting debts and increasing taxes constitute a threat to all of these aims. They absorb the funds that might be used to create new things or to reduce the cost of present goods. Taxes, both visible and invisible, add to the price of everything. By taking more and more out of the family purse, they leave less for the family security. Let us not be misled by those who tell us that others will be made to carry the burden for us. A simple inquiry into the facts and figures will show that our growing debts and taxes are so enormous that, even if we tax to the utmost limits those who are best able to pay, the average taxpayer will still have to bear the major part. While spending billions of dollars of borrowed money may create a temporary appearance of prosperity we and our children, as taxpayers, have yet to pay the bill. For every single dollar spent we will pay back two dollars!
  Wow! Same argument we here today, the "if we tax the rich it won't make a difference" argument that is pushed by the same guy saying we have to cut unemployment insurance and food stamps. When the poor pay it counts, when the rich pay your just being mean and what's the difference anyway?

   More below the fold . . .

Judged by the things that make us a nation of happy families, the New Deal has fallen far short of success. The proof of this is in the record. The record shows that in 1933 the primary need was jobs for the unemployed. The record shows that in 1936 the primary need still is jobs for the unemployed.
  Same line of attack, eh? Just replace 2009 and 2012 with 1933 and 1936. I guess that means George W. Bush is kind of like Herbert Hoover, though Barack Obama has by no means been FDR, but see the line of attack? Pretend the GWB or Hoover of your day never existed, blame the current President for ALL the things.

   The funny thing is the similarities between Alf Landon and Mitt Romney don't end there because Landon supported a ton of things in this speech that would NEVER EVER fly in a million years with this current 2012 GOP, much in the same way that Mitt has in his flip-flopping between appealing to conservative extremists compared to his record as a moderate North Eastern Governor. Please read this full speech by Alf Landon, there are things in there about a worker's right to choose to unionize, the need for diplomacy in foreign affairs practiced by great Republican President's before him and the need to protect the environment that you would never hear come out of a modern Republicans mouth. This is proof of just how far to the corporate right the country has shifted since the Great Depression, and as we have slowly torn down the last of the New Deal we have unleashed the same dam that drowned us once before, only now we do so in the unholy name of Austerity. In 1936 it was okay for a Republican Presidential Candidate to talk about the need to bust up monopolies in his Acceptance speech. Could you possibly imagine such a thing happening now?

   On a side note, FDR demolished Alf Landon 523-8, carrying every state except for Maine and Vermont. Sadly, Obama is no FDR. Obama could have very well given most of Landon's speech himself too. Here is the link to FDR's 1936 Democratic Nomination acceptance speech and an excerpt . . .

For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital—all undreamed of by the fathers—the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.

It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.

The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor—these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small business man, the investments set aside for old age—other people's money—these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.

Those who tilled the soil no longer reaped the rewards which were their right. The small measure of their gains was decreed by men in distant cities.

Throughout the Nation, opportunity was limited by monopoly. Individual initiative was crushed in the cogs of a great machine. The field open for free business was more and more restricted. Private enterprise, indeed, became too private. It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise.

An old English judge once said: "Necessitous men are not free men." Liberty requires opportunity to make a living—a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.

For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor—other people's lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.

Against economic tyranny such as this, the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of Government. The collapse of 1929 showed up the despotism for what it was. The election of 1932 was the people's mandate to end it. Under that mandate it is being ended.

The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the Government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the Government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.

Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.

These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the Flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the Flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.

Read more at the American Presidency Project: Franklin D. Roosevelt: Acceptance Speech for the Renomination for the Presidency, Philadelphia, Pa.
   Sadly, we face the same unbridled economic royalty today, only now money equals speech and the banks are Too Big To Fail. In three years the White House has failed to deliver a vision of the role Government should have in our economy and society that counters the Conservative dystopia of Austerity based Reaganomics. The problem isn't just that the Republican party has fully embraced Hoovernomics and madness over reason, it is that the Democratic party has too. "Vote for me or the crazy people will win!" isn't hope, it is cynicism.

