*This will be broken into five parts with each being released a few days apart. This is due to the size of the article.
Progressivism is a political philosophy for fucking losers, much like socialism. If you don’t believe me, look at presidents Timmy Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delanus Roosevelt, Lyndon Buttplug Johnson and Barack Hoe-train Obama: all fucking losers. Oh, you think some of them were great leaders and awesome POTUSes? Well, that is because the propaganda mill that educated you wanted you to leave with that impression. There is a lot that those shitty ass “education” factories left out of their pseudohistory lessons. Contrary to what they want you to believe, these White House douchenuts were the worst presidents in history (after Lincoln of course). Although, Obama isn’t finished yet. Then again, there is absolutely no way in Hades that he can turn this shit around. His progressive train left the station long ago and he’s still chucking logs into the furnace like a fiend for hellish speed.
These presidents were so bad, that they should put all four of their heads on a mountain in the Dakota Territory and call it “Mount Suckmore”. I find it to be ridiculous that three of the four are continually rated in several top ten lists. Then again, Lincoln usually takes the number one spot and he was the worst tyrant we ever knew. This is what happens though. To steal an old adage, “History is written by the winners.” In this case, those winners were tyrants. It should be no surprise really, that they have all been the heroes pimped out by leftist propaganda. Obama is just the newest “hero” in a long line of liberty smashers. Unfortunately for him though, he’s pissing off the lefties and the propagandists may not paint history in his favor when it is all said and done. Then again Obamacare is so tyrannical and evil that it is a massive win for the Progressive Movement.
Just like Obamacare, FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society were both horrendous monsters that allowed the progressive beast to grow to a size not easily defeatable or even manageable. However, just like their architects, these legislative leviathans have been misrepresented as high points throughout American history. In reality, they bind the wrists of freedom and asphyxiate liberty.
“Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy.” -Theodore Roosevelt
I didn’t mention him in the introduction because I do have some respect for him but one can’t dissect the history of the Progressive Movement without first taking note of Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was a Republican, which is interesting as the Progressive Movement is typically related to the Democratic Party. Then again, Teddy did break away from the Republicans and formed the Progressive Party a.k.a. the Bull Moose Party after his presidency. His third party was instrumental in inadvertently getting one of the United States’ biggest tyrants elected. That tyrant was progressive beast Thomas Woodrow Wilson. More on Wilson in the next part of this article.
In 1900, progressivism was the political ideology of the day. Big Ted believed that he needed to build a bridge between big business and the labor force. He called this project the “Square Deal”. Whether it was intended to or not, the Square Deal kick-started class warfare like never before. You see, the Square Deal had three objectives: conservation of natural resources, control of corporations and consumer protection. While all seem like they were created with good intentions, each of these objectives created regulations and chains that forced freedom down a path of governmental restraint.
While the Square Deal was intended to help the middle class, it, like every other meddling piece of progressive legislation, created a bigger rift between the classes and gave birth to the blame game. The “haves” versus the “have nots ” was the war now being fought by the citizens of the freest nation on Earth. This philosophy of rich versus poor would carry on to modern times and provide just the right type of justification for progressives to continually meddle in our lives. In fact, the blame game has evolved into one of their sharpest weapons.
Big Ted declared that the Square Deal would treat both sides fairly. He promised that his baby would help the middle class, combat plutocracy and bad trusts while simultaneously protecting businesses from the extreme demands of labor unions. Teddy, as intelligent and well-versed in just about everything, must have never heard the English idiomatic proverb that states: “To have one’s cake and eat it too.” Also, George Orwell hadn’t yet published “1984″ so the concept of “doublethink” was probably unknown to Teddy.
The roots of progressivism came from the Roosevelt administration. The Square Deal as well as the Elkins Act and other policies of the day created a new government mentality that led to politicians overstepping their bounds in an effort to micromanage every facet of American society. Even the most trivial issues became the federal government’s business. What was once a power reserved for the states, that being anything not covered in the Constitution, became the federal government’s business. Tyranny was running wild but most people were on board with it because they did not heed the warnings of the Founding Fathers and they had not yet experienced a severe loss of liberty. Government regulation in America was nil before 1900, therefore Americans had no way to know where all this would lead. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, or so they say.
