Public Resource: Video: CBS News Longines Chronoscope: Former Progressive Presidential Candidate Henry Wallace: From 1952
Henry Wallace, ran for President in 1948, when the United States essentially had four major presidential contenders. Democratic President Harry Truman, Republican Governor Tom Dewey, Dixiecrat Governor Strom Thurmond and Progressive Henry Wallace. And apparently President Truman a Democrat, even though he advocated what was called the Fair Deal, which was to build on the New Deal from the 1930s, wasn’t progressive enough for Henry Wallace. So Wallace, ran for the Progressive Party. Henry Wallace was a classical Progressive/Socialist, or Democratic Socialist, Social Democrat and I mean small d when it comes to Democrat. Someone who believed in democracy obviously, but a certain type of democracy.
Henry Wallace, believed in democratic socialism or social democracy. Thats common in Europe and wanted to expand on the New Deal and go even further in guaranteeing health insurance and health care. To use as examples, college as well and using the Federal Government heavily, to produce an economy that was as strong and as fair as possible. Investing heavily in public infrastructure, Federal aid to Education, that sort of thing. And combined his economic progressivism with social liberalism. Big believer in civil rights and equal rights for all. Way ahead of the Democratic Party in the 1940s and deserves a lot of credit for that.
I think what really separates Henry Wallace from mainstream Progressive Democrats like Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Hubert Humphrey, has to do with foreign policy and national security. That would be the negative side, where I don’t believe Wallace took the threat of the Soviet Union and communism around the world seriously enough and perhaps even sided with them on some things. His positive aspect and I believe the best part of Wallace’s political legacy and what he had in common with Hubert Humphrey and where he separated from Roosevelt and Truman, had to do with civil rights and equal rights. Wallace and Humphrey, supported what became the 1964 Civil Rights Act that was finally passed by Congress and singed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. And Henry Wallace, deserves a lot of credit for that.