   Alf Landon's 1936 speech is proof that if the modern GOP has changed at all, it has gotten worse, much, much worse. FDR's 1936 speech is proof of that we CAN fight back, but first we have to pick a fight. President Obama is fond of telling us that this "isn't class war, it's basic math". WRONG! It is a class war, always has been, and the rich are back to where they were before the Great Depression, they have more money than ever and the rest of us are not sharing the sacrifice, we are carrying the whole thing. Mitt Romney may be like Alf Landon, but that doesn't make Obama like FDR. At least FDR could admit to us all what we are up against, but then, FDR never had to compete with Karl Rove's SuperPAC. The core problem is this, the combination of an extreme income inequality gap and the rampant influence of big money in American has restored the economic royalty to a level of power we have only last seen in America in the era directly before the Great Depression and now both of our parties are farther to the right than Alf Landon's GOP was in 1936.

So, somebody talk me down.

Peace and love to one and all

Image Hosting by

You can follow me on twitter @JesseLaGreca

P.S. ~ I'm still trying to win a NetrootsNation 2012 Scholarship, voting ends on May 7th. I want to thank everyone who has voted for me so far, and if you haven't yet please do so, I really want to go to Netroots for the first time and need your support. Click here to vote for me to go to Netroots Nation 2012! Thanks
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  Jesse, your link to vote for you doesn't work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      please fix and I'll vote for you.

      Second, while I agree that taxes need to be raised on the top 1 percent, I agree with Republicans then and Republicans now that this will not get the budget in balance.  I, a "conservative" Republican would favor raising taxes on perhaps the top 20 percent (which I'm barely a member of) in exchange for a comprehensive review (and overhaul if need be) of every government program.

      Above all I think we should pay for the government that we are operating.  If we want a lot of government, let's pay for it.  If we want smaller amounts of government then we can have lower taxes but we should also think about paying off our past national debt.

      And no, I'm not arguing for raising taxes or taking austerity steps in a period after a significant recession.  I'll support short term deficits for long term structural reform.  Unfortunately, we are doing the former and not doing anything about the latter.

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

      by theotherside on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:12:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Today's GOP is further to the right than the (16+ / 0-)

    John Birch Society.  You name it, they're farther to the right of it.

    Of course they won't openly admit it, though.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 12:30:37 PM PDT

  •  They are to the right of Marine Le Pen (11+ / 0-)

    just shows how weird it has got over there when they point out.

    Look, look, the extreme right is rising in Europe they holler

    Look at home goddammit, I reply

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 12:31:13 PM PDT

    •  Funny thing, Marine Le Pen tried to co-opt Occupy (11+ / 0-)

      very early on in October 2011, and I was asked to comment on it. To whit . . .

      Henry Samuel has the details of Marine Le Pen's visit to the United States. Ron Paul got some unwanted bad publicity when it became known that he'd kibbitz with the leader of France's nationalist, right-wing party. That meeting, says Samuel, has been scrapped. Instead, Le Pen will court the left.

          The FN insists Miss Le Pen will meet a Democrat "who doesn't correspond to majority thinking" of his camp, but that his name would only be revealed on the day to avoid "pressure" ... she will also make a stop at Zuccotti Square in Manhattan, base of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement.

      I've asked a couple of prominent Occupiers, who have had to punch back on claims of "anti-semitic ties" (basically, some jerks showing up and pronouncing themselves part of the movement) to pre-rebut Le Pen. In the meantime: Who is this Democrat? Le Pen is moderating the Front National, sure, or at least she claims to be doing it. But the political upside to appearing with a party founded by a noted Holocaust denier? Not quite sure what that would be. The United States has proven pretty well resistant to the European virus of xenophobia as a reaction to economic angst. Why import it?

      UPDATE: Jesse La Greca, a Zucotti Park Occupier who became well-known for outmatching Fox News's Griff Jenkins in an interview, e-mailed to let me know what OWS thinks.

      "Marine Le Pen is NOT WELCOME as far as I am concerned," he wrote. "She can keep her xenophobic and embarrassing agenda out of #ows. And you can quote me. #ows has NO PLACE for discrimination, and the Le Pen family is the face of French political discrimination."

  •  The difference between 1936 and (12+ / 0-)

    today? We actually tried it their way, and it failed spectacularly!

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 12:38:19 PM PDT

    •  Austerity now, insanity later (9+ / 0-)

      because austerity is working like a dream all over the world, isn't it?

      •  And serenity never. (6+ / 0-)

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 12:44:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yep! It's already produced a double-dip (8+ / 0-)

        recession in Great Britain. If failure is success, then they have it.

