Source:The New Democrat
“In the wake of one of the most tumultuous Republican conventions ever, the party of Lincoln nominated in 1940 a prominent businessman and former Democrat who could have saved America’s sclerotic political system. Although Wendell Lewis Willkie would lose to FDR, acclaimed biographer David Levering Lewis demonstrates that the corporate chairman–turned–presidential candidate must be regarded as one of the most exciting, intellectually able, and authentically transformational figures to stride the twentieth-century American political landscape.”
If anyone is wondering why I bother too write about Wendell Willkie a man who maybe only 5% of the country has ever even heard of and most of those people being old enough to remember his presidential campaign or born just after his 1940 presidential campaign: the reason why I’m interested in Wendell to the point that I write about him is because I base my own politics and political ideology around 3 people: Thomas Jefferson, the father of American liberal democracy. John F. Kennedy, the last Liberal and not just Classical Liberal President that we’ve ever had. And Wendell Willkie, the last Classical Liberal as well as Liberal Republican nominee for President. Who left the Democratic Party, because he believed they were moving in a socialist big government direction under Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s.
Wendell Willkie, is a political hero of mine and if the Republican Party today was the Willkie Republican Party, I would be a Republican instead of at best an Independent Democrat today. Wendell, was a Republican who supported civil and equal rights of all Americas. Who opposed social classes even as it relates to race and ethnicity. Wendell, was to the Left of President Franklin Roosevelt on civil rights for African-Americans, as well as other racial and other ethnic minorities. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the Republican Party was the civil rights part. First lead by President Dwight Eisenhower who opposed school desegregation and also supported a broader civil rights bill in the 1950s. And without Congressional Republicans, President Lyndon Johnson doesn’t get his civil rights laws in the 1960s.
Wendell Willkie, was anti-Communist, antiauthoritarian Liberal Republican. Think about for a second and see if you can get past that. He obviously wouldn’t fit inside the Republican Party today, but there wouldn’t be much room for him inside the Democratic Party today either. Because he was a true constitutionalist who believed in constitutional rights for all Americans and believed in limited government. He was one of the first true liberal internationalists that we’ve ever had in a presidential candidates at least., who believed that America couldn’t police the world, but we needed to be engaged with the world to protect liberal democracy and stand up to communism and other authoritarian ideologies. A Wendell Willkie, couldn’t fit inside of a Republican Party today, that’s dominated by Nationalists when it comes to foreign policy and in general. And a Democratic Party that’s not only now embracing democratic socialism, but doesn’t seem to have issues with authoritarian socialism either.
Wendell Willkie to me, even though I’m maybe 1 out of 5 Americans who’ve ever heard of man ( perhaps a few more ) is very interesting to me because he was a man and a political candidate who was not just ahead of him time as it relates to foreign policy, the Constitution, limited government, and civil rights, but also represents the the liberal democratic ( or classical liberal, if you prefer ) void that was left inside the Democratic Party when President John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 by a Communist, with the Democratic Party moving Left ever since President Kennedy was assassinated. We no longer have a liberal ( or classical liberal ) wing in either the Democratic or Republican Party today and is still missed by me and other Liberals ( or Classical Liberals, if you prefer ) today.