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1945: What if…?

I thought I should share this interesting article by history professor Peter Dreier that recently came to my attention regarding FDR’s vice-president during World War-II, Henry A. Wallace (1941-45).HenryWallace

Wallace deserves a significant place in our history. Corporatists and their political cadre are certainly well aware of this (that’s why they ignore it).

Dreier was inspired to pen the article, “Henry Wallace, America’s forgotten Visionary,” in Truthout, inspired by part of Oliver Stone’s current TV series, “The Untold History of the United States.”.

Dreier poses the “What if?” question.  What if President Franklin D. Roosevelt had kept Wallace as his VP instead of switching to Harry Truman in his final term?

Henry A. Wallace was born on an Iowa farm at the height of capitalism’s first Gilded Age, 1888. After college, he worked on the family newspaper, “Wallaces’ Farmer,” which consistently presented a host of farming information and new scientific techniques as well as progressive politics.

Wallace, given his scientific-business acumen, also started a related farming business and became quite wealthy in his own right. (DuPont eventually bought that business, Pioneer Hi-Bred, in 1999 for $9.4 billion.)

As a result of helping to get 60% of Iowa’s vote for FDR (in an otherwise Republican state), Wallace was appointed Secretary of Agriculture.  He promptly turned that department into one of the largest and most powerful in gov’t.

He provided a significant role in the salvation of American farming during the Depression thru the creation and development of the Agricultural Adjustment, Rural Electrification and Farm Credit Administrations, as well as the Soil Conservation Service, erosion control, food stamps and school lunch programs.

One irony of FDR’s death in April 1945 was its political symmetry with the loss of Abraham Lincoln in April of 1865. Both came at the conclusion of their respective wars.  Corporatist partnership with profiteering Southerners doomed the ex-slaves to the Black Codes, Jim Crow and convict-leasing for another century.

We know what Truman begat: Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a witch-hunt of progressives and “communists” in gov’t, an imperial permanent war economy and its Military-Industrial-Complex, continued Jim Crow segregation and women’s subjugation. All which Wallace opposed.AmericanWay

“Wallace opposed the cold war, the arms race and racial segregation. He was a strong advocate of labor unions, national health insurance, public works jobs and women’s equality.”

Truman replaced Wallace as VP because of the Democratic Party’s corporatist-racist wing’s total opposition to any liberal-progressive post-war policy or candidate, especially Henry Wallace. Stone calls it the “greatest blunder” of FDR’s career.

Prof. Dreier writes that Wallace “would have been, without question, the most radical president in American history,” with a proven record of progressive accomplishments already well established.

Today, corporatists have totally captured the Republican Party and in turn the governorships and legislatures of some 30 states, the US House of Representatives and the Gang of Five on the US Supreme Court. Now they want the rest of it.

It takes no great feat of prescience to realize that by the elections of 2014 with their census-gerrymandered lock and voter ID manipulations, practically no amount of votes can prevail against a Republican-corporatist victory of the Senate unless their fraudulent and pernicious power is corrected in the meantime. Unlikely.

President Barack Obama’s residency in the White House, given his neo-liberal corporatism, will be reduced to little more than a lawn-jockey holding the torch of “hope and change” for the next Republican’s full-blown corporatist presidency in 2016.

Thereafter, democracy will more resemble George Orwell’s 1984 on steroids. Bush’s Patriot Act and the subsequent internal security laws and conditions need not even be altered. Obama has preserved and further created all that is needed for the gov’ts complete autocratic rule as total functionaries to the corporatist ruling class.

Modern Foreclosure...

Modern Foreclosure…

Truman, when he assumed the presidency, lost no time firing progressives and socialists from the go’vt…eventually Wallace himself.Today, Wallace is all but totally excluded from academic history.

If we don’t engage in full-bore, non-sectarian united front building raising the consciousness of all we can, we will hardly be in a position to enact serious resistance and alternatives.

We don’t have near enough forces to play at who’s more holier-than-thou.  We face the greatest of threats, even to bourgeois democracy, as well as a serious attempt at fascist corporatism.

Hearts and minds…we need all we can get…

Dr. Publico

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3 Responses
  1. Neal Bush says:

    Your use of the term “lawn jockey” is racist.

  2. publico says:

    Thanx, Neal. Of course it was meant to be racist, however the attribution should have been clearer. Given my political work in the Old South (including more than a yr on a chain-gang 1964-65), the LRBW, director of their film division, Black Star Productions, etc., I’m pretty sensitive to the fact that corporatists, the Tea Party, Republicans, etc., are quite racist especially of Obama. No doubt it rankles many of them that Obama is in the White House except as a servant…or a lawn jockey…

  3. mark anderson says:

    We better fight…occupy is for a reason

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