        And I think you have to be a bit insane to ignore a Nobel Laureate Economist like Joseph Stiglitz and insist on austerity--too much magical thinking to be truly sane.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 12:46:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wish our POTUS would read this diary (10+ / 0-)

        As per this Rolling Stone interview, he has a very different view of the GOP

        First of all, I think it's important to distinguish between Republican politicians and people around the country who consider themselves Republicans. I don't think there's been a huge change in the country. If you talk to a lot of Republicans, they'd like to see us balance the budget, but in a balanced way. A lot of them are concerned about jobs and economic growth and favor market-based solutions, but they don't think we should be getting rid of every regulation on the books. There are a lot of Republican voters out there who are frustrated with Wall Street and think that they acted irresponsibly and should be held to account, so they don't want to roll back regulations on Wall Street
        Frankly, I know that there are good, decent Republicans on Capitol Hill who, in a different environment, would welcome the capacity to work with me. But right now, in an atmosphere in which folks like Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist are defining what it means to be a true conservative, they are lying low. My hope is that after this next election, they'll feel a little more liberated to go out and say, "Let's redirect the Republican Party back to those traditions in which a Dwight Eisenhower can build an interstate highway system."
        The always accurate Charles Pierce reacted to these comments as follows:
        Holy Jesus H. Christ on a late-night infomercial, the Republicans on Capitol Hill — all the Republicans on Capitol Hill — are pure products of the atmosphere created by people like Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist. They don't exist politically without that atmosphere. They cannot breathe in their public lives outside of that atmosphere. There's no inner moderate in Michelle Bachmann that's screaming to be free. There isn't a repressed, reasonable Paul Ryan waiting tremulously in the shadows somewhere, hoping Rush doesn't notice him, and secretly hoping in the fondest part of his heart that, one day, it'll be safe to like Ike again. I realize that, at some level, the president has to believe this bushwah, or else his whole notion of what a great self-governing people we are goes right up in flames. But what he's asserting in this interview simply has no basis in the empirical reality of our politics.
        Perhaps the Democrats couldn't have held back the onset of dementia in the Republican party all by themselves, but by accepting it, by surrendering to the essential logic of it, while trying to break off bits of sanity that would help them in various elections, the Democrats let it bleed. The time for asking Kilgore's very valid questions passed two decades ago. I'm afraid the time for real answers to them may have passed, as well.

        I can add little to what Pierce had to say except to note that, if our POTUS is still looking for moderate Goopers, he might be better served looking for Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster instead of pissing away his presidency on this snipe hunt.  Seeing my profession used in my state to steal the WH in 2000 removed my last remaining doubts as to what the GOP is all about, yet the release of Robert Draper's new book doesn't seem to have led to a similar epiphany in the Oval Office.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 01:00:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tis true (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady, elwior, wasatch, opinionated

      Austerity now for the masses is the prescription these people have always offered. I can't wrap it around my head that it has never worked (austerity) and we have tried it their way and it has failed on such a massive scale that we will still be recovering in a generation.

    •  today we have the template of the New Deal (0+ / 0-)

      to use and we know it worked. It was govt. spending, not freezing govt. spending that worked and the work programs would have brought us out of the Depression had they continued. The trajectory went that direction but of course when WW2 started all those work programs ended, and then what we got was the same thing on steroids...REAL govt. spending that went into general population.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 11:03:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This really illustrates what we're up against! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth, elwior

    What a great idea for a diary. Thanks for writing it. I've recommended it and re-tweeted it to everyone!

    Well behaved women rarely make history.

    by IamNotaKochsucker on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 12:43:28 PM PDT

  •  The can be farther to the right because (6+ / 0-)

    the Democratic Party is also further to the right.

    The irony is that I don't think that Americans are really as far to the right as the political leadership is in this country as a whole.

  •  For some reason I can't update this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Shockwave

    Over my phone, but there's a typo I want to correct. Voting for NN12 ends on May 7th, not Match 1st. Don't know where that came from.


  •  Alf Landon, not Langdon nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth, elwior, Shockwave


  •  If this were 1936... and Germany... (5+ / 0-)

    The right wing would all be wearing little lapel pins that...

    oh... wait...

    Well, I mean, they'd all be dressed up in costume to show that they are a unified...

    uh... bad example...

    They'd be trying to silence their enemies with accusations of commu...



    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 01:14:46 PM PDT

    •  ...They'd be trying to destry wait, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      they would be getting Corporatist/Industrialist money to finance their not that...they would be scapegoating and demonizing certain groups...ummm...they would promote narcissistic candidates who abuse elected power...

