Skip to comments.1919: Betrayal and the Birth of Modern Liberalism - Disillusionment with Woodrow Wilson...
Posted on 11/24/2009 7:19:45 PM PST by neverdem
Disillusionment with Woodrow Wilson changed the American Left forever.
In 1916, German saboteurs destroyed Black Tom Island in New York Harbor.
Click for Bettmann/Corbis pic.
Todays state-oriented liberalism, we are often told, was the inevitable extension of the preWorld War I tradition of progressivism. The progressives, led by President Woodrow Wilson, placed their faith in reason and the better nature of the American people. Expanded government would serve as an engine of popular goodwill to soften the harsh rigors of industrial capitalism. Describing the condition of his fellow intellectuals prior to World War I, Lewis Mumford exclaimed that there was scarcely one who did not assume that mankind either was permanently good or might sooner or later reach such a state of universal beatitude. After the unfortunate Republican interregnum of the 1920s, so the story goes, this progressivism, faced with the Great Depression, matured into the full-blown liberalism of the New Deal.
But a central strand of modern liberalism was born of a sense of betrayal, of a rejection of progressivism, of a shift in sensibility so profound that it still resonates today. More precisely, the cultural tone of modern liberalism was, in significant measure, set by a political love affair gone wrong between Wilson and a liberal Left unable to grapple with the realities of Prussian power. Initially embraced by many leftists as a thaumaturgical leader of near-messianic promise, Wilson came to be seenin the wake of a cataclysmic war, a failed peace, repression at home, revolution abroad, and a country wracked by a Red Scareas a Judas. His numinous rhetoric, it was concluded, was mere mummery.
One strand of progressives grew contemptuous not only of Wilson but of American society. For the once-ardent progressive Frederick Howe, formerly Wilsons Commissioner of Immigration, the prewar promise of a benign state built on reasoned reform had turned to ashes. I hated, he wrote, the new state that had arisen from the war. I hated its brutalities, its ignorance, its unpatriotic patriotism, that made profit from our sacrifices and used it to suppress criticism of its acts. . . . I wanted to protest against the destruction of my government, my democracy, my America.
Making a decisive break with Wilson and their optimism about America, the disenchanted progressives renamed themselves liberals. The progressives had been inspired by a faith in democratic reforms as a salve for the wounds of both industrial civilization and power politics; the new liberals saw the American democratic ethos as a danger to freedom both at home and abroad.
Wilson, a devout Presbyterian and former college professor, was the first and probably the only president to have studied socialism systematically. In 1887, as a young man, he responded to the growth of vast industrial monopolies that threatened individual freedom by arguing that in fundamental theory socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same. They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to determine its own destiny and that of its members. Men as communities are supreme over men as individuals. In the 1912 presidential race, he said that when you do socialism justice, it is hardly different from the heart of Christianity itself. Four years later, he brushed aside intense opposition to appoint two pro-labor-union justices to the Supreme Court and backed railroad workers in their fight for an eight-hour day. The president imposed a surtax on the wealthy and won the support of such prominent socialists as Upton Sinclair and Helen Keller.
For many on the left, Wilsons 1916 campaign slogan, He kept us out of war, opened the way for the emergence of a more vibrant American culture. The war in Europe seemed far away, and progressives were for the moment imbued with an impregnable optimism. The administrations critique of European power politics and talk of the need for international law gave pacifist Jane Addams unlimited faith in the president. When Meyer London, the antiwar socialist congressman from New Yorks Lower East Side, and Socialist Party leader Morris Hilquit visited the White House to talk about the prospects for peace in Europe, they came away concluding that Wilsons sympathies are entirely with us. Similarly, as Thomas Knock recounts in his book To End All Wars, after visiting the White House, the leaders of the American Union Against Militarism felt that the President had taken us into his bosom. Wilson, they noted, always referred to the Union Against Militarism as though he were a member of it and talked about the need to create a family of nations.
