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Thread: Ronald Reagan was a leftist. Jimmy Carter was a conservative.

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    User Bordigist's Avatar
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    Ronald Reagan was a leftist. Jimmy Carter was a conservative.

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    I can’t help but believe that in the future we will see in the United States and throughout the western world an increasing trend toward the next logical step, employee ownership. It is a path that befits a free people.

    Walter Reuther was one of the first major labor leaders to advocate that management and labor shift away from battling over wage and benefit levels to a cooperative effort aimed at sharing in the ownership of the new wealth being produced. He was looking far beyond the next contract. There is a story that Reuther was touring a highly automated Ford Assembly Plant when someone said, Walter, you’re going to have a hard time collecting union dues from all these machines. Reuther simply shot back, not as hard a time as you’re going to have selling them cars.

    Reuther was killed in a tragic place accident in 1970, so he did not live to see passage of legislation sponsored by Senator Russell Long of Louisiana that provides incentives for Employee Stock Ownership Plans, or ESOP’s.

    In recent years, we have witnessed medium-sized and even some large corporations being purchased, in part or in whole, by their employees. Weirton Steel in West Virginia, Lowe’s Companies in North Carolina, The Milwaukee Journal, Lincoln Electric Company of Cleveland, Ohio, and many others are now manned by employees who are also owners.

    The energy and vitality unleashed by this kind of People’s Capitalism-free and open markets, robust competition, and broad-based ownership of the means of production- can serve this nation well. It can also be a boon, if given a chance, to the people of the developing world. Nowhere is the potential for this greater than in Central America.
    What Jimmy Carter and Jerry Brown Can Teach Us About Deregulation – Reason.com

    "We really need to realize that there is a limit to the role and the function of government," Carter said in his first State of the Union address, in 1978. "Bit by bit we are chopping down the thicket of unnecessary federal regulations by which government too often interferes in our personal lives and our personal business."

    If that sounds more like your conception of Ronald Reagan than the peanut farmer from Plains, it may be time to check your premises.

    After televised hearings chaired by Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, based on academic spade-work by the liberal economist Alfred Kahn, featuring testimony from consumer advocate Ralph Nader, Carter in 1978 signed the death warrant for the Civil Aeronautics Board, thus breaking up the regulatory cartel that had kept the same four national airlines virtually unchallenged the previous four decades.

    Thus began a federal assault on "price and entry" regulations, or rules that determine which companies can compete in a given industry and what they're allowed to charge.

    Carter also lifted individual prohibitions, most notably (thanks to an amendment by California Democratic Sen. Alan Cranston) on brewing beer at home. Result? You're drinking it. There were fewer than 50 breweries in the United States when Carter deregulated basement beer-making; now there are more than 5,000. In two generations, America went from world laughingstock to leader in the production of tasty lagers and ales.

    Such was Carter's conviction about deconstructing chunks of the administrative state that he dwelled on it at length in his only presidential debate with Reagan.

    "I'm a Southerner, and I share the basic beliefs of my region [against] an excessive government intrusion into the private affairs of American citizens and also into the private affairs of the free enterprise system," he said. "We've been remarkably successful, with the help of a Democratic Congress. We have deregulated the air industry, the rail industry, the trucking industry, financial institutions. We're now working on the communications industry."

    Here in California, then fresh off its Proposition 13 tax revolt, Jerry Brown, in his first stretch as governor, was sounding similar themes. Government must "strip away the roadblocks and the regulatory underbrush that it often mindlessly puts in the path of private citizens," Brown said during his bracingly anti-statist second inaugural address in 1979. "Unneeded licenses and proliferating rules can stifle initiative, especially for small business….[M]any regulations primarily protect the past, prop up privilege or prevent sensible economic choices."
    Last edited by Bordigist; 11-10-19 at 05:16 PM.
    All theories (bourgeois, fascist, Stalinist, Labourite, left-wing, or far-leftist) which somehow glorify and praise the proletariat as it is and claim for it the positive role of defending values and regenerating society, are anti-revolutionary.
    - Gilles Dauvé

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    User Bordigist's Avatar
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    Re: Ronald Reagan was a leftist. Jimmy Carter was a conservative.

    Reagan: FDR's True Heir | RealClearPolitics

    Common wisdom holds that Ronald Reagan, a devoted FDR acolyte during Roosevelt's life, became the most powerful opponent of his legacy after Reagan's swing to the right. But the common wisdom is wrong. Reagan, in word and deed, was actually FDR's true heir.

    Reagan never explicitly claimed this, but his speeches and writings suggest that's exactly what he thought. He readily admitted he had voted for FDR four times and in 1982 wrote in his diary that he was trying to "undo the Great Society," not the New Deal. He always said that he had not left the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party had left him. He even quoted FDR directly in the 1964 television speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater that made him a national figure.

