I bought a book at a book fair several months ago. I had yet to pay for it when a friend (I think) approached me and asked what I was buying.
I told him it was a book written by Tom Dewey and he said, Tom Dewey! Then he laughed and walked away. That didn't deter me.
The book's name: The Case Against The New Deal. I figured that if anyone would have had a definitive conservative viewpoint on the legislation and governing during the '30s, it would be Tom Dewey.
Tom Dewey was the governor of New York for three terms beginning in 1943. He was the Republicans' choice to run for president of the United States in 1944 against Franklin Delano Roosevelt and in 1948 against Harry Truman, Strom Thurmond and Henry Wallace.
With the Democrats split into three factions, Dewey should have won the 1948 campaign easily, but he was very cautious and spoke in high platitudes. He was trying not to make mistakes, rather than making the factual, positive case for conservative governance.
During the late '30s, Dewey called progressivism the philosophy of despair. After all, the pitting of one class against the other, which too was the template of the Roosevelt years, left the entire nation with weary eyes, high unemployment and sluggish business/farming numbers during the entirety of the '30s.
It seems to me the current front runners in the Republican primary should take a close look at Dewey's failure to connect with the folks during the '48 campaign.
Dewey's loss indicated profoundly that yes, indeed, negative politicking has its place in a well-managed election effort.
The current risk adverse campaigning by Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is an interesting case in point. Good advice: Do the inevitable immediately. Romney releasing his prior year income tax information long before the primaries, and then boldly defending the numbers was the route to take.
My guess: his returns were legal in every respect, and yes, he's living off the investments he made in prior years. Those prior years' accumulations, such as the earnings while saving the Olympics, were probably taxed at much higher percentages, leaving amounts to invest long term and taxable at 15 percent.
The present-day leftists made the 15 percent an unfair amount. What is fair? Is it 15 today, 18 next year and, oh, just a bit more the next year?
I remember the 1948 election. My folks had numerous discussions about the merits of the politicking that was going on at that time.
My dad was a Roosevelt Democrat surely because the war years had brought a ready market for the products of the farm. My mother hated debt of any kind, and the national debt was growing by leaps and bounds. She took issue with that, probably for the sake of her kids.
My three brothers and I, just youngsters at the time, had little chance to be part of any political conversation in the family. Seen but not heard was the mantra of the day for the young ones.
My accordion beckons ...
Perk Washenberger, Aberdeen, a retired real estate broker and business owner, now musically entertains people in senior living and care centers and at community events. Write to him at email@example.com.