Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Real News: Paul Jay Interviewing Peter Kuznick- Undoing The New Deal: FDR Created A Social Safety Net, Not Socialism

Source: The Real News-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I actually agree with Paul Jay on something here. ( For a change ) President Franklin Roosevelt, his Administration and Congress, didn't create a socialist economic system in America for good reasons. They left the American capitalist system in place but added regulations to it, as well as creating a public safety net in America which is the New Deal. FDR and the Democratic Congress's back then didn't even create a social democratic system where workers get most if not all their employment benefits like pensions, health care, etc, from the national government but where business is in private hands. But a public social insurance system that people could collect from when they're out-of-work, or don't have the skills that they need to get themselves a good job and aren't able to pay their bills. As well as Social Security for people who don't have a pension or a big enough pension.

If you look back at it now and I would argue if you look at this in the 1930s, the New Deal was actually the centrist approach compared with what was also on the table and being offered in response to the New Deal. You have Hoover Conservatives and Libertarians arguing that the Federal Government shouldn't do anything in response to the Great Depression. And you had Socialists in some cases Democratic Socialists, as well as Communists who were arguing that the American capitalist system was the problem. And what should be done instead is to start nationalizing private industries, along with a socialist welfare state to provide workers the benefits that they had been getting from the private sector in the past. What FDR did was save the American capitalist system but make it better and stronger than it was before the Great Depression.

In President Roosevelt's last term he moved further left on economic policy and became more interested in expanding the New Deal to create the Scandinavian social democratic welfare state. When he proposed his economic bill of rights that would've put the Federal Government in charge of guaranteeing workers benefits for all American workers. But what he was able to get passed into law as President was the New Deal which wasn't a welfare system, but and insurance system for people to collect from, but only when they need it. Similar to how Americans use their auto insurance when their car is in an accident. But not to help them pay their everyday bills. FDR was a Progressive because he was very pragmatic in how believed government should respond to problems in the country. But didn't govern in a way that would've put government in charge to solving every problem that every American ever faced.
The Real News: Paul Jay Interviewing Peter Kuznick- Undoing The New Deal: FDR Created The Social Safety Net, Not Socialism

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dandelion Salad: Henry Wallace- Undoing The New Deal

Source: Dandelion Salad-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Vice President Henry Wallace, was President Franklin Roosevelt’s Vice President from 1941-45. This was the term that President Roosevelt moved left on economic policy while still being a strong anti-Communist and anti-Fascist liberal internationalist on foreign policy. But on economic policy FDR moved left and moved past the New Deal that he got through Congress in the 1930s and instead of talking about the need for a public safety net for people when they needed it, instead started talking about what’s called welfare rights.

FDR’s Four Freedoms agenda was about guaranteeing that every American would have exactly what they need to live well in life and that these human services would be provided by the Federal Government. The Henry Wallace social democratic side of FDR comes out in the 1940s and FDR again came out in favor of moving past the safety net and instead creating a welfare that that is common in Britain and Scandinavia. Where the national government would become responsible for seeing that every America had a good education, a good home, enough food to eat, health care, health insurance, a good pension, and I could probably go on from here, but I’ll spare you.

Henry Wallace was the Bernie Sanders of the 1940s ideologically. A true Democratic Socialist who thought that the American capitalist private enterprise system, left too many people behind with few people who were rich financially, a lot of people in poverty, and a lot of people struggling just to pay their bills. The Great Depression of the 1930s did a lot to change how Americans looked at politics and economics.

Pre-Great Depression America was basically a libertarian utopia economically. With every little if any government involvement in the economy. But when you start to see 1/2 Americans living in poverty with food lines and food banks in every major city in the country and 1/5 Americans who are unemployed, most of the major banks failing in the country, you might start to reexamine your own politics and look at economics as well.

