Question of the Day

Ezra shares an interesting little what if from a biography of John Kenneth Galbraith:
Supremely adept at maneuvering, and aware that he was actually trailing in the polls, Roosevelt privately took a new tack. His frustration with conservatives in his own party by then was at the boiling point, and he resolved on an unprecedented strategy to be rid of them. He decided to approach Wendell Willkie -- the republican he'd defeated four years earlier -- to see whether together they could create a new liberal party made up of progressive Democrats and Republicans and shorn of the antediluvian elements in the South. "We ought to have two real parties," FDR told his aide Samuel Rosenman, "one liberal and the other conservative." When Rosenman, on FDR's instructions, broached the idea to Willkie at a secret meeting in New York, the Republican responded instantly. "You tell the President that I'm ready to devote almost full time to this, " he said. "A sound Liberal government in the U.S. is absolutely essential." But the news of their plan then leaked out, and both men, greatly embarrassed, were forced to back off, though they secretly agreed to take up the issue immediately after the November elections. American politics for a brief moment seemed poised to head in a remarkable directions, but then Willkie suddenly died in the fall of 1944 and Roosevelt himself was gone the following spring.
Part of the reason I find it interesting is because we’ve discussed here at Shakes Sis several times in various comments threads the notion that a “progressive” is really someone who’s taken the best pieces of both the Democratic and Republican platforms and knitted them into a single philosophy—social liberalism and fiscal conservatism. (Of course, in the progressive model, fiscal conservatism does not favor the industrial-military complex and corporatism over social programs, but instead seeks to fund the latter by readjusting defense spending and closing corporate tax loopholes.) It’s part of the reason Dean was so appealing; he perfectly embodied this brand of progressivism.

While the Green Party comes quite close to this ideal, I fear their status as a viable third party will be impeded for some time by their unfortunate, if fleeting, romance with the increasingly bizarre Ralph Nader.

So let’s imagine, for a moment, that we have begun this new third party, a progressive party of socially liberal fiscal conservatives. What shall we call it?

Bear in mind, from a marketing standpoint, it’s best to stay away from the word “progressive,” which has connotations that turn off the average American. I was kind of thinking of the Reclamation Party…you know, Reclaiming America and all that. But there’s no good nickname really. The Reclaimers? Kinda stinks. Whaddaya got?

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