The courtship between Wilson and the leftists was nurtured by the hard fought 1916 presidential election. Wilson faced a Republican Party that had recovered from a 1912 split between Teddy Roosevelts breakaway Bull Moose progressives and anti-reform regulars to coalesce around Supreme Court Justice Charles Evan Hughes. As war raged in Europe, the incumbent narrowly won by bringing sizable numbers of Bull Moosers (who admired Germanys proto-welfare state) and Eugene Debss Socialists into his peace camp.
Even after the U.S. entered the war in April 1917, pushed by Germanys declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare and the public revelation of the Kaisers plans for an alliance with Mexico to reconquer the Southwest, Wilson maintained his strong ties with the largely antiwar Left. The very speech in which he asked for a congressional declaration of war also welcomed the Russian revolution that had overthrown the czar and put the socialist Alexander Kerensky (temporarily) in power. Wilson effusively, if inaccurately, described the revolution as the fulfillment of the Russian peoples long struggle for democracy, and Secretary of State Robert Lansing declared that it had removed the one objection to affirming that the European War was a war between Democracy and Absolutism. Some progressives even backed Americas entry. The progressive animus toward corrupt and overmighty party bosses and autocratic monarchists was readily transferred to an overbearing Kaiser and a hegemonic war machine, notes historian Morton Keller.
Wilson insisted on referring to the United States not as an ally of England and France but as an associated power, and he made a point of keeping U.S. forces strictly under American command, rankling the British and French, whom he regarded as imperialists. Eight months later, shortly after Lenin had taken power in Russia, Wilson expressed ambivalence about Bolshevism: My heart is with them, but my mind has a contempt for them. Yet Wilsons Fourteen Points, his message of good luck to the republic of labor unions in Russia . . . his warning to the Allied powers that their treatment of Bolshevik Russia would be the acid test of their good will . . . intelligence and unselfish sympathy: these moves were immensely impressive to us, explained magazine editor Max Eastman, speaking for many leftists and progressives. Indeed, when Russian War Commissar Leon Trotsky coined the now famous concept of the fellow traveler, he was referring to Wilson. Trotsky sensed that the American president shared the Bolsheviks hatred of European imperialism, and he thought that Soviet Russia and a reformed America would travel on parallel tracks into a brighter future.
While Wilson increasingly spoke of international comity, relations between ethnic groups within the United States were breaking down. The Kaisers aggression in Eastern Europe prompted pitched battles between Germans and Slavs in the streets of Chicago. At the same time, nearly half a million Germans in America returned home to fight for the fatherland. Charles John Hexamer, president of the National German-American Alliance, financed in part by the German government, insisted that Germans needed to maintain their separate identity and not descend to the level of an inferior culture. Germans even began attacking that inferior culture. The most important instance of German domestic sabotage was the spectacular explosion on Black Tom Island in the summer of 1916, which shook a sizable swath of New York City and New Jersey. The man-made peninsula in New York Harbor was a key storage and shipping point for munitions sold to the British and French. The bombing sank the peninsula into the sea, killed seven, and damaged the Statue of Liberty. Wilson denounced Germanys supporters in America: Such creatures of passion, disloyalty, and anarchy must be crushed out.
The government responded with repression, as journalist Ann Hagedorn chronicles in Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America. Under the Sedition Act of 1918, people were sentenced to 10 years in prison for saying that they preferred the Kaiser to Wilson; others were jailed for mocking salesmen of Liberty Bonds, which supported the war effort. Most famously, socialist leader Debs was jailed for criticizing conscription.
Wilson placed George Creel, a journalist, socialist, and strong supporter of child labor laws and womens suffrage, in charge of ensuring home-front morale through the Committee for Public Information. But the Committee, which Creel described as the worlds greatest adventure in advertising, wildly overshot its mark, encouraging the banning of everything German, from Beethoven to sauerkraut to teaching the German language. The Justice Department and the attorney general, Thomas Gregory, encouraged local vigilantism against Germans, giving the American Protective League, a quarter-of-a-million-strong nativist organization, semi-official status to spy on those suspected of disloyalty. The League went out of its way to break up labor strikes as well, while branding its critics Reds.
