Walkerville, New Democrats & “Wishes in the Wind”: Rolling Back the 20th Century in Wisconsin

Source: Joyce M. Latham, Progressive Librarian, #36/37, Fall 2011
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…These programs [Roosevelt’s New Deal and Johnson’s Great Society], spearheaded by two flawed but visionary presidents, provide the targets for the current wave of rightwing rollbacks of social justice earned bit-by-bit through the 20th century. The “Gilded Age” of the late 19th century was an era dominated by capitalist elites that was, in short, a “white man’s democracy.” The United States at that point was a liberal democracy that gloried in a competitive marketplace, a taste for imperialism and a disregard for the common worker. The Wisconsin budget battles of 2011 represent a concentrated view of the rightwing strategies to drive a radical reshaping of American society that would reinstate the “Gilded Age” and dismiss the progress of the 20th century….

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