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Posts Tagged ‘Center Left’

“John Kennedy, was perfect for NBC’s Meet The Press, because he was so quick. The people there liked him and knew that he could not only a…”

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

John Kennedy, was perfect for NBC’s Meet The Press, because he was so quick. The people there liked him and knew that he could not only answer their questions, but wanted to do it and answer them with depth. Very similar to Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, he was very quick off the cuff and could answer questions with humor. Meet The Press liked interviewing him, because he was likable, popular, well-known and very funny. The 1950s was a fascinating time and JFK was in Congress the whole time as the country was dealing with the Cold War, post World War II economic boom, the early days of the civil rights movement and even American women starting to make important impacts out of the home in the American economy. Meet The Press had female anchors and questioners. There were women in Congress like Senator Margaret Chase Smith and many others. Jack Kennedy was in his thirties and early forties during this decade and had a great future ahead of him if he wanted it. Which is why Meet The Press loved having him on.

Jack Kennedy, was sort of an absentee Representative in the House. Somewhat bored and loved being a bachelor and enjoying the Washington nightlife when Congress was in session. It wasn’t until JFK decided to run for the Senate in 1952 that he started taking his job more serious and making his positions known in Congress. There are a lot of things to love about Jack Kennedy and he is my political hero, but he’s definitely someone who grew in office. Wasn’t a great Representative, but a good Senator at least in the sense that he started taking issues seriously and studying them and not just going to his committee hearings, but knowing the right questions to ask. I don’t believe JFK becomes President of the United States on his personal appeal and family name alone in 1960, had he not become a serious Senator and taken his job in Congress seriously and getting on the road and getting his political platform out there.

I’m not sure JFK gets into his politics without his father Joe pushing him. But it’s clear that once JFK got into politics and ran for the House in 1946 and was elected he loved it and became a natural campaigner and politician. He gave a great speech, great interviews, knew how to excite and inspirer people. He wasn’t a natural public servant and someone who actually loved doing the job that he was elected to do. He tenure in the House is a pretty good example of that. I believe he sort of grew in public service once he was elected to the Senate, especially his second term when he started considered running for president in 1957 or so. But was someone even though had a fairly thin resume outside of Congress and somewhat of a thin voting record and list of accomplishments in Congress, was someone who was great at expiring people and laying out a vision for how America could be even greater and how all Americans could succeed in America.

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ABC News

ABC News

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I think the biggest tragedy that the JFK assassination had on the Democratic Party is that Jack Kennedy was that last bridge between the Center-Left Liberal and Progressive Democrats and the New-Left that came of age in the Democratic Party in the mid 1960s up to the early 1970s or so. People who were much further left than the Liberals and Progressives in the party and had more social democratic and even communist leanings. Who were anti-American establishment, anti-military, anti-war, anti-law enforcement, anti-government use of force in general, who wanted to bring down the American federal form of government and replace it with a social democratic and even communist government in some cases.

Jack Kennedy was a Liberal Democrat who wanted to use government to carry out many liberal, progressive and even social democratic goals as it has to do with the economy. And creating an economy where more Americans could benefit. But didn’t have a big centralized government solution for every problem. He didn’t want to make Americans dependent on government, but use government to empower struggling Americans of all races to become dependent on themselves and be able to live in freedom. JFK is killed in 1963 and less than a year later the so-called Great Society is created by President Lyndon Johnson, with all sorts of new progressive, or social democratic federal programs to take care of millions of Americans. JFK would be what we would call a New Democrat today. A Center-Left Liberal who believed government could help people help themselves instead. And not leave them dependent on government.

JFK was a Cold Warrior, anti-communist, pro-freedom and freedom for all Americans, not just European-Americans and he did come out for what would be called the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the summer of 1963. Who wanted to create an American economy where all Americans could benefit and live in freedom. With strong investments in education and job training, aid to struggling communities so they could educate their kids as well, job training for struggling Americans who were working, but not able to make enough money to live well, because they lacked skills. In many ways he was the last great Center-Left Liberal Democrat of his generation that came to power and became President of the United States. We didn’t have another Democrat with similar politics become President who had a successful presidency until Bill Clinton in 1993. And I would argue Barack Obama as well and not just because I’m a big fan of both President’s Clinton and Obama.