Responding to the Leagues excesses, Wilson declared that hed rather the blamed place should be blown up than persecute innocent people. But in the next breath he said, Woe be to the man or group of men that seeks to stand in our way. Despite his misgivings, Wilson deferred to Gregorys judgment and refrained from taking action against extremists. Only after the armistice ended the war in November 1918 did Wilson, heeding the advice of incoming attorney general A. Mitchell Palmer, move to end government cooperation with the League. But by now, the disparity between Wilsons call for extending liberty abroad and the suppression of liberty at home had become a running sore for disenchanted progressives.
The armistice largely ended the fighting in Europe, but it opened a new chapter in hostilities at home: the Red Scare. Back in March, the Bolsheviks effectively unconditional surrender to the Germans at Brest-Litovsk had created a cats cradle of anticommunist fear intertwined with hostility to the Huns. Germany got control of the Baltic states, Poland, Belarus, and the Ukraine, with their attendant coal and oil resourcesfreeing the Kaisers army to focus on the Western front, to deadly effect. Lenins return to Russia in April 1917 by way of a sealed railroad car supplied by Berlin was now seen as proof, and not only by conspiratorialists, that the Bolshevik leader was a German agent.
Progressives and leftists, counseled by Raymond Robbins, who had worked for Wilson in 1912 and served as an unofficial ambassador to the Bolsheviks, adopted a counter-conspiracy ethos that persists even today. Smitten by Bolshevism, Robbins wrote to Lenin that it has been my eager desire . . . to be of some use in interpreting this new democracy to the people of America. Robbins also mistakenly blamed the U.S. for forcing Lenin to agree to Germanys harsh terms at Brest-Litovsk. Over the next several years, explains historian Peter Filene, Robbinss efforts helped shape the views of many American progressives. They became enraged when Wilson gave in to pressure from France and England, both suffering enormous casualties on the western front, and provided half-hearted American military support to a campaign that tried to force the Bolsheviks back into the war. Filene points out that for progressives, the betrayal of which most Americans accused the Bolsheviks was actually an American perfidy.
Here too, Wilson, juggling principle and practicality, proved strikingly inconstant. In the words of German scholar George Schild, the Wilson who agreed to the Allied intervention [against the Soviets] in the summer of 1918 and the Wilson who just one year later in Paris helped save the Soviet Union by insisting that the Germans relinquish their conquests on the eastern front almost seem like two different people. Faced with the Soviet challenge and bearing the new ideology of universal democracy, Wilson floated the idea that the Bolsheviks should be invited to the peace conference. (Churchill blocked the suggestion.) Wilson the progressive argued that war wont defeat Bolshevism, food will. Capitalism, Wilson argued, had to reform itself to stave off Bolshevik barbarism.
Wilsons efforts to reconstruct Europe would largely fail, not only because the U.S. refused to join the League of Nations, but because the task at hand was undoable; what the war had sundered could not be put back together. Many former Wilson supporters were angry and disillusioned with the meager fruits of a war that had failed to make the world safe for democracy. But those feelings were shared widely across the political spectrum. Those who were soon to call themselves liberals were particularly provoked by wartime conscription, the repression of civil liberties, and the wildly overwrought fears of Bolshevism at home.
Already in 1918, when the war was still raging, labor unions, emboldened by a surge in membership and squeezed by an inflation-triggered decline in living standards, had engaged in a wave of strikes, some of them repressed by the American Protective League, local police forces, and agents of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Walkouts led by the Industrial Workers of the World, known for work sabotage, seemed particularly ominous. IWW members, known as Wobblies, sometimes described themselves as Lenins advance guard. At the end of the year, in the wake of the armistice, New York mayor John Hylan banned the socialist red flag at public gatherings, and shortly thereafter a socialist rally at Madison Square Garden was broken up by 500 soldiers and sailors. The bad blood endured. On the first anniversary of the wars end, American Legionnaires and Wobblies clashed in Centralia, Washington. Six Wobblies were killed.
