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How do you get an Social Democratic America?

AndrewH

I was hospitalized for approaching perfection
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Tampa, FL
Honestly, while not sure it could or would be full social democracy, if you could get someone like Udall, Fred Harris or even Sarge Shriver in ‘76 (not even mentioning potential contenders who didn’t run like Ted Kennedy), you would probably see some type of full employment legislation passed, a lot of movement on healthcare, a foreign policy broadly similar to Carter’s and a more muscular approach to the energy crisis. If that happens, you’ve at least started going down the path towards a social democratic state.
 

Beata Beatrix

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Honestly, while not sure it could or would be full social democracy, if you could get someone like Udall, Fred Harris or even Sarge Shriver in ‘76 (not even mentioning potential contenders who didn’t run like Ted Kennedy), you would probably see some type of full employment legislation passed, a lot of movement on healthcare, a foreign policy broadly similar to Carter’s and a more muscular approach to the energy crisis. If that happens, you’ve at least started going down the path towards a social democratic state.
I’ve often tipped Bayh for this - he was someone very able to work with Congress and, most of all, with Ted Kennedy! Of course, the things that would’ve made him a good president also made it hard for him to get the nomination, but if he emerges as the liberal answer to Carter, he might just get it.
 
How would a Reuther (1963-1973) presidency look like?
Considering he lacked LBJ connections and experience with Congress, I'm going to guess he will likely end up achieving a lot less than LBJ.

Theres also the fact that if Kennedy picks Reuther as VP, Nixon stands a better chance of winning in 1960.
 

Japhy

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Considering he lacked LBJ connections and experience with Congress, I'm going to guess he will likely end up achieving a lot less than LBJ.
Do

Do you not know who Reuther was?

Theres also the fact that if Kennedy picks Reuther as VP, Nixon stands a better chance of winning in 1960.
Any election can be swung.
 
Do

Do you not know who Reuther was?
Yes, however that doesn't change the fact that in American politics you still need to be able to work congress (especially in this period of time) to get legislation through and Reuther doesn't have anywhere near the influence that LBJ has. Yes his position as one of the leading Trade Unionists in America at this point wont mean he is completely powerless, but there still the fact that he wasn't even the head of the AFL-CIO, George Meany was (who he and Reuther didn't have a good relationship). His relationship with Southern Democrats and Republicans (including liberal/moderate republicans who often voted for Great Society measures) will be far worse than what Johnson's were.

Combine all with the fact that he likely does worse than LBJ in 64 (being regarded as a much more of a controversial ideological firebrand than Johnson) and having a smaller congressional majority to work with and I'm struggling to see how he would be able to match Johnson's legislative achievements, let alone doing a Great Society+, like you seem to be suggesting.
 

Japhy

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The idea that Reuther didn't have influence is just wrong. He had tons, had been wheeling and dealing in DC for decades. He was one of the only men who could compete with LBJ and had built marvelous alliances with the Liberal and Moderate ends of the Republican Party as well as the Democrats.

1960 and 1964 will be harder elections but are doable anyway. And without LBJs intense racism, scatterbrained disinterest in his projects actually having results and Vietnam there's plenty of room to get things done. Reuther was a natural politician. 1968 might be insurmountable for any Left leaning politician in the United States but to write Reuther off as being incapable of getting anything done is to ignore his record in the political landscape of the Era.
 

Sulemain

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The idea that Reuther didn't have influence is just wrong. He had tons, had been wheeling and dealing in DC for decades. He was one of the only men who could compete with LBJ and had built marvelous alliances with the Liberal and Moderate ends of the Republican Party as well as the Democrats.

1960 and 1964 will be harder elections but are doable anyway. And without LBJs intense racism, scatterbrained disinterest in his projects actually having results and Vietnam there's plenty of room to get things done. Reuther was a natural politician. 1968 might be insurmountable for any Left leaning politician in the United States but to write Reuther off as being incapable of getting anything done is to ignore his record in the political landscape of the Era.
The fact that this thread was the first time I'd ever heard of him says something quite profound about American political and historical discourse.
 

Marco Polaris

New member
If the Russians had not had their October Revolution then that alone would surely have made a Social Democratic America significantly more likely. A lot America opposition to left wing philosophy (predating McCarthyism) stems from fear of a similar revolution happening in the states. If it didn't happen elsewhere and socialism became more home grown than be perceived as a foreign philosophical threat, would have made the possibility more likely perhaps.
 

Time Enough

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If the Russians had not had their October Revolution then that alone would surely have made a Social Democratic America significantly more likely. A lot America opposition to left wing philosophy (predating McCarthyism) stems from fear of a similar revolution happening in the states. If it didn't happen elsewhere and socialism became more home grown than be perceived as a foreign philosophical threat, would have made the possibility more likely perhaps.
Whilst that would help the fear and opposition of Left Wing philosophy was around way before October Revolution. I think it was mentioned elsewhere on here that the Progressive Party was created partially out of a fear of Marxism and Anarchism in a similar fashion to Bismarck and his efforts to create a Welfare State out of a similar fear.

I think the main problem is less the fear of revolution and the Red Scare but more that Labour Unions in the USA didn’t really work with the Left Wing Parties that appeared and were often divided.

