Why didn't Republicans become the progressive/ liberal party?
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June 24, 2024, 04:30:17 AM
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  Why didn't Republicans become the progressive/ liberal party?
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Author Topic: Why didn't Republicans become the progressive/ liberal party?  (Read 3043 times)
oldkyhome
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« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2024, 04:39:02 AM »

If the GOP ever had a “progressive” President, it was assuredly Lincoln, but even that stretches the definition, I think.

Ironically, you could argue that there has never been a President before or since Lincoln that was so clearly the embodiment of a "moderate" both nationally and relative to his party's various factions.  So, I cannot agree with this one.

Almost all U.S Presidents were moderate to varying extents, as the job demands. I still can’t imagine many of them signing the Emancipation Proclamation at the peak of the Civil War, or pushing through the Reconstruction amendments, or enacting the various liberal wartime measures that Lincoln did. These were not merely acts spurred by opportunity but also political will.

Again, if you frame Roosevelt as a warmonger who wanted to conquer small Latin American countries, and Democrats as the anti-imperialists, you could easily argue that Roosevelt was right-wing and Democrats were left-wing, which would not be accurate.

It absolutely would be.
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The Right Honourable Martin Brian Mulroney PC CC GOQ
laddicus finch
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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2024, 11:29:06 AM »


Again, if you frame Roosevelt as a warmonger who wanted to conquer small Latin American countries, and Democrats as the anti-imperialists, you could easily argue that Roosevelt was right-wing and Democrats were left-wing, which would not be accurate.

It absolutely would be.

A president whose biggest legacy was busting monopolies is not a president I would describe as right-wing.
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oldkyhome
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« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2024, 05:21:58 PM »
« Edited: June 04, 2024, 05:25:02 PM by oldkyhome »

Again, if you frame Roosevelt as a warmonger who wanted to conquer small Latin American countries, and Democrats as the anti-imperialists, you could easily argue that Roosevelt was right-wing and Democrats were left-wing, which would not be accurate.

It absolutely would be.

A president whose biggest legacy was busting monopolies is not a president I would describe as right-wing.

His legacy on antitrust was to the left of his predecessor and contemporary Republicans, and perhaps for that reason is regarded as being liberal on the issue, but he was certainly not. He frequently distinguished between “good” and “bad” trusts, believed certain monopolies were necessary, and for that reason broke with his own successor, Taft, who busted twice as many trusts as Roosevelt in half the time. This excerpt from ‘The New Freedom’ puts it succinctly:

“The [Progressive] party says that the present system of our industry and trade has come to stay. Mind you, these artificially built up things, these things that can't maintain themselves in the market without monopoly, have come to stay, and the only thing that the government can do, the only thing that the [Progressive] party proposes should be done, is to set up a commission to regulate them. It accepts them. It says: 'We will not undertake, it were futile to undertake, to prevent monopoly, but we will go into an arrangement by which we will make these monopolies kind to you. We will guarantee that they shall be pitiful. We will guarantee that they shall pay the right wages. We will guarantee that they shall do everything kind and public-spirited, which they have never heretofore shown the least inclination to do.'"
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wnwnwn
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« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2024, 05:43:07 PM »

The GOP was clearly to the right of the dems in all the post Cleveland, pre FDR years but maybe 1904 and 1924. Even during Teddy years there was a conservative wing of his party agaisnt some of his policies. Also, Davis was a compromise candidate between the south and the east, both Smith and McAdoo were to the left of both him and Coolidge.
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The Right Honourable Martin Brian Mulroney PC CC GOQ
laddicus finch
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« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2024, 06:35:53 PM »

Again, if you frame Roosevelt as a warmonger who wanted to conquer small Latin American countries, and Democrats as the anti-imperialists, you could easily argue that Roosevelt was right-wing and Democrats were left-wing, which would not be accurate.

It absolutely would be.

A president whose biggest legacy was busting monopolies is not a president I would describe as right-wing.

His legacy on antitrust was to the left of his predecessor and contemporary Republicans, and perhaps for that reason is regarded as being liberal on the issue, but he was certainly not. He frequently distinguished between “good” and “bad” trusts, believed certain monopolies were necessary, and for that reason broke with his own successor, Taft, who busted twice as many trusts as Roosevelt in half the time. This excerpt from ‘The New Freedom’ puts it succinctly:

“The [Progressive] party says that the present system of our industry and trade has come to stay. Mind you, these artificially built up things, these things that can't maintain themselves in the market without monopoly, have come to stay, and the only thing that the government can do, the only thing that the [Progressive] party proposes should be done, is to set up a commission to regulate them. It accepts them. It says: 'We will not undertake, it were futile to undertake, to prevent monopoly, but we will go into an arrangement by which we will make these monopolies kind to you. We will guarantee that they shall be pitiful. We will guarantee that they shall pay the right wages. We will guarantee that they shall do everything kind and public-spirited, which they have never heretofore shown the least inclination to do.'"