Every strike, confrontation, and racial incident was taken, on both left and right, as a manifestation of Bolshevism. Every challenge to the existing social order, no matter how justified, wound up attributed to the red menace. African-Americans so-called uppitynessinsufficient deference to whiteswas blamed on homegrown Bolshevism and met with lynchings and a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan. White attacks on blacks set off black riots in Chicago and Washington that federal troops were called in to suppress.
The Red Scare intensified in June 1919, when Attorney General Palmer was nearly killed by a terrorist bomb planted in his Georgetown home. Bombs went off in seven other cities the same night. The bombers were probably from the Galleanisti group of Italian anarchists, which included the as-yet unknown Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, notes Beverley Gage in The Day Wall Street Exploded. But the Russian Bolsheviki were seen as responsible, reigniting the intense, hysterical nationalism of the war years. Palmer, who subsequently claimed to have a list of 60,000 subversives, engaged in a series of warrantless raids aimed at capturing the mostly immigrant red radicals, some of whom were jailed or shipped back to Russia. With no reproach from Wilson, Palmer trampled on civil liberties and harassed the innocent as well as the likely guilty. Then came the famed Wall Street bombing of September 1920, which claimed the lives of 38 New Yorkers and injured 400; like the Palmer attack, it was probably perpetrated by the Galleanisti anarchists, but the Bolsheviks again took the blame.
An aggressive nationalism and an accelerated Americanization became political twins. Both demanded something that, with the partial exception of the Civil War North, had never before existed in Americaa coherent, irrefragable governmental power. In Europe, war had become bound up with revolution; in the U.S., the war, together with the Bolshevik challenge, called up the seemingly un-American concept of a General Willa 100 percent Americanism that brooked no opposition. Progressives disenchantment with America intensified.
Even Prohibition contributed to progressives growing sense of estrangement from the country. Before the war, progressives had broadly supported Prohibition as a means to protect working-class families from the economic depredations of drink. But after the war, the emerging liberals were disturbed by what they saw as cultural continuation of wartime repression. Like most sensible people, shouted liberal Harold Stearns, I regard prohibition as an outrage and a direct invitation to revolution.
The silver lining of the wartime-spawned repression was that it laid the groundwork for the modern interpretation of the First Amendment that would eventually extend free-speech rights to individuals harassed not only by the federal government but by states and localities as well. The strongest section of Hagedorns Savage Peace deals with the key case in advancing this new understanding. Jacob Abrams, a Russian Jewish immigrant who worked as a bookbinder, had printed anarchist leaflets in English and Yiddish and dropped them from buildings on New Yorks Lower East Side. The pamphlets bitterly denounced Wilsons cooperating with England and France in trying to force Russias government back into the war against Germany. Zealous prosecutors saw the leaflets as violations of the Espionage Act, which made it a crime to undermine American wartime policy. Abrams, sentenced to 20 years in jail, would eventually be deported.
In 1919, the Supreme Court upheld Abramss conviction. But in his dissent, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, while agreeing that speech that produces or is intended to produce a clear and imminent danger can be prosecuted, maintained that he saw no such danger in Abramss leaflets, which he described as silly writings by an unknown man. Holmess underlying reasoning would prove extraordinarily influential. Like John Stuart Mill, Holmes found that a maximum of free speech was essential for a successful society. America, he argued, had an interest in discovering truth available only through the marketplace of ideas, where competing viewpoints are compelled to make their best case.
Palmer had hoped to ride the Red Scare into the White House. But within a year the amiable, if ineffectual, Warren G. Harding of Ohio was ensconced in Washington, along with his card-playing cronies. The crusade that had ended abroad was brought to a close at home. Harding released Debs from prison and returned America to what he dubbed normalcy.
For intellectuals and writers who had anticipated utopia in 1916, however, the postwar years brought anger and intensified alienation. The war, said writer Floyd Dell, had produced a generation of young minds trained in disillusion. They felt betrayed by Wilson, who had not only suppressed civil liberties but had tried to force Russia back into the war and made compromises with European imperialism at Versailles. They disdained a society that had supported both the Red Scare and Prohibition. In the words of an influential young liberal, we crushed German militarism only to find that we ourselves had adopted many of its worst features.
