Our New Regressivism
About fifteen years ago, many liberals began to self-identify as progressives—partly because of the implosion of the Great Society and the Reagan reaction that had tarnished the liberal brand and left it as something akin to “permissive” or “naïve,” partly because “progressive” was supposedly an ideological rather than a political identification, and had included some early twentieth-century Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover.
But twenty-first century progressivism is not aimed at political reform. There is no new effort at racial unity.
There is not much realization that we are in a globalized, rapidly changing, high-tech economy or that race and gender are not as they were fifty years ago. Instead, progressivism has become a reactionary return to the 1960s—or even well before.
The new regressivism seeks to resurrect the machine ethos of Mayor Daley, the glory green days of the Whole Earth Catalog, the union era of George Meany, Jimmy Hoffa, and Walter Reuther, the racial polarization of the old Black Panther Party and the old Al Sharpton, and a Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, or Peter Jennings reading to us each evening three slightly different versions of the Truth.
Freedom Betrayed, by Herbert Hoover
…as Japan was the direct route by which the United States entered the war it is necessary to examine the major actions during this period which brought about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This is the more necessary since not only were the actions of our government not disclosed to the American people at the time, but a generation of school children have grown up who never knew the truth of these actions.
Hoover recounts many episodes of Japanese attempts to secure peace or at least a truce, including the replacement of the anti-American Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka with Admiral Teijiro Toyoda, who was pro Anglo Saxon. Hoover counts this as a signal to Roosevelt and Secretary Hull that more liberal elements in Japan had now come into ascendency. However, this was lost on the American administration:
Freedom Betrayed, by Herbert Hoover
It is often cited by defenders of the Constitution that the last properly declared U.S. war was the Second World War. There are a couple of facts that are pretty solid for those who take this viewpoint. On December 8, 1941, President Roosevelt asked Congress for a declaration of war with Japan; on December 11 he asked for a declaration against Germany and Italy. Congress approved these and thus was war declared.
So why question these irrefutable facts? Where is the “not exactly” in these events? I guess it depends on what the definition of “war” is.
The county sheriff is being introduced to a maneuver that will gradually eliminate him by a merger with federal marshals. Already under threat by an Advisory group, the traditional American constitutional sheriff will be divested of his authority. He will lose his control over the jails and the courts, and all civilian law enforcement will be consolidated on the federal regional government level.
In the last 100 years, every U.S. president who lost his bid for a second term did so because he abandoned his principal promise to the American people. If Republicans can persuade the public that Barack Obama similarly shattered the pledge at the very core of his presidency, they will succeed in denying him the new lease on the White House he insists he deserves.
Four elected chief executives in this century failed in their reelection campaigns—and each of them flopped by landslide margins. For William Howard Taft in 1912, Herbert Hoover in 1932, Jimmy Carter in 1980, and George H.W. Bush in 1992, broken promises doomed their chances for another four-year term.
Taft, Theodore Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor, based his first presidential campaign on guarantees that he would continue the popular policies of his ebullient predecessor, but voters in 1912 knew they’d been betrayed because TR himself came out of retirement to tell them so! Roosevelt not only challenged Taft for re-nomination but ultimately conducted his third-party “Bull Moose” campaign, handing victory to Democrat Woodrow Wilson and pushing the incumbent to a paltry 23 percent of the popular vote.
…The War of 1812 resulted in martial law in Louisiana, where people were jailed without habeas corpus simply for criticizing military law. A judge was jailed for issuing a habeas corpus writ.
During the Mexican War the executive branch unilaterally adopted taxing powers over U.S.-controlled ports in Mexico.
The Civil War brought with it mass conscription, corporate welfare, the death of real federalism, the suspension of habeas corpus, the jailing of thousands of dissenters, the censoring of hundreds of newspapers, the creation of a national leviathan with such new agencies as the Department of Agriculture, military commissions, and the use of the army against civilian draft rioters in New York.
With World War I, thousands of new agencies were created, millions were enslaved to fight in a royal European family feud, American citizens were jailed for saying things I say every day, income-tax rates skyrocketed into the 70s, and the federal government implemented economic controls that were later brought back in peacetime during the New Deal. In fact, the New Deal was basically the revitalization of the wartime economy from World War I.
World War II saw the conscription of 11 million Americans, the detention of hundreds of thousands of “enemy aliens” without due process, Japanese internment, martial law in Hawaii, a quasi-fascist command economy complete with comprehensive price controls, tax rates above 90 percent, censorship, and the prolonging of Herbert Hoover’s and Franklin Roosevelt’s Great Depression, which didn’t end until the U.S. government stopped consuming 40 percent of America’s income to wage the war.
The Cold War gave us drafts, especially during the hot wars with Korea and Vietnam, and surveillance and psy-ops directed against peaceful activists by U.S. intelligence agencies. With the war on terror we have lost the last remnants of the Fourth Amendment, habeas corpus has taken another beating, we are treated like prison inmates every time we fly, peaceful activists have been spied on, media have been manipulated by Washington, torture has become normalized, soldiers are not allowed to quit after completing their first or even third tour of duty, and Americans’ telecommunications have been exposed to surveillance by the military.
What War Really Is
Freedom Betrayed, by Herbert Hoover
Hoover asks the question, “Shall we send our youth to war?” in an article prepared for the August, 1939 issue of the American Magazine, he writes:
First, let me say something from this experience of what war really is. Those who lived in it, and our American boys who fought in it, dislike to recall its terribleness. We dwell upon its glories – the courage, the heroism, the greatness of spirit in men. I myself should like to forget all else….Amid the afterglow of glory and legend we forget the filth, the stench, the death, of the trenches. We forget the dumb grief of mothers, wives, and children.
