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Long Live Teddy/Death to Woodrow: The Polarized Politics of the Progressive Era in the 2012 Election

  • Robert D. Johnston (a1)
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Two historic moments from the run-up to the 2012 presidential election might well stir the interest of readers of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era:

December 6, 2011: President Barack Obama traveled to Osawatomie, Kansas, to deliver what proved to be his signature speech about the economy. Indeed, former labor secretary Robert Reich called the address, “the most important economic speech of his or any modern presidency.” Obama castigated radical free marketeers, he vindicated communal bonds, and he upheld the great middle class. And the reason that the president traveled to the metropolis of Osawatomie? Because in 1910 Theodore Roosevelt had gone there to repudiate the laissez-faire policies of the Gilded Age and put forth his case for a progressive “New Nationalism” in an oration that White House press secretary Jay Carney characterized as “the speech that really set the course for the 20th century.”

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johnsto1@uic.edu
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1 Reich, Robert, Beyond Outrage: What Has Gone Wrong with Our Economy and Our Democracy, and How to Fix It (New York, 2012), 141; Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jennifer Epstein, “Barack Obama Channels TR,” Politico, Dec. 6, 2011. I dedicate this essay to “some of my best friends.” My favorite conservative buddies, teachers, students, colleagues, and interlocutors—Marjorie Herring, David Frisk, Brendan McConville, Craig Clark, Sean Trende, Michael Rubin, Will Inboden, Jonathan Daly, and Alex Wilgus—have all taught me much, especially about the possibilities of dialogue.

2 “On This Date in 1924 Woodrow Wilson Died,” GlennBeck.com, Feb. 3, 2012, www.glennbeck.com/2012/02/03/on-this-date-in-1924-woodrow-wilson-died/. In an interesting, partially tongue-in-cheek (I hope) attempt to rank the “Top Ten Bastards of All Time,” Beck lists Pol Pot (#10), Adolf Hitler (#6), and Pontius Pilate (#4), along with Keith Olbermann (#5) and Tiger Woods (#2). Theodore Roosevelt makes it only to #8, but Woodrow Wilson is #1. Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe, Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government (London, 2009), 222.

3 Kellan Schmidt, “Ann Coulter: I'm OK with Revoking Women's, Young Americans' Right to Vote,” Generation Progress, Mar. 9, 2009, http://genprogress.org/voices/2012/03/09/17660/ann-coulter-im-ok-with-revoking-womens-young-americans-right-to-vote/; Derbyshire, John, We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism (New York, 2009), 8788; Zuckert, Michael, “On the Separation of Powers: Liberal and Progressive Constitutionalism” in Natural Rights Individualism and Progressivism in American Political Philosophy, eds. Paul, Ellen Frankel, Miller, Fred D., and Paul, Jeffrey (Cambridge, 2012), 336.

Tea Party senator Mike Lee of Utah proclaimed that he was not in favor of child labor but wished to abolish federal child labor laws because he believed that the Tenth Amendment grants such power only to the states. Sahil Kapur, “GOP Senator: Federal Ban on Child Labor is Unconstitutional,” The Raw Story, Jan. 17, 2011, www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/17/gop-senator-calls-federal-laws-child-labor-unconstitutional/. Newt Gingrich was, however, far more enthusiastic about teenage toil. He spoke of the character building that labor provided adolescents, especially those who are poor and lacked a work ethic. They could serve effectively as school janitors twenty hours a week. Kevin Liptak, “Gingrich: Laws Preventing Child Labor are ‘Truly Stupid,’” CNN, Nov. 19, 2011, politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/19/gingrich-laws-preventing-child-labor-are-truly-stupid/; Jordan Weissmann, “Newt Gingrich Thinks School Children Should Work as Janitors,” Atlantic, Nov. 21, 2011, www.atlantic.com; and the best rebuke to the only 2012 presidential candidate with a history PhD, Michael Burgan, “Lewis Hine and the History of U.S. Child Labor,” Bloomberg, Jan. 19, 2012, www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-19/lewis-hine-and-the-history-of-u-s-child-labor-echoes.html.

