Aside from the sheer pleasure derived from hearing right-winger’s heads exploding all over America, this archived radio broadcast of a liberal Democrat by the name of Ronald Reagan campaigning for President Truman, as well as soon-to-be liberal lion Hubert H. Humphrey, presents an important lesson to Democrats everywhere.
In the radio address, the Gipper is:
- For wage growth
- For Social Security
- For union and fair employment practices
- For school lunch programs
- Against tax cuts for the wealthy
- Against excessive corporate profits
And the money quote? “High prices have not been caused by higher wages.”
Wow, there you go again, Ronnie.
So what’s the take-away here?
Okay, Ronald Reagan was a turncoat, hypocritical SOB who abandoned his core values for political expediency and sold this country to the rich and powerful. We all know that.
But what’s more important is to see how the Democrats have allowed the conservatives to systematically dismantle most of the progressive gains we’ve made by forcing their obstructionist, anti-working family, pro-corporate, pro-wealthy agenda on our country. And how one of the people most responsible is better at articulating those progressive values than the current Democratic brain trust (such as it is).
So we might do well to ask ourselves this Labor Day weekend, is the country better off now than it was 62 years ago?
Check out our Donkey Edge Manifesto – a declaration of independence from right-wing frames and conservative dogma.
LABOR DAY UPDATE: How did Reagan get from 1948 to the President who destroyed organized labor in this country? Part one of a 1958 radio interview.
UPDATE 2: Read the second part of Reagan’s efforts to destroy organized labor in Theater of the Absurd – Part Two.