The New Democrat Online

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Firing Line 1984: "Is There a Liberal Crack-Up?": The Fall of the Democratic Party



From 1933 to 1981 the Democratic Party ran the United States for the most part. Holding the White House from 1933-53, then again from 1961-69 and again from 1977-81. For a total 32-48 years and controlling Congress from 1931-47, 1949-53, 1955-81. For a total of 46-50 years. So when Ronald Reagan gets elected President in 1980 in a landslide of President Jimmy Carter and reelected in a landslide in 1984. And Senate Republicans win control of the Senate for the first time in twenty eight years in 1980. And hold keep control for six years, this was a huge shock for the Democratic Party. That was use to having most if not all of the power in the Federal Government. Under the Leadership of the Democratic Party, they passed the New Deal in the 1930s, won World War II in the 1940s. With the help of President Eisenhower in the 1950s, passed the Interstate Highway System. Passed the Great Society and Civil Rights in the 1960s, impeached a corrupt President in 1974, won back the White House in 1976. Along with large majorities in Congress but by the time the late 1970s came around, rough time to be a democrat. The Democratic Party was becoming divided and running out of ideas in where to take the country. Progressive Democrats wanted to pass the next installment of the Great Society what's called the Fair Deal, Single Payer Healthcare, Universal Higher Education, return to the high Tax Rates of the 1950s etc. Liberal Democrats wanted to freeze new Social Insurance spending and balance the Federal Budget. And Conservative Democrats were becoming Conservative Republicans.

Democratic Socialism was the ruling Political Ideology in the Democratic Party and in the United States from 1933-81. There was a feeling that the Federal Government wasn't big enough. And that we needed a Welfare State to catch up with Europe to provide all of these Social Services provided by government. And financed through high Tax Rates, which up until the Kennedy Administration ranged from 25-90%. But during World War II which is what got us out of the "Great Recession" up until the late 1950s. We had an Economic Boom but then we had a recession in 1958-59, we started pulling out of Vietnam in the early and mid 1970s. Had another recession in 1974-75 with those same high Tax Rates. The economy tanked again in 1978, another recession in 1979-80 again with the same high Tax Rates. Top Tax Rate 70%, lowest Tax Rate 15-20% and because of this there was a Tax Revolt in California. And in other places in the country led by Howard Jarvis and his group, Kemp-Roth is proposed in 1978-79. Which became the Economic Recovery Act in 1981 signed by President Reagan. And after having their clocks handed to them in 1980, the Democratic Party wasn't sure where to go. And I believe they basically settled for Walter Mondale in 1984 who was President Carter's Vice President.

If you look at our Political History, except for the Clinton Administration from 1993-2001, President Clinton who was a Liberal Democrat. But in the true sense of those terms, the last thirty years have been dominated by Conservative Republicans. Both Classical Conservatism with the Reagan-Bush Administration from 1981-93 with a Republican Senate from 1981-87. A Republican Congress from 1995-2001 and then a Neoconservative Administration with President Bush from 2001-09. With a Republican Congress from 2003-07 and its just in the last few years with democrats taking back Congress. And President Obama being elected President that liberalism has come back in America.