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Archive for the ‘Nelson Rockefeller’ Category

Nelson & Eleanor

Nelson & Eleanor

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

To understand Nelson Rockefeller’s politics, you have to first understand the politics of the Republican Party up until 1966-67 or so. When the Republican Party officially moved into a different direction politically and became the official right-wing party in America. That had already started in 1964 with Barry Goldwater’s nomination for president, but the 1966 mid-terms is where it started paying off for the GOP in Congress and with governorships around the country.

See the Republican Party that Nelson fit into, was the GOP of the 1950s with Dwight Eisenhower. Nelson Rockefeller was no Liberal at least he wouldn’t be today. He certainly wasn’t a Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist or Social Democrat either of course. But he also wasn’t a Rand Paul Tea Party Conservative Libertarian of today, or a Barry Goldwater Conservative Libertarian. If there is such a thing even sixty-years ago, Nelson Rockefeller would’ve been a Progressive Republican. And I mean that in the classical sense.

A classical Progressive in the sense of someone who believes in hard work, education and opportunity for all. A safety net for people who fall though the cracks of the private enterprise system. Someone who believed in rule of law and a tough internationalist foreign policy and national security. But someone who also believed in civil rights and equal rights for everyone. Nelson was to the Left of Franklin Roosevelt on social issues especially civil rights. But not as far to the Left of Franklin on economic policy and who wanted to create the next chapter of the New Deal.

Nelson wanted a safety net for people who truly needed it. Not a welfare state to manage people’s lives for them. And for everyone who was physically and mentally able, which is most of the country, he believed those people should get a good education, work hard and be productive. And then get to enjoy the rewards of their production. That if you were on public assistance because you couldn’t find a good job or not qualified to get a good job, that government could help you finish your education so you can become independent.

The Eisenhower/Rockefeller Progressives were no longer running the Republican Party by 1964. When President Eisenhower left office in 1961, Republicans were looking for a new direction and leadership. Senator Barry Goldwater filled that vacuum for them in 1964 and that is the direction they stuck with until President Ronald Reagan left office in 1989. And because of this there was no longer a base of support for Progressives like Nelson Rockefeller to step up and lead the GOP in that direction. Because they were now outnumbered by Conservatives.
The Political Lion: Conservatives Re-Take The Republican Party- 1964 GOP Convention

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Governor Nelson Rockefeller, R, New York

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times

If Nelson Rockefeller was alive today and still involved in public service in some way, whether it was in public office or working for non-profits, which he did both in his very long and distinguished career in public service. What party would he be affiliated with? I think it’s clear that maybe outside of the Northeast and of course he was from New York I believe GOV. Rockefeller would’ve had a very hard time getting elected as a Republican today. Especially in a Republican Party that’s now dominated by the Christian Right and to some extent Neoconservatives.

But neoconservatism has lost a lot if influence in the Republican Party, at least in the last two elections. Which I believe is a good thing, but the Religious-Right is still there and powerful there. And of course now with the Tea Party movement that’s now run by economic Conservatives and Religious Conservatives and with GOV. Rockefeller being fairly liberal at least to some extent on social issues except for crime and punishment, I don’t see how Nelson Rockefeller gets elected in the Republican Party today. He would probably be a better fit as a Democrat today with his liberal views on some social Issues. And his beliefs in public service and infrastructure investment, but probably like a Joe Lieberman.

Nelson Rockefeller was a social Liberal and somewhat progressive on economic policy. But more conservative on crime and punishment and foreign policy. I mean the Rockefeller Drug Laws aren’t called that for nothing, GOV. Rockefeller played a big role in advancing the War on Drugs in America. And also served as President Ford’s Vice President. Mr. Rockefeleller clearly had conservative leanings, but not enough of them for him to be successful in the Republican Party today. So where would Nelson Rockefeller go politically or maybe he would work on a third-party Movement instead.

I don’t see Nelson Rockefeller as a centrist, but an independent and they are different. A centrist is someone who’s pretty much middle of the road on most major political issues. But Rockefeller had clear political views, some conservative which is why he was a Republican. But also some liberal and progressive which is why I don’t believe he would be a Republican today. So maybe the Independence Party or a movement for that would’ve taken off with Rockefelller and George Wallace as their Leaders.