      "I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are?" Barry Goldwater

      by ranton on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 02:51:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  • (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, elwior

    its illogical to go back to 1936 for party comparisions.

    The modern GOP didn't begin until Nixon's Southern Strategy.. before then, the Democrats were the anti civil rights party of the racist South.

    The socioeconomics  of America back then were so different that there is absolutely no point comparing todays politics or even economics to that era.  Therefore you might as well compare the GOP to the  oompa loompas. It makes just as much sense.

    •  the GOP of that period (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was also the party fighting for women & minority rights.

      To overlook this historical fact & be a 'team player' towing a party label only perpetuates myths & misunderstandings about why both parties are  a mess.

      •  i've been trying to reconcile this (0+ / 0-)

        truth with so many liberals/progressives who adhere to the Democratic party as a 'team sport' and hail FDR & the Dems of that period as an example.

        The New Deal was great and all.. but it was a response to a national emergency, not a party ideology. It was not a Dem party platform until that point - it was a necessary move to save the country from descending into turmoil.

        How does that make FDR & his Dems heroes for doing what any President would have done at the period regardless of party affiliation?

        To truly understand the true ideology of the Democratic party of that period, you must look to their social rather than economic/fiscal platform.

         They were the party of the KKK, anti women's rights, anti-minority rights. The party of Jim Crow who wrote the Black Codes.

        •  Seriously? I do not remember Hoover and his party (4+ / 0-)

          scrapping their devout devotion to "Trickle-Down" economics and Rugged Individualism as the country descended into the worst economic downturn ever experienced in this country.  Children died of starvation in this country, yet the Republican-controlled government would not provide direct relief.  1/4 to 1/3 of Americans were out of work and Republican ideology was clearly NOT working.

          The New Deal was the brain-child and creation of the Progressive members of the Democratic Party; it was NOT a product of the Southern Democrat wing.  The New Deal laid much ground-work for the Civil Rights Movement and the repeal of Jim Crow.  The nine Supreme Court Justices Roosevelt appointed had a lot to do with that!  


          "I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are?" Barry Goldwater

          by ranton on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 03:28:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  your problem is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zesty grapher

            you are looking at this from the perspective of a 2012 progressive & not a 1930's progressive.

            The 1930's progressive was only fiscally/economically progressive but socially conservative. It is a basic rule of economics that social ideology is the primary driver of any existing economic ideology. Therefore they were only economically 'progressive' & supportive of 'socialistic' policies because their economics were exclusive & racist. They were passing laws on the side denying rights  and access to those economic opportunities to certain people outside of their privelege.

            The Civil Rights Act destroyed this exclusiveness by  enforcing its unconstitutionality & even the Democratic Party back then had much difficulty & infighting trying to get it passed. Listen to Malcolm X's  'The Ballot and the Bullet' speech for an understanding of how the Democratic Party itself was still divided over passing the Civil Rights Act. Even LBJ said he 'lost the South' over its passage.

            The truth is, the CRA was passed by the northern half  the Democratic Party not  because they felt it was the right thing to do for black people, but because they did it out of fear of escalating race riots l and it becoming a national threat. The race issue as getting out of hand and there were enough white people in were ashamed to see how their own folks were treating black people when they saw the dogs and firehoses on TV and that they had idly stood by for so long and done nothing and now it as threatening their existence.

            The CRA was simply a declaration by white people to tell OTHER white people to stop being so unconstitutional, not a gift to blacks.

            •  it is not a coincidence (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dogemperor, zesty grapher

              that the CRA's passage & resulting inclusivity of minorities  brought an immediate end to the conservative South's support of socialistic/progressive New Deal/Great Society ideology and their embrace of Ayn Randian rugged individualism

            •  A statement like "...their economics were (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aliasalias, zesty grapher

              exclusive & racist. They were passing laws on the side denying rights  and access to those economic opportunities to certain people outside of their privilege" requires supporting evidence.  Please cite examples of Northern Progressive Democrats endorsing and passing such laws.  

              I am not the one who is using a 2012 perspective.  I see the difference between the Southern Democrat wing of the Party, and you do not. It is why I can agree with your statements in the third paragraph.  I, also, consider defense and promotion of labor rights  and women's equality to be socially progressive.  Even Al Smith, who joined the Liberty League and actively criticized Roosevelt in 1936, embraced and pushed through socially progressive legislation in the New York Legislature and Congress.

