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Modern era Democratic presidents


Arm of Harm
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The Democratic Party became liberal/progressive/leftist in 1912, with their choice of Woodrow Wilson as their presidential candidate. America, and to a large extent the world, has been reshaped by these modern era Democratic presidents. What has that reshaping looked like? I'll start this thread with Woodrow Wilson to explore the answer to that question. Eventually I will cover just about all modern era Democratic presidents. (Leaving out a few due to me not being aware of any significant long-term effects their presidencies had.) However, I don't claim to be a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about Democratic presidents. If you see anything I've left out, by all means chime in!

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Woodrow Wilson

  • Creation of the Federal Reserve, with his full approval

  • Creation of an income tax, also with his full approval

  • Got the United States into WWI, after running on the slogan “he kept us out of war.”

  • The reasons for entering WWI all turned out to be lies. The anti-German atrocity propaganda was complete fiction. Claims that the war was about self-determination were false: self-determination was denied to large portions of postwar Germany, including the Sudetenland, West Prussia, Silesia, the Saar, and, later, the Rhineland. The claim that it was a “war to end all wars” was false: the Soviet Union went to war against Poland in 1919; and likely would have annexed both Poland and Germany had its military efforts been successful.

  • In common with other Western democratic leaders, Woodrow Wilson did nothing to help Poland during the Polish-Soviet War.

  • During WWI the Entente imposed a food blockade on Germany. This blockade was extended into 1919 to force Germany to sign the Versailles Treaty. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died from hunger or hunger-related causes.

  • The Versailles Treaty denied Germany the economic means with which to feed its own people. During the Weimar Republic many or most Germans experienced “prolonged and insatiable hunger,” in the words of Adam Tooze.

  • Germany was limited to only a token military, rendering it unable to defend itself against Soviet invasion. Had Poland fallen in 1920, and had the Soviets moved on to Germany, it is likely the Western democracies would have done as little to help Germany as they had to help Poland.

  • Germany's inability to defend itself against Soviet invasion was an ongoing concern for as long as the Versailles Treaty was in place. No major Western democracy had committed itself to preventing Soviet expansion prior to 1948.

 

Offsetting positives

  • None

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To be fair, the Progressive Era began with Republican Teddy Roosevelt.

 

Roosevelt was the intellectual offspring of the Whigs (and Lincoln), and believed strongly in Centralism, Federal Supremacy, and Federal Activism.

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt

  • Came to power in large part because the Federal Reserve had massively hiked interest rates, causing the Great Depression.

  • The New Deal dramatically expanded the size and role of government.

  • Ran at deficits; unpredictable environment for business prolonged the Great Depression.

  • Some government programs actively encouraged people not to work.

  • During the FDR presidency the top tax rate was 99%.

  • Covered up the Ukrainian famine; an artificial famine Stalin had caused which killed an estimated 7 to 10 million people.

  • Pursued a pro-Soviet foreign policy throughout his administration, and envisioned this pro-Soviet stance continuing far out into the future.

  • Some New Deal programs paid farmers for physically destroying crops they'd harvested, even though many people were going hungry.

  • Used a combination of false propaganda and aggressive measures to get the United States into WWII. Deliberately provoked war with Japan by imposing an oil embargo, violating Japanese territorial waters with “pop-up cruises,” moving the U.S. Pacific Fleet from California to Hawaii, creating an air base in the Philippines from which Japanese cities could be strategically bombed, and other inflammatory measures.

  • Deliberately got the United States into a war on the same side as the U.S.S.R., even though Stalin had murdered more people than had any prior leader in human history.

  • The Allies imposed a food blockade against Germany during WWII; a blockade which killed tens of millions of innocent people. (Predominately Slavs.)

  • Authorized terror attacks on German cities, falsely claiming that the Germans had started it by attacking British cities first.

  • Authorized terror attacks on Japanese cities, even though Japan did not strategically bomb American cities.

  • Authorized“shoot anything that moves” missions in the German countryside.

  • Put in place postwar plans for additional acts of mass murder (see Truman section).

 

Offsetting positives

  • Created the SEC, which is a mixed blessing. On the positive side, it did increase the reliability of reports from publicly traded companies.

  • His creation of Social Security helped elderly people avoid poverty.

  • FDIC insurance protected the money of bank depositors.

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50 minutes ago, TakeYouToTasker 2.0 said:

To be fair, the Progressive Era began with Republican Teddy Roosevelt.

 

Roosevelt was the intellectual offspring of the Whigs (and Lincoln), and believed strongly in Centralism, Federal Supremacy, and Federal Activism.

