Category Archives: TR

Hip Hughes: Keith Hughes- The Election of 1912 Explained


Source: Hip Hughes

Source: Hip Hughes: Keith Hughes- The Election of 1912 Explained

As I’ve blogged before the 1912 presidential election is a very important and interesting election for many reasons. I mean if you’re a political junky such as myself the 1912 election is not the Super Bowl of American politics, but its the best Super Bowl of all-time. It’s the Super Bowls of Super Bowls and not like the modern Super Bowl or NFL where the last Super Bowl is automatically pumped up and sold as the greatest Super Bowl of all-time by the media and even the NFL, until the next Super Bowl. But this election was really the best ever I believe because of the clear choices that the American voters had.

1912 wasn’t about Democrat versus Republican and perhaps a charming entertaining third-party candidate who has hopes of getting 5% of the vote and sneak into the presidential debates. If there was TV back in 1912 at least 3-4 presidential candidates would’ve been invited to the debates and in the debates. Perhaps even all four with Socialist candidate Eugene Debs who got about 6% of the vote getting into the debates as well. Because the old progressive faction of the Republican Party thanks to Theodore Roosevelt, broke away from the Republican Party in 1912 and formed their Progressive Party.

The only thing that could’ve made the 1912 presidential elections better, perhaps along with TV, but instead of having two Conservatives in that election ( not to take a shot at Conservatives ) but have one Conservative being President William Taft. One Liberal whoever the Democratic candidate is. Along with the Progressive being Teddy Roosevelt and the Socialist being Gene Debs. But instead there were two Conservatives ( again, not to take a shot at Conservatives ) with President Taft and Governor Woodrow Wilson, and a Progressive, as well as a Socialist. Taft and Wilson, differed a little on economic policy, but tended to agree on the other issues. TR and Debs, differed a lot from Taft and Wilson and also differed a lot from each other. TR was truly a Progressive and Debs was truly a pacifist-isolationist Democratic Socialist. Similar to Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party today.

Liberal democratic politics meaning liberal democracy and not the Democratic Party necessarily and American politics in general, should be about choice. And not just one or the other like trying to decide if you want the chicken or fish on an airline flight, but several choices with each candidate looking different from the others. That is what the 1912 presidential election represented and what American politics should be about generally. And if that means having runoffs and reforming the Electoral College so the winner doesn’t win the election with 40% of the vote which is what Woodrow Wilson won with in 1912, then I would be in favor of that.


Theodore Roosevelt: Let Us Remember


Source: AZ Quotes

It seems to me from this Theodore Roosevelt quote that he was arguing for both a progressive income tax and national service. A progressive income tax where Americans are taxed based on their ability to pay taxes.

The more money you make an earn on your own, the more in taxes that you would pay. For people in poverty they would pay the less if any in income taxes and people in the middle would pay a moderate level of income taxes. Which is the income tax system that America has right now, if you exclude the tax deductions and benefits that benefit corporations and wealthy individuals greatly. While middle class Americans other than being able to deduct their home mortgage interest and their state sales taxes, as well the child tax credit, tend to pay the U.S. Government (or Uncle Sam) what they owe by law in taxes. I believe its safe to say like its also safe to say that it snows in Minnesota in January, that Teddy Roosevelt wouldn’t be a fan of the modern American income tax system.

And then you look at the TR quote where he’s saying that as much that has been given must, much will be expected in return. Again, I believe he’s arguing for progressive taxation there, but he’s also arguing for national service and public service. That its a real privilege to live in and be born in America and we simply have the advantages that a lot of other people if not most people who are born and raised in other countries which is why we have the economic as well as personal freedom that we do, that we should be expected to give back to the country, because so much has been given to us. Not just in taxes but in public and national service to make the country a better place. Whether its military service, foreign service, law enforcement, becoming teachers, or volunteering for charities , that we should give back because so much as been given to us.

As strange as this might sound there is a lot of TR in the wealthiest and most successful of American families. The Bush Family has always believed in public service. The Roosevelt’s obviously, the Kennedy Family, the Rockefeller Family, the Carnegie Family, and many others. These great families believe that other Americans who didn’t grow up with the same advantages as they did and perhaps didn’t have any advantages at all, believe that the underprivileged deserve an hand up to help them have a better life in America. And not just through public policy, but through private charity and other non-profit organizations that serve the needy in America. Which is also a major part of Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy.

