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Our Story--The Story of American Populism, by Bill Moyers

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dumpster_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:39 PM
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Our Story--The Story of American Populism, by Bill Moyers
Some excerpts:

The mighty progressive wave peaked in 1912. But the ideas leashed by it forged the politics of the twentieth century. Like his cousin Theodore, Franklin Roosevelt argued that the real enemies of enlightened capitalism were "the malefactors of great wealth"-the "economic royalists"-from whom capitalism would have to be saved by reform and regulation. Progressive government became an embedded tradition of Democrats-the heart of FDR's New Deal and Harry Truman's Fair Deal. Even Dwight D. Eisenhower honored the tradition. He didn't want to tear down the house progressive ideas had built-only to put it under different managers. The progressive impulse had its final fling in the landslide of 1964 when LBJ-a son of the West Texas hill country, where the Populist rebellion had been nurtured in the 1890s-won the public endorsement for what he meant to be the capstone in the arch of the New Deal.

We should pause here to consider that Karl Rove's cherished period of American history is that of the McKinley Administration (1897-1901). It was, as I read him, the seminal influence on the man who is said to be George W. Bush's brain. Rove has modeled the Bush presidency on that of William McKinley, and modeled himself on Mark Hanna, the man who virtually manufactured McKinley. Hanna had one consummate passion-to serve corporate and imperial power.

Hanna made McKinley governor of Ohio by shaking down the corporate interests of the day. Fortunately, it was said, McKinley had the invaluable gift of emitting sonorous platitudes as though they were recently discovered truth. Behind his benign gaze the wily intrigues of Mark Hanna saw to it that first Ohio and then Washington were "ruled by business . . . by bankers, railroads, and public utility corporations." Any who opposed the oligarchy were smeared as disturbers of the peace, socialists, anarchists, or worse. Back then they didn't bother with hollow euphemisms like "compassionate conservatism" to disguise the raw reactionary politics that produced government "of, by, and for" the ruling corporate class. They just saw the loot and went for it. This "degenerate and unlovely age," as one historian calls it, seemingly inspires Karl Rove today.


You have to respect the conservatives for their successful strategy in gaining control of the national agenda. Their stated and open aim is to strip from government all its functions except those that reward their rich and privileged benefactors. They are quite candid about it, even acknowledging their mean spirit in accomplishing it. Their leading strategist in Washington, Grover Norquist, has famously said he wants to shrink the government down to the size that it could be drowned in a bathtub. The White House pursues the same homicidal dream without saying so. Instead of shrinking down the government, they're filling the bathtub with so much debt that it floods the house, waterlogs the economy, and washes away services that for decades have lifted millions of Americans out of destitution and into the middle class. And what happens once the public's property has been flooded? Privatize it. Sell it at a discounted rate to the corporations. It is the most radical assault on the notion of one nation, indivisible, that has occurred in our lifetime.

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dumpster_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 04:44 PM
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1. kick
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 04:46 PM
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2. It's 1912 all over again.
Edited on Sun May-30-04 04:48 PM by RUMMYisFROSTED
Trust me.

I expect, nay demand, similar results!

Edit for conviction.

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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 06:05 PM
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4. Try reading W. J. Bryan's last nomination acceptance speech
Its scary how similar it is to today's events. Especially when he starts to talk about the Philipennes and American Emperialism.
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yowzayowzayowza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 05:32 PM
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3. A Tx populist...
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