|Source:Freedom Forum- author Steven Weisman talking about his book.|
"The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan never wrote an autobiography, but a collection of his personal letters is now available in a new book."
From the Freedom Forum
There's a lot to talk about when it comes to someone like Daniel Patrick Moynihan who was essentially a professional intellectual and thinker, as well as public servant. But what I'm interested in is his politics and what he wanted to do in and with government, because he's been described by some on the Right as a Progressive or Liberal and by some on the Left as a Conservative, because he worked for both Democratic and Republican President's.
I think it's pretty clear that Pat Moynihan wasn't a Conservative. He did work for President Richard Nixon and then later President Gerald Ford, but Richard Nixon was never a Conservative, at least not as President. There's a whole bunch of economic policies and an economic agenda that came out of the Nixon Administration in the early 1970s that made it clear that President Nixon wasn't a Conservative. Things like Welfare To Work, what's known now as the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, by the Right, subsidized employment to encourage low-income and low-skilled adults to work, all came out of the Nixon Administration in the early 1970s originally, but didn't become law until the 1990s and 2010.
Pat Moynihan wasn't a Liberal, at least not in the mainstream media or pop culture sense. But those aren't the real definitions of liberal either. Moynihan wasn't what the rest of the developed world calls a Social Democrat, that the American mainstream media, pop culture, and closeted Socialists call Liberal. Moynihan believed that government had a real role to help people in need and to see that everyone has access to clean water, air, safe working conditions, labor rights, etc, but he didn't think government could manage people's lives for them and take care of mentally and physically able people from cradle to grave.
Pat Moynihan wasn't a centrist. He had a real government and political philosophy that was about progress , moving forward, and making things better. But he also believed that there were real limits to what government can do for people.
If you want to look at Pat Moynihan's politics, you want to look at Theodore Roosevelt and the old Progressive wing of the Republican Party, people who were Center-Right Progressives who believed that government had a role to make things better in society and empower people to help themselves, but that it wasn't the job of government to try to do everything for everybody.
Pat Moynihan represented the progressive center in American politics that has all but disappeared in America today, at least in the Republican Party. And represents a positive and progressive era in American politics that has all but disappeared.