Progressing America: Theodore Roosevelt- The New Nationalism


Source: IZ Quotes

What Theodore Roosevelt was advocating for in what he called The New Nationalism, was what became The New Deal in the 1930s. Which is what became the American safety net. Progressives don’t believe in blowing up capitalism, they simply want to make it better so it benefits more Americans. Unlike Socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debbs who also ran for President in 1912 and Senator Bernie Sanders and other Socialists (whether they call themselves Socialists or not) today.

Teddy Roosevelt’s New Nationalism was the political platform that he and his Progressive Party ran on in 1912.

Unemployment Insurance for American workers who are unemployed.

A minimum wage for all workers.

A national pension system for all workers that they could collect from when they retire.

A national health care program that would cover both health care and health insurance for Americans.

Most of these proposed programs became part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal agenda in the 1930s. Pre-safety net in America if Americans fell on hard times, they either had to take care of their problems themselves, or get friends or family to help them out, or rely on private charity. If they still couldn’t get their issues taken care of, then they were essentially screwed, or out of luck. (If you want a softer term)

What became the New Deal in the 1930s and then later the Great Society in 1960s, did was to guarantee financial help and assistance for any American who fell on hard times and needed financial assistance in form form. Neither Teddy or Frank Roosevelt, wanted to blow up the American capitalist system and replace it with a socialist system. But instead make American capitalism better and make it work for more Americans.



Slick Rick Nixon: Theodore Roosevelt- Why The Bosses Oppose The Progressive Party


Source: IZ Quotes

People who are interested in third-parties and are interested in a new third-party whether its center-left, or center-right, should look at Teddy Roosevelt and his 1912 Progressive Party. TR was the center-left version of Ross Perot.

Ross Perot ran a strong 1992 center-right third-party campaign against President George H.W. Bush and Governor Bill Clinton. Ross Perot had a strong center-right fiscally conservative reform movement, that was designed to shake up Washington and the political system there. In 1992 Perot and his reform movement, ran against high deficits and a national debt, and an economy that was just starting to come out of recession that still had high unemployment. And had a plan that was designed to lead America back to strong economic and job growth, by first addressing the budget deficit and national debt.

TR was a Progressive and was someone who did believe that America should pay its bills and not run up high deficits and debt, especially when the economy was strong, but he also was a Progressive. And believed that government and even the Federal Government, had a major but not the only role, in seeing that the country moved forward and where everyone could succeed in America. Not just the wealthy and the people who are born to wealth. And believed that the wealthy had too much power and money and the country. While too many Americans struggled just to survive and pay their bills.

Back in 1912 America had a choice between two right-wing parties. The Center-Right Republican Party, that had a progressive Northeastern wing in it that TR was part of, but they were a conservative party. And the Democratic Party that was even to the right of the Republicans, with a Southern Neo-Confederate Nationalist wing in it that had accepted that Civil War was over and slavery was now illegal, but still believed that Africans were inferior to Europeans and therefor African-Americans weren’t entitled to the same rights and freedom, as European-Americans. The Progressive Party under Theodore Roosevelt, was obviously to the left of both the Republican and Democrats. With TR now representing a new and growing progressive movement in the country.


Library of Congress: Theodore Roosevelt- Shall We Prepare?

Conservatives tend to be labeled as the hawks in America when it comes to national security and foreign policy, especially the Neoconservatives and for good reason. Because they tend to talk and sometimes its just talk,. about the need for a strong national defense in America and America is special as being the leader of the world and setting the example that other countries, especially in the developed world to follow.

But what tends not to get mentioned is that it was Progressives and even Progressive Democrats like President Woodrow Wilson, that moved America from being a dovish isolationist country that didn’t believed it needed a strong national defense, if America simply didn’t get involved in the rest of the world, to developing America into the world power that its today. America is still the only country in the history of the world thats a developed country, a free country, and a superpower.