4 Beck and Balfe, Arguing with Idiots, 223; “Glenn Beck's Tree of ‘Revolution,’” Glenn Beck Review, Sept. 10, 2010, www.sharethisurlaboutglennbeck.com/2010/09/glenn-becks-tree-of-revolution.html. Milbank, Dana, Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America (New York, 2010), 134–35, satirizes Beck thus: “In summary, Woodrow Wilson mated with an Argentine revolutionary and a Chicago radical [Bill Ayers], gave birth to a 1960s antiwar group and a pair of Columbia academics, who in turn spawned ACORN, the SEIU, the Apollo Alliance, the Weather Underground, George Soros—and Barack Obama.”

6 Kirk, Russell, “Woodrow Wilson and the Antagonist World” [1984] in The Essential Russell Kirk: Selected Essays, ed. Panichas, George A. (Wilmington, DE, 2007), 502–10; Karl Rove, “What Makes a Great President,” University of Utah lecture, Nov. 2002, http://hnn.us/article/1529; Mark Leibovich, “How John McCain Turned His Clichés into Meaning,” New York Times, Dec. 18, 2013. Dochuk, Darren, From Bible Belt to Sun Belt:Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism (New York, 2011), 221–22; John G. Taft, “The Cry of the True Republican,” New York Times, Oct. 22, 2013; Dovere and Epstein, “Obama Channels TR”; Alexander Heffner, “Huntsman: Theodore Roosevelt's Last Stand in the GOP,” Washington Monthly, Aug. 24, 2011; Perry, Rick, Fed Up: Our Fight to Save America from Washington (New York, 2010), 37, 40.

7 “Glenn Beck: Paul Ryan Is Wrong about Progressivism,” Apr. 8, 2010, www.dailymotion.com/video/xcvljn_glenn-beck-paul-ryan-is-wrong-about_news; Matthew Spalding, “Paul Ryan, Anti-Progressive,” The Foundry, Apr. 12, 2010, blog.heritage.org/2010/04/12/paul-ryan-anti-progressive/. Quotations from Ryan interview in “Glenn's Soulmate?” Apr. 12, 2010, www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/196/39068/.

8 Paul Ryan, “Healthcare and Progressivism,” RealClearPolitics, www.realclearpolitics.com, Jan. 15, 2010.

9 Paul Ryan, “Should America Bid Farewell to Exceptional Freedom?,” RealClearPolitics, www.realclearpolitics.com, Apr. 2, 2010.

10 “AEI Irving Kristol Award Presented to Representative Paul Ryan,” May 8, 2013, www.aei.org/press/society-and-culture/aei-irving-kristol-award-presented-to-representative-paul-ryan-release/; “Rep. Paul Ryan's Irving Kristol Award address: Conservatism and Community,” May 8, 2013, www.aei.org/speech/society-and-culture/rep-paul-ryan-irving-kristol-award-speech-conservatism-and-community/.

11 For vivid examples of condescending dismissal of Beck's view of Wilson and the progressives, David Greenberg, “What the New Woodrow Wilson Haters Don't Understand,” Slate, Oct. 22, 2010, www.slate.com; and Milbank, Tears of a Clown.

12 Vincent J. Cannato, “Opiate of the Elites,” Weekly Standard, Feb. 10, 2014.

13 Marini, John and Masugi, Ken, eds., The Progressive Revolution in Politics and Political Science (Lanham, MD, 2005), 1.

14 Chesterton, G. K., Eugenics and Other Evils (New York, 1922). On the influence of New Left historiography, Johnston, Robert D., “Re-Democratizing the Progressive Era: The Politics of Progressive Era Political Historiography,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 1 (Jan. 2002): 6892.