              New Deal programs included anti-discrimination provisions and enforcement measures directed at local implementation were attempted.  While much of what the New Deal, FDR, and Eleanor Roosevelt accomplished (like making Marian Andersen's DC concert possible) might be considered symbolic, many in the Civil Rights Movement acknowledge the groundwork that was made.  In 1936 African-Americans who could vote LEFT the party of Lincoln to vote overwhelmingly for Roosevelt.  That support has continued.

              The historical fact is that States' Righters and Nullifiers found a home in the Democratic Party because it traced its lineage from the Party of Jefferson and Madison, the authors of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.  With newly emancipated slaves voting for Republican-controlled Reconstruction governments, they sure were not going to embrace Republicans, the party of Lincoln.  

              When Harry Truman took strong Civil Rights actions, the Southern Democrats began their bolt from the National Democratic Party.  At first they turned to the Dixiecrat Party; and with the passage of the CRA, they fled to the conservative, Republican Party: the party which embraced the roll-back of government regulation, federal power, and the resurgence of states' rights.

              "I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are?" Barry Goldwater

              by ranton on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 06:08:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  the Northern Dems of that era (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zesty grapher

                were much like today's Dem party in that they sold progressive policies on the campaign trail that attracted progressive groups for votes. But once in office, they were beholden to the wishes of the Southern Dems as they needed their votes to pass bills and were weak on truly egaritarian progressivism, just like how Obama and today's Dems are still beholden to southern Republicans and continuously reach across the aisle. Nothing has changed.

                I don't know what 'anti-discrimination measures' that were part of the New Deal that you're referring to but that isn't what I recall. The New Deal I recall was rife with discrimination in order to gain acceptance of Southern Dems. This is more along the lines of what I remember:

                Yes, 'workers rights' and unions are economically progressive, but socially, workers rights & unions in America had racist origins. Many unions originally were an extension of the KKK and formed to fight against their employers cutting their jobs to employ minority workers whom they could unconstitutionally pay much lower wages. These unions excluded minorities from joining their ranks.

                The many abolitionists of the 'Party of Lincoln' and even Lincoln himself were against slavery not  because they believed blacks were equals, but because of economic reasons. Their argument was slavery was denying them employment and delaying America's transition to the Industrial age. Lincoln did not purposefully free the slaves and after the Civil War he attempted to devise a scheme to get all blacks exported out of the US as he considered free black people a threat to America's c economic future.

                There's tons of examples of economic 'progressivism' that were not truly Leftist or egalitarian. Any economic ideology and even economically progressive socialistic policies can be either right wing or left wing - it all depends on how it is enforced. Even if white Northern Democrats were not as virulently racist as the Southern Dems they were still very passive and did little to nothing to stop discrimination going on at home or in their backyard, because they were all part of the same 'tribe'.

                You have to understand that in American history, including nowadays in 2012, whenever Black people have coalesced together join either party, it is not because a majority in that party truly supported their rights but because the majority demographic in that party (Whites) had purely economic interests in common,  social/racial aspects aside. Blacks don't really have a party that truly speaks for them in this country by virtue of being a tribal minority.

                A good example of this is the War on Drugs today. Listen to many pro-marijuana whites who are mostly on the Left today tell you of the personal, medical & economic benefits of legalizing marijuana. They hardly say a peep about the effect that the War on Drugs has had on black people, or even the fact that the War on Drugs was conceived to oppress black people. Blacks on the other hand are against the War on Drugs for reasons that are more true to the root cause - it is their new Civil Rights Movement.  But that is not the angle you will hear from many pro-marijuana whites in the Dem party. It's just an interest in common.

        •  You are wrong about what the Democratic Party (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dogemperor, aliasalias

          Platform contained, but I suspect you did not care about that as you reiterated Conservative spin.  The 1932 Dem. Party Platform supported/advocated:

          a. extension of federal credit to the states to provide unemployment
          b. expansion of necessary and useful construction effected [sic] with a public interest
          c. spread of employment by a substantial reduction in the hours of labor, the encouragement of the shorter week
          d. public works
          e. unemployment and old-age insurance
          f. restoration of agriculture
          g. better financing of farm mortgages through recognized farm bank agencies at low rates of interest, preference to credits for the redemption of farms/homes under foreclosure
          h. a farm co-operative movement and effective control of crop surpluses
          h. aid to farmers to receive for their basic farm commodities prices in excess of cost
          i. strengthening and enforcement of anti-trust laws
          j. conservation, development, and use water power in the public interest
          i. protection of the investing public by requiring true information as to bonuses, commissions, principal invested, and interests of the sellers
          j. regulation of holding companies, utility rates, exchanges in security and commodities
          k. supervision of national banks for the protection of depositors and the prevention of the use of their moneys in speculation
          l. severance of security companies and investment banking from commercial banks

          Covers what would be the New Deal quite well, I would say!

