Times Change by Jonah Goldberg

  1. Herbert Hoover is still remembered as a very conservative small-government guy, despite the fact that he was a progressive who laid much of the groundwork for the New Deal. He ran for president, much like Donald Trump, as a self-made millionaire and great manager. He was “the Great Engineer” who could bring the best practices of business to government.
  2. FDR was certainly a liberal statist, but his positions on welfare and public-sector unions alone put him to the right of today’s Democratic party.
  3. Richard Nixon was, simply, a liberal by today’s standards:

a. He was a statist. You could say he was for Obamacare before Obama and he pushed wage and price controls.

b. While he exploited racial issues to get elected, he was programmatically a racial liberal.

c. He launched the first significant affirmative-action programs and pushed the first big school-integration efforts in the South. He created the Office of Minority Business Enterprise.

d. He loved the regulatory state. He created OSHA, NOAA, and of course the EPA.

e. Seventy-five percent of his Supreme Court appointees voted for Roe v. Wade.

f. He hated the “Buckleyites.”

There’s a natural human tendency to think that because you can’t stand the other guy — or gal — he or she must therefore be your ideological opposite. The Brown Shirts and Red Shirts . . . were Coke and Pepsi fighting for the same slice of the radical market by changing their recipes ever so slightly.

Bill Clinton, as president, wasn’t that left-wing and Richard Nixon wasn’t that right-wing. But their enemies started from the assumption that any political opponent we hate this much must have a wholly different ideology from us. When your enemies hate someone on your “side,” that causes you to embrace your guy even more.


So let this serve as a cautionary note about accepting politicians by their self-declared labels. Instead you must look at their actual history, their “body of work”, as it were. !cid_8B8FE055D9B34B03959F1D3B123586AB@YOUR89E7BBBEB1         Viewing the present candidates, you find not a dime’s worth of difference on the Democrat side, but tectonic differences on the GOP side.
Choose carefully, my friends!!

Categories: Political

8 replies

  1. That’s a good comparison and very good advice. To butcher a well-known phrase…a liberal by any other name, is still a liberal.

    It would have been impossible for Trump to run as a Democrat – he couldn’t have pushed the issues of the border and the muslim invasion. On those topics his views are fairly conservative and counter to the Dems view. Then there’s the debates where Hillary would have mopped the floor with him.


    • In one respect, I’d love to see the insults Trump would sling towards Hillary. I’ll bet that some of them would become part of the urban dictionary. At least when Cruz wins the nomination, he’ll be more gentlemanly and will just hammer Hillary with facts and not just rhetorical insults. Hillary really deserves both!


      • That might be the basis for a ticket using both.

        My fear of that is that association with Trump might forever soil Cruz. Otherwise, he would be a very worthy successor.


  2. I can relate to the formatting challenges, Curtis, but as long as we can read it it’s all good (besides, Garnet or Kathy will probably come along and fix it for ya).

    The whole label thing has become a big joke. Donald Trump calls himself a “Republican,” and based on this my friends at H&F insisted that we shouldn’t criticize him since we were all “on the same side.”

    “What if Hillary Clinton ran as a Republican?” I asked. “Does that mean she’s on our side too?”

    No answer.

    Long ago I learned that you can call yourself whatever you want but what you are depends on what you DO, not the label you embrace. But it sure does fool a lot of people. Just ask the “Progressives.”


    • CW, I dropped by H&F yesterday and guess what – our favorite commenter was still badmouthing all of us as ignorant liars. He’s gone total Trumpian.


      • I’ve avoided H&F since I left. It’s too disheartening to see.

        The projection of one’s own faults onto others in order to spare oneself from guilt of his own actions is a classic defense mechanism. Color me not surprised.


  3. Obviously, I’ve got some things to learn about formatting. But hopefully you will still get the message clearly.


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