It is after the 1944 presidential election where Henry Wallace is no longer Vice President of the United States and becomes independent of the Roosevelt Administration politically with the ability to speak for himself and express his own politics politically and look at running for President himself in 1948. In 1948 Wallace runs for President himself and wins the Progressive Party nomination which was really a social democratic or democratic socialist party and runs for President against Progressive Democrat President Harry Truman, Republican Tom Dewey and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond. And America has a major Democratic Socialist presidential candidate to consider voting for.
Source: Cinema Insiders: Vice President Henry Wallace- Common Man Speech

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Talking Union: Nathan Newman- Remembering Martin Luther King's Roots in The Labor Socialist Movement

Source: Talking Union-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Imagine if we had more American Socialists who had the character and courage  to be out front about their socialist politics and not feel the need to hide behind other political labels, like Senator Bernie Sanders, Dr. Jill Stein today, but back in the 1960s Dr. Martin L. King. America would be a lot less ignorant politically. Americans with liberal leanings who believe in liberal democratic values ( not necessarily Democratic Party values ) would be a lot more open about being a Liberal and probably be proud Liberals, because they would know that they’re not Socialists or Communists, but instead Liberals who believe in liberal democracy. . In Britain, Europe, and perhaps Canada, you don’t have closeted Socialists which is what we have in America. Socialists there stand up for their socialist politics and are proud to be called Social Democrats or Democratic Socialists and in like in France and Sweden, are proud to be known as Socialists. In America, not so much.

As I argued last week Dr. Martin King, wasn’t just a Socialist, but a proud Socialist and Democratic Socialist at that. Edgar Hoover’s FBI believed that Dr. King was a Communist and working with Communist Party USA to build his movement. There were Communists involved in the civil rights movement, but Dr. King was a Democratic Socialists politically and ideologically and believed in democratic socialism and not communism or other authoritarian ideologies. His labor movement that he was  big part of and advocating for garbage collectors in Memphis and workers in other big America cities was part of his democratic socialist movement and what he was advocating for politically. Arguing for workers rights and that all American workers regardless of race should be allowed to organize.

Dr. King believed that American capitalism, along with forced state segregation for the races in America, especially in the South, was failing to meet the needs of the people. With few people at the top with all the money in the world and a lot of people at the bottom who simply struggled to feed themselves and their families and have adequate housing. And workers who would work very hard and work real long hours and be paid practically nothing and struggle just to pay their bills. Which is why he and his organization marched and worked with Memphis sanitation workers in Memphis so they could form their own labor union. Dr. King believed we needed a new economic system that would meet the needs of the people so we would no longer have hardworking people who struggled just to feed themselves and their families.

Dr. King wanted a democratic socialist model that would essentially collect the economic resources of the country through the Federal Government and then give those resources back through government programs based on what people needed to live well. Take from the wealthy though higher taxes to take care of the poor through government. Which is along with their large wealthy energy industry, is the economic model of Sweden. If you look at what Senator Bernie Sanders pushed for economically when he ran for President in 2016, its very similar to what Dr. King advocated for in the 1960s. High taxes on the wealthy to meet the needs of everyone else. This is not my economic model but this is what Martin King believed in and was proud of it and proud to be a Democratic Socialist, unlike a lot of closeted Socialists today who hide behind other political labels.

Dr. King was a proud man who didn’t hide from anyone and would promote his politics proudly regardless of what people on the Right and generally Far-Right in America people who even saw him as evil and wanted him killed and so what if those right-wingers saw him or labeled him as a Socialist or Communist. Because he wasn’t looking for their support anyway. Dr. King was a proud Socialist and would make the case for why he was a Socialist and then tell people who disagreed with them, “why aren’t you a Socialist as well now that you know what and why I stand for?” Which is very different from left-wingers today who are even proud to support Bernie Sanders and agree with him on everything and perhaps even to the left of Senator Sanders and perhaps even have more communist leanings instead of democratic socialist leanings and still feel the need to hide behind other political labels. And fail to claim the socialist label that fits their politics perfectly.
Source: Caleb Maupin: Martin Luther King Was a Socialist

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dandelion Salad: Happy New Year! 'The Radical MLK'

Source: Dandelion Salad-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

After the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed and then the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed, the 1968 Fair Housing Law, the Martin L. King movement started moving into a more radical direction. Even for the 1960s and even for today as well where Socialists and socialism doesn’t get looked down upon as much and Socialists aren’t necessarily seen as bad people with socialism being seen as some evil ideally anymore. Socialists and socialism are still seen as radicals and part of a radical movement today, but back in the 1960s they Socialists from all factions of socialism and socialism, was seen as Un-American by enlarge in America.

