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Friday, December 2, 2016

Is There Historical Precedent For Donald Trump? Yes...Huey Long

There is nothing new under the sun. History proves it. The Great Kingfisher preceded Donald Trump by eighty plus years. He would have given Donald a run for his money. A Louisiana Governor who started a Share the Wealth program that millions signed up for during the Great Depression, Long was a populist who ran Louisiana as its own country. Long had a constituency of poor people hard hit by the Great Depression and he promised to take money from the rich and give it to the poor. He was big on infrastructure programs and swore he would give people back their jobs. Franklin Roosevelt called him the most dangerous man in America when he decided to run for President

Long didn't believe in the Federal Reserve and wanted to abolish it. He wanted to build roads bridges and schools. He wanted to tax corporations to keep people in their homes. Now here is where it gets interesting. Long marketed his Share the Wealth programs though a new medium that few understood the power of. He bypassed regular media and went right to the people. A powerful speaker who worked himself into a frenzy he used radio like no one had ever imagined. From 1932 to 1935 he created a national following by telling people that Washington was taking their money from them and that they had to get rid of the fat cats. And he was the outsider who could do it...he would drain the swamp.

Long joined forces with another man who had discovered radio as a powerful medium to build his following, a catholic priest and commentator named Charles Coughlin. Coughlin and Long understood the new medium of radio and like Trump and his twitter account neatly sidestepped mainstream media with their own appeal to the masses. An assassin ended Huey Longs dreams in 1935 but many believed he would have beaten Roosevelt in 1936.

Here the comparison Donald Trump made the final leap into the White House. History will be written from here on.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Books by William Hazelgrove