We begin our narrative with November 1919 when the U.S. Senate turned down membership in the League of Nations. We start there because it was one of the last times the American people really won something out of the Federal Government on foreign policy. Defeat of the World Court would follow.
But disastrous mistakes followed. The United States should have quit interfering with Asia. In particular, 2 points: The Philippines should have granted independence. And all U.S. missionaries should have been pulled out of China; cancel their passports if need be. There should haven’t been any Naval gunboats on Chinese rivers protecting Standard Oil (Rockefeller) interests. A needless war with Japan would have been avoided. That’s the start of the downward spiral in world affairs.
Some will argue that the passage of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913 started the real spiral. Probably. But the potential ill effects weren’t noticed because of the First World War breaking out in 1914. (The USA would stay out until 1917, when America got corralled in because of the inter-linking of Anglo-American banking interests.) Anyway, the USA profited from the war. America became a creditor nation in 1914 for probably the first time in history. This happy state of affairs would continue until 1985 during the reign of that old fraud Ronald Reagan when the USA once again became a debtor nation. That has continued and is the direct cause of the economic debacle of the Bush II and Obama Administrations.
In 1932, Congress had its chance to undo the damage of the Federal Reserve when the House passed the Goldsborough Money Bill by an overwhelming margin. Applying Social Credit principles, it would have over-rode the FED. But Senator Carter Glass of Virginia beat it back in the Senate. He used the argument that the incoming Roosevelt Administration should be allowed a chance to right the economy.
But the Great Depression continued. New Deal measures mitigated some of the worst effects through public works measures. But orthodox finance measures couldn’t reverse the basic downturn. Father Coughlin, in his popular radio broadcasts, blamed the FED and correctly pointed out that there was a shortage of money.
Still, there was slow improvement. Then, in 1937 & 38, the FED, alarmed at successful unionization campaigns and the rise of the CIO, put the squeeze on the money supply. This caused a sharp recession inside the Depression. The result was a massive defeat for the New Deal in the 1938 midterm elections. Third parties allied to the New Deal–Progressives in Wisconsin and Farmer Laborites in Minnesota–were almost wiped out. The Goldsborough bill was revived in 1938 but again suffered defeat in the Senate.
The Nude Eel–Ezra Pound’s term–now turned to war. USA involvement in China as part of the Open Door Empire guaranteed an eventual clash with Japan. FDR had a sentimental attachment to China. The Delano fortune of his mother had come from the opium trade in China during the 19th century.
But FDR’s interest was Europe. But here he was thwarted. The base of the Democratic Party in the North was in large measure built upon the German, Italian and Irish working class. They were opposed to intervening in the European war which began in 1939. German and Italian ethnic preferences in that conflict were obvious. But the Irish, who controlled the Democratic machines in Massachusetts and New York were also adamant that USA stay out. The Irish were dead set against any measures to bail out the British Empire.
Then Pearl Harbor ‘miraculously’ happened and FDR got the USA involved through the back door.
During the war, something happened in American politics that was little noticed at the time. The White Primary in Texas was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1944. Being ruled unconstitutional meant it was illegal in the rest of the South. Until then, only whites were allowed to be members of the Democratic Party, participate in its caucuses, or vote in its primaries. This was the beginning of the Supreme Court ensuring a federal role in ‘civil rights’. Eventually it would lead to imposition of a Second Reconstruction upon the South.
Also, it tended to thwart new third parties by institutionalizing the two-party system.
The United States entered World War II as very much a segregated country. The South and adjacent border states had segregated school systems–this also included Kansas and Oklahoma. Twenty-nine out of forty eight states banned inter-racial marriage. The beginning of the end would come in 1948 when Truman signed an Executive Order integrating the Armed Forces. This was key. A segregated state would not be able to count on an integrated Army. From a scratch to gangrene!
We’ll conclude this portion of our little sojourn with a look at 1952.
When Eisenhower defeated Senator Robert Taft for the Republican presidential nomination, this locked in the GOP for an interventionist foreign policy. The Republicans would be partners in Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace. Enough said!
But the Democrats also did something in 1952 which affects us to this day and contributes to Uncle Sam’s downward spiral. The Democrat Establishment knew they couldn’t defeat Eisenhower. But they needed to control the Party machinery. They did this by choosing as their nominee, Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois, an apt representative of the limousine liberal class. He was chosen over Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee who stood in the tradition of Southern Populism. This began the disaffection of the white working class from the Democrats.
To be continued.