Robert Taft: A Yale Man, Not a Common Man
NewMajority has a great story about Robert Taft:
It's interesting that Taft *was* a man of his times-- or a politician-- supporting things such as the minimum wage:
Bill Buckley liked to tell a story about one of Taft’s reelection campaigns, when the Senator’s wife was asked at a rally whether her husband was a common man. “Oh no,” she retorted, “he is not that at all. He was first in his class at Yale and first in his class at Harvard Law School. I think it would be wrong to present a common man as a representative of the people of Ohio.” The political professionals blanched, but the crowd gave the Tafts a standing ovation.
Taft was not the uncompromising scourge of liberalism that many of his followers imagined.... He supported government-funded old age pensions, medical care for the indigent, an income floor for the deserving poor, unemployment insurance, and an increased minimum wage. Because he believed that a home was necessary for a decent family life, and because the free market was not supplying low-cost housing, he advocated urban slum clearance and public housing. Because he believed that all children deserved an equal start in life, he reversed his earlier position and called for federal aid to education.... As his brother Charles recalled in 1966, Taft was “an innovator of the first class in a number of welfare fields, going beyond what the Democrats had the courage to talk about in those days.”
Don't take that last paragraph as complimentary.
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