Category Archives: Book TV

PBS: NewsHour- Judy Woodruff Interviewing Richard N. Smith: Looking Back at The Life and Politics of Nelson Rockefeller

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Source: PBS

Source: PBS: NewsHour- Judy Woodruff Interviewing Richard N. Smith: Looking Back at The Life and Politics of Nelson Rockefeller

Richard Smith nailed it when he told Judy Woodruff and she asked him about how  to describe Nelson Rockefeller’s politics with Smith saying that Nelson was a Progressive-Conservative. Which I know sounds like an Oxymoron like jumbo shrimp or hot ice, the Cleveland Browns NFL franchise. (Not to pick on Cleveland)

And I prefer the term Progressive Republican like a Teddy Roosevelt or a Newt Gingrich. Someone who believes in government action to create progress but who puts limits on government to doing only the things that government should be doing. Like helping people in need help themselves.

Nelson or Nellie wasn’t a hardcore Conservative or Classical Conservative, Conservative Libertarian. As Richard Smith said Nelson disagreed with Barry Goldwater who did almost by himself put conservative libertarianism on the map in American politics, on almost all the issues. But he was a Conservative similar to Teddy Roosevelt in the sense that he believed in conserving what worked well in America like our Constitution, diversity, and individualism, and yes our environment. But he also believed in using government to again create progress and make things better.

A true Conservative in a political sense believes in conserving. Which has nothing to do with bigotry, national defense, property rights, to use as examples. But someone who believes conserving what works well and what makes society strong. And yes, Conservatives tend to believe in conserving those things that I just mentioned, but generally conservatism in a political sense is about conserving the U.S. Constitution and our individual rights. Not using government to force people to live in a certain way because those are the religious and moral values of some faction of believers. Nelson Rockefeller was a Conservative in that sense. But he also believed government could play a limited but constructive role in seeing that progress was achieved and that society could be better.

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Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Judge Andrew Napolitano- ‘How Teddy Roosevelt & Woodrow Wilson Destroyed Constitutional Freedom’

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Libertarians which is what both Nick Gillespie and Andrew Napolitano are, (not that there’s anything wrong with that) understanding of the U.S. Constitution, is very different from every other political faction.

Every political faction in America except the Socialists on the Far-Left and the Christian-Nationalists, Alt-Right racist terrorists on the Far-Right, generally support and believe in the U.S. Constitution. But Conservatives and even Conservative-Libertarians, now believe that government and even the Federal Government, has some role when it comes to the safety net and public welfare in the country. They believe that these programs should be run by the states and local government’s and be block granted to them. But Progressives, Liberals, and Conservatives, all now support some role at least for the Federal Government when it comes to the public welfare and a regulatory state.

So course the Andrew Napolitano’s of the world are going to disagree with Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow, Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and other Progressives, when it comes to the general welfare clause and commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. There Libertarians who believe taxation is theft and don’t see America as like a club with hundreds of millions of members that we’re all part of and have to pay dues (meaning taxes) in order to keep our membership in that club. So of course Libertarians are going to see Square Deal which gave us the regulatory state in America, the New Deal, which gave us the safety net in America, and the Great Society, which expanded the safety net in America, of course Libertarians are going to see these programs and agendas as unconstitutional.

Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie Interviewing Judge Andrew Napolitano- ‘How Teddy Roosevelt & Woodrow Wilson Destroyed Constitutional Freedom’

Library of Congress: Michelle Krowl Interviewing Doris Kearns Goodwin- Roosevelt & Taft

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Source: Tomato Bubble– WW, TR & WHT

We’ve had other presidential elections where you’ve had an actual Progressive, against an actual Conservative. Instead of the media labeling one a Conservative and the other a Progressive, or the top presidential candidates self-proclaiming themselves as the Conservative and as the Progressive. Even though one candidate might have anti-conservative views and be against the free press and who doesn’t support civil liberties, like with Richard Nixon. Who did have real conservative views as it related to foreign policy and economic policy. But was a big government authoritarian especially when he could get away with it as it related to the press, checks and balances, and Americans civil liberties and individual rights. Or with the Democratic Party with George McGovern who was labeled as the Liberal candidate in 1972, but who actually was a big government Socialist and didn’t put many if any limits on governmental power.