Teddy, like the progressive leaders after him, was critical of many of the Founding Fathers and thought it was his place to force Americans into a sort of evolution away from the Constitution. He believed that in his modern age, it was time to change with the times. Apparently the basic simple outlines in the Bill of Rights were too hard for the super genius to understand. Truth is, the way that the Constitution is written is so simple and so straight forward, at least the first Ten Amendments. It can be easily applied to life and the evolution of our world, our society and our culture at any time.
The Square Deal was an attack against the ideals of the Founding Fathers. I don’t feel that Big Ted did this in a malicious way or to undermine the Constitution. I think he just believed that a century old document was too outdated and that the Industrial Revolution and American Exceptionalism changed the country so drastically that the prophetic messages and warning of the Founding Fathers had become nothing more than ancient words from a dead age. I think Theodore Roosevelt had the best of intentions. Unfortunately, his style of government would evolve into an even larger movement that would cause liberty to decay and whither.
Roosevelt’s biggest accomplishments according to historians, apart from the Square Deal, were the Meat Inspection Act, the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Hepburn Act. All three of these achievements also came with pretty heinous consequences.
The Meat Inspection Act was a huge milestone in United States food and drug law. The act forced companies to have to comply with new standards on how meat was supposed to be handled. In theory this sounds fantastic but in practice it has a negative impact on liberty. I am not saying that there shouldn’t be standards, there should be, but why do they have to be regulated by the government? Private agencies could easily do the job and most likely, they could do it much better. We as customers have a right to know what we are buying but it is not the government’s job to force the provider of those goods to comply with the threats of fines, shutdown or prison. People are educated enough to make these decisions themselves and the private sector is perfectly capable of finding a non-governmental solution. The same goes for Big Ted’s Pure Food and Drug Act.
Now the Hepburn Act is something else entirely. Essentially what the act did was give the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) the power to set maximum railroad rates. If this isn’t an attack on liberty, I don’t know what is. This act also ended the free passes and special discounts that railroad companies could give to their largest and most loyal shippers. The ICC was also granted the power to look at the financial records of any railroad company they saw fit. The Hepburn Act also extended the ICC’s authority to unprecedented levels. Not only did they oversee the railroad industry’s finances but they also had power over railroad sleeping cars, bridges, terminals, ferries, express companies and oil pipelines. The Hepburn Act created a budding police state that had a negative impact on the free market and thwarted the possibility of having a true capitalist system.
In regards to the Meat Inspection Act, the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Hepburn Act conservative Republican writer Lewis L. Gould stated that Teddy was “consciously, or unconsciously … trying to concentrate all power in Washington, to practically wipe out state lines, and to govern the people by commissions and bureaus.”
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. of the Ludwig von Mises Institute wrote about these issues in the article “Theodore Roosevelt and the Modern Presidency“. In that article he writes about award-winning writer Albro Martin’s take on the Hepburn Act:
The results were devastating. In a book that earned the Columbia University Prize in American Economic History in 1971, Albro Martin described the situation in detail. His thesis, stated simply, is that Roosevelt’s Hepburn Act, combined with subsequent regulatory enactments — in particular William Howard Taft’s Mann–Elkins Act of 1910 — deprived the railroads of the rate increases they needed, an especially debilitating handicap in an inflationary atmosphere. The railroads needed investment capital following the reorganizations of the 1890s if they were to preserve their capital stock, to rebuild, and to modernize. In other words, they needed to be left alone. Instead they got policies that both increased labor costs and refused the rate increases they needed. The result was that by 1911 profits had vanished, and the collapse of the system of private management of the railroads followed soon afterwards.
You see, these methods of Big Ted’s were catastrophic. Yet, people latched on to these progressive ideas. I’d like to think that it was because of the fact that these tactics were never tried in America at that time and that the people just didn’t know better. However, people still support these types of methods and our country is in a sinkhole of shit because of it. These policies fail again and again but for whatever reason, they are deemed successes and the Beltway Suits just continue down the treacherous path of tyranny.
There are many other issues of note about Roosevelt and his progressive insanity but I cannot even begin to cover them all in this article. With that said, it is time to move a bit forward in time and examine the second stage of the progressive beast’s development.
“You are not here merely to prepare to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.” - Woodrow Wilson
This article is continued in PART II