You could write all sorts of pieces about the JFK presidency and his impact on the Democratic Party and country as a whole. But to cover everything you would have to write at least one great book. With this piece I’m more interested in his impact on the Democratic Party and American politics. And post JFK the Democratic Party moved very Left if not Far-Left, especially when it came to foreign policy and national security, but criminal justice and law enforcement, where by 1980 or so the Democratic Party was no longer trusted on these issues. And it wasn’t until mid 1990s or so when under President Clinton that the Democratic Party was once again trusted to govern and defend the country. The JFK assassination was horrible for the country, but it really hurt the Democratic Party as well. Because again he was that bridge between the Center-Left and Far-Left of the party.
David Von Pein: JFK With Peter Jennings- 1983

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Bill Clinton
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Just to start off, you should know that I’m a big fan of Bill Clinton and a lot of my politics and own liberalism comes from him. And following his own career and he would’ve been someone I would’ve been more than happy to vote for twice for president if I was eligible. At risk of sounding overdramatic Bill Clinton I believe at least saved the Democratic Party. The country was moving right and moving away from Progressive Democratic centralized government designed to take care of people. More towards individual freedom especially as it related to the economy and was tired of seeing their taxes going up especially as the debt and deficits were going up as well.

Congressional Republicans at some point probably in the 1990s was going to win back Congress both the House and Senate. Just because of where the country was and Republicans starting to dominate the South and continued to do well in the Midwest. Now that didn’t have to be 1994 and President Clinton’s first two years probably sped up the Republican takeover of Congress. But that was going to happen in the near future if not 1994. And had it not have been for Bill Clinton the Democratic Party wouldn’t have been in ready with any message to respond to Conservative Republicans who came to power in the Reagan and Gingrich revolutions.

Without Bill Clinton the Democratic Party would’ve still been dominated not by FDR Progressives who are actually pretty practical mainstream leftists, but McGovernites from the New Left who came of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s and got organized inside of the Democratic Party. People who were anti-military, anti-law enforcement, anti-establishment in general from the Right and Left. People who wanted to essentially tear down the American liberal democratic form of government and private enterprise system. And transform America into Scandinavia economically, politically and everything else. Going up against Conservative Republicans who thought the current government was already too big with the political backers and resources to support them.

What Bill Clinton did what was called the Third Way was give Democrats and Americans an alternative to the Reagan Revolution in the Republican Party that essentially want to tear down everything that was built up from the New Deal and Great Society. And the McGovernites the New Left in the Democratic Party that wanted to expanded everything that was built up in the New Deal and Great Society and turn America into a Scandinavian social democracy. And to say there was a third way that center-left New Democrats could take to offer Americans to bring the Democratic Party back to power. That wasn’t about big government or small government, but using government in a responsible limited way to empower people in need to be able to also live in freedom.

Bill Clinton saved the Democratic Party that has basically been running and governing under his vision of government, or something very close to it since 1993 when he became President of the United States. The days of Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and George McGovern are over. And now the Democratic Party at least at the leadership level has been about saving the programs that people need and work well. Empowering people at the bottom and near bottom to be able to move up in life and not have to live on government dependence indefinitely. A party that will defend the country both through law enforcement and with the military. That won’t try to overtax the middle class and respect their incomes and will be responsible with Americans tax dollars. And that to me at least is the legacy of President Bill Clinton.

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The Values behind Market  - Tony Blair

New Labour

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

The rise of Tony Blair I at least believe has to do with how he reformed the British Labour Party as Leader of the Opposition in the 1990s before becoming Prime Minister. When the Labour Party lost power in 1979 to the Conservative Party, the British economy was in bad shape. Because it was over-centralized, the economy was over-centralized and was too socialist with the U.K. Government owning so much of the economy and trying to run British industries themselves. The U.K. Government by 1979 owned something like seventy-percent of the economy.

When Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997 and the Labour Party which was New Labour took over they didn’t move to renationalize industries and perhaps nationalize British industries that weren’t under government control and ownership before. They didn’t reform the British welfare state by saying that people who were physically and mentally able to take care of themselves and work, no longer had to do that if they even if they were uneducated. He kept in place many Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s economic polices in place instead. And perhaps offended a lot of people in party who were much further to the left of him by doing that.

New Labour is Tony Blair and Tony Blair’s creation. They were out of power for eighteen-years from 79-97 because the British people remembered the state of the economy when Labour left power in 1979. And they also remember how the British economy finally took off and became the economic power that it is today in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And didn’t want to put Socialists in power that try to take the country back to where it was in the late 1970s. So Tony Blair’s challenge when he became Leader of the Labour Party in 1994 was to change the perception of the Labour Party. So it was no longer seen as Marxist, so socialist and central government oriented.

Tony Blair is a student of Bill Clinton and the New Democrats in America. Someone who didn’t want to transform his party into a conservative party. But someone who wanted his party to be a center-left party and not a far-left party. Someone who wanted to use government to empower people to be able to take control over their own lives and live in freedom. And not have to live off the welfare state or be forced to live off of the welfare state indefinitely. Blair wanted his party to be seen as a party that would defend the country and protect everyone’s freedom. And was very successful in doing that.

Bliar 209: The Rise and Fall of Tony Blair

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Primary Colors (1998) part 1 (1)
This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

I saw the movie Primary Colors in the spring of 1998. Doesn’t seem that long ago, but that’s a different story with a long time friend of mine from high school who’ll go nameless. And we saw it for free because my friend worked at a movie theater, one of the few perks of being friends of him. And I looked forward to seeing this movie, because it reminded me of a real-life Southern politician another New Democrat. The real Liberal Democrats, who’s a political hero of mine, who had the ability and vision to do great things. But lacked personal discipline, made too many mistakes for someone with his intelligence who also had a strong take charge attractive wife played by Emma Thomas. Who’ve could’ve been very successful on her own.

The question being could her husband be successful on his own. Same question in this movie Primary Colors was full of scenes that looked like the real person I’m talking about and if you’ve seen the movie and follow American politics, you probably already know who I’m talking about. And the movie was also based on this real-life person, liberal governor from the South who culturally fit in very well with his state and the broader region. Who didn’t have any Federal Government experience, not even serving in the military. Who despite being a Southerner, fit in very well with people outside of that region especially Northeastern and Hollywood Democrats who have a lot of power in the Democratic Party if not run the party.

The main politician in Primary Colors the character played by John Travolta, great actor and a very funny man GOV. Jack Stanton running for President, had the strong wife that I was talking about. Started running for President in New Hampshire with a very small budget and staff, just like the real-life person. Had a sex scandal that involved a long time friend of the Governor, had really smart political strategist also from the South played by Billy Bob Thornton. Again long time friend of the Governor just like the real-life person, veteran politicos as well a young people on his staff. Just like the real-life person and there was a question of whether GOV. Stanton evaded the Vietnam War Draft just like the real-life character.

There was a primary debate where GOV. Stanton had a big moment to win the debate just like the real movie. There was a campaign event, where GOV. Stanton was able to connect with the audience his I feel your pain moment just like the real movie. When GOV. Stanton basically told the audience that “I know times are tough, but I can’t promise you the jobs you lost are coming back. That its time that a lot of American workers go back to school and learn other trades”. Which also happened with the real-life character. And of course the comeback kid moment in New Hampshire where GOV. Stanton does well enough in New Hampshire to keep his campaign going.

Of course the real life person I”m talking about is Bill Clinton who back in 1991-92, when he was running for President was Governor of Arkansas and was a Liberal Democrat ,but in the true sense. Progressive sure, but also understood the limits of government and the New Deal and Great Society. And that government has to be more responsible with tax revenue and of course all those situations that I just laid in the movie actually happened with Bill Clinton or were very similar.

Very intelligent, but not very discipline, strong intelligent wife with Hillary Clinton. Small budget and campaign in New Hampshire, memorable debate where he takes in Jerry Brown. The campaign event where he feels the senior citizens pain and walks up to her and hugs her. The sex scandal with Jennifer Flowers, the story of whether Bill Clinton dodged the Vietnam War. Great Political Strategist Jim Carville these things being true.

