Juanita’s post today at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon about Louisiana Congressman John Fleming trying to make ends meet when he’s only netting $400,000 a year drew a comment from A Conservative Schoolteacher (!) calling her out on class warfare and socialism, to which she ably replied herself, of course. All good fun, and then I visited the schoolteacher’s site to see what they’re putting in the water up there in Michigan to turn chickens into Colonel Sanders fans.
There I found a post quoting the GOP National Platform from 1936. It sounds familiar as they decry New Deal waste, fraud and abuse, over-regulation, deficit spending and loss of liberty. They call for drastic and immediate spending cuts to balance the budget, elimination of unnecessary and hampering regulations and other measures to furnish a chance for individual enterprise, industrial expansion, and the restoration of jobs.
Back in 1936, the American people weren’t buying it. The Republicans ran Kansas Governor Alf Landon against Roosevelt. Landon was a banker and millionaire oilman who actually supported most of the New Deal. He lost forty-six states, prompting Democratic Party Chair James Farley to quip “As Maine goes, so goes Vermont.”
Landon’s candidacy was really ‘Plan B’ for the plutocrats of the day. Late in 1934, retired Marine General Smedley Butler alerted Congress to a Wall Street plot to install a fascist dictatorship in Washington. The businessmen raised three million dollars and asked Butler to lead a private army of 500,000 ex-soldiers to march on Washington and install General Hugh S. Johnson as dictator. A special committee of the House of Representatives concluded that “ certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country...There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient." I wonder if the “Conservative Schoolteacher” teaches this story in social studies class.