    Time and again, Reagan turned to FDR's words and made them his own. This extended far beyond repeating memorable phrases like "this generation has a rendezvous with destiny" or calling working Americans "the forgotten man."

    ...

    Reagan's debt to FDR was intellectual as well as rhetorical. Roosevelt's basic innovation was to place government squarely on the side of the average American in his or her quest for comfort, dignity, and respect. If private markets and charity did not afford these things to someone who worked to improve themselves (Roosevelt had no truck for slackers), then it was government's duty to provide or encourage their provision.

    Conservatives then and forever since have often distinguished themselves by openly or tacitly rejecting this principle. Such open opposition forms the heart of Herbert Hoover's argument for his re-election and of Goldwater's best-selling book, “The Conscience of a Conservative.” Open opposition today is left to libertarians, but conservatives still tacitly deny it when they oppose virtually any extension of federal subsidies for any social program.

    Reagan never embraced that view. He told audiences in his early speeches that he wouldn't repeal most post-New Deal programs "at any price. They represented forward thinking on our part." He supported federal grants to states in the early 1960s before Medicare was adopted so that needy seniors could afford care. And in 1961 he said "any person in the United States who requires medical attention and cannot provide for himself should have it provided for him."

    ...

    Reagan owed his political success to his unique "New Deal conservatism." Unlike more ideological anti-government types before and since, Reagan attracted enthusiastic support from blue-collar whites, people who became known as "Reagan Democrats." Conservative leaders from Barry Goldwater to Newt Gingrich to Mitt Romney have seen their hopes dashed on the rocky shores of these voters who have never preferred low taxes and liberty to a government that has their backs. Ronald Reagan succeeded where they failed precisely because this former fan of Roosevelt was singing from the same hymnal as were Roosevelt's worshipers.
    All theories (bourgeois, fascist, Stalinist, Labourite, left-wing, or far-leftist) which somehow glorify and praise the proletariat as it is and claim for it the positive role of defending values and regenerating society, are anti-revolutionary.
    - Gilles Dauvé

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    User Bordigist's Avatar
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    Re: Ronald Reagan was a leftist. Jimmy Carter was a conservative.

    Jimmy Carter's racist campaign of 1970

    Readers should refer to Stephen Hayward's The Real Jimmy Carter if they want a taste of the out-and-out racism that Carter employed in order to defeat moderate former Gov. Carl Sanders for the Democratic nomination that year. As Hayward's book points out:

    * Carter's top campaign staffers were spotted distributing grainy photographs of Sanders arm-in-arm celebrating with two black men. Sanders was a part-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, and in the photograph he was celebrating a victory with two players who were pouring champagne over his head. Carter's leaflet was intended to depress Sanders's white vote.

    * "The Carter campaign also produced a leaflet noting that Sanders had paid tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr."
    Carter criticized Sanders, a former governor, for preventing Alabama Gov. and notorious segregationist George Wallace from speaking on Georgia state property. "I don't think it was right for Governor Sanders to try to please a group of ultra-liberals, particularly those in Washington, when it means stifling communication with another state," said Carter.

    *"'I have no trouble pitching for Wallace votes and black votes at the same time,' Carter told a reporter. Carter also said to another reporter, 'I can win this election without a single black vote.'"

    *Upon receiving the endorsement of former Democratic Gov. Lester Maddox, Carter responded by praising the life-long segregationist: "He has brought a standard of forthright expression and personal honesty to the governor's office, and I hope to live up to his standard." Maddox had not only refused to serve blacks in the restaurant he once owned, but he had also greeted civil rights protestors with a gun, and made sticks available to his white customers with which to intimidate them.

    *"The campaign paid for radio ads for a fringe black candidate, C.B. King, in an effort to siphon black votes away from Sanders."

    *"Then there was the radio commercial in which Carter said he would never be the tool of any 'block' vote, slurring over the word 'block' so that it could be mistaken for 'black.'
    All theories (bourgeois, fascist, Stalinist, Labourite, left-wing, or far-leftist) which somehow glorify and praise the proletariat as it is and claim for it the positive role of defending values and regenerating society, are anti-revolutionary.
    - Gilles Dauvé

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    User Bordigist's Avatar
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    Re: Ronald Reagan was a leftist. Jimmy Carter was a conservative.

    Arise
    All theories (bourgeois, fascist, Stalinist, Labourite, left-wing, or far-leftist) which somehow glorify and praise the proletariat as it is and claim for it the positive role of defending values and regenerating society, are anti-revolutionary.
    - Gilles Dauvé

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