1932 with President Herbert Hoover versus Governor Franklin Roosevelt, is an example of a real Conservative in President Hoover and a real Progressive in FDR. 1964 with President Lyndon Johnson and Senator Barry Goldwater, is an example of a real Progressive in LBJ and a real Conservative in Senator Goldwater. 1984 with President Ronald Reagan and former Vice President Walter Mondale, another example of a real Conservative in President Reagan and a real Progressive in Vice President Mondale.

But 1912 I believe is the first real example of where America had a real choice between a Conservative and a Progressive and perhaps a Conservative against two Progressives, if you label Woodrow Wilson also as a Progressive. If there was ever a Libertarian Utopia and pre-Progressive Era America is the only point in this country where you even try to make a case that America was a Libertarian Society, it was pre-Roosevelt Administration in the 1900s. Meaning (The first ten years of the 20th Century) And the election of 1912 was an election where you had a Conservative President in William H. Taft, who wanted to conserve that Libertarian Ayn Rand Society, where there was basically no Federal government at least involvement in the economy. And Teddy Roosevelt who wanted to build off of his Square Deal from his time as President and create what was later labeled as the New Deal and the American safety net that was created in the 1930s under FDR.

The presidential election of 1912 represents the conservative establishment of where America had been up to that point economically and where we were as far as how we dealt with the rest of the world, represented by President William Taft. Against the anti-establishment Progressive presidential candidate in Theodore Roosevelt. America had a real choice between a real hard-core Conservative in Taft. Who saw his job as to conserve and protect the status-quo and keep America as it was.

Against a real hard-core Progressive in Teddy Roosevelt who wanted to blow up the establishment. Build off of what made America great and worked well for the country. But use government especially the Federal Government build a society where more Americans could succeed, where all Americans would have a good opportunity to succeed. Where not all of the power in the country was centralized with the wealthy and their businesses. And was a choice that American voters deserved to have and be able to decide for them was the current America good enough, or do we need to do something else and bring progress and move quicker as a country.

Book TV: Sidney Milkis- Theodore Roosevelt & The Progressive Party

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Source: Amazon

The Progressive Party was created in 1912, basically because the Republican Party denied Theodore Roosevelt their presidential nomination, even though he won more primaries than his main challenger President William Howard Taft. And the Republican Party was the center-right party in America and if anything the Democratic Party thanks to the Dixiecrats in the party, were even further right than the Republicans. And because of the Progressive Era and other factors, TR and others believed their was a need and a movement in America to create a Center-Left party that could compete with both Republicans and Democrats in America.

Teddy Roosevelt had already been President of the United States as a Republican from 1901-09 and was a Progressive President. And was  big champion of the Progressive Era and was able to put a lot of his Square Deal into law that created the American regulatory state. He was a successful and popular President and served two terms and could have been reelected in 1908 had he simply ran for a third term which was legal back then, but decided not to run for a third term because he saw third terms for the President as dictatorial and wouldn’t be good for democracy.

Post-Roosevelt presidency is where you see the real radical in Teddy Roosevelt. As if being a Progressive in a Center-Right if not further Right country in the first decade of the 20th Century wasn’t radical enough. TR became less pragmatic and moved from being a Center-Left Progressive, to more of a Social Democrat or Democratic Socialist. Arguing that human welfare was more important than individual freedom, individualism, and property rights. This is the TR that Socialists like Senator Bernie Sanders and many others in America, love and admire. Where Republicans like Senator John McCain who is a Conservative Republican, as well as Democrats like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and others, I believe prefer the President Theodore Roosevelt. I prefer the Progressive TR, over the Socialist TR as well.