Okay, new idea: Let's give our pro-Liberal, anti-Obama movement a name which sums up our defiant attitude, a name which tells the world that we don't like what the Democrats have turned into, a name which signals a break with the bipartisan neo-liberal orthodoxy which has ruined this country since Ronald Reagan.
Let's call our rebellion -- THE REBELLION.Update:
As you know, I can never resist slapping together a graphic for these occasions. (Click on the picture for a larger version.) How do you like it?
There's a deeper purpose to this imagery than you may at first notice. The man pictured here is Alexander Hamilton, and he was chosen for a reason.
Y'see, the libertarians have adapted Thomas Jefferson as "their" founding father. (See here
for example.) He favored a weak federal government, states' rights, and unregulated enterprise.
I think that we should look toward Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson may have written the Declaration of Independence, but Hamilton was the man who pretty much invented Constitutional democracy. He makes a potent symbol for our cause for at least three reasons:
1. He favored a strong federal government.
2. He was not a free-trader. He believed in protecting what he called "infant industries" -- that is, home-grown enterprises. Ha-Joon Chang talks about Hamiltonian protectionism at length in his must-read book Bad Samaritans
; a precis is here
3. He wanted the United States to own a bank. If the government had made outright purchases of the "too big to fail" banks in 2008, we would be sitting pretty right now. North Dakota
owns a bank, and that state is now the only one without deficit issues.
If the Rebellion takes off, we'll be accused of being Marxists. These days, anyone to the left of Milton Friedman is accused of Marxism. The response: We are Hamiltonians
. Let's see the bastards try to dis one of the Founding Fathers.
I can't resist quoting Ha-Joon Chang:
Initially few Americans were convinced by Hamilton's argument. After all, Adam Smith, the father of economics, had already advised Americans against artificially developing manufacturing industries. However, over time people saw sense in Hamilton's argument, and the US shifted to protectionism after the Anglo-American War of 1812. By the 1830s, its industrial tariff rate, at 40-50 per cent, was the highest in the world, and remained so until the Second World War.
The US may have invented the theory of infant industry protection, but the practice had existed long before. The first big success story was, surprisingly, Britain - the supposed birthplace of free trade. In fact, Hamilton's programme was in many ways a copy of Robert Walpole's enormously successful 1721 industrial development programme, based on high (among world's highest) tariffs and subsidies, which had propelled Britain into its economic supremacy.
Britain and the US may have been the most ardent - and most successful - users of tariffs, but most of today's rich countries deployed tariff protection for extended periods in order to promote their infant industries.