New Book Traces Roots of Modern-Day Political Parties to Pivotal 1924 Presidential Election
NEW YORK, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ — As the 2010 midterm elections approach imagine the prospect of both the Republican and Democratic parties each nominating bona fide conservative candidates for top congressional or statewide races.
While certainly unthinkable in today’s polarized political climate, ‘dueling conservatives’ defined the 1924 presidential election as chronicled in a new book by Garland S. Tucker III, The High Tide of American Conservatism: Davis, Coolidge, and the 1924 Election. Tucker tells the previously untold story of two underrated, oft-neglected titans of American conservatism and the watershed election of 1924.
The High Tide of American Conservatism casts new light on both the election and the two candidates, John W. Davis and Calvin Coolidge. Both nominees articulately expounded a similar philosophy of limited government and maximum individual freedom; and both men were exemplary public servants.
The enduring consequence of this election was the philosophical divergence of the two parties–Democrats leftward and Republicans rightward. As the proper role of government in a free society continues to be a topic of heated, partisan debate, every American–conservative or liberal–will benefit from an understanding of the 1924 election. Conservatives will recognize the link between Coolidge and Reagan and the modern Republican Party, and they will rejoice to discover a new conservative titan, John W. Davis.
In the book’s foreword, Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, writes, “that historians have largely failed to understand the significance of that election points to what Tucker has accomplished as a non-historian. His revisionist account not only upgrades the election in historical terms, but it also casts a fresh light on Coolidge and Davis. Tucker is justified, I think, in calling the election ‘the high tide of American conservatism.’”
Twentieth-century American political history was certainly dominated by the conflict between the left and the right over the proper role of government; and, much to the surprise of many mid-twentieth-century historians and economists, the clash was not resolved with the coming of FDR and the New Deal. The late twentieth-century ascendancy of conservatism in the United States under Reagan–and abroad under Thatcher and others–has assured the continuation of this conflict.
Vigorous debate continues to rage over the political and economic aspects of The Coolidge Prosperity, The New Deal, The Great Society, and The Reagan Revolution. The pertinence of this debate is obvious today as the United States again has changed course with the election of Barack Obama in 2008. American voters continue to be offered a fundamental choice between two very different forms of governance.
Garland S. Tucker, III, is president/CEO of Triangle Capital Corporation, a publicly traded specialty finance company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Washington and Lee University and received an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. Garland recently appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program discussing the book.
SOURCE Planned Television Arts