15 Jonah Goldberg, “In Defense of Glenn Beck,” Town Hall.Com, Oct. 10, 2009, townhall.com/columnists/jonahgoldberg/2009/10/10/in_defense_of_glenn_beck/page/full. Goldberg, Jonah, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (New York, 2007); quotations are from the revised 2009 edition.

16 Goldberg, Liberal Fascism, 90, 12, 14–15, 89.

17 Ibid., 91, 244, 246. For Beck on eugenics, “‘Glenn Beck’: Progressives' Writings Reveal Closeted Racism,” Fox News, Aug. 4, 2010, www.foxnews.com/story/2010/08/04/glenn-beck-progressives-writings-reveal-closeted-racism/.

18 Goldberg, Liberal Fascism, 80–82. On the left side of the political spectrum, Jeffrey Rosen scolds Obama for using the 1917 Sedition Act against whistleblowers and, in general, behaving like the repressive Woodrow Wilson. See Rosen, “It's the Technocratic Arrogance, Stupid,” New Republic, May 16, 2013. Goldberg focuses on the domestic repression of World War I and downplays liberal Wilsonian internationalism, of which there are plenty of libertarian/isolationist-oriented conservative critiques that are often intertwined with intramural attacks on George W. Bush-style interventionism. See, for example, Christopher C. Burkett, “Remaking the World: Progressivism and American Foreign Policy,” Heritage Foundation, Sept. 24, 2013, www.heritage.org/research/reports; and Burkett, “The American Founding and Conservative Foreign Policy Today” in Modern America and the Legacy of the Founding, eds. Pestritto, Ronald J. and West, Thomas G. (Lanham, MD, 2006), 242–82. Pro-interventionist neoconservatives, meanwhile, avidly sought to connect Bush to the TR tradition; Johnston, Andrew M., “The Neoconservatives and Theodore Roosevelt” in L'héritage de Théodore Roosevelt: impérialisme et progressisme (1912–2012), eds. Delahaye, Claire and Ricard, Serge (Paris, 2012), 155–74.

19 For just one recent example of a liberal historian beating up on Woodrow Wilson, see Rauchway, Eric, “What a Piece of Work Is a Man,” Reviews in American History 40 (June 2012): 294300.

20 Roger Griffin, “An Academic Book—Not!” History News Network, 2009, www.hnn.us/article/122473. Griffin's essay is part of a forum that includes an intelligent set of criticisms from Robert Paxton, “The Scholarly Flaws,” www.hnn.us/article/122231; and a reply from Goldberg, “Definitions and Double Standards,” www.hnn.us/article/122667. For a discerning critical review of Liberal Fascism, Kevin Mattson, “The Bitter End,” Boston Review, May 1, 2008.

21 Morrisey, Will, The Dilemma of Progressivism: How Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson Reshaped the American Regime of Self-Government (Lanham, MD, 2009), 1117, while otherwise sympathetic to Goldberg's position, recognizes the lack of an inherent connection between progressivism and imperialism.

22 Kloppenberg, James T., Uncertain Victory: Social Democracy and Progressivism in European and American Thought, 1870–1920 (New York, 1986); Diggins, John P., Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America (Princeton, 1972), esp. 220–39; Black, Edwin, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race (New York, 2003); Boyer, Paul S.Urban Masses and Moral Order in America, 1820–1920 (Cambridge, MA, 1978); Wiebe, Robert H., The Search for Order, 1877–1920 (New York, 1967); Kolko, Gabriel, The Triumph of Conservatism: A Re-interpretation of American History, 1900–1917 (New York, 1963); Hofstadter, Richard, The Age of Reform: From Bryan to FDR (New York, 1955); Stromquist, Shelton, Reinventing “The People”: The Progressive Movement, The Class Problem, and the Origins of Modern Liberalism (Urbana, 2006); McGerr, Michael, A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870–1920 (New York, 2003); Lears, Jackson, Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877–1920 (New York, 2009). Goldberg returns to themes such as Wilson's “treasonous theory of the law” in The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas (New York, 2012), 163.

