Small and determined to stay that way

“Theirs was the America of the turn of the century, an America of sound business practices and old-fashioned virtues, of which they were exemplars. They did not owe money and did not depend on the government to employ them. They were the town leaders in an era when that leadership was almost exclusively white, male, and Protestant, and they were largely professional men, in an age when the middle class was still narrow. They belonged to civic clubs where almost everyone they knew felt much as they did about the drift of the country away from what they considered Americanism. The New Deal—and the forces that it had opened the door to—was the enemy. Or, as Senator Hugh Butler of Nebraska had said before the 1946 election: ‘If the New Deal is still in control of the Congress after the election, it will owe that control to the Communist Party in this country.’ These men were instinctively nativist, believing it a strength, not a weakness. They neither liked nor trusted the America that had elected Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the big-city America of Catholics, Jews, Negroes, and unions. They distrusted anything or anyone that was different.” – David Halberstam, The Coldest Winter

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