Speak softly and carry a big stick... -Theodore Roosevelt
The Progressive Party page
The Progressive Era is one of social reform that occurred throughout the late 1800's and early into the next century. The political party that exemplified much of the characteristics of the movement is often passed over in history textbooks, or briefly discussed as a passing fad. In the election of 1912, Teddy Roosevelt on the Progressive ticket ran against Democrat Woodrow Wilson and incumbent Republican Howard Taft. Disillusioned with Taft's ineffectual presidential policies, Roosevelt formed the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party with many Republican members of Congress backing him. Although he finished second to Wilson, this period in American history is a fascinating one to me. The potential for reform of our government and big business is one that should interest every concerned citizen, especially since we are currently dealing with the same dilemmas that plagued the guilded age and the boom that led up to the Great Depression of the 30's. The parallels of our two societies should not be overlooked.
How do we possibly iron out the problems of post-war Iraq?
In a country, nay, a region that does not have much experience in democracy, capitalism or other manifestations of a modern successful society, we must first earn the trust of citizens that won't listen to rational Western attempts to maintain peace and stability. While we must keep a military presence in the cities, it is just this that turns many Iraqis against us. Instead of being awed and envious of our health, prosperity and national strength, our image is cast in a negative light by these very factors. We are simply playing a foreign ballgame. Not only do we have the future restructuring process to ponder, but we are being shot at in the mean time. American soldier should be pressed to learn the language of the people whenever possible. Soldiers should be eager, as I'm sure many of them are, to perform good deeds and show the world a positive vision of who we are as a society. The words 'Western' and 'American' need not have negative connotations. It's the small choices that we make now that can influence the masses in our favor. We can't rebuild their economic and social infrastructure just yet, but it's crucial that we rebuild their faith in government again; this time, a legitimate one.