Paul takes off in the home of left-wing populists and pacifists amid the ghost of Henry Wallace.
There is a reason, you know.
One doesn’t eat cake and ice cream 24/7 and put on weight only to be curious as to reason for the weight gain.
There is a reason Ron Paul is doing well in Iowa (as seen in this recent story.)
And yes, it is directly related to the fact that Iowa is a caucus state rather than a primary state, where the organizational skills of a candidate with a small core of passionate supporters can make more of a difference.
But there is a second, hardly discussed factor at work in Iowa politics: Iowa is a state that has historically produced or supported political leaders whose left-wing foreign policy sentiments were somewhere in the same cornfield’s as Ron Paul.
The most prominent, of course, was Henry Agard Wallace.
Iowan Henry A. Wallace began his political life as a liberal Republican, or what in today’s world would be called a RINO (Republican In Name Only). His father had been Secretary of Agriculture for conservatives Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, but the son, as sons can do, had a different view of the world. Born and raised in Iowa, a graduate of Iowa State College, Henry Wallace began his career working on the family paper Wallace’s Farmer, eventually taking over as editor. An accomplished farmer, he parlayed his knowledge of agriculture into a successful company known for breeding a high yield hybrid corn. Along the way, as with many RINOs then and now (think, say, Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter), Wallace’s leftist instincts led to changing parties and he became a considerable supporter of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. This resulted in FDR lifting Wallace out of Iowa to take his father’s old job as Secretary of Agriculture.
From this position Wallace became one of the leading voices of the American progressive movement. So much so that in 1940 FDR selected Wallace as his vice-presidential running mate for his famous third term victory over GOP nominee Wendell Willkie. For the next four years Wallace’s corn-fed Iowa leftism became so pronounced that nervous Democratic Party leaders began agitating for his removal from FDR’s fourth term bid, a strikingly unusual ploy that came about because of a considerable and quite unspoken fear. Democratic leaders had the uneasy feeling that FDR would win — and die. This was the middle of World War II, and by 1944, love him or hate him, Franklin Roosevelt had been at the helm of two of the most monumental events of the thus unfolded 20th century — the Great Depression and the Second World War. He was, at this point, a party icon and no one had the ability or the will to push him aside. What they could do was push Wallace aside and assure that someone else top Democrats considered as more responsible was in second place. They got their wish and did the deed with FDR’s exhausted consent — fatefully replacing Wallace with Harry Truman. And as feared, four months after inauguration day, FDR was dead. Truman, not Wallace was president.
He was, however, Secretary of Commerce by the grace of a guilty FDR who had appointed him as a sop for removing him from the ticket. But it wasn’t long before the progressive politics of Iowa farmer Wallace were clashing with ex-World War I Captain Truman over the budding Cold War. There was a spectacular clash between the two — and Wallace was out.
On September 19, 1946 Truman had angrily written in his diary — in terms opponents today frequently apply to Paul — that Wallace was “a pacifist 100 percent.” Truman bluntly accused the Iowa progressive of seeing “no wrong” in anything done by Stalin and the Soviets, including “Russia’s loot of Poland, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, Manchuria…. I do not understand a ‘dreamer’ like that.”
In short, as with Ron Paul today and as Paul demonstrated afresh in the latest Fox debate, Wallace believed that the cause of America’s difficulties was — America. It was America provoking the Russians to their behavior, not some messianic Communist urge to take over the world that was the real problem. The spreading Soviet presence in Europe and elsewhere be damned.
WALLACE’S BELIEF, OF COURSE, is now precisely the core philosophy of Ron Paul and his allies, although today it is applied to America’s struggle with Islamic fundamentalists. It was also the philosophy behind a Paul mentor, Murray Rothbard. Rothbard, a conservative with William F. Buckley Jr. and the rest at the beginning of the modern conservative movement, also believed with Wallace that the Cold War was America’s fault. Rothbard’s real philosophical alliance would eventually reveal itself in later years as he split with Buckley. Rothbard went on instead to ally himself with the leftist inclinations of the Students for a Democratic Society — the infamous SDS that birthed Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and Jane Fonda’s radical husband Tom Hayden. In addition to Rothbard, Paul is a big fan of the leftist intellectual and progressive writer Randolph Bourne, whom he cites favorably in his book The Revolution: A Manifesto. It is Bourne who inspires both Paul and his followers to frequently quote Bourne’s far left “wisdom” that “war is the health of the state.”
Free to be his own man after leaving Truman’s cabinet, Henry Wallace launched himself as an American champion of progressivism. In 1948 he became the presidential nominee of the Progressive Party. One of his delegates at that Progressive convention was a young academic from neighboring South Dakota named George McGovern — who in 1972 would lead the far left capture of the Democrats using Wallace’s (and now Ron Paul’s) philosophy, calling it “Come Home America.”
A comparison of Ron Paul’s beliefs with those of the 1948 Progressive Party Platform is instructive, the similarities decidedly not accidental. Masquerading as conservatives, Paul and his allies repeatedly use the principles of the Progressive Platform to champion a foreign policy view that, to cite but one example, Michele Bachmann calls “bizarre.”
That core belief is what Ron Paul and his allies attack as the philosophy of “Endless War.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
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The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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