We spent several months last year on the 1920s.
I’ve been enjoying continuing my research into the 1930s. It has been interesting reading about Huey Long and Father Coughlin. We haven’t seen their style of politics in our lifetimes.
Neoliberal Joe isn’t FDR. He is dialing up the culture war rhetoric. In contrast, FDR presided over the repeal of Prohibition – the most divisive culture war issue of his times – in his first year in office. Immigration had been settled by the Immigration Act of 1924 and was pushed to the backburner by the circumstances of the Great Depression. FDR got 15 major bills passed in his first 100 days, realigned our politics and built a coalition that endured until the 1970s. If Joe Biden tried to do something similar today, he would be accused of “collaboration” with the “far right” and “white supremacy.”
FDR’s base was the Solid South. He literally “collaborated” with white supremacy. The Glass-Steagall Act which separated investment banking from commercial banking and which endured down until the 1990s was sponsored by two Southerners, Carter Glass of Virginia and Henry Steagall of Alabama. Conservatism had been reduced to a rump in the Republican Party supported by the business community and the American Liberty League which is why the Wagner Act was passed in 1935. Virtually all the progress that happened in the 1930s and which led to a sharp decline in economic inequality was due to “collaboration” with “white supremacy” and putting polarizing issues on the backburner to get things done. Jim Crow ceased to exist over 50 years ago, but “white supremacy” is still thrown around as a buzzword and is used more frequently the further away in time we get from the Jim Crow era.
Note: Political correctness or wokeness is the modern day equivalent of Prohibition. Abortion could be left up to the states. Immigration could be restricted again.