Literary critic Malcolm Cowley spoke for many intellectuals in the wake of the war: We believed that we had fought for an empty cause, that the Germans were no worse than the Allies, no better, that the world consisted of fools and scoundrels. Critic Harold Stearns, in his seminal 1919 book Liberalism in America, asserted bitterly that in Soviet countries there is no fact of freedom of the press and no pretense that there is. In America today there is in fact no freedom of the press and we only make the matter worse by pretending that there is. The state, said the soured progressive Frederick Howe, seemed to want to hurt people; it showed no concern for innocence. . . . It was not my America, it was something else.
What followed was not so much protest as simmering scorn. In 1919, the Germanophile H. L. Mencken, writing in The New Republic, called sarcastically for honoring the civilian heroes who had suppressed Beethoven by bedizening them with bronze badges and golden crosses. Mencken ridiculed the mass of Americans who had backed Wilsons War, branding them a timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob; a great admirer of Kaiser Wilhelm, he denigrated American democracy as the worship of jackals by jackasses. Taking its cues from Mencken, the liberalism that emerged from 1919 was contemptuous of American culture and politics. For liberals, the war years had shown that American society and democracy were themselves agents of repression. These sentiments deepened during the 1920s and have been an ongoing current in liberalism ever since.
The new liberal ethos was not without its virtues. In picking their fights with Prohibition and their former hero Wilson, liberals encouraged the sense of tolerance and appreciation of differences that would, over time, mature into what came to be called pluralism. The root of liberalism, wrote Stearns, is hatred of compulsion, for liberalism has the respect for the individual and his conscience and reason which the employment of coercion necessarily destroys. Though not always observed by liberals themselves, the call for an urbane temper would come to mark liberalism at its best.
The underside of this new sensibility was an inverted moralism and a quasi-aristocratic hauteur that has dogged political liberalism down to the present day. Something oppressed the liberals, wrote Cowley in 1934; some force was preventing them from doing their best work. At the time, that something was the stupidity of the crowd, it was hurry and haste, it was Mass Production, Babbittry, Our Business Civilization; or perhaps it was the Machine. As this current carried into the 1950s, what oppressed the liberals became affluence, suburbia, two-car garages, and backyard barbecues.
Most recently, the liberal plaint has been taken up by the aging but affluent 68ers, who supported Barack Obamas presidential campaign because they saw themselves as victims of American society. If they had lived to see it, their progenitors of 1919 would have smiled in recognition.
Fred Siegel is a contributing editor to City Journal and a visiting professor at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.
Bump for later
Thanks for posting.
Chapter 3: Woodrow Wilson
and the Birth of Liberal Fascism
Thanks for posting this. It’s the best article I’ve read on this subject in years.
Wilson getting the U.S. involved lead to all the wars after that and the leftism of the United States.
Which is exactly why they are spiteful, vindictive and truly illiberal.
Thanks from me too Neverdem. This one’s a keeper. You done good.
The article would be more accurate if the bracketed materials were added: “The root of liberalism, wrote Stearns, is hatred of compulsion [of liberals].”
Under the Sedition Act of 1918, people were sentenced to 10 years in prison for saying that they preferred the Kaiser to Wilson; others were jailed for mocking salesmen of Liberty Bonds, which supported the war effort. Most famously, socialist leader Debs was jailed for criticizing conscription.
Thus always with "progressives."
The “Red Scare” was justified. Leon Czolgosz was inspired to murder President McKinley by one of those Palmer deported—Emma Goldman.We now know from the Soviet archives John Reed was one of five Americans who received over $1,000,000 from Lenin to foment a revolution in America . Big bucks at that time. Reed was stopped in Finland. The other money got here (and probably lots more, the Bolsheviks laundered the property they stole in, among other places, NYC). We know the code names of those involved but not their actual identities (a good guess however would be some of the founders of the ACLU which had been created as a reaction to the so-called “Red Scare).
