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I thought some perspective on the Liberal movement(s) that led to the modern Democrat-leaning independents, New Democrats, and Progressive Democrats would be useful for the national discourse.
In the early years of the Republic, the utopian dream shared by the central Founders - the dream of a new Rome on the Potomac, a Masonic Republic, and the Apotheosis of the American Cincinattus - began to fall apart.
In the North, the fiery sedition of Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty gave way to vested mercantile interests; yesterday's smugglers becoming the day's New Money.
In the South, the American Jacobinism of the radical anti-monarchists was outpaced by the Old Money and old ways of the nation's planter aristocracy; the revolutionary intellectuals of the Democratic-Republican secret societies ending up less influential than the country squires whose slave trade had made the fortunes of Northern sailors, merchants, and ship builders.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, radical republicans and Patriots both, were made irrelevant idealists when the Hamiltons and the Calhouns of the world surfaced on tides of political economy.
The liberal age had ended and the conservative era had begun.
Between the old Enlightenment liberalism and the new conservatism of the special interests, beyond the North and South, came the third force in American politics - the Western adventurism of Burr and Jackson.
As the Eastern Whigs died out and the Western Republicans entered the fray to challenge the fading economic supremacy of the Democratic South, all three influences mingled on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.
The Northern liberalism of the abolitionists, Society of Friends, the believers in Yankee know-how and the march of moral and technological progress; this combined with industrial conservatism and the Manifest Destiny of Free Soil.
The Southern liberalism of revolutionary fervor, the blaring of La Marseilles, met the agrarian conservatism of wealthy and powerful plantation families - and the last huzzah of Dixie expansionist fantasies in the form of the romanticized Cuban revolution and the filibustering adventurers like William Walker (for a time the military dictator of Nicaragua), not to mention the exotic familiarity of the slaveholding and independent Empire of Brazil.
The Civil War bled the revival of New England puritan patriotism, along with the French Revolutionary pride of the South. America's liberalism bled dry, and it became clear that conservatism was the only winner when moneyed interests North and South made a devil's bargain to end Reconstruction, exchanging Lincoln's dream of blacks freed from sharecropping and whites freed from factory wage slavery for a 60-some-odd year dictatorship of the conservative Republicans (and on rare occasion the equally conservative Bourbon Democrats). The anti-industrial and anti-plutocracy elements, the Radical Republicans and then the Populist Democrats, were completely shut out of the halls of power in the name of business interests; the name of capitalist conservatism.
The industrial reform liberals, Teddy Roosevelt's Progressives; and the agrarian liberals of the American farm and small town, William Jennings Bryan's Populists; would spend more time fighting with each other than fighting the class antagonism and anti-democratic corruption and elitism of the Big Business machine politics which both despised.
Small town Protestants and inner-city Catholic immigrants would not be brought together into one great Mainstreet American Liberalism until the Wall Street crash of the conservative vested interests in 1929.
The Right Wing: Destroying the middle-class and spreading a culture of irresponsibility since '79
I find it disingenuous that between 2007 and 2008 the majority of Conservatives went from supporting a police state to caring about liberty and worrying about tyranny