Editor’s Note: In Huey Long’s time, Progressivism didn’t mean what it does today. Keep that in mind. Blacks were mostly disenfranchised in the South from the early 20th century to the 1970s. Southern White Progressives fought to raise the standard of living of the White working class.
The following excerpt on the administration of Governor John Parker comes from Huey P. Long’s Every Man a King: The Autobiography of Huey P. Long:
“We managed to break what our opponents called the “solid North Louisiana vote.” It gave a slight majority for Parker. He was elected.
Governor Parker immediately addressed me a few letters, taking occasion to thank me for the support which I had given to his candidacy.
Before his inauguration, however, I was shelved. …”
In between Gov. Parker’s victory and inauguration, Huey Long was dumped. It was a blackpilling experience, but it lit a fire in him which we will see later.
“It was here I saw occur a phenomenon that has frequently presented itself in the after years. Those of us, zealous for reform and who had exhausted ourselves in the election, hied back to our work to give attention to our several neglected affairs. The crowd of wiseacres, skilled at flattery and repartee, surrounded our newly elected governor. Soon he was convinced that his insurmountable virtue alone had wrought the victory; before long he was made to see how much bigger his majority might have been but for the “hindrance” of such “objectionables” as myself.
The elements he had defeated, always in his easy view, broke into ecstasies of delight at which they had so lately found to be his words of wisdom. They had felt a divine spark. When the slaves of the campaign had the time to visit him, the element we had expected to oust were needed to introduce us to our late candidate.
He made his own program with the help of Standard Oil lawyers, who had been called in to write some of the laws affected that Corporation. He appeared to desire only such legislation as was agreed to in compromise on all sides.
Cain became his own judge. …”
I bet this one rings true.
The lesson of Huey Long’s political career in Louisiana is that conservatism has to be extirpated root-and-branch by populism. That’s also the lesson of the Trump presidency.