Saturday, January 2, 2016

Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Movement

There is a faction within the Republican party that is considered Libertarian. Ron and Rand Paul are the best known of these; but, other right wing Republicans accept some of the same beliefs. What they all have in common is a fanatical dislike of Progressives. One of the most famous progressives was the Republican Teddy Roosevelt. He was a pretty popular and well liked president and one of the few on Mount Rushmore. Teddy Roosevelt was so popular that when he ran for a third term, after a previous two terms after which his protégé Taft was elected, he split the Republican Party apart by creating the Progressive Party known as the Bull-Moose Party. He actually got more votes than Taft in that election. Teddy Roosevelt is my favorite President, he was more concerned about the people of this nation than sell out political hacks. It was the Republican Teddy Roosevelt that created what is known as the "Progressive Era", a time when the nation was the safest, government became more honest and all were helped.

Here is what the Progressive Movement believed in. First they believed in "Good Government", What was going on at that time was spoils politics. Basically, when a person was made President or Governor or Mayor, they could decide who got the contracts with the government. There was no competitive bidding process. If you won the election, you gave the contracts to just your friends or people who would "take care of you". At the same time this went unchecked because each time a new person was elected, he would get rid of all the prior government employees and replace them with political supporters. This is why cities had political machines, they hired the people who couldn't get jobs in private industry. The Irish and Italians and Catholics found it hard to get jobs in the private companies which were almost exclusively owned by Protestants. In exchange for their votes, they got government jobs. Once given a job they would be absolutely committed to the candidate. In response to this the Progressives called for the creation of "Civil Service" and the government employees were made responsible to rules rather than just the politician.

As for his approach to the rest of the nation. He was responsible for the making of Monopolies illegal, this was called Trust Busting. He was against anti-competitiveness in private industry, he believed in competition and thought it was good for the nation. Roosevelt was responsible for regulating interstate transportation by regulating the railroads to protect interstate commerce from corruption. Roosevelt was responsible for the Pure Food and Drug Act which allowed the government inspect food that was being sold because of the numerous problems that had occurred. He was responsible for the creation of National Parks and conservation. I should also point out that he appointed blacks to Federal position. Roosevelt was also a hawk when it came to foreign policy and was not afraid to use force against other nations.

The Progressive Movement was basically the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement in one place. Progressives are not Communists, Communists are Communists. Progressives are Nationalists who seek what is best, right and fair for all of the nation and that is why he is on Mount Rushmore. He is one of the most respected Republicans in history, yet, his view points are now made fun of by large aspects of the republican establishment. Roosevelt is also the one that defined what a "Living Wage" should be and he believed it should be a wage high enough that someone could live a decent life which even included time to relax and enjoy themselves.

If people ask me I will say that I am a Liberal with socialist beliefs; but, it is not really accurate. I say it because most people do not understand what Progressives believe. The truth is I am a Progressive. I believe in a nation that protects our nations interests and that includes having a strong army, I just think we overuse ours currently and I don't like risking American lives for stupid policies.

Now that I have explained what it is to be a progressive it may be easier to understand why I would like to see the election come down to Trump and Sanders. Right now there are only two groups, the Progressives and the Anti-Progressives. Their believers are members of both the Republican and Democratic parties and they are angry. They see the working man as getting screwed and the middle class being eliminated. They are seeing corporate corruption being uncontrolled and the parties political elite being owned by corporate interests. We all see it. The supporters of both Sanders and Trump don't believe the other candidates or the establishment listens to or cares about them and they are right.

Franklin Roosevelt was a Democrat and a Progressive, he believed in the same things as Teddy did. He was the one that helped England before we joined into World War II, he was the one that got us out of the great depression by creating infrastructure projects and he was the one that sent us into World War II when we fought for our very survival. He was so popular that he was given four terms in office, the only President to do so. He was also the hero and leader of the "Greatest Generation", the people who returned from that war and built the things that made America the greatest industrial nation in the world.

Weeks before the Presidential election where Teddy ran as the Bull Moose party presidential candidate, he was shot and hospitalized. What we are seeing right now is a mini-Progressive movement under Trump and Sanders. A return to a fair nationalism, one that looks out for the whole nation and not just a few. That is the message the people are hearing even if they do not know the name.

You hear a lot of people in the media saying they don't understand why people support Trump or Sanders; but, they are lying. They have been told why, that is what Focus groups and polls are for. They know about Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive era, it just scares them as it is for the nations interest rather than special interests.

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