Nelson Rockefeller would be a prototypical Independent candidate and perfect for that type of political party as well. Someone who could help advance an Independence movement and would’ve been a great third-party candidate today. I don’t think he would’ve gotten elected President this way, but definitely been a factor as a presidential candidate. Sort of like George Wallace in 1968, Jack Anderson in 1980 and Ross Perot in 1992. And perhaps because of this we could’ve ended the two-party-system that under represents a lot of American voters and we could’ve had more choices in who to vote for.
History Comes To Life: Nelson Rockefeller Announces For The Presidency in 1968

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Nelson Rockefeller becoming the second appointed Vice President of the United States in less than a year in 1974. Right after Gerald Ford in late 1973 because of course having to do with President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal that forced him to resign as President. But also having to deal with Vice President Spiro Agnew’s resignation because of a tax and bribery case that he was under investigation from the State of Maryland and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore.
Nelson and "Happy" Rockefeller

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I’m not sure we’ve ever had a more qualified nominee for Vice President of the United States. And you might be thinking, “that is not saying much”, (and perhaps with stronger language) but the fact is we’ve had very qualified Vice President’s including the current one in Joe Biden. But Vice President Biden’s predecessor Dick Cheney whatever you think of him was a very qualified Vice President. And in a lot of cases served especially during the crisis of 9/11, served President Bush and the country very well. George H.W. Bush was a very qualified Vice President for President Reagan and you can go down the line.

Nelson Rockefeller was a very successful businessman running a couple of companies. Including Rockefeller Center in New York and the International Basic Economy Corporation. He was Assistant Secretary of State for American Affairs. Governor of New York for fourteen years from 1959-73. And all of these things happening before becoming Vice President of the United States. So with a resume like this and that he and President Gerald Ford were fairly similar when it came to social and foreign policy, you would’ve think that President Ford would’ve used Vice President Rockefeller as his Chief Counsel and perhaps even Chief Operating Officer. But apparently that didn’t happen.

President Gerald Ford & Vice President Nelson Rockefeller

President Gerald Ford & Vice President Nelson Rockefeller

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Governor Nelson Rockefeller Republican from New York, trying to get President Lyndon Johnson to give him some public assistance from the Federal level to deal with some small business issues and problems that were going on in New York City. Perhaps having to deal with riots or other social unrest the city was going through in the mid and late 1960s. Which was a rough time for New York during this period with high crime and high poverty and other issues dealing with social unrest in a city of roughly eight-million people that was crucial to the whole State of New York.
Nelson Rockefeller

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1960 RNC
Source: KKD: The 1960 Republican National Convention

Nelson Rockefeller, was a politician without a national political party in the 1960s and 70s. Because he was an economic Progressive in a party that was moving right on economic policy. And Republicans were moving far away from progressive big government social and economic programs. Especially ones that were centralized at the Federal level. And were looking for politicians that were in favor shrinking the Federal Government and decentralizing power at the Federal level and giving more power to the states and individuals.

Nelson, was essentially a FDR New Deal Progressive Republican, but who was also a Federalist. Someone who believed in public infrastructure, public education, aid to the poor. But who was also a Federalist and wanted these social investments run at the state and local levels. Who was also a big believer in a strong defense and law enforcement and tough law enforcement, as well as equal rights. Who was more of a Progressive on economic policy and equal rights and even national defense. Who was able to win as a Republican, because he was a Northeastern Republican that had a strong Progressive faction, even into the 1960s.

And this debate or discussion about civil rights in the Republican Party in 1960s, is the perfect example of what type of party they were back then. You had the Progressive-Federalists, led by Nelson and others. But you also had a growing Conservative-Libertarian wing, led by Senator Barry Goldwater and other Republicans in Congress. That were strong economic Conservatives and didn’t want big government in people’s personal lives either. But were such believers in property rights that they believed that individuals had the right to deny service people even based on race. And Vice President Richard Nixon, trying to please both factions.

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