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Seeking the Post-COVID 19 Sunshine: New Opportunities for Peaceful Foreign Policy Agendas

By Denis Bright

Progressive members of Joe Biden’s caucus are ready to implement their change agenda. But how much change is in the latest political storms? In the traditions of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy Gales encounters with elites might land the current crews of actors back in the same old Kansas.

Dorothy’s tilt at policy orthodoxy commenced with the publication of Lyman Frank Beam’s (1856-1919) adventure story in 1901. The theatrical version became a Broadway hit long before the colour film version in 1939.

By some strange coincidence, the various genres of Wizard of Oz would have all been well-received in today’s Trump heartlands.

Over a swathe of the USA, there had been lingering support for the Republicans from the South to the Industrial rustbelt, the Mid-West and the Plains. There are just a few pockets of Democratic Party support across this formerly Wild Frontier in Hollywood movie sets.

In Kansas, Democratic Congress Representative Sharice Lynette Davids retained her house seat in District 3. Sharice is the only house democrat from the four congressional electoral districts in Kansas. Her story is well covered by Joaqlin Estus (Indian Country Today 5 November 2020).

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal Team performed better across Kansas in 1932 when the US turned from old time capitalism to embrace a change agenda which kept the Democratic Party in office until the 1952 election during the Cold War era.

In retrospect, some of the policy changes associated with the New Deal had negative consequences on global economic recovery and international relations conventions.

Australia was already at war with Italy and Germany before MGM’s Wizard of Oz arrived at our movie theatres with a musical fantasy diversion from grim realities in full colour.

In the 1939 movie version, Dorothy and her United Front support base defied local conventions to take their problems to the very pinnacles of wisdom to the Wizard himself to restore life and honour to their beloved community in the midst of a multi-faceted crisis with its depression, dustbowl climatic crisis and psychological despair.

In this fantasy, Dorothy Gale lived near Sedan in Kansas where she was caught up with her dog Toto in an unexpected tornado. How relevant to today’s multi-faceted crises in the USA.

In reality, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels were written long before the New Deal era.

Lyman Frank Baum (1856-1919) sought to advance the cause of the left leaning populist movement across the USA. The Populist Campaigns centred on efforts to elect William Jennings Bryan as President at elections in 1896, 1900 and 1908.

 

 

With 45.5 per cent of the popular vote at the US elections in 1900, Populist Democrats challenged the imperialist global agenda of President William McKinley.

The Wizard of Oz was said to be a metaphor for President McKinley.

The author rejects the value of personal direct action as the whole exercise lands Dorothy Gale back where she commenced her struggles.

Hence, there is even more justification for populists to support political parties which will take up their fundamental causes and eventually achieve power in the interests of struggling families.

Prospects for Winding Back the Ethos of Global Empire

Today’s elites cling to such old notions of US strategic greatness both here and in the USA. Scott Morrison’s visit to the opening of the box plant of Pratt Industries in Wapakoneta, Ohio is covered in one of my earlier articles for The AIM Network.

Image of The Wichita Lineman from the The Economist, 13 August 2019

In Kansas, apologists for the old economy cling to their support for both the oil and gas industry and the defence sectors to assist in polarizing local opinion against change agendas.

Conservative elites are now keen to disassociate themselves from outdated images of Kansas with its focus on high IT economic diversity.

The Kansas State Department of Commerce is a strong advocate of the new economy in its own promotions.

However, Congressman Ron Estes in District 4 has one foot in old Republican agendas in rejecting the majority House of Representatives vote in favour of an impeachment trial for Donald Trump (Press release 13 January 2021).

Progressive members of President Biden’s own caucus will have to extremely proactive if they are to challenge the drift to neo-colonialism which has inherited from seventy-six years of dubious political practice on both sides of politics since the death of FDR on 12 April, 1945.

Joe Biden’s preferences for Anthony Blinken as incoming secretary of state with Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary President Biden do suggest that Scott Morrison will have his way in Washington in advocating a strategic status quo.

Sharice Davids is already in the Democratic Party caucus in Congress and represents the western outskirts of Kansas City with its large population of 3 million.

Laura Lombard as Democratic Party candidate in District 4 took on more challenging demographics around Wichita and the Ozark countryside.

Laura’s Linkedin profile is truly outstanding.

 

 

There was a notable difference in campaign spending across District 4 which leaves Ron Estes with more than enough to spend next time (Ballotpedia):

 

 

Splashing millions to support local Republican campaigns across Kansas is a real threat to democratic processes. It requires the mobilizations of the millions to redress such imbalances.

Denis Bright is a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis is committed to citizen’s journalism from a critical structuralist perspective. Comments from insiders with a specialist knowledge of the topics covered are particularly welcome.

 

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11 comments

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  1. Gail

    Why do the poorest and more backward states of the USA choose to stay with old style politics that were challenged 120 years ago in the Bryan campaign?

  2. James Robo

    Entertaining article, Denis.

  3. Tessa_M

    The Oz theme has lived on through the ages.

  4. Paul

    Why do some Australians want the Wild Frontier Days to live on?

  5. Leila

    A kind empathy towards a country in need of development advice from allies like Australia: Scott Morrison’s interference is hardly sound advice. Great research from Denis yet again.

  6. Andrew J. Smith

    The state legislatures are becoming the new battlefield after some neglect and/or losses by Democrats two years ago, against a Koch GOP strategy that had been running successfully in the states.

    From Nancy MacLean (author of ‘Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America’) in The Guardian (Nov ’18), article titled ‘Democrats were once invisible in state politics. Those days are over’

    ‘Republican party elected officials acted under pressure from the network of arch-right billionaires and multimillionaires built by the libertarian zealot Charles Koch over the last decade. Koch opposes nearly all of the policies won through collective action on the part of citizens over the past century, from graduated income taxes to workers’ rights, social security and Medicare, anti-discrimination laws, and environmental regulations.

    By focusing on the states, Koch-allied strategists and the elected officials with whom they worked achieved a tightening chokehold on America’s political system. And they nearly got away with it – until some on the left proved they could learn from being outfoxed.’

    Talking of ‘outfoxed’ one does not think it’s a coincidence that NewsCorp is allowed by the LNP to broadcast cable SkyNews and After Dark, regionally on FTA through WIN to give regional voters a wider choice of news……

  7. Stella

    Denis, thank you for an interesting article about Australia’s relationship with the US.

  8. Chris

    US MIlitary Bases like Pine Gap and North West Cape Communications Base were welcomed to assist with economic recovery here in the 1960s. Why do Australians have to take sides in the global contest?

  9. Lara

    Returning to the adventures of Dorothy is a good path for the renewal of Contempoary America

  10. rubio@coast

    Nice comment Lara. The quite radical spirit in US popular culture will probably come out again but it will take time. So don’t miss out on today’s sunny weather across Sydney before the cooler weather change arrives.

  11. Ali

    Thanks Denis, interesting indeed. The problem is militarism and foreign policy adventures and unfortunately there is not much difference between Democrats and Republicans there.

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