Friday, March 30, 2012

No Socks? No Problem...!

Many politicians should learn from this guy!

It's not always what you wear, but what you stand for that makes the difference! Being smart enough to turn your opponent's slams into a usable symbol is a real talent that some true politicians understand fully!

I'm thinking that a leader like this man would certainly come in handy about now!

Mar 30, 1891:
"Sockless" Simpson rallies populist farmers

Signaling a growing movement toward direct political action among desperate western farmers, "Sockless" Jerry Simpson calls on the Kansas Farmers' Alliance to work for a takeover of the state government.

Simpson was one of the most popular and influential leaders among Populist-minded western and mid-western farmers of the late 19th century. Angered over low crop prices, crippling bank loans, and high shipping rates, farmers began to unite in self-help groups like the Grange and the Farmers' Alliances. Initially, these groups primarily provided mutual assistance to members while agitating for the regulation of railroads and grain elevators. Increasingly, though, they became centers of support for more sweeping political change by uniting to help form the new nationwide third-party movement known as the Populists.

Simpson understood the West and the challenges of making a living in that difficult land. Since 1878, he had operated a ranch in southwest Kansas, where he first became involved in Republican politics. During the economic downturn of the 1890s, he became disgusted with the Republican's timid and ineffective efforts to help farmers and ranchers. Like many other men and women who worked the land for a living, he abandoned the major parties to try to achieve more fundamental change through the Populists.

Simpson became one of the most influential Populist leaders, thanks in part to his extraordinary wit and talent for cagey publicity stunts. Running for the U.S. Congress in 1890, Simpson's opponents sarcastically accused the Populist candidate of being a backcountry rube who did not even wear socks. Simpson quickly turned the insult to his advantage, proudly calling himself "Sockless Jerry" or the "Sockless Socrates of the Plains." Simpson's down-home manner and humor won him wide support, and he served in Congress three times during the 1890s. Had he not been Canadian by birth, he would likely have been nominated as the Populist's presidential candidate.
As with most third party movements in the history of the U.S., the Populist Party was short-lived. By 1898, Simpson was out of the Congress and Populism was all but dead. Still, Simpson and the Populists did succeed in pushing elite Americans to adopt some of their ideas. The Progressive-minded politicians of the early 20th century achieved at least some of the Populist goals, such as regulation of the railways. Shortly before he died in Wichita in 1905, Simpson noted that the Progressive politicians of the day were "just learning now what the farmers... knew fourteen years ago."

I don't know about you, but I'm about ready for a hero to show up. If not a hero, how about a truly honest, down home, almost common man! You know, like the most of us! Someone who will talk with us, not talk down to us!

Guess those days are over, huh? Just breaks your heart, ya know?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning, as the rain made it too wet to sit outside! How about some apple pie?


Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

You are so right - my heart is breaking for our country; I don't even recognize it anymore. My grandson will never, ever know the America I grew up in. The school system is a mess. There is too much greed and not enough God fearing values and honesty that made our country great being taught. If we are to survive, we need some big, big changes.
Send the rain this way - we need it!

BBC said...

Seems like we've been unhappy with our government for a long time.

Albert Einstein also had a great sense of humor, and didn't wear socks. And had enough brains to not get into politics.

Baby Sis said...

Bubba -
I totally agree with you and Phyllis. The life you and I grew up with, good and bad, is gone forever, as is the trust I used to have in our government - not to take care of us, but to watch out for us in the big picture while leaving us alone to work out the everyday stuff for ourselves.

We need another hero as a symbol of hope as well as a take charge guy.

Maybe see you tomorrow - any homeade bread in the offing?

Big hugs -

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
It will never go back to being what it was! I wish this was not so, but the facts speak otherwise!

Honesty in government has become almost a thing of the past!

What's the answer? I only wish I knew!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey BBC...
Right you are about it being a long time since we have been happy with the folks at the head of our government!

Einstein was quite the character, for sure! He wanted nothing to do with politics, from what I understand! Smart man!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Sis...
Sad as it is...the facts sure indicate you are 100% right!

I would like to see a real "servant of the people" come to office in my lifetime, but I fear that almost certainly won't happen!

Still, I guess we can always hope.

It would be nice to see you, and I'll bet I could come up with a loaf or two of fresh bread to celebrate with!

Thanks for coming by today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Being born who knows where didn't stop this country from electing the present president. I would think a Canadian would be much better.

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
I have to believe that you are certainly right there!

Certainly couldn't be any worse! At least, I hope!

Thanks for coming over today!

JOJO said...

I agree it is so sad to see where this country has gone. And I will leave it at that. Don't want to get on my soap box.

Now about that apple pie :)

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
I don't mind a bit anytime you want to get on your soapbox, sweetie!

About the apple pie...think of it as part of the daily serving of fruit that the government studies say you are supposed to have, then it doesn't seem so bad!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over today!

BBC said...

The right people will never run for office and even if they did America wouldn't vote them in so it goes back to the fact that America has the government it deserves.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Sad to see and hear the state of politics as it is today. Most days I just pass the political rants right by.

Sixbears said...

Socks are overrated. Third parties are underrated.

There's no going back to the past, but might learn a few lessons there.

BBC said...

Third parties are underrated.

In a decent system there wouldn't be any parties at all. Other than ice cream parties.

Gorges Smythe said...

Where's a rail-splitter when you need one? (Guess that only happens once in a nation's history.)

moon - kaek said...

Where;d you get the quote from??