Yes, and, a quote from B. Russell: “Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
Expect such as the O administration is challenged and more recognized for what it is...the hostility will no know bounds.
That certainly applies to nearly every movement or group associated with so called progressivism. Watch how they feed on anyone who dares to break away, watch how they treat the identities that dont fall in line. Its actually quite remarkable that people can’t see what they are. Down right perplexing.
I agree. Europe was a mess then on all sides with even the British being only marginally more acceptable in terms of liberty than the Germans.
WWI was something that was was not worth the sacrifices the US made in getting involved. IMHO, the job of a president then should have been to finding a way to bring the opposing sides (other than the French, all blood related BTW) together to end the madness via some sort of face saving agreement, not to support one side over the other which we did de-facto if not via policy from the start.
Wilson did not show leadership there and WWII/the Cold War was the result.
Wildon was Jimmy Carter the First --- full of 'good intentions' that all turned into disasters.
How true. First the utopians say they love their society, but want to change it. Then, when it doesn’t change, or change to their liking, they turn against it. Then, when it reacts to them, or worse, ignores them, they become its victims. All the while, they insist on living in it and enjoying its benefits as a birthright. Ultimately, it’s all about them and only about them.
Sounds like a thundering shortage of humility to me, among these contemptuous, self-consequent, Red-coddling little prigs.
In the 1930's, Armand Hammer had Stalin's "franchise" selling (or should we say, "fencing") the remains of the contents of seized Russian property in New York City as "treasures of the czarist nobility". Treasures they weren't, more like kitsch and picked-over garage-sale remains, but that is how Hammer supported himself in those days.
We know the code names of those involved but not their actual identities (a good guess however would be some of the founders of the ACLU which had been created as a reaction to the so-called “Red Scare)".
Well, that's a new one on me -- the ACLU was an early Soviet front? Figures. It would be provable if some of that seized Russian property and funds came to the founders of the ACLU.
Working out who those code names actually were using old bank records would seem to be worth a book -- and a fresh, unvarnished history of the ACLU by someone who isn't a member or fellow-traveler.
Cato Institute? Heritage? American Enterprise Institute? Hudson Institute? Anybody listening?
The information on the millions give to 5 Americans around 1920 is in documents uncovered by researchers working on Yale's annals of communism series. Photocopies of the chekisty documents are in Harvey Klehr, John Earl Haynes, and Fridrikh Igorevich Firsov's The Secret World of American Communism. They reached a dead end identifying who got the money. Same thing with Venona. Many agents were never identified.
Just remembered a direct link between ACLU founder Roger Baldwin and Soviet espionage. He toured the country with Michael Whitney Straight, the only American in the Cambridge spy ring. Straight’s handlers put him in contact with Baldwin.
If he was involved with the Cambridge ring, then he wasn't all that "straight".
Straight’s handlers put him in contact with Baldwin.
That implies that Baldwin independently had Chekist hoods on his Rolodex and suggests that he had already gone to work for them.
We live in a time of instant responses, quick judgments, multitasking, entertaining ourselves, and living as if ... it was all about our self individually.
We have/had a nation of laws based on sound everlasting principles ... Christian in character. We have allowed and are allowing erosion, twisting, and disdain for these principles to crumble away, the ground our nation stands upon ...
Those that do not know their history, and learn from their history are bound to repeat it.
Do you really want oppression on our every move, thought, exercise of freedom, speaking without fear?
There was a time and a service the unions caused to benefit the workers justly. That was then. Now they are corrupt, power hungry; and in it for themselves not the union members. It is thuggery at its worst in some cases.
It is the affluent that make the laws and rule in Washington D.C. It is the affluent that actually run for offices. Obama spent billions getting into office. He cares not for the common person in America. He wants not; and does what is opulent, living like a King, taking no notice of the people. (His attitude is one of “let them eat cake”. Ala Nancy Pelosi and all the rest.
All his attention is about gaining/seizing power and trillions of dollars for his various organizations and those he fronts for everyday.
