In 1911, Theodore Roosevelt began his second campaign for President. Having retired from the presidency in 1909, Roosevelt tried to capture the the Republican nomination in 1912, because he was angry with President William Taft, who had served under Roosevelt as Secretary of War, and had been Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor. Failing this, he decided instead to run as the candidate of the Progressive Party. That party is more commonly remembered by Americans as the “Bull Moose Party,” because upon surviving an assassination attempt, Roosevelt announced he was “as fit as a Bull Moose.” I prefer to drop that label, and focus instead on what the Progressive Party really was: A National Socialist Party that was subsequently rejected by the American people, but in 1912, resulted in a split in the Republican Party that handed the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson, a Socialist. It’s useful to understand the political parties of the time in evaluating the 2012 election, because if the past is prologue, what we may be seeing now is merely a global re-run of the worst parts of the 20th century.
- A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
- Social insurance, to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled
- Limited injunctions in strikes
- An eight hour workday
- A federal securities commission
- Farm relief
- An inheritance tax
- A Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax
These may sound familiar to you because all of them have become law in some form or fashion. These may also sound familiar to you because these were the same ideas on which Woodrow Wilson substantially campaigned. In fact, with the progressives under the flag of the Republican party in Congress, the progressives in both parties succeeded in putting this agenda through, and Wilson was only too happy to oblige. In short, the “Bull Moose” Party consisted of the RINOs of their day. They were the barely disguised fifth column of the main socialist political formation, and they managed to convince enough Americans unaware of their designs to aid them in implementing the first steps in converting our country from a Constitutional republic into a Socialist democracy.
Ask yourself this: How many of the current Republican candidates support the list of measures above? After nearly a century, the answer is: Almost all modern Republicans accept most of the ideas outlined in the platform of the Progressive party of 1912. So what was the difference, in 1912, between the Democrat progressives, and the Republican progressives? The Democrat progressives were the US equivalent of European Communists who came to dominate Russia. The Republican progressives were effectively the same as the National Socialists that would rise to prominence in Germany. They were both brands of statism, as I’ve discussed previously.
Weigh this against our current situation. Today, many conservatives look at Romney, or Gingrich, compare them with Obama and are frequently led to ask: What’s the difference between leftist progressives and so-called “right-wing” progressives? The truth is that just like in 1912, the differences are few, and you will note with some disappointment that Woodrow Wilson was able to implement most of the planks of the socialist platform outlined above because he had the support of a large number of progressive Republicans who were just enough to rule the day together with Democrats in Congress. If this sounds familiar when considering Speaker Boehner, and the rest of the Republican sell-outs in our current House GOP leadership, you’re spot on. The differences between today’s progressive Republicans and 1912’s “Bull Moose” Party are essentially nonexistent. When you realize that certain powerful players financed both the Bull Moose and Republican parties in 1912, not as a political insurance policy as is so common these days, but in order to keep them at odds, and thus effectively keeping them at rough parity, giving the election to Democrats. You can bet that this is what is being done in the US at present.
The progressives have always used their friends in the Republican party to undermine conservatives. This is not a new tactic or practice, and in this sense, Ross Perot was much the same thing, with his runs in ’92 and ’96. Those of you who believe the establishment wing of the Republican party would rather see Barack Obama elected than to let conservatives into power must understand that this would not be the first time such things have happened in electoral process in the United States.
This is done for no other reason than to prevent the rise of a populist conservative in the Republican party. The progressive would win every election if they could, and they do their level best to carry that out, rigging both parties with firmly progressive candidates. That way, while they would prefer the Democrat progressive, the very worst outcome they expect to see is a Republican progressive. You and I are the rabble to be kept in line with appeals to patriotism, faith, and unity.
In 1992, Ross Perot arose to run on behalf of the “volunteers,” who were roughly analogous to the Tea Party today. He was doing so well at one point that he suspended his campaign, which was enough to prevent him from winning, but not enough to allow Bush to win: He still siphoned off enough of the electorate to give Bill Clinton a plurality. It worked so well that in 1996, they brought him back for a second round. Dole was a weak candidate, but Clinton had significant problems, so a little insurance was needed. Once again, Bill Clinton failed to achieve a majority of the popular vote, winning with a plurality instead. While not as stark as in 1992, it was clear that without Perot in the race, there was at least some chance Bob Dole could have won.
You might ask what any of this has to do with Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Party. My answer to you is that conservatives are being set up again. The progressives aren’t finished, and they intend to win in 2012 irrespective of the Republican Party primaries. Enter Americans Elect. As I’ve explained before, Americans Elect is a group that is seeking to put a candidate on the ballot in all fifty states in 2012. They’ve not yet picked a candidate, who will be picked later on-line, but this candidate will almost certainly seek to appeal to the disaffected Tea Party types. The purpose of that candidacy will not be to win, but to divide the center-right and allow Obama to be re-elected. Their candidate will pose as the modern-day variant of the “Bull Moose” party, and in many ways, it will be. Be prepared for this to play out. Increasingly, you may notice the Americans Elect ads on sites around the Internet.
All of this is contrived. I see no way to overcome the progressives of either party in the 2012 election without some radical new thinking about our remaining choices. Mitt Romney is currently attacking Newt Gingrich as not being conservative. This is roughly akin to a singularity calling the kettle “black.” While Newt certainly has his warts, Willard has more. The conservative base generally recognizes this, which accounts for Gingrich’s meteoric climb since the beginning of Cain’s fall. Conservatives and Tea Party folk are looking for a real conservative, and while they are forced to overlook many flaws in Gingrich to see him as a conservative, they look at Romney and see what has been widely described in conservative circles as “Obama Lite.” No conservative wants to vote for such a prospect, and that they’re willing to turn to Gingrich speaks volumes about their displeasure with Romney.
As this blog has reported, many of these same conservatives and Tea Party patriots would have preferred Sarah Palin to the lot of those still now in the race. The reason for the ups and downs of the primary season thus far is largely due to the fact that conservatives are seeking a single candidate upon which they can all agree. They look around the party, and they notice flawed candidates, and while no candidate is ever perfect, they simply see little to recommend in the ones now offered. The worst part is: They’re right.
If you think conservatives are being set up, I have a suspicion you’re right. Karl Rove is still out there stirring the pot, and whether he’s a Romney guy, or he’s banking on some late entry, he’s not finished either. He represents the same progressive wing of the Republican party, so there’s little doubt but that where Rove is, trouble can’t be far behind.
Beware the “Bull Moose” or any reasonable facsimile thereof. Be sure that a late entry isn’t designed to lead you to slaughter. The progressive wing of the Republican party isn’t a friend to conservatives, never mind Tea Party folk, and while I have no advice to offer you on candidates to support, I nevertheless remain convinced that the progressives of the Republican party would rather assure Obama’s victory than to let an actual conservative win. It now falls to you to decipher who that may be. Progressives favor progressives, and they stick together irrespective of party. The Republican progressive view themselves as the “loyal opposition,” and in this you should recognize with which ideology their loyalties lie. It isn’t free market capitalism. It isn’t conservatism.