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Monday, October 1, 2012

2012: A 1912 Rerun? (Only if you make it)

As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney prepare for Wednesday's debate I give you audio clips from the 1912 election.  Below are the actual voices of Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft in campaign recordings from that year (presented in the order that they finished).  Phonograph records were the Facebook/YouTube of it's day.  Radio didn't become prevalent until the 1920's with the birth of KDKA in Pittsburgh.

Woodrow Wilson called "the schoolboy in the White House" was the Democratic candidate.  Glenn Beck and some other conservatives now blame him for the problems we have today. He enacted the Federal Reserve, the Progressive Income Tax, child labor laws and most famously the League of Nations which was the forerunner of today's UN. He also was a southern born racist who hosted a showing of the pro Ku Klux Klan film Birth of a Nation at the White House.  Does his rhetoric sound inflammatory today?  You be the judge.  This is the first in a six part series that can be heard on YouTube.


Former President Theodore Roosevelt left the Republican Party to form the Progressive or Bull Moose Party when his former friend William Howard Taft refused to give him the Republican Party nomination.  He is also sometimes criticized by Glenn Beck for his domestic policy.  Like Wilson he also engaged in gunboat diplomacy in Latin America while pursuing progressive policies at home.  He finished 2nd in his bid for a third term.  This clip is the first in a 9 part series.


William Howard Taft succeeded Roosevelt for President in 1908.  I found this speech from the Library of Congress on prosperity from 1912 where he criticizes his opponents.  He finished third winning two states and later served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court until he died in 1930.  His descendants are still active in conservative Ohio politics. His son Robert became a US Senator, wrote the anti union Taft-Hartley Act which impedes union organizing to this day, and almost defeated Gen. Eisenhower for the GOP Presidential nomination in 1952.



Democracy Now will have an expanded debate where third party candidates will be given time to speak in addition to Obama and Romney. The lamestream media will focus on whether Romney is a carbon copy of John Kerry or Michael Dukakis.

I begin the third year of CSI without Dead Bodies with this announcement.  This Sunday, Oct 7 at 7:30-9:30 there will be a concert by Mike Stout and the Human Union Band to raise money for the Thomas Merton Center and PUSH/Healthcare for All PA at the Frick Fine Arts Center in Pittsburgh.  For those of you unfamiliar with his band you can see it in the clip below with their tribute to the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire which inspired many of the reforms which Wilson and Roosevelt advocated in 1912.  The reforms still took many years to enact and some are still hard to enact because they are interrupted by wars.



**Update**

Much has been made of Obama's timid debate performance.  Here are the third party candidates Johnson (Libertatian on YouTube), Stein(Green), and Anderson's (Justice) virtual participation in the debates.  Were they as timid?  You decide.
   

 


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