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CGI's oldmaninthedesert: The Cult of The Presidency: "Progress" and the Presidency

Posted By: RumorMail
Date: Thursday, 7-Mar-2019 18:46:30
www.rumormill.news/118753

From CGI member oldmaninthedesert:

*****************************************

I suggest by the time we get to the end of this one, we will better understand how we got to the "Donald"

[....Growing concern over materialism was itself a reflection of material progress. The economic dynamism of the late 19th and early 20th century led to an intellectual revolution of rising expectations. Americans who had grown up amid the creative destruction of the Gilded Age had little patience for addressing the problems of growth within a framework of laissez-faire and limited government; they wanted action. Progressivism’s distinguishing characteristic was activism, Richard Hofstadter explains, and its ethos one of intense optimism.5 American ingenuity had tamed the frontier; surely it could tame the trusts, vanquish machine politics, and alleviate urban squalor.[Looks like American ingenuity sold out to the trusts,machine politics and poverty DC]

Toward those ends, the Progressives sought to both democratize power and centralize it. They supported allowing citizens to vote directly on legislative measures through initiatives and referendums, direct primaries for party nominations, direct election of U.S. senators, and other measures designed to weaken the hold of party bosses on the democratic process. To diminish the power of corporate elites and better the lot of the American laborer, Progressives favored increased regulation of trusts and working conditions, as well as giving professional administrators the power to rationalize the productive chaos of an unplanned economy. All this required enhanced executive authority. As constitutional scholar M.J.C. Vile has observed, ‘‘Legislatures were more suspect in Progressive eyes than executive officers, and the best solution for the problems of modern government was seen to be the strengthening of executive power at State and Federal levels.’’6

If the Constitution stood in the way of necessary reforms, then so much the worse for the Constitution. For the activists of the new century, power wielded in righteousness was benign, checks on such power, perverse. And they had little use for the hoary republican traditions that kept presidents from appealing directly to the public. The Progressives worked to undermine those traditions, the better to mobilize the public and concentrate power in the service of reform. Progressive activism at home was matched by activism abroad, with many reformers embracing America’s rise to world power status, and hoping imperial adventures overseas could serve as a catalyst for domestic restructuring.

Modern conservatives don’t typically think of themselves as ideological fellow travelers with the left-leaning reformers of the early 20th century. Yet, few Progressives would have found anything to argue with in the account of presidential greatness John Yoo offered to an audience of Federalist Society lawyers in 2006:.....]

https://exploringrealhistory.blogspot.com/2019/03/part-2-cult-of-presidency-progress-and.html





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