Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why Progressive Republicans Are A Figment of America's Imagination (Currently)

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My buddy Tom Degan has written an almost poignant (no, not really) historical essay about why looking for progressives in Republican circles today is even more of a lost cause than the South ever "risin' again."

Hope you enjoy it.

Dwight David Eisenhower is another Republican whose name is never mentioned by his political heirs. I wonder why?

"Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear from that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things....Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

-Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952

Oh, that's why. Eisenhower can't be accused of political pandering when he made that statement. It is quoted from a private letter he wrote to his brother Edgar and was never meant for public consumption. It only came to light decades after his death in 1969.

That's right, boys and girls, old Ike was a progressive Republican! Believe it or not, such a political animal did exist at one time in this country. They're pretty much extinct now. Although his foreign policy left a bit to be desired, domestically he get's a high grade. When Dwight Eisenhower lived in the White House, he understood that investing in America was the key to its success - not reducing the taxes for a class of people who already had more money than they knew what to do with. In fact, in his time, some of the richest one percent were taxed at a ninety percent rate. Eisenhower never had the need - nor the desire - to change things. The interstate highway system that we now take for granted was created under his watch. Before that, if you wanted to drive from Chicago to Los Angeles, you had to get your kicks on Route 66 - a two lane highway! Can you imagine?

Thankful for this nation's infrastructure, crumbling though it may be? Tip your hat to Republican president Eisenhower.

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