          "I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are?" Barry Goldwater

          by ranton on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 03:31:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  1932? (0+ / 0-)

            Great Depression started in 1929. Its not surprising the Dem party would pitch those things 3 years later.

            •  Some of it was in the 1928 platform too; what is (0+ / 0-)

              truly significant is the 1932 Republican Platform after three years of failed GOP policies.

              "I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are?" Barry Goldwater

              by ranton on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:22:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing to talk you down from, Jesse (5+ / 0-)

    When Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann say thatn as the parties have polarized (football analogy, center is the 50 yard line), the Democrats have moved to their 25 and the Republicans are behind their own goalposts, all you've done with Landon's speech is to provide confirmation.  Since you can't fool all the  people all the time, there's hope.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 01:20:41 PM PDT

  •  Good diary but it's not 1936. Parties are (0+ / 0-)

    completely different, country is different, world is different. Both Republican and Democratic electoral coalitions no longer exist in the form they were in 1936. Just look at the electoral college maps.

  •  The Repugs are a new party (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Odysseus, dogemperor

    They have mutated and become something new and dangerous.  Low information, bigoted, delusional, racist, selfish, angry and undemocratic bankrolled by billionaires who care only about power to run the country as a plantation.

    Obama will win in November and IMO they will snap and there will be a confrontation.  This is no longer politics as usual.  It will be ugly next year.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 01:55:00 PM PDT

  •  what many progressives/liberals dont understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is that in 1936, socialism was a popular RIGHT WING ideology. Communism was the popular left wing ideology.

    The 'progressive' socialist opinion in 1936 was that socialism is possible through oppression/elimination of those outside of the majority demographic.

    The idea was that by denying democracy & shared opportunities to those outside of the majority demographic of the population, there is less government gridlock as tyranny of the majority is enabled through a more unified and monolithic

    This is why Hitler pursued National Socialism and FDR's Dem party was the party of the KKK Jim Crow south embraced milder visions. Hitler's policies were actually inspired by FDR's New Deal and similiar.

    Today's perspective of 'socialism' is totally different.

  •  I began using the term neofeudalism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie, Odysseus, dogemperor

    as a sarcastic description of neoconservatism not long after the House of Bush's re-ascendancy to the presidential throne as intentional hyperbole to stimulate thinking toword the similarity to neoconservative plans and policy and what would be required for them to be realistically achieved.

    Now, it is still metaphoric in nature but I no longer think it hyperbolic.

    Of course there are modifications for the circumstances and technological advances through time, but with the myriad of changes during the last decade and those proposed for the future, what else could result if goals and changes are carried to their logical conclusions?

    99%er. 100% opposed to fundamentalist/neoconservative/neoliberal oligarchs.

    by blueoasis on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 02:29:16 PM PDT

    •  What else could result? A Fascist State! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, dogemperor

      I began using the term 'neofascism' immediately after the inauguration of Barack Obama as President, as it fit with the most highest precision the evil designs and aspirations of his greedy and hate filled opponents.
      Fascist Italy was led by a pompous gasbag and in its governing body were seated the direct representatives of the largest Italian corporations.  Sound familiar?
      Here was their Il Duce:
                                    Duce!     Duce!     Duce!

      ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

      by joe wobblie on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 04:54:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  FDR won the South, Appalachia, & Mountain West (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftreborn, Odysseus, aliasalias

    In 1936, FDR won every state except Vermont and Maine.  In 1932, FDR won every state except VT, ME, PA, and DE.  In 1940, FDR won the South again.  FDR's appeal to what is today the Republican Party stronghold becomes even more striking when you look at election results by county: FDR consistently won rural areas in the South and Appalachia - if anything, his support was strongest there - but won the Plains and the Rust Belt only thanks to the cities.

    What was different about voters then?  What was different about the Democratic Party then?