 

Perhaps my earlier post could have been clearer. I did not mean to suggest that Woodrow Wilson was our first leftist president, or our first progressive president. But, he was our first leftist Democratic president. The 19th century Democratic Party, or the party of Andrew Jackson, was a completely different animal than what we're dealing with today. If you wanted to draw a line between where the old Democratic Party ends and the new one begins, Woodrow Wilson's presidency was that line. Increased government spending, the creation of an income tax, abandonment of isolationism and adoption of overseas interventionism, no interest at all in preventing Soviet expansion, and a hint of globalism (League of Nations). These were themes which would be repeated or amplified by Wilson's Democratic successors, and which prior to Wilson had not been associated with the Democratic Party.

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Harry S Truman

  • Continued FDR's policies of terror attacks against German and Japanese cities.

  • Continued FDR's policy of creating firestorms in German cities, to kill the maximum number of civilians possible. The Dresden raid was one example of that larger pattern.

  • Refused Japan's offer of conditional surrender, several months before the war in the Pacific ended.

  • Refused a second Japanese offer of conditional surrender, a few weeks before the war ended. Japan's one condition was that their emperor be left alone.

  • Used nuclear weapons to destroy two Japanese cities.

  • Imposed a postwar famine on Germany (JCS 1067), as per FDR's plans. Estimates of the death toll vary: 5.7 million according to one, 9 million according to another.

  • For the first year after the war, foreign relief agencies were forbidden from importing food into American-occupied Germany to feed to starving children.

  • Large numbers of German POWs died in the postwar era due to bad conditions in American camps, or because they'd been turned over to the French or the Soviets. The generally accepted number is 1.4 million deaths, though this includes deaths of German POWs in both Western and Soviet camps.

  • Millions of refugees who'd fled the Soviet Union into National Socialist Germany were handed back over to Stalin for imprisonment or execution. (Operation Keelhaul.)

  • The pro-communist administration Truman had inherited from FDR consistently undermined and thwarted the Chinese nationalists, which eventually caused China to fall into communist hands. After communists gained power, Mao murdered tens of millions of innocent people.

  • Stalin allowed the Korean War to go forward as a test of American military readiness. Based on the results of that war, he believed his MiG jets could shoot down American strategic bombers before they could deliver their nuclear payloads. He felt comfortable moving forward with plans to invade Western Europe. However, he was poisoned before he'd had the chance to launch WWIII.

 

Offsetting positives

  • Managed to keep South Korea from falling into communist hands.

  • Three years after WWII, Truman bowed to public pressure and ended the policy of deliberately starving Germany. The Marshall Plan of 1948 helped prevent Germany from going communist, even though Germany received less aid per capita than did France, Italy, Britain, or Austria.

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No analysis of the Truman presidency would be complete without mentioning the Nuremberg trials.

 

Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Harlan Fiske Stone called the Nuremberg trials a "fraud".[67] "[Chief U.S. prosecutor] Jackson is away conducting his high-grade lynching party in Nuremberg[.] I don't mind what he does to the Nazis, but I hate to see the pretense that he is running a court and proceeding according to common law. This is a little too sanctimonious a fraud to meet my old-fashioned ideas", Stone wrote. . . .

 

The trials were conducted under their own rules of evidence. Article 19 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal stated that "The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence." . . .

 

[Jodl] was in one instance aided by a GI clerk who chose to give Luise a document showing that the execution of a group of British commandos in Norway had been legitimate. The GI warned [Jodl's wife] Luise that if she did not copy it immediately she would never see it again.[83]

 

It is also worth mentioning that in the early postwar period Britain had opened a concentration camp at Bad Nenndorf. Many of the inmates were political prisoners, such as Nazis and, later, communists.

 

The inmates were starved, woken during the night, and forced to walk up and down their cells from early morning until late at night. When moving about the prison they were expected to run, while soldiers kicked them. . . .

 

Former prisoners told Hayward that they had been whipped as well as beaten. This, the detective said, seemed unbelievable, until "our inquiries of warders and guards produced most unexpected corroboration". Threats to execute prisoners, or to arrest, torture and murder their wives and children were considered "perfectly proper", on the grounds that such threats were never carried out.

 

Suppose you take an average man. You starve him. You torture him. You tell him you'll murder his family unless he does as he's told. Then you demand a confession. Will an average man confess, under those circumstances, even if he's not guilty? Did the use of such tactics at Bad Nenndorf help produce the confessions heard during the Nuremberg trials? Should we think worse of Truman for having participated in postwar show trials at Nuremberg, than we would have thought of him had he proceeded according to international law?