23 Napolitano, Andrew P., Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom (Nashville, 2012), 20, 76, 94. Also in this genre: Powell, JimWilson's War, How Woodrow Wilson's Great Blunder Led to Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and World War II (New York, 2005); and Powell, Bully Boy: The Truth About Theodore Roosevelt's Legacy (New York, 2006).

Napolitano's hostility to the Seventeenth Amendment is common among current conservatives. Rick Perry, Fed Up, 42–43, attacks the direct election of senators. W. Cleon Skousen, a John Birch conspiracy theorist who deeply shaped many Tea Party views on history, critiques the Seventeenth Amendment in The 5000 Year Leap: The 28 Great Ideas that Changed the World (n.p., 1981), 226–27. Also, Meckler, Mark and Martin, Jenny Beth, Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution (New York, 2012), 84; and Matt Bai, “Tea Party's Push on Senate Election Exposes Limits,” New York Times, June 1, 2010.

24 Ronald Pestritto, “American Progressivism,” GlennBeck.Com, Apr. 16, 2009, www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/23936/; R. J. Walters, “Fox News Host Glenn Beck Puts Hillsdale College Professor Ronald J. Pestritto on the Map,” Michigan Live, Oct. 30, 2010, www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/10/fox_news_host_puts_hillsdale_c.html; Pestritto, “Glenn Beck, Progressives and Me,” Wall Street Journal, Sept. 15, 2010; Pestritto, “A Nicer Form of Tyranny,” Claremont Review of Books 8 (Spring 2008): 1518.

25 Pestritto, Ronald, Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism (Lanham, MD, 2005), 21; Pestritto, ed., Woodrow Wilson: The Essential Political Writings (Lanham, MD, 2005), 3; Pestritto and Atto, eds., American Progressivism: A Reader (Lanham, MD, 2008). Might it be an indication of the left-wing tilt in academe that Pestritto's serious monograph on Wilson's political thinking was not reviewed in the Journal of American History, the American Historical Review, the American Political Science Review, or the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era?

26 Pestritto, Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, 81, 80, 199; Pestritto and Atto, American Progressivism, 2.

27 Pestritto, “Nicer Form of Tyranny”; Pestritto, Woodrow Wilson and Modern Liberalism, 21, 31n89; Eidelberg, Paul, A Discourse on Statesmanship: The Design and Transformation of the American Polity (Urbana, 1974), 358. Eidelberg's dissertation advisor was Leo Strauss, and much of the anti-progressive discourse comes out of one of the fractious set of Straussian camps, the so-called West Coast Straussians, now in many ways led by Charles Kesler. See Catherine and Zuckert, Michael, The Truth about Leo Strauss: Political Philosophy and American Democracy (Chicago, 2006), esp. 251–52.

28 Patrick J. Deneen, “Tocqueville on the Individualist Roots of Progressivism,” The American Conservative, Oct. 31, 2013, www.theamericanconservative.com/tocqueville-on-the-individualist-roots-of-progressivism/.

29 Kesler, Charles R., I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism (New York, 2012), xiii; Mark Lilla, “The Great Disconnect,” New York Times, Sept. 30, 2012. For a critique of Kesler, Pestritto, and Beck by a conservative political theorist who argues for the ambivalence—not hostility—of Wilson toward the Founders, see Zuckert, “On the Separation of Powers,” esp. 345.

30 Kesler, I Am the Change, 18, 39, 41–42, 44, 55, 95.

31 Kesler, I Am the Change, 231; George F. Will, “Back to 1900!,” Baltimore Sun, Jan. 1, 1995. Will channeled Kesler in an op-ed just before the 2012 election, arguing that Obama “is a conviction politician determined to complete the progressive project of emancipating government from the Founders' constraining premises, a project Woodrow Wilson embarked on 100 Novembers ago.” “Obama: The Real Radical,” Washington Post, Sept. 5, 2012.

