Henry Wallace and the “Common Man”

January 4, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

Ruth Fremson

 

By

Sami Jamil Jadallah

Mr. Trump, where is your man representing the interests of the “Common Man”, who helped you get elected? We see none.

Not so sure how many of our readers remember Henry Wallace. A short reminder, Wallace served as Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Commerce and later as the 33rd Vice-President for Franklin D. Roosevelt until such time the DNC chair Robert Hannegan and the Southern Segregationists organized to remove him and select Harry Truman as Vice-President. He did not fit well with the self-serving “clubby” style of the US Senate and they worked hard to defeat him and they did. He was too progressive for his time.

The defeat of Henry Wallace as the Vice-President by the DNC chair reminds us of the dirty and criminal role-played by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her gangs in making sure that Bernie Sanders had no chance of winning the Democratic nomination.

Henry Wallace was a smart energetic agronomist who, with a vision to the future, played a key role in saving hundreds of thousands of farmers from total loss of land and fortune, especially after the stock market crash where tens of thousands of farmers faced bankruptcy. John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath was about such time of the “Dust Ball” when thousands of farmers and sharecroppers had to abandon the land and flee out West.

Henry Wallace was a “key advocate” and sponsor of the Agriculture Adjustment Administration and the Rural Electrification Administration and the Soil Conservation Service and the Farm Credit Administration, agencies that played a key and critical role in taking America and Americans out of the Great Depression. He took the Department of Agriculture out of marginalization and obscurity and made it into one of the key departments in the nations, serving America’s farmers and the world, making sure that America always have enough food on the table.

On May 8, 1942 in New York City, Henry Wallace gave one of his most memorable speeches “The Century for the Common Man”. He spoke of progressive ideas and idealism and spoke of freedom and slavery and freedom and colonialism, with the need “for all to cooperate to raise the standards of living for the common man.” Mr. Trump sure could use some of Henry Wallace’s ideas.

 

Henry Wallace

 

 

In contrast, Henry Luce, the patrician publisher of Times and Life argued for “American Century” and calling for world dominance “to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purpose as we see fit and by such means as we see fit.” Two worldviews were and remain the same to our day. Bush and Cheney’s America’s New Century took us to wars, and to losses of tens of thousands of American lives, the wasting of $4 Trillions and the death of millions around the world, and the total destructions of nations, and the rise of terrorism as the new plague.

Henry Wallace stood for every “Common Man”, White as well as Black. He called for an end to segregation and end of colonialism declaring, “No nation will have the God given right to exploit other nations. Older nations will have the privilege to help the younger nations get started on the path of industrialization, but there must not be neither military nor economic imperialism.” America’s French and British allies with almost all of Asia and Africa under colonial rules were very angry about Wallace views and advocacy to say the least. However today, America is the world imperialist power with world military, political and economic dominance second to none.

However his most daring statement was directed to America’s fascist “who would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information.” He continued to declare:

“The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity… They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection”.

Bernie Sanders was the Henry Wallace of his time. Both spoke of the need for an end to wars, end to racial segregation, advocates for unions, national health care, public works and jobs, and equality of men and women.

America today should reflect on Henry Wallace and his views as we usher a new presidency with President Trump winning the votes of the “Common Man” yet to appoint one key member of his cabinet to represent the “ Common Man”. What we see so far, is that the “Common Man” is totally neglected in Donald Trump’s presidency with ‘big alligators’ who took the “Common Man” to the cleaners in the recent financial collapse, loss of jobs and exports of factories playing a key role in the administration.

While recognizing the powerful case for the “Common Man” we must not exonerate him from his misfortune. The lack of will to train and retrain, failing to demand from his government the necessary training needed to give him the needs and status of the Middle Class which he lost due to plants closing and export of jobs. The same “Common Man” today who demands and wants the jobs and the training, is the same man who is against any and all government agencies that provide him with such training and is against the health care system that he lost. Let us hope the “Common Man” makes sure that Mr. Trump delivers on his promises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sami Jamil Jadallah

Sami is a Palestinian-American immigrated to the US while in high school. He was drafted in the US Army during Vietnam War earning the leadership award from the US Sixth Army Non-Commission Officer Academy.

After honorable discharge, Sami enrolled at Indiana University where he was active in student politics, elected class president, student president and chairman of the Indiana Student Association representing students from all colleges and universities in the State of Indiana.

Sami earned his Bachelor Degree (economics and politics), Master of Public and Environmental Affairs and Doctor of Jurisprudence. After a 2 years stint with a major Wall Street law firm Sami took on the job as general counsel of a major international construction company in Saudi Arabia. As an international legal and business consultant, Sami served as owner representative on major projects such as hotels, conservation foundation, defense, and technology.

In the area of public service, Sami was the founding member of the United Palestinian Appeal, a well known not for profit organization serving the needs of Palestinians refugees with over $100 millions in projects and donations serving 16 years as a trustee.

Sami as founding member and executive director of the New Arab Foundation, a US based Not for Profit Tax Exemp, a think tank (with a mission) and management consulting organization, and is working now on the launching of the Arab Peace Crops inspired by President John F Kennedy’s American Peace Corps.

Sami lives in Fairfax, VA and is married to Dr. Alma Abdul-Hadi Jadallah an international expert in mediations and conflict resolution, they have three children all living and working in Washington DC.

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