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Lyndon B. Johnson

  • Got the United States into the Vietnam War, under false pretenses.

  • When fighting right wing governments (WWII), Democrats were willing to use nuclear weapons to kill entire cities. But when Democrats were at war against communists (Vietnam), if American soldiers were being fired on, their commanding officer needed to contact Washington to get permission to fire back.

  • Imposed a draft for a war which he had absolutely no intention of fighting to win.

  • The Great Society Program massively expanded the size and role of government.

  • The Great Society Program created strong economic incentives for fathers of poor families to abandon their children and their families.

  • The Great Society Program helped transition many members of the working class into the welfare class. Formerly safe neighborhoods became ghettos.

  • The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 began the Great Replacement in the United States. (Despite the lies which its supporters had told to the American people.) However, this cannot be blamed solely on Democrats, as a majority of Congressional Republicans also voted for this legislation.

 

Offsetting positives

  • None

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5 hours ago, Arm of Harm said:

Lyndon B. Johnson

  • Got the United States into the Vietnam War, under false pretenses.

  • When fighting right wing governments (WWII), Democrats were willing to use nuclear weapons to kill entire cities. But when Democrats were at war against communists (Vietnam), if American soldiers were being fired on, their commanding officer needed to contact Washington to get permission to fire back.

  • Imposed a draft for a war which he had absolutely no intention of fighting to win.

  • The Great Society Program massively expanded the size and role of government.

  • The Great Society Program created strong economic incentives for fathers of poor families to abandon their children and their families.

  • The Great Society Program helped transition many members of the working class into the welfare class. Formerly safe neighborhoods became ghettos.

  • The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 began the Great Replacement in the United States. (Despite the lies which its supporters had told to the American people.) However, this cannot be blamed solely on Democrats, as a majority of Congressional Republicans also voted for this legislation.

 

Offsetting positives

  • None

 

LBJ was such a raging @$$h@l& and general failure of a President, I'm genuinely surprised modern So-Progs haven't recast him as a Republican.

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14 hours ago, Crap Throwing Monkey said:

 

LBJ was such a raging @$$h@l& and general failure of a President, I'm genuinely surprised modern So-Progs haven't recast him as a Republican.

He was Texan, isn't that enough association? 

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I take it the "terror attacks" on cities under Roosevelt and Truman were the bombings they both inflicted. No war in history has ever been won by only beating the military of that nation. You have to also beat the people and governments of those nations or they just rise up again (or more so) and fight you again.

Since we have made war "civilized" we have had Korea to a smaller extent, then Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan giving us the biggest example of the (at least dressed as) civilian population rising up to fight again.

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20 hours ago, Arm of Harm said:

Lyndon B. Johnson

  • Got the United States into the Vietnam War, under false pretenses.

  • When fighting right wing governments (WWII), Democrats were willing to use nuclear weapons to kill entire cities. But when Democrats were at war against communists (Vietnam), if American soldiers were being fired on, their commanding officer needed to contact Washington to get permission to fire back.

  • Imposed a draft for a war which he had absolutely no intention of fighting to win.

  • The Great Society Program massively expanded the size and role of government.

  • The Great Society Program created strong economic incentives for fathers of poor families to abandon their children and their families.

  • The Great Society Program helped transition many members of the working class into the welfare class. Formerly safe neighborhoods became ghettos.

  • The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 began the Great Replacement in the United States. (Despite the lies which its supporters had told to the American people.) However, this cannot be blamed solely on Democrats, as a majority of Congressional Republicans also voted for this legislation.

 

Offsetting positives

  • None

WOW, as one born in 70 I did not know most of this. 

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2 hours ago, Cinga said:

I take it the "terror attacks" on cities under Roosevelt and Truman were the bombings they both inflicted.

 

Mostly peaceful explosive-related incidents.

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4 hours ago, Cinga said:

I take it the "terror attacks" on cities under Roosevelt and Truman were the bombings they both inflicted. No war in history has ever been won by only beating the military of that nation. You have to also beat the people and governments of those nations or they just rise up again (or more so) and fight you again.

Since we have made war "civilized" we have had Korea to a smaller extent, then Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan giving us the biggest example of the (at least dressed as) civilian population rising up to fight again.

 

One could argue that there are two types of war: "normal" war and guerrilla war. A guerrilla war is obviously going to be messier and more difficult to win than a normal war, because guerrilla warriors do their best to blend in to the civilian population. Difficult to target guerrilla warriors without also killing civilians.

