Saturday, September 10, 2016

Donald Trump, the Conservative Huey Long (Part I)

The Left hates Donald Trump, but when all things are considered, he is not much different than the father of modern day liberalism: Huey Long (In my opinion). Both men were (are) vulgar, inconsiderate, egotistical, loud, obnoxious and rude: you either love them or hate them. Both have (had) a huge following of millions of people across the nation and drew massive crowds for speeches. The main difference is that Trump is a Republican and Long was a Democrat.

In 1876, a Yale professor, William Graham Sumner, wrote an essay called the “Forgotten Man”. Sumner surmised that the forgotten man in America was a hardworking person who always pays taxes but does not have a voice in government. Sumner said there were four groups of people in America society: Group A, Group B, Group C, and Group X. A typical scenario happens when Group A and Group B discuss what needs to be done to correct the poverty of Group X. The decision of A and B coerces Group C (the forgotten man) to pay more in taxes to correct the problems of X.

Fifty years later, first Long, then FDR talked about the forgotten man in America as being Group X (those living in poverty needing assistance) in the Sumner equation. Almost a century later, Donald Trump, also talked about the forgotten man in American society. However, Trump has reverted back to the Sumner model calling Group C as the forgotten man. Group A in the Trump model are the government bureaucrats while Group B are Democratic groups or lobbyists such as environmentalists or anti-business organizations like Occupy Wall Street. The result of A and B coercion are massive regulations, more rights for illegal alien workers, and higher corporate taxes and wages. Therefore, the result on Group C is that jobs go away (energy sector – mining, oil, etc.), or jobs are taken away by illegal aliens, or jobs go overseas to tax friendly nations with less regulations. Trump is trying to bring back jobs for Group C because these people are proud Americans and do not want to be a burden on society as those people in Group X.

Long was a Louisiana governor from 1928 to 1932 and a Louisiana senator from 1932 to 1935. All of Long’s policies followed his philosophy of “Share Our Wealth”. As governor Long accomplished massive infrastructure upgrades including new hospitals, new roads and bridges, paving dirt roads, upgrades in education and even healthcare for the poor. All of this was paid for primarily through increased corporate taxes especially on Long’s favorite scapegoat: Standard Oil Company. Of course all of this should sound familiar: it sounds a lot like FDR’s New Deal and modern liberal policies from LBJ’s War on Poverty to Obama’s Recovery Act and ObamaCare. And just like modern Democrats, Long insists his policies and ideas of higher taxes and wealth sharing were not socialism. However, it was no secret that Long and his best promoter – Father Coughlin (had a radio show that attracted millions nationwide with his goal to eradicate poverty), supported Upton Sinclair (former author and communist turned into Democratic political candidate) and his wacky communist ideas for governor of California in 1934. Of course, many believe Trump has wacky but vastly different ideas from those of Long and Sinclair.

Long, FDR, and Trump also believe(d) that bigness is (was) bad. However, Long and FDR thought bigness was bad for corporations, but Trump thinks bigness is bad for government. This has been a stark difference between liberal and conservative policies since FDR.

Long faced impeachment for a number of allegations ranging from bribery to attempted murder. He was acquitted of all chargers. Of course, Trump brags about buying favors from politicians. Long quickly became “dictator” of Louisiana by removing and firing hundreds of government officials who he considered adversaries. And we all know that FDR was the closest thing the U.S. has ever had to a dictator by winning four terms as president.

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