Scholarly companions to Kesler and Pestritto include Marini and Masugi, Progressive Revolution; Morrisey, Dilemma of Progressivism (Morrisey teaches at Hillsdale College); Watson, Bradley C. S., Living Constitution, Dying Faith: Progressivism and the New Science of Jurisprudence (Wilmington, DE, 2009); Voegeli, William, Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State (New York, 2010), 5969; and Paul, Miller, and Paul, Natural Rights Individualism, which includes a contribution from Pestritto.

A related strain of critical perspectives on the progressives has come from conservative (especially libertarian) legal scholars David E. Bernstein, James W. Ely, and Richard E. Epstein. See especially Bernstein, David E., Rehabilitating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights against Progressive Reform (Chicago, 2011); Ely, James W., “The Progressive Assault on Individualism and Property Rights,” Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (July 2012), 255–82; Epstein, Richard E., How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution (Washington, 2006); and Epstein, How Progressive Institutions are Unsustainable (New York, 2011). Bernstein's book and Epstein's first book were published or copublished by the libertarian Cato Institute.

32 For full-scale censure of Roosevelt from a conservative political scientist, see Yarbrough, Jean M., Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition (Lawrence, KS, 2012). Yarbrough's book receives thoughtful, diverse consideration from the Claremont Crowd in “Upon Further Review: A CRB Discussion of Theodore Roosevelt,” Claremont Review of Books, July 1, 2013.

33 Goodwin, Doris Kearns, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (New York, 2013), shows that she has thrown herself vigorously into the contest over the current political meanings of the progressives. As in her Team of Rivals phase, Goodwin caught Barack Obama's imagination and seems to have played a role in inspiring Obama's embrace of TR. A little more than a week before the Kansas speech, Goodwin noted on “Meet the Press” that “there is a model for him in Teddy Roosevelt”; “‘Meet the Press’ Transcript for November 27, 2011,” NBC News, www.nbcnews.com; David Nakamura, “Obama Invokes Theodore Roosevelt against GOP,” Washington Post, Dec. 6, 2011. Obama administration officials denied that Goodwin was influencing them, but a New York Times story revealed Goodwin's close connection to the president, as well as her help in drafting the speech; Jodi Kantor, “Now a Chance to Catch Up to His Epochal Vision,” New York Times, Nov. 7, 2012. Also Halperin, Mark and Heilemann, John, Double Down: Game Change 2012 (New York, 2012), 79.

34 “Remarks by the President on the Economy in Osawatomie,” Dec. 6, 2011, /www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/06/remarks-president-economy-osawatomie-kansas.

35 Robert Reich, “The Most Important Economic Speech of His Presidency,” Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com, Dec. 6, 2011; Matthew Rothschild, “In Kansas Speech, Obama Embraces Progressivism,” The Progressive, Dec. 7, 2011; E. J. Dionne, “Obama and the Case for Progressivism,” RealClearPolitics, www.realclearpolitics.com, Dec. 8, 2011; Dionne, “The Gilded Age vs. the 21st Century,” Washington Post, Nov. 4, 2012.

David Remnick, “Going the Distance: On and Off the Road with Barack Obama,” New Yorker, Jan. 27, 2014, reporting on an interview with the president, invokes Osawatomie and notes that “if there is a theme for the remaining days of his term, it is inequality.” Yet Obama's 2014 State of the Union address took decisive steps away from the Osawatomie emphasis on inequality; Jackie Calmes, “In Talk of Economy, Obama Turns to ‘Opportunity’ Over ‘Inequality,’” New York Times, Feb. 3, 2014; David Azerrad, “Obama's Rhetorical Pivot to Opportunity,” Heritage Foundation, Jan. 30, 2014, www.heritage.org/research/commentaries.

36 Michael Kinsley, “When Obama's Music Stops, Class Warfare Starts,” Bloomberg, Dec. 8, 2011, www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-09/when-obama-s-music-stops-class-warfare-starts-michael-kinsley.html; Laura Meckler, “Obama Takes Populist Swing—President Says GOP Policies Threaten Middle Class; Republicans Blame Him,” Wall Street Journal, Dec. 7, 2011; Daniel Henninger, “Obama's Godfather Speech,” Wall Street Journal, Dec. 8, 2011; Charles Krauthammer, “Obama's Campaign for Class Resentment,” National Review Online, Dec. 9, 2011, http://nationalreview.com/articles/285324/obama-s-campaign-class-resentment-charles-krauthammer; David Brooks, “Midlife Crisis Economics,” New York Times, Dec. 26, 2011; Brooks, “The Gingrich Tragedy,” New York Times, Dec. 8, 2011; also Jonathan S. Tobin, “Why Obama Can't Play Teddy Roosevelt,” Commentary, Dec. 5, 2011. For a conservative who cheers for TR precisely because of his concern about inequality and capitalism, Robert W. Patterson, “Revitalizing America,” National Review Online, Mar. 4, 2014, www.nationalreview.com/article/372430/revitalizwww.heritage.org/research/commentarying-america-robert-w-patterson; also Patterson, The “American Way”: Family and Community in the Shaping of the American Identity (Wilmington, DE, 2003).

37 Halperin and Heilemann, Double Down, 80.

38 Obama, “Remarks by the President.” Kloppenberg, James T., Reading Obama: Dreams, Hopes, and the American Political Tradition (Princeton, 2012), which vindicates Obama as the ultimate progressive president because of Obama's commitment to open-minded pragmatism and deliberation, stands in tension with the emphasis here on the substance of Obama's politics.

39 Obama, “Remarks by the President.”

40 The Citizens United case, which in part overturned Progressive Era restrictions on corporate campaign contributions, provoked a variety of discussions of historical Progressivism, for example, Robert Hunziker, “Filthy Rich Capitalists Aid Progressives … Oops!” Dissident Voice, Nov. 9, 2012, http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/11/filthy-rich-capitalists-aid-progressives-oops/.

41 Theodore Roosevelt, “New Nationalism Speech,” Aug. 31, 1910, TeachingAmericanHistory.org, The closest Obama came to channeling TR in Osawatomie was when he pronounced, “Inequality also distorts our democracy. It gives an outsized voice to the few who can afford high-priced lobbyists and unlimited campaign contributions, and it runs the risk of selling our democracy to the highest bidder. (Applause.) It leaves everyone else rightly suspicious that the system in Washington is rigged against them, that our elected representatives aren't looking out for the interests of most Americans.” Timothy Egan noted, “That line won him the loudest applause of a nearly hourlong speech”; Egan, “The Rough Rider and the Professor,” New York Times, Dec. 7, 2011, http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/the-rough-rider-and-the-professor/.

For further liberal commentary on TR's speech versus Obama's, Ben Soskis, “How Pundits are Misreading Obama's Speech—and Teddy Roosevelt's,” New Republic, Dec. 7, 2011; Jedediah Purdy, “Two Speeches, Two Lefts: Barack Obama and Teddy Roosevelt,” Huffington Post, Dec. 7, 2011, www.huffingtonpost.com; Eric Rauchway, “TR? Obama's More Like Taft,” Politico, Dec. 7, 2011, www.politico.com; Matt Miller, “President Obama's ‘Roosevelt’ Speech,” Washington Post, Dec. 7, 2011; Walter Nugent, “Theodore and Barack in Osawatomie,” History News Network, Dec. 12, 2011, http://hnn.us/article/143460.

42 Jackson Lears, “Teddy Roosevelt, Not-So-Great Reformer: What Washington-Focused Liberals Miss about Progressivism,” The New Republic, Mar. 14, 2014. Ralph Nader made a similar point in “Compare the 1912 Elections with the 2012 Elections,” Dec. 31, 2012, http://nader.org/2012/12/31/compare-the-1912-elections-with-the-2012-elections/.