War is hell. We are told this whenever we mention the atrocities committed, as if this pithy little phrase justifies the tragedy. Hoover here sees that war IS hell, however he sees this as reason to avoid entering in every way possible.
There is a scene in the movie “The Americanization of Emily.” This movie stars James Garner as Charlie Madison, an American officer in England during WWII, and Julie Andrews as Emily Barham, a British war widow – also having lost other family members to war.
The scene has Charlie Madison visiting the home of Mrs. Barham, Emily’s mother. Mrs. Barham is in great denial regarding the many deaths that war has brought to her family – her husband and son among others. She still acts as if her husband is alive, and Emily goes along with this denial.
When Mrs. Barham exclaims that after the war, it will be all the generals and statesmen writing books saying how it could have been avoided, Charlie explains that he doesn’t blame the generals and statesmen. He blames the mothers! The mothers make heroes out of their dead sons; they are the first to walk in the parade. Charlie explains that his own mother did this regarding Charlie’s brother. And now Charlie’s youngest brother can’t wait to enlist.
The clip is about ten minutes long, and I highly recommend spending the time. It can be found here:
In describing those who fought in the trenches in the First World War, Hoover writes:
By Al Benson Jr.
Recently I read an article by someone with the interesting nom de plume of Bionic Mosquito. It was called Communism Comes to America and was about a book written by Herbert Hoover in which Hoover warned of the Communist threat to this country during the Roosevelt administration.
According to Hoover we should have stayed out of World War 2 and let Germany and Russia slog it out with each other. I can’t disagree with that. Someone recently sent me an email about this article and his comment was that we “fought World War 2 to make the world safe for Communism.” He’s right. Although most folks don’t want to think about that, it is the real reason we fought the war. All you have to do is look at who got what out of the war and it makes sense.
The Roosevelt administration was riddled with Communists and their fellow travelers in the State Department, the Department of Agriculture, and many other departments. If you doubt this I would invite you to read The Web of Subversion by James Burnham or While You Slept–Our Tragedy in Asia and Who Made It by John T. Flynn, and you might want to read that classic by Whittaker Chambers Witness..
All these will give you a picture of the Roosevelt administration many folks would rather not have but need to be aware of anyway.
On the morning of July 28, forty protesters tried to reclaim an evacuated building in downtown Washington scheduled for demolition. A riot erupted when city police officers and agents from the U.S. Treasury Department tried to evict some of the marchers. The city’s police chief, Pellham Glassford, a veteran himself sympathetic to the marchers, was knocked down by a brick. Glassford’s assistant suffered a fractured skull. When rushed by a crowd, two other policemen opened fire. Two of the marchers were killed. As the situation spiraled out of control, the District of Columbia asked President Herbert Hoover to send federal troops to help restore order. The request noted that it was “impossible for the Police Department to maintain law and order except by the use of firearms, which will make the situation a dangerous one.”
President Hoover knew he had to curb the escalating violence. Hoover reluctantly agreed, but only after limiting Major General Douglas MacArthur’s authority. MacArthur’s troops would be unarmed. The mission was to escort the marchers unharmed to camps along the Anacostia River. He gave the order for Army Chief of Staff Gen. Douglas MacArthur to remove the approximately 3,500 veterans, many with their wives and children, who refused to leave. A force of about 600 – cavalrymen and infantrymen with a few tanks – advanced to the scene under the leadership of Chief of Staff MacArthur in person, two other generals, and, among junior officers, two whose names would in due course become much more familiar, Majors Dwight D. Eisenhower and George S. Patton, Jr.
MacArthur ignored the president’s orders, taking no prisoners and driving tattered protesters from their encampment. No shots were fired, but many were injured by bricks, clubs and bayonets. After Hoover ordered a halt to the army’s march, MacArthur again took things into his own hands, violently clearing the Anacostia campsite, killing three marchers and wounding many.
One of the first federal officers to arrive in Washington, D.C., was Major George S. Patton. His cavalry troops met up with infantry at the Ellipse, near the White House. Patton and the federal troops, equipped with gas masks, bayonets and sabers, marched up Pennsylvania Avenue, firing gas grenades and charging and subduing the angry crowd. Later that night, Patton and the federal troops cleared out the marchers’ camp in Anacostia, with some tents and shacks catching fire in the process. Although there are conflicting reports on which side started the fires, some of the marchers’ shacks burned down. By the following morning, most marchers had left Washington, but the incident left bitter memories and affected Patton deeply. He called it the “most distasteful form of service” and later wrote several papers on how federal troops could restore order quickly with the least possible bloodshed.
In the end, the presence of federal troops effectively ended the bonus march. The troops cleaned up the situation near the Capitol, and then proceeded with equal efficiency to clear out all of the marchers from the District of Columbia.
The burning shacks of the veterans’ shantytowns made vivid news photos. A national uproar ensued. In far off Albany, New York, Democratic presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt grasped the political implications instantly. “Well,” he told a friend on hearing the news, “this elects me.” Herbert Hoover said at the start of an uphill reelection campaign: “We are opposed by six million unemployed, 10,000 bonus marchers, and 10 cent corn. Is it any wonder that the prospects are dark?”
via 1932 Bonus March.
The most notable domestic use of Regular troops in twenty years of peace happened in the nation’s capital in the summer of 1932. Some thousands of “Bonus Marchers” remained in Washington after the adjournment of Congress dashed their hopes for immediate payment of a bonus for military service in World War I. On July 28, when marshals and police tried to evict one group encamped near the Capitol, a riot with some bloodshed occurred. Thereupon President Herbert C. Hoover called upon the Army to intervene