Right Wing Fighter

Category: Communism

Theodore Roosevelt: A Brief Post

If you’ve read between the lines in my previous posts, you’ve seem that I have high regard for Theodore Roosevelt.

To most people these days, T.R. is either just a face on Mount Rushmore, a progressive, or a bit of a nut.

But there is more to him than that. He was a vigorous champion of the working man, for one. This in an era when the GOP, much like today, was dominated by big business. In fact, T.R. was not liked at all by the party bosses. The reason for this was that he was not a business minded politician like most other high level republicans. He had a genuine love and affection for every day Americans. That was something many high level republicans could not boast.

That sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it?

Anyhow, had the GOP leaders had their way, he would never have been president.

He was governor of New York at the time of the 1900 presidential election. He was very popular, and several high level republicans wanted to get him out of New York because they thought he was a threat. So they sought to jam him into the essentially powerless job of vice president.

This they managed to do, but only after a lot of wrangling. Roosevelt himself suspected what they were doing. But he was unsure about taking the job. After all, he’d have to run for reelection in two years. Maybe he’d lose the race, and would be dumped out of politics for good. Perhaps, he thought, it would be better to be VP for four years, than risk being a governor for only two. In any wise, he was  eventually  put on the ticket. He was a great asset on the campaign trail, since he was such a strenuous man. He willingly worked multiple campaign stops per day for weeks. This at a time when many presidential candidates didn’t actually campaign for their own election since it was considered beneath the office.

The McKinley-Roosevelt ticket won the election handily, and T.R. settled in for a long political slumber. Aside from breaking tie votes in the senate, and a few ceremonial roles, the vice president had almost nothing to do.

It was the hope of the GOP elite to neutralize Roosevelt by putting him into a useless job. They didn’t know, of course, that an anarchist would kill McKinley a few months after his reelection. This is how T.R. became president.

He was the first real populist president since Lincoln. He made his share of mistakes. But one of his great triumphs was to ease the tensions between labor and capital. Capital, frankly, had been abusing labor for years, especially in the mining industry. A coal strike early in his presidency threatened to chill the nation, for winter was coming on and we relied greatly on coal for heat.

After much wrangling with the mine owners and labor leaders, negotiations were made between the two sides and work commenced. There were future battles between the two sides. But these also were resolved in time.

One of the developing threats in those days was from communism. Marx’s ideas were spreading like wildfire. And they found a number of willing ears, since labor was so often abused in those days. One man that helped to make America less hospitable to communism was Theodore Roosevelt. By his practical leadership, he helped guide the nation to safer waters, both economically and socially.

The Right Wing in America is Locked in the Cold War

The reason that the American right wing is so useless today is that they are still fighting yesterday’s battles. In the 80s there was a real threat of totalitarianism in the world. The Soviet Union was on the march, and many leftists here at home still hoped to bring about Soviet style communism here in America. American patriots were trashed day in and day out in the liberal press.

But Reagan ended all that. Now, the Soviet Union is gone, and communism only exists in backwaters like Venezuela. Nobody in America is serious about bringing about communism anymore. But the modern right, the X Generation, who are in their early to late 40s, think politics is still a struggle against a crushing, tyrannic philosophy. The problem is the X Generation came into adulthood right at the end of the Cold War. Thus their minds were shaped right before an epoch shift. Their view of politics was outdated almost as soon as they got it. This has led to a kind of trauma, where the world they had just settled into was suddenly ripped out from under them.

You can especially see this in their dealings with Bill Clinton in the 90s. The right was utterly lost. They didn’t get some kind of footing until he was already halfway through his administration. Even today, they still struggle to reconcile their Cold War thinking to the Obama administration. They never actually figured Obama out, because he didn’t fit the communist mold they carry around with them. If you listened to a lot of talk radio like I did for the first six years of Obama’s administration, you could hear them day after day trying to figure him out. You may have been surprised at this, like I was.

The thing is this: people like to get cozy with a particular frame of thinking. People don’t like to change their thinking once they’ve settled into it. The X Generation settled into Cold War thinking, and then like I said it was pulled out from under them. It became irrelevant. For years they stumbled along in the wilderness, so to speak, trying to find their footing. They’ve never actually managed to do so. They just get kinda used to a president after a while. Since the right was more or less in its youth during Clinton’s administration, their aimlessness was harder to see. During George W. Bush’s administration, they didn’t want to oppose him since he was a Republican, and so again it wasn’t very noticeable.

But with Obama, it was stark and clear, though very confusing to look at. I kept asking myself “Why don’t these guys really nail Obama? Why do they keep dancing around the edges?” The answer is they are lost, like I mentioned above. That’s why they look like a bunch of half-balding old guys, intellectually speaking. They look like people whose prime has long since passed. The fact is they never had a prime to begin with – Reagan ended that when he won the Cold War.

So now we have a bunch of irrelevant kooks trying to be relevent in a world that has passed them by. That is why they’re always, embarrassingly, trying to get people fired up by talk about “liberty” over and over again, like it is self-evidently the purpose of life. Declaring “liberty” over and over again made sense when the left in America was doing the exact opposite, and was trying to stampede us into a top-down society. But nowadays it’s out of date because communism is dead.

And that, as a side note, is why they can never stop talking about Reagan and communism: they’re going back, in their minds, to a time when they were relevant.