God help us in our day, in Jesus name, amen.
Last of the Cold War Spies; The Life of Michael Straight
The Only American in Britain's Cambridge Spy Ring
Da Capo Press 2005
Pages 88-89: Straight bought a red convertible in New York, and he and Simonds drove north to the Adirondack Mountains, to meet up with Roger Baldwin, the 53-year-old lawyer running the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Straight's communist contacts had linked him up with Baldwin. Straight had offered to chauffeur him on a tour of the centers of unrest in the industrial midwest and to "help while he makes speeches to local civil liberties groups, " if he would let him and Simonds come with him. His union would turn up wherever there was trouble to add comrade support to the communist controlled unions of the CIO . . . The communist aim was first to unionized, then to disrupt in order to weaken the United State's industrial might. The long-term aim (a decade or more) was to have the union and political base so powerful that a communist revolution would be possible.
This was Straight's first observance of communist agitation and disruption in the United States. Later, he would make an art form of latching on to a respectable "liberal" front such as the ACLU and presenting himself as a concerned libertarian . . .
The final leg of the tour was through New York. Straight celebrated his 21st birthday on Sept, 1 1937, en route as Baldwin delivered militant speeches at meetings in several states. He attacked corporations for violating their employee's civil rights; Straight was impressed and stimulated.
Straight was the owner of the New Republic. He lived of his mommy's trust fund. Perry relates how, during the worse of the depression, Straight told his handler he had $10,000 he didn't know what to do with. The Soviets told him to dump it into a House campaign in Texas (to a Democrat of course...one not an anti-communist as many in that state were).
This is interesting. What is the source of your information? I would like to read more about this.
The money transfers around 1920 to the USA are in the "The Soviet World of American Communism. It nails the fact that the CPUSA was, from the start and always, totally under the control of the Kremlin and was not, as liberals claimed for decades, just Americans with a different political opinion. It includes a memo from CPUSA leader Gus Hall written in 1986 thanking the Soviets for $2,000,000 they sent to help defeat "Reaganites" in that years midterm elections. Hall told his handlers if they doubled the funding in 1988, leftists in the USA could have "Reaganites on the run."
Thanks. I will try to learn more about this.
Thank you, this was very interesting.
This is anti-Americanism.
The Liberal line about every American cause.
It would be interesting to see which Texas Democrat(s) got Straight's Red money. Texas has had quite a few posturing "liberal" Democrats over the years who sounded rather pink. Not as pink as, e.g., Bill Fulbright of Arkansas (who later had a smart intern named Clinton who went to Moscow for no particular reason).
After the abuses of Reconstruction, Texas became pretty much a one-party state until the 1970's or 1980's even, with just a very few "Me-Too" Republicans like George H.W. Bush keeping the lights on in the GOP party offices. But Texas Democrats were pretty conservative 'Rats, lots of the old Jacksonian values still alive in them despite the social decay at the top engendered by the growth of a plutocracy at the top of Texas society -- that was the group that attracted Jack Kennedy's scornful remarks about how Jackie would show up "those Texas broads", meaning rich Texas women.
But among Texas Democrats some were more liberal than others, and some were just pathetic -- Ralph Yarborough comes to mind (from 35 years ago), and Martin Frost (from 20 years ago), the uber-liberal Dallas 'Rat who gerrymandered Texas for the 'Rats in 1980 and 1990.
So despite being nominally one-party, Texas had a divided Democratic Party that provided occasional reform movements, such as the early-70's "bank scandal" cleanup that broomed the corrupt speaker of the Texas house and 50% of both houses of the legislature, a body-blow to the old Texas Democrats that, together with the posture of the national 'Rats as they moved Left, gradually opened the door for Texas Republicans like George H.W. Bush.
Hi, can I help? ;)
I'm beginning to think Mike Savage is right, liberalism is some kind of disorder.
Thanks for the help.
They’ll make no whine, before its time. It’s time!
A little Gallo’s humor. Apologies to Paul Masson.