There never really a broad Left Wing Party of Labour Unionists, Progressives, Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists that emerged like the Labour Party in the UK to take on the established parties though Labour is a special case and very nearly failed on point of inception so any similar movement in the U.S.A would have to be just as luck.

Something like a combined 1924 Progressive-Farmer-Labor Party could work but that still has problems.
 

Ricardolindo

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Honestly, while not sure it could or would be full social democracy, if you could get someone like Udall, Fred Harris or even Sarge Shriver in ‘76 (not even mentioning potential contenders who didn’t run like Ted Kennedy), you would probably see some type of full employment legislation passed, a lot of movement on healthcare, a foreign policy broadly similar to Carter’s and a more muscular approach to the energy crisis. If that happens, you’ve at least started going down the path towards a social democratic state.
The problem with that is "a foreign policy broadly similar to Carter’s". If the Iran hostage crisis still happens, I don't think that President could win reelection in 1980.
 

AndrewH

I was hospitalized for approaching perfection
Location
Tampa, FL
The problem with that is "a foreign policy broadly similar to Carter’s". If the Iran hostage crisis still happens, I don't think that President could win reelection in 1980.
I don’t think Udall would host the Shah, to be completely honest. Broadly similar might not have been doing Udall justice - this was a man who said that Republicans wanted to start another Vietnam in Angola in ‘76, and ran to Carter’s left the entire primary.
 

Time Enough

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Could you please expand on what you mean by this point?
The Labour Union Leadership didn’t actually like the idea of a ‘Labour’ Party seeing it as diluting there ability to negotiate with the Government and there own power, whilst the rank and file were.

Also the ILP didn’t really get on with the Labour Union Leadership so it’s origins were shaky.
 

Ricardolindo

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I don’t think Udall would host the Shah, to be completely honest. Broadly similar might not have been doing Udall justice - this was a man who said that Republicans wanted to start another Vietnam in Angola in ‘76, and ran to Carter’s left the entire primary.
Thing is, the Iranian students didn't take the embassy merely because the Shah was in US, they did it because they wanted the Shah to be extradited to Iran. However, the Shah had been in Egypt and Morroco before the US. Thus, they may still take the embassy.
 

AndrewH

I was hospitalized for approaching perfection
Location
Tampa, FL
Thing is, the Iranian students didn't take the embassy merely because the Shah was in US, they did it because they wanted the Shah to be extradited to Iran. However, the Shah had been in Egypt and Morroco before the US. Thus, they may still take the embassy.
Not necessarily given that there was also a push to take over the Soviet embassy, and if the Shah got word of the students plans to attack the U.S. embassy beforehand, he would’ve shut it down.
 

Ricardolindo

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Not necessarily given that there was also a push to take over the Soviet embassy, and if the Shah got word of the students plans to attack the U.S. embassy beforehand, he would’ve shut it down.
In https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...nts-seize-soviet-embassy.464787/post-19031320, David Tenner explains that he doubts that there ever was a chance of the students taking the Soviet embassy. Regardless, the students only planned to take the US embassy after the Shah left Iran. Thus, how could he shut it down?
I do agree that the hostage crisis wasn't inevitable, though.
Udall may have decided to shut down the embassy once the Revolution happened
 

AndrewH

I was hospitalized for approaching perfection
Location
Tampa, FL
In https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/alternate-iranian-hostage-crisis-–-students-seize-soviet-embassy.464787/post-19031320, David Tenner explains that he doubts that there ever was a chance of the students taking the Soviet embassy. Regardless, the students only planned to take the US embassy after the Shah left Iran. Thus, how could he shut it down?
I do agree that the hostage crisis wasn't inevitable, though.
Udall may have decided to shut down the embassy once the Revolution happened
Excuse me, I meant to say the Ayatollah, not the Shah. Bit of a slip there.
 

Avian Overlord

Mystical American Freedom Bird
You keep it conservative longer. If the liberal parties don't have preexisting relationships with the working classes, a labor party becomes far more feasible.
 

RyanF

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What scope is there for examples of social democratic governments at the state level? I'm thinking of taking the municipal efforts of mayors in places like Milwaukee and translating to the whole of Wisconsin. Olson has already been mentioned as an OTL example but were there possible others? Thinking is if there is a successful model at the state level might be easier to break into national politics.
 

Time Enough

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What scope is there for examples of social democratic governments at the state level? I'm thinking of taking the municipal efforts of mayors in places like Milwaukee and translating to the whole of Wisconsin. Olson has already been mentioned as an OTL example but were there possible others? Thinking is if there is a successful model at the state level might be easier to break into national politics.
Hmm, well there was the Wisconsin Progressive Party which briefly held power in mid 30s. If they managed to do better on a state level (which would have included getting the Wisconsin SPA members on side too) then they would probably be a lot like the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party in terms of politics and policies. If you were to have a successful Progressive run Wisconsin and the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party manages to continue with it’s secure position of power then by the early 40s you could have the formation of a Progressive Farmer-Labor coalition of some kind emerging.

There was also the time the Seattle Trade Unions went on strike in 1919 and ran there own little autonomous zone but that’s more Anarcho-Syndicalist in nature (though that could inspire Social Democratic State Governments).
 
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