Category Archives: Progressive Party

Coleman Museum: Bull Moose Party- 1912 Campaign

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Source: Coleman Museum – Historian John M. Cooper

Source: Coleman Museum: Bull Moose Party- 1912 Campaign

If you want to know why there was even a Bull Moose Party or Progressive Party in 1912, it’s because Theodore Roosevelt didn’t win the 2012 Republican nomination for President. It was Teddy Roosevelt’s narcissism and his ambition to become President of the United States again which is how we got the Progressive Party in 1912. The real Progressive-Left in America which has almost nothing to do with the so-called Progressive-Left of today which is really a Socialist-Left led by Senator Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Socialists in and outside of the Democratic Party today.

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Source: The Thresh Baker– Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party

And what the Progressive Party was running on in 1912, is what became President Franklin Roosevelt’s ( Teddy Roosevelt’s cousin ) the American public safety net what us better known as the New Deal in the 1930s. Pension insurance what’s known as Social Security, which is for people who don’t have enough of a pension to retire.

Unemployment Insurance, minimum wage, social insurances for people who struggle to pay their bills or who find themselves unemployed.

Not looking to create a British or Scandinavia welfare state in America, but creating social insurance for people who truly need it who are too young to retire and who are physically and mentally still able to work.

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Source: Progressive Bull Moose Party– Progressives or Socialists?

The reason why Teddy Roosevelt, wasn’t elected President again in 1912 is because you had basically Republicans voting against Republicans. Republicans who are now in the Progressive Party, voting against President William Taft and Republicans who are still in the Republican Party, voting for Teddy Roosevelt. Similar to why Hubert Humphrey doesn’t win the presidency in 1968 because you had Democrats voting against Democrats . With George Wallace running for President for the Independence Party with right-wing Dixiecrats voting against Hubert Humphrey. Republicans, were simply too divided and voting against each other in 1912 to put a Republican back in the White House.

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Progressive People’s Coalition: Teddy Roosevelt- Progressive Party Declaration

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Source: Wikiwand

Where I agree with Doris Kearns Goodwin and her book about Theodore Roosevelt, is that Teddy Roosevelt was a much better political leader as President of the United States, than when he left the White House and decided to run for President again in 1912. I would disagree with Doris Goodwin that Teddy was a Centrist as President. As President he was an actual Progressive  who not only believed in progress, but believed in using government to help create that progress. But he wasn’t a Socialist and instead put limits to what government should try to do for the people.

But once TR left the White House he moved further left and became more ideological, more idealistic, and more romantic. And started advocating for things that simply were never going to happen. Like making it easier to amend the U.S. Constitution so it kept up with the times. As a lot of Social Democrats in America advocate for instead of guaranteeing a basic set of fundamental constitutional rights that make it almost impossible for us to lose. Socialists would want the majority to rule at all times.

What makes progressivism at its best and makes it work well when its practiced in its classical form, instead of people who are much further left and more ideological and prefer to be called Progressives because of the social popularity of that term, or don’t want to be labeled as lets say Socialists and even Democratic Socialists, because of the negative stereotypes of those terms, is what progressivism effective is the pragmatism of it and that Progressives believe in the United States, our Constitution, and form of government. Progressives aren’t interested in breaking up our form of government and governmental system. They don’t believe individual freedom and individualism, are dangerous selfish things, but that instead they want to use government to expand individual freedom so more people can benefit from those things. Not just the wealthy and people born to wealth.

I and Doris Goodwin, believe that Teddy Roosevelt moved away from those progressive pragmatic mainstream principles of his time as President from 1901-09 and by the time he decided to run for President again in 1912 and was no longer in the White House, he became more of a left-wing social democratic activist. That perhaps would have been comfortable running as part of the Socialist Party with Eugene Debbs back in 1912. What made both Roosevelt’s (TR & FDR) great President’s, was their knowledge, intelligence, progressive values, but also their pragmatism. And didn’t say that government had to do this or that, but instead looked for the best solution to all problems. Whether that meant expanding government or not.