 

The laws of war are intended to lessen the bloodshed, by making a reasonable effort to separate legitimate military targets from civilian targets. It is illegal, for example, to use non-uniformed soldiers in combat. Why? Because those would be guerrilla warriors, and would blend in with the civilian population. The laws of war require soldiers to be kept separate from civilians, so that the enemy can target one without targeting the other. Likewise, naval bombardment of an enemy city is permitted if the following are true: 1) The city must be a defended city, meaning that there must be an enemy military presence in it. 2) The attacker must have an army near the city or soon to arrive near the city. 3) The attacker must make a good faith effort to hit legitimate military targets only. Some collateral damage is expected, but that cannot be the objective of the naval bombardment.

 

Germany's track record was that of fighting "normal" wars, not guerrilla wars. Its soldiers fought in a "normal war" fashion in the Franco-Prussian War, in WWI, and again in WWII. Its air force consisted mostly of single engine aircraft, such as fighters and dive bombers. Fighters are intended to shoot down enemy aircraft; dive bombers are intended to take out enemy tanks or artillery or other military targets. Germany also had medium bombers: two engine aircraft with longer range than fighters or dive bombers. These were useful for going behind enemy lines and taking out bridges and trains. These aircraft were unsuitable for strategic bombing. For that, you needed four engine heavy bombers. These had a longer range, and could carry much larger payloads, than could medium bombers. The U.S. and Britain went into WWII with such heavy bombers; Germany did not. When British bombers began bombing German cities, Hitler retaliated by using his medium bombers to bomb British cities. The death toll Germany imposed on British civilians was only a small fraction of the death toll British and American raids imposed on German cities.

 

During WWII, a good proxy of overall military production was the number of military aircraft produced. In the critical year of 1942, Germany produced 16,000 military aircraft, as compared to 25,000 for the Soviet Union, 24,000 for Britain, and 48,000 for the U.S. Germany's prewar population was less than half that of the Soviet Union, and not much more than half that of the United States. It lost WWII due to lack of production, too small a population size, and lack of oil. These led to "normal war" type defeats, such as the Battle of Stalingrad and the Normandy Invasion. Bombing raids targeted against civilian populations, primarily women and children, did not terrify Germany into surrendering. It fought until the bitter end.

 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He served in the Red Army during WWII. He was a Christian and an anti-communist. He described the Soviet occupation of Germany in the following words:

 

The little daughter’s on the mattress,
Dead. How many have been on it
A platoon, a company perhaps?
A girl’s been turned into a woman,
A woman turned into a corpse.

 

To avoid that fate, a number of German parents would first kill their children, then themselves. They thought it better to die with dignity, than to watch their wives, sisters, and prepubescent daughters raped to death, and men shot out of hand if they tried to intervene. There were more rapes committed during the Soviet occupation of Germany, than there had been during any other event in history.

 

Unspeakable, unforgivable cruelty towards Germany did not end war or the threat of war. Had Stalin lived a few more years, he would have launched WWIII. Germany, whose people we had murdered with hunger and fire, would have been our most important ally. This world war would have been unlike the previous two. Stalin had much stronger conventional forces than the U.S. and its allies. He had, or believed he had, the ability to shoot down American bombers before they could deliver their nuclear payloads. Stalin wanted war against the United States, and had a sound plan to win that war. Neither of these things had been true of our opponents in the first two world wars.

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Bill Clinton

  • Provided ICBM guidance technology to communist China, apparently in exchange for contributions to the DNC.

  • Conducted a needless war of aggression in Bosnia.

  • Engaged in aggressive military action against Middle Eastern nations, apparently to distract attention from his extramarital affairs. (Monica missiles.)

  • Committed perjury.

  • Section 230 paved the way for big tech censorship.

  • At the end of his administration he pardoned his friends for illegal activities in which he and Hillary may have been involved.

  • Stole some furniture and paintings from the White House as he was departing.

 

Offsetting positives

  • Agreed to most of the spending discipline proposed by Newt Gingrich and the Congressional Republicans. This resulted in a small federal surplus near the end of the Clinton presidency.

  • Went along with Republicans' proposals for welfare reform.

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On 10/3/2021 at 8:57 AM, Cinga said:

I take it the "terror attacks" on cities under Roosevelt and Truman were the bombings they both inflicted.

 

Seems more like it's the bombings the British inflicted.  

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On 10/3/2021 at 9:43 AM, Fansince88 said:

WOW, as one born in 70 I did not know most of this. 

 

If you get a chance, listen to the entire series.   But this particular episode will answer these questions. 

 

Don't have to listen on Apple, the series is available on any podcast stream.

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