    Never attribute to stupidity what can be adequately explained by malice; stupid people couldn't hurt us so effectively.

    by Visceral on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 02:34:32 PM PDT

    •  The solid South (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, dogemperor, zesty grapher

      After the Civil War, there was continued hatred for the Republican Party that continued for generations. (Lincoln was a Republican.)  Choose the election of 1920 as an example. The Democratic party carried all the states from Virginia to Texas (except Tennesee) while the Republcians carried the rest of the country.  This pattern persisted until 1968, when George Wallace, who was both a segregationist and Democratic Party governor of Alabama, ran as a third party candidate in the Presidential election and carried five states in the South.  Even in 1972, Wallace ran in the Democratic Party primaries and received the third largest number of votes with about 23%.  The voters who favored Wallace in the primaries didn't vote for George McGovern in November 1972 and that was the end of the solid South.

      So in between the Great Depression and now there was a fundamental shift in party loyalty primarily in the South in favor of the GOP.

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 03:19:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so policy had nothing to do with it (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftreborn, dogemperor, zesty grapher

        That's depressing.  If what you say is true then I don't know how we could ever appeal to those people, and a lot of them benefit from New Deal style policies.  

        Fits though: ancient grievances passed down through the generations, tribal loyalties elevated above all other concerns, self-destructive behaviors by people who are too pround and/or angry to care, etc.  Sounds like Afghanistan.

        Maybe the strategy should be to write these areas off completely and focus on people who would actually vote for us: the youth, women, minorities, etc.

        Never attribute to stupidity what can be adequately explained by malice; stupid people couldn't hurt us so effectively.

        by Visceral on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 03:30:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's complicated. (4+ / 0-)

          What I described was the surface layer. If you peeled that away, the New Deal policies had a tremendous impact on the public.  The South was poorer than it is today.  The rural poor benefitted from FDRs policies.  They saw the Republicans as the 1% (rich people from the North) while the Democratic Party had a populist appeal.  It's hard for us today to reconcile a public that was openly racist, with grievances going back to the Civil War while at the same time favoring New Deal economics which we classify as "liberal social policy" today.  But it's not really all that mysterious.  These folks were simply voting their own interests.  If you think about it, they weren't being contradictory at all.  It's the voters today who are contradictory because they've been deceived and manipulated by modern propaganda techniques.  

          My own grandmother who was a young woman living in upstate New York in 1932 suddenly lost her husband and she was left with three small children to raise.  Her husband died suddenly of pneumonia and she wasn't prepared to raise a family alone.  Like most women in those days, she was a stay at home mom with no background, education, or experience to find work.  Not that there were jobs available anyway. When I was a child, grandma loved to repeat her stories about how difficult things were during the Depression.  Many times I heard her say, "If it wasn't for FDR, we would have starved."

          FDR was an amazing orator.  I've been listening to recordings of his speeches because the themes in them are identical to the themes that need to be presented to the public today.  The Republicans favored the rich, the business owners, and FDR referred to them as "the producers."  Today they're called "the supply side" or "job creators."  In a famous speech, FDR talked about the turning point when it was time to favor "the consumers" and figure out a more equitable distribution of income.

          The US has veered back and forth between these two economic policies and we're at the turning point again. From 1890-1932 an earlier version of trickle down was in effect.  It was called 'horse and sparrow."  (A horse that has enough oats to eat will leave some behind in its droppings for the sparrows.) From 1933-1980 economic policy was more favorable to middle and lower income people. From 1981-2012 we returned to trickle down again with the same disastrous results it produced once before.  
          Clearly it's time for the middle and lower income people to get some breaks.  These are the consumers who create demand and if they don't have money to spend the whole system including the rich will collapse on itself.

          "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

          by leftreborn on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:12:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A rightwinger argued with me about this last week (4+ / 0-)

    There was a study published which he sent to me with his comments. The study said that the Republicans in Congress have been moving farther to the right for decades.   It concluded that the current Congress is the most rightwing in a century.  A diary I wrote a couple of months ago was also based on the same idea and I replied to my friend that the piece he sent was correct.

    I didn't expect him to come back asserting that Romney is more liberal than FDR was, but that's what he claimed. WTF?  I had to listen to him preach about how FDR didn't appoint a woman or any other minority to the Supreme Court and about the internment of the Japanese during the war.  He also claimed that conservatives always lose in the long run because the public steadily becomes more and more liberal over time.  He insisted that somebody like FDR or any other elected official would be considered ultra conservative if they were around today because everyone is to the left of where they were on certain issues.  

