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.
The American middle class and you could go down half of a class and look at the working class in America who tend to be blue-collar and perhaps just have a high school diploma and perhaps some college and are people who probably make somewhere around 30-60 thousand-dollars a year and would be the lower middle class in America as far as income, these people have seen an economic decline in America. Who think the rich have been screwing them and sending their jobs oversees. And the poor get to live off of taxpayers for free. So they’ve seen the rich get richer and the poor getting more free taxpayer funded benefits. And they’re thinking how about them and whose going to look out for them and empower them to do better in America. And here comes this rich guy someone who is perhaps even a billionaire in Donald Trump saying he’s their champion and fighter. Talks about bad trade deals and tells them immigration is costing them their good jobs. Someone who labels Mexicans as rapists and criminals and Muslims as supporters of terrorism.
As I said in my piece Sunday about Donald Trump, Trump voters 30-40 years ago would have been called Reagan Democrats and are now Trump Republicans. Southern and Midwestern blue-collar Republicans who tend to Anglo-Saxon and Protestant and have other European backgrounds and are also male. The so-called angry white-males that voted heavily against Bill Clinton and other Democrats in the 1990s. Donald Trump has as much in common with working class voters as the Christian-Right has in common with Communists. But one thing that the The Donald has been successful and good at in his career has been as a salesman. The man could sell water to fish if given the opportunity and I and many other people would say he’s a great con-man in the amount of success he’s had at coming on fifty-years in business. And he loves power and what’s more powerful than the President of the United States. And decides he’ll try to convince millions of Caucasian working class voters in America who perhaps have never heard of Donald Trump before he ran for president that he’s one of them. And so far he’s had great success with this voting block.