By the time 1967 comes alone Dr. King was a down the line anti-war and violence all together pacifist Democratic Socialist. Even to the left of Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders today who isn’t a pacifist and have supported American military action plenty of times during his career in Congress. Dr. King was as Far-Left and idealistic as Dr. Jill Stein ( the Green Party Leader ) today. He wanted a Federal Government big enough and to tax enough to meet the means of the American people. Which was mainstream socialist thinking back then and certainly today as well.

Which is why I see Bernie Sanders as the Martin King of his era. Someone who his not just a Socialist, not just a proud Socialist, but a proud self-described Socialist in the democratic sense. Unlike a lot of Socialists in America today who love the politics of socialism without living with the label of Socialist. And prefer to be called Progressive or even Liberal instead. When the fact is they’re Socialists and in many cases illiberal when it comes to free speech, property rights, and not seeming to put any limits on what government should try to do for the people.

After the civil rights laws are passed in the mid and late 1960s, Dr. King and his movement moves past civil rights and into welfare rights. And he gives a lot of speeches against the Vietnam War and instead calling for those resources to meet the needs of the American people, poor people especially. The radical Socialist Dr. King comes out for America to see in an era where young Americans especially were speaking out against the establishment and even the American form of government and were looking for a more radical way to govern America and a more radical political system for the country.
Source: Daniel Troutman: The Radical MLK You Probably Haven't Heard

Monday, January 15, 2018

Talking Union: Celebrating The Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Source: UNAC/UCHP-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Every time I hear our President Donald Trump speak and give one of his shithole comments or says something else that is disgusting about an entire group of Americans and people, I think about the worst and most ignorant of Americans. Bigots and racists from all races and ethnicities in America.

America, which could be called the world instead because America represents the entire world as far as everyone now lives hear and represents the best of America which is our diversity and individualism. The ability for all Americans to be exactly who they are and make the best life for them that they possibly can. Our diversity and individualism represents the best of America, while Donald Trump and his backers including Neo-Nazis and other European-American hate groups, representing the worst of America.

Dr. Martin Luther King represents the best of America. A Silent Generation baby born in 1929 at the start of the Great Depression. Which for an African-American born in them and born in the deep South in Georgia, would be worst than a depression, compared with European-American babies and even English-Protestant-American babies born during the same time and period. Born not to poverty but certainly modest means and having to fight racism his whole life but certainly growing up and coming through all of that working his way through college and becoming one of the best Reverends and religious leaders, as well as civil rights leaders that America has ever seen.

Dr. King represents the best of America because he proves that every American regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or who they were born to and the economic status of their parents, can make it in America if they want to make it in America and do the work to make it in America. Live a responsible life, get themselves a good education, and then apply those skills in the workforce. That it’s not about how people were born or who they were born to, that determines what kind of life you’ll have in America, but what you do with your life after you’re born that determines if you make it in America.

Dr. King’s life and vision for America with his I Have a Dream speech, represents America at it’s best. I mean think about this for a minute . “I have a dream where my children will one day be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.” That is what America is about and should be about. That every American regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, can make it in America is they simply apply themselves and get the skills that they need to make it in America. So when you hear Donald Trump or some other shithole, make a shithole comment, treat that comment or comments for what they are, but also remember there is another vision for America that is more accurate about what America really is and represents America at it’s best.
Source: Above Inspiration: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- Be The Best of Whatever You Are

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The New York Times: Opinion- Thomas J. Knock: George McGovern, Vietnam & The Democratic Crackup

Source: The New York Times-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

There was a Democratic Party crackup in the 1960s and the debate is really when it happened. Pre-JFK assassination (which should be a clue for you) the Democratic Party was made up of Progressive cold warrior anti-Communists and Dixiecrats who today would be not just right-wing Republicans, but Far-Right-wing Republicans. But what the Democratic Party had in common was that they were anti-Communists. President John Kennedy is assassinated in 1963 and there was a leadership void and leadership that kept the Democratic Party together ideologically and politically.

Plus, you have the Baby Boom Generation starting to come of age in the early and mid 1960s who weren't anti-Communists at least when they were young and didn't see communism as some threat to their way of life. Who were anti-war pacifists at least when it came to the American military, who hated America's involvement in the Vietnam War and wanted to create a new America by any means necessary. That was less individualist, less capitalist, and less military.