    What to do with rightwinger logic?  Here's what I sent him.  An excerpt from a campaign speech that FDR gave in 1932:

    I believe that we are at the threshold of a fundamental change in our popular economic thought, that in the future we are going to think less about the producer and more about the consumer. Do what we may have to do to inject life into our ailing economic order, we cannot make it endure for long unless we can bring about a wiser, more equitable distribution of the national income.

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 02:52:37 PM PDT

  •  After Winning, FDR Worked to Reduce Deficits and (0+ / 0-)

    we slid back down into Depression till the war ramped up.

    Hope you're talked down now.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 03:30:17 PM PDT

    •  not quite, FDR did tack the wrong direction but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zesty grapher

      he also saw the error and changed back before the war.

      As the economy improved, more Americans were working, and there was an anticipation of increased tax revenues as a result of the recovery. From 1933 to 1937, unemployment had been reduced from 25% to 14% - still a large percentage, but a vast improvement. FDR's reaction was to turn back to the fiscal orthodoxy of the time, and he began to reduce emergency relief and public works spending in an effort to truly balance the budget. The country then lurched into what is now known as the Roosevelt Recession of 1937-1938. Unemployment threatened to rise to pre-New Deal levels, and the economy came grinding to a halt.

      Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and aides within the Treasury Department favored an approach that sought to balance the federal budget. But other advisers in the President's inner circle, including Harry Hopkins, Marriner Eccles, and Henry Wallace, had accepted the recent theories of British economist John Maynard Keynes, who argued that technically advanced economies would need permanent budget deficits or other measures (such as redistribution of income away from the wealthy) to stimulate consumption of goods and to maintain full employment. It was the reduction of federal spending that these advisers viewed as the cause of the recession.

      FDR found these arguments compelling in the wake of the Recession. In his Annual Message to Congress on January 3, 1938, President Roosevelt declared his intention to seek funding for massive government spending without tax increases, and he challenged fiscal conservatives who offered no compelling alternatives during that time of national economic crisis:

      We have heard much about a balanced budget, and it is interesting to note that many of those who have pleaded for a balanced budget as the sole need now come to me to plead for additional government expenditures at the expense of unbalancing the budget. As the Congress is fully aware, the annual deficit, large for several years, has been declining the last fiscal year and this. The proposed budget for 1939, which I shall shortly send to the Congress, will exhibit a further decrease in the deficit, though not a balance between income and outgo.

      To many who have pleaded with me for an immediate balancing of the budget, by a sharp curtailment or even elimination of government functions, I have asked the question: "What present expenditures would you reduce or eliminate?" And the invariable answer has been "that is not my business -- I know nothing of the details, but I am sure that it could be done." That is not what you or I would call helpful citizenship.

      The acceptance by the Roosevelt Administration of what became known as Keynesianism established the precedent of using deficit spending as a vehicle for promoting economic recovery in times of national fiscal crisis. Deficit spending continued throughout the war, when the economy expanded rapidly and employment reached full capacity, with the goal being the successful prosecution of the war. The obvious connection between deficit spending and economic expansion was not lost on many Americans, including business leaders who much preferred large deficits to Keynes's alternative of massive redistribution of wealth through taxation as a way to sustain America's prosperity in peacetime.

      FDR's support for deficit spending was yet another shift in the relationship between the government and the people that took place during his Administration. President Roosevelt expressed his vision for a country where each citizen was guaranteed a basic level of economic security most eloquently in his Economic Bill of Rights speech on January 11, 1944:

      We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.</blockquote>(emphasis mine)

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Sun Apr 29, 2012 at 12:06:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember FDR's GOP Was Dependent on Its Nation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, zesty grapher

    to supply labor and consumption, to defend the economy against lethal foreign enemies, and to fund its campaigns.

    Obama's GOP isn't.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 03:33:11 PM PDT

  •  Thank You (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, aliasalias, zesty grapher

    For a well thought out and powerful comparison. Indeed, those who do not learn from History are Doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately, I think most voters are woefully misinformed and "Dumber than a bag of hammers", an obvious result of the Oligarchs campaign against Education: an educated populace is very dangerous to them. Little wonder that Education costs so much more in this country than any other Industrialized Nation. Also unfortunate that the average person does not have not a clue about the history you so eloquently write about. I wish to hell that Obama was a new FDR: but he is not.

    "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon, and The Truth." Buddha

    by Grandson named me Papa on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:56:06 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site