Primary Colors was based on Bill Clinton and his 1992 campaign for president where of course he was elected president. And also based on a book by author Joel Klein that was fictional with different names for the characters. But still based on a true story and they both did a very good job and this was a very entertaining movie.

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Occupy Wall Street
This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Press

Bill Maher has this idea that since there’s a Democrat in the White House, that President Obama should govern like Dennis Kucinich. What he doesn’t seem to understand, is that President Obama and Representative Kucinich come from two different factions of the party. Barack Obama comes from the adult realist faction of the party. Progressives and Liberals that see the world for what it is and try to make it the best that they can, with what’s available to do so.

Dennis Kucinich comes from the dreamer utopian faction of the party, Socialist Hippies from the 1960s, and early 70s and today that haven’t grown up. And see the World that they want to create apparently not realizing what’s possible, but believe everything that they want is possible. And its possible now to turn America into Europe to create their Socialist Utopia. And you got these two competing factions, the adults with the power in the party that see the world for what it is and try to make it the best that they can, against the Hippies that want to see the world that they want now.

And if you support any policy that’s different from what the Hippies want, you’re some type of corporate sellout to the Republican Party or something. President Obama is like a father with his only real life family, as well as his kids in the Democratic Party. That help him run the party, plus with millions of adopted children that complain about not being able to have cake for dinner. And throw temper tantrums when they can’t have cake for dinner or have to eat salad with their meat. And tell their parents they hate them when they can’t stay up all night on a school night.

The Socialist Hippies (the Democratic children) in the party that doesn’t have a great grasp on reality, that want everything now and doesn’t understand what Hubert Humphrey called the “Art of the Possible”. So the state of the Democratic Party right now a political party that I’m proud to be a member of is basically two parties and I believe within ten years could become officially two political parties. Which I believe would be good for both American liberalism and progressivism, as well as socialism giving each political movement their own voice.

You have the Liberal Democrats led by the President and the Congressional Democratic Leadership and the DNC. And then you have the Hippie Socialists again from the 1960s and early 70s. And want to bring that movement about today and create their own Socialist Utopia a perfect world. Where there’s no wealthy or poor people, no violence, no war, give peace a chance. Everybody is equal, sounds like a decent Hollywood film or Hollywood fantasy. No bigotry, but the only problem that they have, is that they don’t have a damn clue how to bring those things about. They tell the Leadership “this is what we want now go out there and accomplish that”. Without having any idea of how to bring that about.

Hippy Democrats are like a head coach who wants to have the best team in the league. But doesn’t know what type of system he wants on offense and defense, or what type of players he wants. Or how to write a game plan or run a practice, that these things are just details, right. Sounds more like a great fan than a successful head coach. And then leave it up to the Liberal Democrats the adults in the room to get the job done.

And when the Hippies accomplish some of those goals that the whole party supports, what’s the thanks for the Democratic Leadership, they get called sellouts by their kids the Hippies. Who weren’t even invited to the party because they probably would’ve thrown food or gotten into a fight. Its like giving your kid a corvette as their graduation present. But then getting called as asshole because you didn’t give your son a Porsche. Thats why the Liberal Democrats run the Democratic Party because they are the adults in the room.

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Jimmy Carter
This post was originally posted at FRS FreeState Plus

You do not see Jimmy Carter running on the economy here and telling people about how great the economy is. With inflation not being much of a factor or with low-interest rates, or plenty of energy, oil and gas to go around. With low unemployment and high economic growth, with no American hostages around the world, or without Russia on the march in the Middle East, or anything like that. Because the Carter Campaign knew all of that wouldn’t be true and that actually all the opposites to those things were true.

The country was in bad shape in 1980 and back in recession with the American hostages still in Iran. A country that did not want Americans or other Westerners in their country at all. So what the Carter Campaign is trying to do here in this ad campaign is run on what they could and what was left to run on. That the military was stronger, that America was at peace in the world for the most part not involved in any foreign wars. And that even Egypt and Israel were at peace with each other as well. And all of that is true.

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