Fair points all around, and I agree that Theodore Roosevelt was more of a progressive conservative who was on the left compared to his predecessor and to a lesser extent his successor, but wasn't really a left-winger. Whereas the radical republicans, I would argue, should actually be seen as having been left-wing in the historic context. I guess my argument with Roosevelt was just that it's easy to cherry pick things a former president did to draw a desired conclusion, which fails to reflect their overall legacy.

Wilson is a better example actually. He is a founding father of modern day American liberalism, there can be no doubt of that. Wilson's presidency established the blueprint that the likes of FDR, Truman, JFK, and LBJ followed. But Wilson was also notoriously racist, he was a known Klan sympathizer and oversaw the segregation of the federal government. Meanwhile Calvin Coolidge, while not exactly a Civil Rights hero, did openly speak out against the KKK, lynching, things like that. It would be patently ridiculous to say that Coolidge was therefore more of a liberal than Wilson, but this is the error people make when they assume that pre-Civil Rights Democratic party was not liberal, or at least less liberal than the GOP. When in reality, the Democrats were the more liberal party, but supporting racial equality was not a prerequisite to being a liberal in that era, the way it is now.
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laddicus finch
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« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2024, 11:27:46 PM »
« Edited: June 04, 2024, 11:32:55 PM by The Right Honourable Martin Brian Mulroney PC CC GOQ »

I contend that old school Theodore Rooseveltian progressivism would have come right back had a Democrat been at the helm on Black Thursday.

I think this is correct, but I think this hypothetical GOP New Deal coalition wouldn't have included the south unlike the real New Deal Coalition, I just don't think Republicans of that era would be willing to vote Republican as long as the Democrats ran a Protestant who didn't try to upset the Jim Crow era Southern social order (of course many Southerners did vote GOP in 1928 because of Al Smith, but if it was a Democrat who won 1928, it would be someone other than Al Smith). I wonder if this means that Civil Rights would have been advanced faster in this timeline. These hypothetical New Deal Republicans wouldn't have felt as much southern pressure against Civil Rights, and considering black voters only switched to the Dems because of the Depression and the New Deal, had it been a Democrat who presided over the Depression and a Republican who promised a New Deal, then black voters might have started voting Republican by margins similar to the Black vote that Democrats get these days. A New Deal Coalition, but less southern and more black, probably would have been faster to adopt a Civil Rights plank. Hell, even the more conservative GOP in our timeline, during FDR's presidency, was the party pushing harder for civil rights.
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katelyn not caitlin
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« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2024, 11:44:14 PM »

The old GOP was not the modern one.

Senator Taft (OH) for all his faults knew that the white supremicists were poo poo -- he was instrumental in fighting the Klan in Ohio.

Evil does not come with fangs bared and claws extended.

They approach you with a smiling face.

Dorky nerd Jeff Dahmer, charming law student, Ted Bundy, local community activist who met First Lady Carter, John Wayne Gacy.
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oldkyhome
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« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2024, 01:18:34 AM »

Wilson's presidency established the blueprint that the likes of FDR, Truman, JFK, and LBJ followed. But Wilson was also notoriously racist, he was a known Klan sympathizer and oversaw the segregation of the federal government. Meanwhile Calvin Coolidge, while not exactly a Civil Rights hero, did openly speak out against the KKK, lynching, things like that. It would be patently ridiculous to say that Coolidge was therefore more of a liberal than Wilson, but this is the error people make when they assume that pre-Civil Rights Democratic party was not liberal, or at least less liberal than the GOP.

Agree with the broader point, but this is a misnomer. The civil service was already effectively segregated by the time Wilson entered office, and was significantly expanded under Harding and Coolidge. This not to say anything of Wilson’s racism, just that it was not exclusive to him.
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katelyn not caitlin
katelyn.a.paulie
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« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2024, 02:09:48 AM »

Progressive activists -- exactly like their direct counterparts on the hard right -- tend to adjust facts to fit their emotional needs of what they wish to be true rather than what is actually true.

Just like Apartheid was a constructed and maintained system and involved multiple people not just PM Voerward.

JMO and YMMV.
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Fuzzy Bear
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« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2024, 06:29:12 AM »

What was "progressive/liberal" and what was "conservative" at varying points in time?

