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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:37 AM

FDR's Vice President 1941 thru 1945 defined liberal well.

"Second Only to Roosevelt"
Henry A. Wallace and the New Deal

"To me a liberal is one who believes in using in a non-violent, tolerant and democratic way the forces of education, publicity, politics, economics, business, law and religion to direct the ever-changing and increasing power of science into channels which will bring peace and the maximum of well-being both spiritual and economic to the greatest number of human beings. A liberal knows that the only certainty in this life is change but believes that the change can be directed toward a constructive end."

—Henry A. Wallace, "Liberalism Re-appraised," May 1, 1953

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Reply FDR's Vice President 1941 thru 1945 defined liberal well. (Original post)
Lint Head Nov 2012 OP
Cerridwen Nov 2012 #1
Cerridwen Nov 2012 #2
grantcart Nov 2012 #3
Cerridwen Nov 2012 #4
grantcart Nov 2012 #5

Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:44 AM

1. A rec and a kick.

Thanks, Lint Head.

I've been sitting here thinking of JFK's "If by liberal..." speech.

Acceptance of the New York Liberal Party Nomination
September 14, 1960

What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."

But first, I would like to say what I understand the word "Liberal" to mean and explain in the process why I consider myself to be a "Liberal," and what it means in the presidential election of 1960.

In short, having set forth my view -- I hope for all time -- two nights ago in Houston, on the proper relationship between church and state, I want to take the opportunity to set forth my views on the proper relationship between the state and the citizen. This is my political credo:

I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.

<much more at link>

The Overton Window has been dragged so far to the right it's sometimes hard to remember we once had much different ideals in this country.

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:12 AM

2. Eek! It looks like I killed your thread.


edit smiley

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Response to Lint Head (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:23 AM

3. Wow. Right after writing this Wallace endorses Eisenhower against Stevenson

And 8 years later endorsed Nixon over Kennedy.


Wallace resumed his farming interests, and resided in South Salem, New York. During his later years he made a number of advances in the field of agricultural science. His many accomplishments included a breed of chicken that at one point accounted for the overwhelming majority of all egg-laying chickens sold across the globe. The Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, the largest agricultural research complex in the world, is named for him.

In 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea, Wallace broke with the Progressives and backed the U.S.-led war effort in the Korean War.[5] In 1952, Wallace published Where I Was Wrong, in which he explained that his seemingly-trusting stance toward the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin stemmed from inadequate information about Stalin's excesses and that he, too, now considered himself an anti-Communist. He wrote various letters to "people who he thought had traduced (maligned) him" and advocated the re-election of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.[5]

In 1961, President-elect John F. Kennedy invited him to his inauguration ceremony, though he had supported Kennedy's opponent Richard Nixon.
A touched Wallace wrote to Kennedy: "At no time in our history have so many tens of millions of people been so completely enthusiastic about an Inaugural Address as about yours."[5]

Wallace first experienced the onsets of Lou Gehrig's disease on one of his frequent trips to South America in 1954. He died in Danbury, Connecticut, in 1965.[5][14] His remains were cremated at Grace Cemetery in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the ashes interred in Glendale Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:29 AM

4. Thanks for pointing out that playing politics

is more about vying for power than advocating ideals.

Did you want to address the message, or just shoot the messenger?

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Response to Cerridwen (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 08:40 AM

5. The message is that Henry Wallace was not a progressive all of his life

And that his peers suspicion of his ability to become President of the United States was well founded.

It was a mis step of Roosevelt, one of his few.

Roosevelt knew that it was a misstep because in 1944 he no longer had faith in him and kicked him off the ticket.

The letter is not one that Roosevelt sent, it was not one that he would stand by in the future, and it was one that history would show was completely wrong about Wallace.

Roosevelt was not opposed to using polemics to frame an argument, and in this case he got his way but it wasn't a good choice. One can only wonder what would have happened if Wallace had become President instead of Truman given that after the war he would eventually go right of Eisenhower and favor Nixon over Kennedy.

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