Adding to the funk, I've been reading a biography of Herbert Hoover. Herbert Hoover, the man who gets blamed for the Great Depression and gets held up frequently as the Ultimate Evil Republican. Well, the bad news is that going by current teabagger standards, Hoover was so far left he might as well have been sleeping with Lenin.
What were some of the things Hoover advocated?
- a shorter work week (only 48 hours) and a shorter work day
- a minimum wage
- the right of workers to form unions
- the creation of labor/management councils that would give workers a say in how a company was being run (basically putting ordinary workers on the board of directors)
- a federal old age pension
- a nationalized electrical grid system (public power that would bring electricity to everyone)
- nationalized trains
- equal pay for women, i.e., what a person got paid should depend on what the job was and not on the gender of the person performing it
At the point I'm at now, which is right around 1920, Hoover is still spending more time schmoozing with the Democrats than with the Republicans. Among other things, he was one of Woodrow Wilson's advisors. I am becoming increasingly curious to see how he ends up as the Republican presidential candidate barely 8 years later, because, based on what I've read so far, it doesn't make sense.
Then again, 100 years ago Republicans were sane. They were the progressives advocating for equality, conservation, regulation. . .