525 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 85 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts    H3'ed 4/9/18

Undoing the New Deal: Clinton Rolled Back the Deal, Obama Blew an FDR Moment

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   No comments

The Real News Network

This piece was reprinted by OpEd News with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Undoing the New Deal: Clinton Rolled Back the Deal, Obama Blew an FDR Moment (pt6)

[The entire series can be seen at The Real News Network]

Historian Gerald Horne says that President Clinton's "reforms" were a staggering blow to the social safety net; President Obama had a rare political moment where he could have created a modern New Deal, but he wouldn't do it.

Dr. Gerald Horne holds the John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. His research has addressed issues of racism in a variety of relations involving labor, politics, civil rights, international relations and war. Dr. Horne has also written extensively about the film industry. His latest book is The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. Dr. Horne received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. from Princeton University.

Paul: Gerald is the John Jay and Rebecca Morris Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He's the author of the Counterrevolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the united states of america. Thanks for joining us again, Gerald.

Gerald Horne: Thank you for inviting me.

Paul: So, before we kind of pick up again a bit of Reagan and then move into Clinton. You wanted to make a comment about FDR. Go ahead.

Gerald Horne: Well, I think that in our previous analysis, we were relatively charitable toward FDR, and I don't think that was necessarily misplaced. What I mean is we were trying to explain how and why it was that so many New Deal programs tended to exclude black workers, and can you lay that wholly at the doorstep of the occupant of the Oval Office or should you do a broader analysis of the race and class forces that he was confronting? That is to say, the opposition in Dixie, not only by Dixiecrats, that is to say political leaders within his own party, but also a mass movement amongst many white workers, who were upset about any uplifting of black workers.

Gerald Horne: What was interesting about FDR, what he was trying to do and run around that, by having a dual partnership with his spouse, Eleanor Roosevelt, who in many ways, was saying many progressive things that the president himself felt he was not able to say because of this relationship with the Dixiecrats. And I think that that same kind of political configuration that we're confronted with, which is really screwy in the United States, that is to say, we don't have a Labor Party that represents labor. Black, white, brown, etc.

Gerald Horne: We have these parties of mixed-class formations, a Democratic Party that unions at its base and has, at the elite level, has many Wall Street elements, who are not necessarily dependent upon an organized labor force, and then you have a Republican Party that has many white, working class and middle class folk at its base, but then has at its apex many bosses who are dependent upon a broad swath of working class labor.

Gerald Horne: As long as you have that rather dysfunctional class and political party configuration, you're gonna have difficulty pushing through any kind of social democratic measure.

Paul: Okay. So, let's move into ... in terms of Reagan, we talked about he takes advantage of this moment that the legislation of the 1960s sent a lot of what were Dixiecrats, southern racist members of the Democratic Party over to the Republican Party. There's resentment in the white working class about many of these reforms; Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty, which did benefit black workers, certainly more directly than New Deal measures in the 1930s. And in a time of globalization; it takes a great big leap, to my mind, it's a whole other conversation, but it has a lot to do with the development of digitization.

Paul: You can now rationalize international production in a way that you never could and in the 1980s, this really starts to take off, weakening the power of American workers and American unions. But big government, to a large extent, actually really means, undo social programs. When Reagan says, "Let's have smaller government," he doesn't mean let's have a smaller military. He means, let's get rid of social programs, those from the 30s and the 60s. And that message tends to resonate in his favor.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

The Real News Network Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

The Real News Network (TRNN) is a non-profit, viewer-supported daily video-news and documentary service. We don't accept advertising, and we don't accept government or corporate funding.

Since 2007, we have produced more (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Where's the 'Collusion'? (Interview)

Undoing the New Deal: African-Americans, Racism and the FDR/Johnson Reforms (Pt5)

Justin Trudeau's Description of BDS: 'A Pack of Lies'

Jill Stein Denounces Probe over 'Collusion with Russians' (Interview)

Saudi King Calls on 'Despots' to Mecca for Emergency Meeting on Iran

Patriot Act Renewal Sneaks Through Congress With Dem Support

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend