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In 1932 the Dems Were…

Earlier this week I put up quotes from four 1932 political party platforms. When I was looking at the platforms I was caught by surprise by a few things.

I always imagined the Prohibition Party being obsessed with vice and all things alcohol. They actually had several economically progressive stances on issues.

We propose to put into operation needful public works and improvements to supply as far as possible labor for the unemployed citizens of the state, and declare that until there shall be a more general demand for labor no person should be employed more than six hours each working day.

This came directly from the Democrats platform.

A citizen in need, by reasons of enforced unemployment due to depression, should be encouraged to retain his morale and never be pauperized. Relief to him, if necessary, should be given in the form of compensation for some labor provided him rather than as alms or charity and his misfortune should not be paraded or publicized.

As with most ideas the Democrats stole after 1932, this one also came from the Socialists.

Steeply increased inheritance taxes and income taxes on the higher incomes and estates of both corporations and individuals.

This one caught me by surprise somewhat. With all the hate directed at labor today by the Republicans, it was refreshing to see a more positive reference to unions and collective bargaining.

The advancement of the best interests of labor is of primary concern to the state and all its people, and is a permanently fundamental aim of the ___________ party, as our record of legislation and administrative activities for the protection of labor fully attests.

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3 responses to “In 1932 the Dems Were…

  1. Ben Masel ⋅

    when have elected officials ever felt constrained to govern by their Party’s platform?

  2. EddyPo

    I see this as evidence of a severe shift to the right in american politics. Very striking.

  3. Ben,

    I agree up to a point. I do think platforms give a sense of the base of the party, although not individual party members. For example in 92, Clinton was very deliberate in changing the party platform to the right, and that was consistent with his governance.

    EddyPo,

    I think your right. I did however take the Democratic quote as quite culturally conservative. The Rep seemed quite more willing to engage labor than they do today.

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