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Tags: teddy roosevelt | progressives

Teddy Roosevelt to Today's Progressives: Forces for Good Outweigh Forces for Evil

teddy roosevelt on mount rushmore
Teddy Roosevelt on Mt. Rushmore (Dreamstime)

Ralph Benko By Tuesday, 05 January 2021 11:34 AM Current | Bio | Archive

This is the way the world of 2021 begins, not with a whimper but a bang.

On January 5th, Georgia wraps up its two runoff Senate elections, both too close to call. Once again, the tossed political coin lands on its edge, wobbles, then topples.

If both Democratic nominees win it will hand President Biden the mixed blessing of Democratic Party control of the legislative as well as the executive branch. Mixed? It will simplify the confirmation of his appointments yet give his party's lunatic fringe a bit more leverage on a pragmatic President Biden, portending Democrats' losses in 2022 … and 2024.

Then, on January 6th, Congress will go into full political theatrics on the certification of the electoral college results. This will create a Capitol Hill spectacle, to the delight of sly and ambitious rabble-rousers, and put Vice President (and presidential aspirant) Pence into a painful double bind. To his many rivals' delight.

Meanwhile, in the streets of the capital the "Antifa" Lumpenproletariat will demonstrate, clashing with the "StopTheSteal" Trumpenproletariat. The latter's propensity for wilding is being stoked by their political magister ludi. Mob rule hooligans meet conspiracy theorist hobgoblins to enact lurid political theater.

America is torn between its ideals, per Joan Didion our dreampolitik, and a healthy recognition that we have fallen short of our ideals, realpolitik. Yet out of this thesis and antithesis we just might achieve a synthesis of better liberty and justice for all.

"Lumpenproletariat" is a word yearning to return to the discourse. The Britannica helpfully tells us: "(German: "rabble proletariat"), according to Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto, the lowest stratum of the industrial working class, including also such undesirables as tramps and criminals. The members of the Lumpenproletariat — this 'social scum,' said Marx — are not only disinclined to participate in revolutionary activities with their "rightful brethren," the proletariat, but also tend to act as the 'bribed tools of reactionary intrigue.'"

History repeats, "the second time as farce." Proud Boys and Antifa? Leave no graffiti on my front door! Respect the doors of Speaker Pelosi and Leader McConnell. By violating our portals you indict only yourselves.

Let's recall Progressive Republican Teddy Roosevelt's indictment of the lunatic fringe. "Then, among the wise and high-minded people who in self-respecting and genuine fashion strive earnestly for peace, there are foolish fanatics always to be found in such a movement and always discrediting it — the men who form the lunatic fringe in all reform movements."

Foolish fanaticism discredits that which it purports to support. And there is TR's speech before the American Historical Association in 1912. Teddy Roosevelt, schismatic Republican, founder of the short-lived Populist "Bull Moose" Party, there offered a vital message to today's "progressives" who have culturally appropriated his brand but not his vision.

There's the loud but tiny progressive elite who promotes a cancel culture. Their message is Hell-bent on cancelling America. The labor and ethnic left celebrates America's commitment to justice despite its imperfections. Progressives purport to but do not authentically represent labor or people of color. The left is not monolithic.

The progressive faction loudly virtue signals yet was definitively repudiated by the Democratic rank-and-file. Joe Biden, crusading on making America better, appealed to those who wish to join, not wage class warfare upon, the middle class. Biden won.

Teddy Roosevelt's message after departing the White House and before his ascent of Mount Rushmore:

"The hard materialism of our age will appear, and also the strange capacity for lofty idealism which must be reckoned with by all who would understand the American character. A people whose heroes are Washington and Lincoln, a peaceful people who fought to a finish one of the bloodiest of wars, waged solely for the sake of a great principle and a noble idea, surely possess an emergency standard far above mere money-getting.

"Those who tell the Americans of the future what the Americans of to-day and of yesterday have done, will perforce tell much that is unpleasant. This is but saying that they will describe the arch-typical civilization of this age. Nevertheless when the tale is finally told, I believe that it will show that the forces working for good in our national life outweigh the forces working for evil, and that, with many blunders and shortcomings, with much halting and turning aside from the path, we shall yet in the end prove our faith by our works, and show in our lives our belief that righteousness exalteth a nation."

President-elect Biden? There are not one but two transformational President Roosevelts to emulate. Franklin Delano, for his capitalist social democracy programs such as Social Security. And Theodore's excommunication of the kind of hooligans who infest our streets and the hobgoblins – the lunatic fringe – of both parties now haunting American politics.

Righteousness exalteth a nation.

Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $88T. He served as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House, has worked closely with the Congress and two cabinet agencies, and has published over a million words on politics and policy in the mainstream media, as a distinguished professional blogger, and as the author of the internationally award-winning cult classic book "The Websters' Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World." He has served as senior adviser, economics, to APIA as an advocate of the gold standard, senior counselor to the Chamber of Digital Commerce and serves as co-founder of and senior counselor to Frax.finance, a stablecoin venture. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.

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Let's recall Progressive Republican Teddy Roosevelt's indictment of the lunatic fringe.
teddy roosevelt, progressives
Tuesday, 05 January 2021 11:34 AM
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