That started with President Woodrow Wilson, but former President Theodore Roosevelt, another Progressive but Progressive Republican and then later a member of the Progressive Party and their 1912 presidential nominee, believed America need to be strong both economically, but also have a strong national defense. That would make America so strong that no other country would even try to attack us. But to help other countries and our allies when they’re under attack by an aggressive power.

What a lot of Americans I don’t believe understand is that Progressives got us involved in World War II under President Woodrow Wilson, moved us to becoming a world power and tried to create what was called the League of Nations in the 19 teens, that would later be recreated as the United Nations in the 1940s. But Progressives under President Franklin Roosevelt got us involved in World War II in the 1940s and created our National Security State.

A Department of State that works and talks with the rest of the world, including our opponents.

The Department of Defense that is responsible for our own national defense, but works with our allies to keep the peace in places like Europe.

The Central Intelligence Agency that is reasonable for making sure America has the best available information about what both our allies and foes are doing.

Our National Security Council that brings all of these agencies and departments together to see that information is being shared. Progressives are responsible for making America the world power that it is today.

Again, I feel the need to talk about progressive stereotypes, but Progressives get labeled basically as softies if not wimps, and perhaps you have a stronger word. As people who don’t even believe in having a national defense, let alone a national defense. Doves who believe that the job of government is do nothing but look after our economic and physical well-beings, even at the cost of our individual freedom. Except when it comes to national security and law enforcement. When the fact is historically and even now, Progressives have a stronger record when it comes to foreign policy and national security, even strong than some Conservatives especially Conservative Libertarians.

Slick Rick Nixon: Theodore Roosevelt- The Right of The People To Rule Speech- 1912


Source: KNOWOL

Teddy Roosevelt arguing that the people are smart enough to make their own decisions in life and have self-control and can self-govern themselves. Which is what individual freedom is about. The right to self-rule and be able to make our own personal decisions short of hurting innocent people with what we’re doing. Not arguing for anarchy, just the right for responsible people to govern their own affairs and not be subjects to big government over their own personal lives. This is a classic liberal democratic (meaning liberal democracy) speech that any true Liberal such as myself or any other true Liberal should and would be proud of.

Remember, Teddy Roosevelt was a true Progressive. But that doesn’t mean he was someone who didn’t believe in individual freedom and individualism. He just wanted those things to be for everybody and not just the rich, or the well-connected, and the powerful. And he also wanted a government referee not to run business and other private organizations, or to run individuals, but to protect innocent people like workers and consumers, from predators. Businesses that would force their workers to work in unsafe working conditions and produce unsafe products. Or to protect individuals from criminals who would physically hurt or worse innocent people.

I’ve argued before that Progressives are different from both Socialists and even Liberals. This is a speech by TR which separates Progressives from Socialists. Both Democratic and Communists, because when you have you heard any Socialist talk about the right for the people to rule themselves. And not be subjected to big government, because they believe big government is not qualified to make the most personal decisions for individuals. Things like education, health care, health insurance, retirement, just to use as examples. But also how we communicate with people or what we eat and drink and how much we eat and drink. Socialists don’t tend to believe in individualism, but true Progressives like Theodore Roosevelt do.

Rob Galloway: Teddy Roosevelt- Speech on Social & Industrial Justice


Source: AZ Quotes

Theodore Roosevelt speaking about the right to organize. Which I believe as a non-lawyer is guaranteed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and our freedom of assembly. To join lawful non-criminal groups of our choosing.

As a Liberal I’m a big believer of freedom of choice and personal responsibility and the ability for people to make their own decisions and then have the responsibility to live with and deal with the consequences of their own decisions on their own, for good and bad. TR was not arguing that Americans should be forced to join labor organizations, but just have the right to make that choice for themselves.

So-called Liberals and so-called Progressives today, (Socialists in actuality) like to claim that they’re pro-choice. But what they tend to leave out is that they’re really only pro-choice on women’s reproductive rights and sexuality. They’re not even pro-choice on the right to  the right to organize, because they believe people should be forced to join labor unions because its in their best interest. (As they would argue) Apparently believing that they (big government and Socialists) are more qualified to make the most basic economic and personal decisions of three-hundred-million people that they’ve never met before. TR was arguing for the right to organize and that people should be able to make their decision for themselves.