Archive for January 21, 2011

Another ‘Blunder’ of the Progressive Era by Thomas Schmidt…

January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Another ‘Blunder’ of the Progressive Era

by Thomas Schmidt
by Thomas Schmidt
Recently by Thomas Schmidt: Motive

Perhaps you have seen crystallized the “revolution within the form” that is the current US political arrangement in Angelo Codevilla’s essay, “America’s Ruling Class – And the Perils of Revolution.” Dr. Gary North explains the smug contempt of the ruling class for what Codevilla calls the “country class” as arising from the Progressive Era: “(p)rogressivism is a bipartisan monster… As the 19th century ended, the educated class’s religious fervor turned to social reform: they were sure that because man is a mere part of evolutionary nature, man could be improved, and that they, the most highly evolved of all, were the improvers… Thus began the Progressive Era. When Woodrow Wilson in 1914 was asked ‘can’t you let anything alone?’ he answered with, ‘I let everything alone that you can show me is not itself moving in the wrong direction, but I am not going to let those things alone that I see are going down-hill.’” If Puritanism, paraphrasing Mencken, is the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having a good time, Progressivism is surely the suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having a good time at some State-unapproved activity.

Still, when examining the Progressive Era, one wonders how the ruling class came to have such a death-grip on the populace at large. Progressive-era “innovations” like the Federal Reserve (1913), the Income Tax (ditto), the War emergency act that permitted Roosevelt’s 1933 seizure of gold (1917), the FBI/Hoover (1917), and other depredations have helped cement that hold, but could at some point have been repealed by the people. Ah, but how to limit the power of the people? How to decrease the ability of a person to run for Congress without raising a large sum of money? How to dilute concentrations of libertarians and progressives in seas of moderates so as to remove their voices from the national legislature?

Jeff Jacoby notes: “By 1910, the United States had 92 million citizens. In 1911, President Taft signed a bill expanding the House to 435. The ratio of congressmen to citizens now stood at 1 to 200,000.” The size has been fixed at 435 since. Take a look at the following table:



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January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way you can understand them. This quote came from the Czech Republic. Someone over there has it figured out. We have a lot of work to do. “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a … Read More

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