Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Morning Politics: Radicals!

This morning on Face the Nation, Newt Gingrich called Barack Obama "The Most Radical President in United States History." 

Are you as disturbed as I am that someone with a Ph.D. in history has never heard of either Roosevelt?

I am one who defines her politics as liberal, using the term as FDR defined it (generally, protecting the citizenry from market failures, regulating key industries to create markets where players compete on equal footing, and trying to internalize the externalities).  While I had been an avid campaigner for Obama in 2008, I will not be this year, mainly because he is NOT advocating for radical policies.  Health care did not go far enough, tax policy remains skewed in favor of the rich, and the price of education means that those without wealth cannot afford college.

"Radical" refers to those who have considered breaking with past policies to create change.  In the business world, one might call them "Innovative".  You find them on both sides of the political spectrum.  Just a quick list of "radical" presidents that I could think of in five minutes is below.  No, I don't have a Ph.D. in history, but it casts serious doubts about the doctoral program at Tulane.

Radical US Presidents:
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • James Madison
  • James Monroe
  • Andrew Jackson
  • James Polk
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • James Garfield (although, radical policies may have cause assassination)
  • William McKinley
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Franklin Roosevelt
  • Harry Truman
  • Lyndon Johnson (I'd choose LBJ over JFK for implementation)
  • Richard Nixon
  • Ronald Reagan
  • George W. Bush
Not a bad list to be a part of... maybe Obama should try to be the most radical president in US History.

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