43 Milkis, Sidney M., Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Transformation of American Democracy (Lawrence, KS, 2009); also Milkis, “Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Ascendance of the Living Constitution” in Delahaye and Ricard, ed., L'héritage de Théodore Roosevelt, 19–37. Milkis is one of the few non-conservative scholars who engages in dialogue with Claremont-oriented colleagues; for example, Milkis, “Why the Election of 1912 Changed America,” Claremont Review of Books 2 (Winter 2002): 2327; and Milkis, “The Transformation of American Democracy: Teddy Roosevelt, the 1912 Election, and the Progressive Party,” Heritage Foundation First Principles Series Report 43, July 11, 2012, www.heritage.org/research/reports/. Ronald Pestritto, “Theodore Roosevelt Was No Conservative,” Wall Street Journal, Dec. 27, 2008.

44 Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, “Little Change in Public's Response to ‘Capitalism,’ ‘Socialism,’” Dec. 28, 2011, www.people-press.org/2011/12/28/little-change-in-publics-response-to-capitalism-socialism/; William Greider, “Why Are Republicans Attacking ‘Vulture Capitalism’?” Nation, Jan. 18, 2012.

45 Pew Center, “Little Change.”

46 Podesta, John, The Power of Progress: How America's Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate, and Our Country (Washington, 2008), 18, 46, 54–58.

47 “Progressive Traditions,” Center for American Progress, 2010–11, www.americanprogress.org/series/progressive-traditions/view/; Tichi, Cecelia, Civic Passions: Seven Who Launched Progressive America (Chapel Hill, 2009), 27; Nugent, Walter, Progressivism: A Very Short Introduction (New York, 2010).

48 Dionne, E. J., Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent (New York, 2012), 7, 8.

49 Dionne, Our Divided Political Heart, 9, 10, 23–24, 216. Likewise, Taylor, Jeff, Politics on a Human Scale: The American Tradition of Decentralism (Lanham, MD, 2013), vindicates the populist strain of progressivism, especially through the figures of Bryan and La Follette. A historical reflection on one of the current great progressive hopes is Edward Kohn, “What Bill DeBlasio Can Learn from Teddy Roosevelt,” Politico, Dec. 13, 2013, www.politico.com; for a skeptical essay, Terry Golway, “M: Progressive, The New Safe Word,” Women's Wear Daily, Mar. 3, 2014. Another hero among current progressives, Elizabeth Warren, notes on her Facebook page that Teddy Roosevelt is her “favorite president” because “he was the ‘Trust Buster’—breaking up corporate monopolies, promoting competition, and protecting middle class families”; www.facebook.com/ElizabethWarren/posts/10150587257373687.

50 The most profound scholarly historical reflections on these issues come from political scientists: for the Progressive Era, Sanders, Elizabeth, Roots of Reform: Farmers, Workers, and the American State, 1877–1917 (Chicago, 1999); Berk, Gerald, Louis D. Brandeis and the Making of Regulated Competition, 1900–1932 (New York, 2009); and more generally, Scott, James C., Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, 1999).

51 Cowie, Jefferson and Salvatore, Nick, “The Long Exception: Rethinking the Place of the New Deal in American History,” International Labor and Working-Class History 74 (Fall 2008): 26.

52 Mattson, Kevin, Creating a Democratic Public: The Struggle for Urban Participatory Democracy During the Progressive Era (University Park, PA, 1997); Zimmerman, Jonathan, Distilling Democracy: Alcohol Education in America's Public Schools, 1880–1925 (Lawrence, KS, 1999).

53 Charles R. Kesler, “The Tea Party, Conservatism, and the Constitution,” Imprimus, Oct. 21, 2013, http://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/current.

54 For a current model for how to promote such dialogue, see the Living Room Conversations project, www.livingroomconversations.org/. For a cautionary note on whether the recent infusion of the Tea Party into politics has enhanced the quality of democratic deliberation, see Skocpol, Theda and Williamson, Vanessa, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, (New York, 2012), 197205.

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