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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 04:08 PM

182. 2016 is looking more and more like 1896

 

In 1896, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party not only revolted but took over the Democratic Party, pushing aside that part of the Democratic Party most like the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) 0f today. That was done with a sitting two term Democratic President (Cleveland, Cleveland had won THREE elections in a row by popular vote, but lost the 1888 election in the electoral collage, then won re election in 1892).

Despite that history of victories Cleveland had no say in the Nominee of 1896, in fact opposed that candidate and his demand for inflation (The free silver policy of the late 1800 was to permit minting of silver dollars, the silver in them were worth only 55 Cents, this would reduce the value of the dollar, then set at $20 an ounce of gold). Free Silver would have meant inflation, which wall street opposed, but main street needed and had needed since the 1870s.

Just a comment, 2016 is looking more and more like 1896, except this time the Democrats may win in the Fall (Even people who hated Bryan, made the comment that Bryan won in 1896 EXCEPT for massive cheating by the GOP). Bryan was outspent 10-1 in the 1896 election, and the GOP still had to cheat to beat him. I suspect similar acts in 2016 if a Progressive wins the nomination. It may be the election of the century, like in many ways the election of 1896 set up the elections from then till after WWII.

Side Note: In 1896 the issue for progressive politics was free silver, thus inflation. Thus William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech that won him the nomination. In the period 1896 to 1900, three huge gold fields were put into production, South Africa, Australia and Alaska. This caused the inflation the country needed so the country finally came out of what is now called the Long Depression. Thus by 1900 Free Silver was no longer needed or an issue. Imperialism became the issue. in 1908 it was Anti-Trust. Issues change over time, but once in control of the Democratic Party the Progressives were the dominate force, often switching power with people who we would now call DLC. My favorite quote about Bryan, belongs to Herbert Hoover who observed that the New Deal was Bryanism without Bryan (Bryan had died in 1925). People tend to forget that FDR was of the DLC wing of the Democratic Party, but the Democratic Membership of the Senate and House were clearly Bryantites. Thus Congress was to the LEFT of FDR during most of his administration. A lot of what we give FDR credit for, actually was what Congress wanted. My favorite is the decision to give the Bonus Army the Bonus it was entitled to get in 1947, in 1935. This is what Hoover had opposed, Hoover did not want to pay the bonus early, FDR did the same, both Hoover and FDR vetoed the legislature to give those bonuses early, the Democratic Congress over ruled FDR's veto. The Bryanites wanted to give the bonus, th DLC did not. The revolution of 1896 within the Democratic Party meant short term defeat for the Democratic Party, but ultimate victory for the Progressive wing in the 1930s.

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