Happy Presidents Day! Balladeer’s Blog’s seasonal posts continue with this look at the presidential election of 1912.
I won’t bury this item in unnecessary detail to the point where it becomes boring. My emphasis will be on its three-way battle’s relevance to us in 2018.
DEMOCRAT: Woodrow Wilson, the victor. To this very day many Republicans blame Wilson for starting the country on its path toward all the things they don’t like.
They ignore the fact that their own party’s movers and shakers of the time spitefully ensured Wilson’s victory by refusing to accept the popular Theodore Roosevelt as the Republican candidate.
That drove him to the Third Party called the Progressive Party, thus splitting the anti-Wilson vote in such a way that enabled the Democrat to win.
PROGRESSIVE: Former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt had come out of retirement to run again because he was thoroughly disenchanted with his hand-picked successor, incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft.
The reason? Theodore felt that Taft was undoing the few inroads that he (Theodore) had made against the moneyed rich pig class. Republican tycoons of the time often expressed their feeling that Teddy was a traitor to his class – an accusation that they would REALLY overuse against Theodore’s Democrat cousin Franklin Roosevelt decades later.
This is similar to the way current President Donald Trump is often attacked by today’s bloated rich pigs, both Republican AND Democrat, because of the few inroads that HE has made against his fellows in the moneyed class. Some of the rich pigs of Teddy’s era openly referred to the way they generally carry America’s elected officials around in their pockets by saying “We bought the son of a bitch but he wouldn’t stay bought.”
Let that sink in: Both the brazenness of the public statement AND the notion of people so wealthy they could afford to buy even an Old Money figure like Theodore Roosevelt. This too, shows how dangerous those still-prevalent plutocratic forces are and the uphill fight faced by President Trump, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and John F Kennedy.
REPUBLICAN: William Howard Taft, the incumbent Republican President and a rich pig who was perfectly happy to conform to the desires of the plutocratic forces that his predecessor Theodore Roosevelt had fought.
When you think of Taft, think of today’s Republican trash like Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Mitch McConnell and all the other GOP wimps acceptable to the kind of moneyed pigs who continue to battle President Trump, even though he is nominally a member of their political party.
Virtually no one seriously doubts that Roosevelt would have defeated Woodrow Wilson if the Republicans had let the returning Teddy be their nominee in 1912. Instead, they coordinated Taft’s nomination at their convention because they knew that Theodore – like President Trump today – would have fought them on certain issues.
Roosevelt retaliated by running as the candidate of the Progressive Party aka Bull Moose Party. With Teddy and Taft splitting so much of the anti-Wilson vote, Woodrow went on to win the election, unleashing all those policies which many Republicans feel “started to destroy the country.”
One lesson from all of that is that the one percenters and bloated rich pigs who run the Republican Party have long been more than happy to spitefully enable the victory of a candidate whom their voters opposed just to block a Republican candidate that they don’t own.
So whenever right-wing Republicans go on a tirade against Woodrow Wilson it can take the conversation to interesting new places to point out that Wilson would never have become president in the first place if not for the spiteful behavior of the Republican Establishment.
This, too, is similar to the way that the Republican Party’s Never-Trump fools and the privileged white males at National Review continue to sabotage the Donald even though following his lead might ensure them a much, MUCH larger share of the working class vote and the African-American vote.
As in 1912 the greedy interests of RepubCorp’s bloated rich pigs matter more to them than the voters and the country as a whole. Continue reading