By Paul Craig Roberts | 23 October 2017
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICAL ECONOMY — Once upon a time the leftwing of the political spectrum was committed to the advancement of the working class and its protection from political and economic abuse by the owners of the means of production. Consequently, the leftwing was politically potent and reached a pinnacle of power when Henry Wallace was selected by Franklin D. Roosevelt as his third term vice president. Despite his wealth from the company he founded, Wallace stood for the farmer and the working class.
The Democratic Party power brokers refused to accept Wallace as the vice president candidate until FDR told them he otherwise would decline the presidential nomination.
Wallace was Roosevelt’s and the Democratic voters’ choice for vice president in Roosevelt’s fourth term. But Wallace’s progressive views had alienated the party bosses, Wall Street bankers, anti-union businesses, and America’s British and French allies with his support for labor unions, women, minorities, and victims of colonialism. When he called for the emancipation of colonial subjects and for working with the Soviet Union in the cause of peace and working class justice, he sealed his fate. Despite a Gallup Poll released during the Democratic national convention in July 1944 showing that Wallace was the favorite with 65% of the vote and Roosevelt’s announcement that if he were a delegate, he would choose Wallace, the party bosses chose Harry Truman who was preferred by only 2% of Democratic voters.
This was a turning point in US politics and world history. If the people had prevailed over the corrupt Democratic party bosses, Wallace instead of Truman would have become the first postwar US president. Most likely, there would have been no Cold War, no Korean War, no Vietnam War, no NATO, and no decades of mutual distrust between the US and Russia that today threatens life on earth. […]