The GOP was the Civil Rights party for 100 years.  They were the business party, but they were the big government business party.  V. O. Key once wrote how, the long period of Republican rule was due to more than the Moral Cause of the Union and the Victory that entailed.  "Sentiment clothed bonds of substance," wrote Key.  And those bonds of substance included protective tariffs for Northern industries (but not for Southern crops, save sugar), military pensions (for Union soldiers, not for Confederate soldiers), subsidies for railroads (which forged their routes to direct the flow of commerce away from the South, and free land under the Homestead Act.  Whatever you want to call these measures, they are not the acts of a "small government" party.

Likewise, the Democratic Party was the party of White Supremacy.  Literally.  It was a party where a Southern faction made a deal for "Home Rule" and the national party would leave the South alone when it came to segregation and voting rights abuses in exchange for electoral votes for President.  It was Wilson who cruelly REsegregated the Federal Civil Service.  And not all conservative Democrats were from the South; during the lean years of the Democratic Party, there was usually an alliance between Southern Democrats and the more conservative Democrats of the Northeast.  (Varina Davis, widow of Jefferson Davis, lived her final years not in the South, but in New York City.) 
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RINO Tom
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« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2024, 04:01:02 PM »

The old GOP was not the modern one.

Senator Taft (OH) for all his faults knew that the white supremicists were poo poo -- he was instrumental in fighting the Klan in Ohio.

Evil does not come with fangs bared and claws extended.

They approach you with a smiling face.

Dorky nerd Jeff Dahmer, charming law student, Ted Bundy, local community activist who met First Lady Carter, John Wayne Gacy.


None of what you said has anything to do with the OP, lol.
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Statilius the Epicurean
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« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2024, 08:33:45 AM »
« Edited: June 10, 2024, 08:44:51 AM by Statilius the Epicurean »

The GOP was the Civil Rights party for 100 years.  They were the business party, but they were the big government business party.  V. O. Key once wrote how, the long period of Republican rule was due to more than the Moral Cause of the Union and the Victory that entailed.  "Sentiment clothed bonds of substance," wrote Key.  And those bonds of substance included protective tariffs for Northern industries (but not for Southern crops, save sugar), military pensions (for Union soldiers, not for Confederate soldiers), subsidies for railroads (which forged their routes to direct the flow of commerce away from the South, and free land under the Homestead Act.  Whatever you want to call these measures, they are not the acts of a "small government" party.

It's difficult for us to understand today, but the ideological debate over the role of government was broadly between laissez-faire on the left and government intervention *to support big business* on the right. Before New Liberalism in Britain, Bismarckian welfare in Germany and the Progressive Era in the United States, the idea that the government could be used as a tool to remove inequalities instead of perpetuating them was one for crankish philosophers. The welfare state did not exist and the income tax did not exist, so the central government was more or less a war-making machine that funded itself through regressive taxes on the working class like the tariff. This is why Jefferson, Jackson, Grover Cleveland were on the left in their day, opposing government because it was seen as only ever operating by exploiting the poor in the interest of various power elites and monied interests.

In this context, one can understand how a progressive policy like Reconstruction and federal enforcement of civil rights became associated with the right wing party and why the Liberal Republicans bolted. Democrats saw federal troops occupying the South as one with a general policy of corrupt, hierarchical central government intervention crushing the little man.
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Amenhotep Bakari-Sellers
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« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2024, 08:55:04 PM »
« Edited: June 10, 2024, 08:59:23 PM by Amenhotep Bakari-Sellers »

As I said the Quakers, the Yankees were the Blue Tories or compassionate conserv Lincoln, Grant, Ben Franklin ended slavery, and the Rs starting with Taft were begining to be the Conserv party, Red Tories as opponent to Labor during the 1900 Industrial Revolution

The agriculture era ended in 1865 with the end of slavery. The urban era with big business and railroads and cars meant the income tax. Taft passed the Income Tax Amendment but it was implemented during the Woodrow Wilson era and 20 s Rs became the opponents of the income tax and starting cutting taxes for the rich which lead to Great Depression. FDR AND TRUMAN AND LBJ HAD TO INSTITUTE PAYROLL TAXES. SO RS BECAME THE ANTI TAX PARTY

History repeats itself Blue Tories like Lisa Murkowski, McCain, Collins align themselves with Ds and there aren't anymore Dixiecrats after the death of Robert C Byrd
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katelyn not caitlin
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« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2024, 10:08:29 AM »

When did adults become so cynical, may be a better question.

_I_ wish we, collectively, still retained our lost child-hood idealism.


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