How About A “Bull Moose Party”? #1

With the advent of the Tea Party and the uproar that it has caused in the past election, the 2010 mid-terms, I got thinking about some of the stuff that the Teabaggers are bitching about….you know stuff like….financial stuff and special interests and campaign funds….etc etc

Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Party in 1912  gave Americans “A New Nationalism” and their platform was as follows….

In the social sphere the platform called for

  • A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
  • Social insurance,  to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled.
  • Limited injunctions in strikes.
  • Farm relief.
  • Worker’s compensation for work-related injuries.
  • An inheritance tax.
  • A Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax.

The political reforms proposed included

  • Women’s suffrage.
  • Direct election of Senators.
  • Primary elections  for state and federal nominations.

The platform also urged states to adopt measures for “direct democracy”, including:

  • The recall election (citizens may remove an elected official before the end of his term).
  • The referendum (citizens may decide on a law by popular vote).
  • The initiative (citizens may propose a law by petition and enact it by popular vote).
  • Judicial recall (when a court declares a law unconstitutional, the citizens may override that ruling by popular vote).

However, the main theme of the platform was an attack on the domination of politics by business interests, which allegedly controlled both established parties. The platform asserted that

To destroy this invisible Government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.

To that end, the platform called for

  • Strict limits and disclosure requirements on political campaign contributions.
  • Registration of lobbyists.
  • Recording and publication of Congressional committee proceedings.

Besides these measures, the platform called for reductions in the tariff,  limitations on naval armaments by international agreement, and improvements to inland waterways.

The biggest controversy at the convention was over the platform section dealing with trust and monopolies.   The convention approved a strong “trust-busting” plank, but Roosevelt had it replaced with language that spoke only of “strong National regulation” and “permanent active [Federal] supervision” of major corporations.

Some of the proposals have become law in the years and some we are still fighting for in the century that has past…..but what can we do……how can we use history to solve some of the political problems we have now?

Part 2 will answer that question and possibly be the future of this country….we can only hope!

10 thoughts on “How About A “Bull Moose Party”? #1

      1. Maybe… I don’t think so. part of the problem is that article’s description of the journalist running the TV news show. In the UK we have real reporters with real balls (that’s metaphorical because they are of both sexes) and they will tear a politician to bits if (when) they prevaricate or spout BS.

        Occasionally, it’s OTT, but it makes a difference…

      2. We have a few….like Olbermann….Matthews…Schulz…..Larry O’Donnell….but the problem is they have an opinion show and they are up against America’s Fair and Balanced network with Hanerty….O’Reilly…and Beck…and since Americans want liues and not a thoughtful debate…their messages get lost…..

      3. Most of our reporters manage not to let any serious bias show – they tear most politicians to bits whatever their party, but then we have TV that is largely not politically very partisan anyway.

        Then again, because the funding system is very different, TV stations don’t generally own the politicians and the politicians don’t own them! The BBC is a bit left wing at the moment (usually in an intellectual sort of way), but it owes no allegiance to any side and it is one of the best TV producers, if not the best, in the world and that includes American TV (actually, it especially includes American TV).

      4. It seems here that the cable news is more probing than regular TV news…..and then the news shows let both sides give talking points instead of answering questions….

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