The New-Left emerges as this movement that was a socialist movement made of both Democratic Socialists and even Communists. Groups like Students For a Democratic Society, The Weather Underground, and other New-Left socialist groups in America. This is the movement that broke the Democratic Party in half in 1968 and a reason why Hubert Humphrey loss the presidential election to Richard Nixon in 1968 and backed George McGovern for President in 1972.

If you look at George McGovern 1972 presidential campaign, he was the Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist of his era. Someone who believed America was too decentralized when it came to its form of government. Who wanted to create a Scandinavian welfare state for America with the Federal Government being responsible for lot of the basic human services that we consume in life. Who was anti-wealth and believed that Americans were generally undertaxed. But McGovern pre-1968 or so was lot more mainstream with his politics. A World War II veteran who served honorably as a fighter pilot. Born and raised in North Dakota, who was very religious. George McGovern was never a New York City or San Francisco radical Socialist, who was anti-American and saw America as the real evil empire in the world. Even in 1972 he didn't believe that.

But on economic policy George McGovern was the Bernie Sanders of his era and Bernie Sanders was the George McGovern of his era. Not people who believed American capitalism was evil and should be destroyed and replaced with some type of Marxist economic system. But was someone who believed that American capitalism should be used to finance a very generous welfare state and go together as part of a new American economic system. A large private sector and private enterprise system, to go along with a generous welfare state financed through high taxes on everyone. On economic policy at least George and Bernie, were always way to the left of most Americans on economic policy, even if they would be considered mainstream Center-Left Social Democrats in Europe.
Source: AP Archive: Senator George McGovern- Vietnam War Speech: 10/28/1972

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Real News: Paul Jay Interviewing Peter Kuznick- Undoing The New Deal: The 1944 Coup Against Vice President Henry Wallace

Source: The Real News-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The division between in the Democratic Party between the Hillary Clinton, even though I don't believe she's that strong of a Democratic leader anymore, but her New Democratic Theodore Roosevelt progressive wing of the party and the Bernie Sanders social democratic wing of Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists, is not new. Which might be the only thing that I agree with Paul Jay and Peter Kuznick on.

There were Socialists in the Democratic Party in the 1930s and the 1940s which was a Dixiecrat party with some Northern Progressives led by Franklin Roosevelt, but there were people even further left than FDR and his wing of the Democratic Party led by Democratic Socialist Henry Wallace who was President Roosevelt's Vice President from 1941-45. But there were also Neo-Confederate right-wing Dixiecrat Democrats who represented the Bible Belt South of the Democratic Party. That fought against desegregation, civil rights laws, and even the New Deal, but supported President Roosevelt's liberal internationalist anti-Communist foreign policy.

The extremely unfortunate assassination of President John Kennedy, is where you see the Democratic Party change. The Democratic Party up until the 1980s or so was never a pure left-wing party that was dominated by Social Democrats. They always had a Far-Left which was made up of Socialists, but they also had a Center-Left of JFK Liberal Democrats and the FDR Progressives. And I mean liberal and progressive both in the classical and real sense. Not the stereotypical sense of someone who believes in big government across the board and doesn't believe in national defense or law enforcement and sees individualism and freedom as dangerous. But liberal and progressive in the sense as people who believe in individual rights, equal rights, and progress.

The 1960s and 1970s is where you see the old Henry Wallace New-Left Socialist wing of the Democratic Party come to life. Thanks to the Baby Boomers growing up and becoming very politically active. And they were so powerful in the Democratic Party in the late 1960s and early 1970s that Senator George McGovern (the Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist of his generation) wins the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Gets trounced by President Richard Nixon, but that is only because there weren't a lot of Socialists in America back in the early 1970s.

The Democratic Party is exactly that. People who believe in democracy. In some cases that means liberal democracy, the JFK Liberal Democrats which is the wing of the party I'm from. But you also have Democrats who believe in social democracy and democratic socialism. Which is the wing that Bernie Sanders now leads, that Henry Wallace led in the 1940s and George McGovern led in the 1970s. But the Democratic Party has never been a purely liberal democratic party or social democratic party and pre-1960s or so the Democratic Party was a Dixiecrat Neo-Confederate party. Which is one reason why the Democratic Party has always been fairly divided.
The Real News: Paul Jay Interviewing Peter Kuznick- Undoing The New Deal: The 1944 Coup Against Henry Wallace