Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (UC Berkeley) My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ NBC News Opinion contributor Impeachment notes: impeachment-trump.com/ Oct. 09, 2018 2 min read

(Thread) Recap: Back to the 1920s

Let’s keep our current situation in perspective.

Two things are happening.

First, we're in the midsts of a slow-motion constitutional crisis prompted by Congress failing to act as a check on presidential power.

1/ As a result, we have a president with authoritarian impulses whose instincts are not being contained.

We also have a president who has lived a life of crime being shielded from criminal liability by Congress.

2/ Second, we have an administration doing everything it can to roll back the clock to the 1920s, before social security, before minimum wage, before the 40 hour work week, before rights for blacks and women.


3/ In the 1920s there was no minimum wage or income tax, so the wealthy lived like kings. Only about 5% of families could send their children to college, so lower income Americans couldn't get out of the poverty cycle. Children had to leave school to help support the family.

4/ This was also before the liberal court decisions (like Brown v. Board of Education) that set in motion the Civil Rights and women’s rights movements.

A certain kind of person wants to go back to the 1920s.

5/ Powerful men, for example, didn’t have to worry about things like women accusing them of sexual assault.

From All in the Family theme song: 🎶Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days. . .🎶🎶

Here’s the thing to remember:

6/ We got out of the 1920s once. We can do it again.

We got out of the 20s into the New Deal without a war or widespread civil violence.

OK—it took a stock market crash and Depression to wake people up to the problems of unregulated industry, banks, & lenders.

7/ But income inequality & robber barons were much worse in the 1920s than now. (Really)

Getting out took FDR, a popular and far-sighted president.

Only about half the voters agreed with FDR's legislation and programs, but people trusted him and voted for him anyway.

8/ The GOP has been trying to repeal the New Deal ever since.

What we’re in now is the backlash from FDR’s New Deal and the Court’s liberal policies beginning in 1954, until the Court swung conservative again.

Trump & pals are moving quickly to roll back the clock. . .

9/ . . .but in a large complex government, change is slow.

Entirely undoing all the laws and court rulings put in place since the 1920s will take time.

The slow pace of change in a complex government is frustrating for people who want rapid change—but it’s also stabilizing.

10/ Watching the GOP minority seize power beyond their numbers is frustrating.
That’s what authoritarians do. They can be stopped. We stopped American authoritarianism in the 20th century. This was in New Jersey during WW II👇 We can stop them again.

11/ The people who want liberal democracy greatly outnumber those who want oligarchy.

If we stay vigilant and each person does his or her part, we will get through this.

Will it be easy? No. Trump was many decades in the making.

But it can be done. It's been done before.

You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.