Wanniski Wins! -- THE 1980 & 1920 Sources Of Progressive Conservatism (aka Progressive Individualism)
Welcome to the New Year!
Lewis & Clark Meets Wanniski!
In 1805, Lewis & Clark discovered the source of the Missouri River headwaters (today's Beaverhead County, Montana).
In 2005, Wanniski discovers the source (code) of Progressive Conservatism. Actually, Jude Wanniski more than discovers the source; he first coined the term "Progressive Conservative."
In response to my Progressive Conservative TimeLine (posted December 1st below), Jude Wanniski sent to me this e-mail: "It happens that I came up with the term 'progressive conservative' in 1979 in describing the Reaganauts, to distinguish them from the Paleo-Cons. If you look back, when RR [Ronald Reagan] won in 1980, the New York Times used the term in its frontpage headline to describe the movement."
(Note: As readers most likely know, Jude Wanniski is one of the "fathers-founders" of Supply-Side Economics. Along with 1999 Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert Mundell and Dr. Art Laffer, Jude Wanniski is the leading light of Supply-Side Economics. At www.Wanniski.com, see "A Supply-Side History" by Wayne Jett, August 2003.)
In 1979, Jude Wanniski coins the term "Progressive Conservative" and the New York Times adopts the term, following Ronald Wilson Reagan's 1980 primary win in New Hampshire (again according to another e-mail from Jude Wanniski). We can trace the term back farther than 1979, however.
Hoover Meets Von Mises!
Three of the leading books on the Progressive Era are these: (1) Richard Hofstadter's The Age Of Reform: From Bryan to FDR (1955), David Noble's The Progressive Mind, 1890-1917 (1970)and (3) Michael McGerr's A Fierce Discontent: The Rise And Fall Of The Progressive Movement In America, 1870-1920 (2003).
In response to the "coercive collectivist progressivism" of the 1900s and 1910s, a new progressivism emerges in 1920. In the final pages (pp. 311-312) of the final chapter of Michael McGerr's A Fierce Discontent, McGerr provides these conclusions:
"In the 1920 campaign, Harding and Coolidge confidently celebrated individualism. 'The group must not endanger the individual...,' Harding lectured. The government's 'abiding purpose has been the recognition of the rights and the development of the individual,' Coolidge added. 'To the individual has been left power and responsibility, the foundation for the rule of the people.'
"Despite these bold claims for individualism, the Republicans were cautious as they confronted the progressivism that had held sway for a generation. Harding, Coolidge, and the rest sensed what despairing progressives did not--that the nation would not abandon progressivism and its ideas completely. There would be no return to 1914, Calvin Coolidge promised. 'That day is gone.' Harding even called himself a 'rational progressive,' a neat term suggesting at once how much the reputation of progressivism had suffered and how much progressivism still counted.
"In the same way, Republicans carefully qualified their individualism. They called themselves 'new individualists.' Herbert Hoover, one of the chief interpreters of that new individualism, took to describing himself as 'an American individualist' and his creed as 'progressive individualism.'"
(Historical Note: In 1922, Herbert Hoover published American Individualism. In 1922, the famed Austrian Economist Ludwig von Mises published Socialism. Hoover's book was published in America and Mises' book was published in Germany. Though neither Hoover nor Mises were aware of the other's work, they reached remarkably similar conclusions on the dangers of coercive collectivism.)
Post-1920, Herbert Hoover's "Progressive Individualism" faded into FDR's New Deal. Post-1980, Jude Wanniski's coinage "Progressive Conservative" faded fast.
In April 2004, when I first coined the term "Progressive Conservatism" (and its substantive, comprehensive world view in the book outline Progressive Conservatism (Pro-Cons): The Fusion of Conservative Futures in the Clash of Civilizations), I had never ever heard of the words "Progressive Conservatism." Ever!!
We Progressive Conservatives can Not now permit the Pro-Con Brand to slide into historical or current oblivion...again.
Thanks to such organizations as www.FreedomWorks.com, www.BullMooseRepublicans.com, and www.ReaganVision.com (and of course www.USProgressiveConservatives.org and www.Rudy2008.info) all coupled-networked with this Web-Zine Blog Site, the Pro-Con Brand will continue to prosper.
Welcome to the Year (and Decade!!) of Progressive Conservatism!!