( – promoted by Sue Prent)
After reading about Lenore Broughton, who has given $680,000 so far to her controversial right-wing superPAC, Vermonters First, I came upon some fascinating information on her family, especially her grandfather. Important disclaimer : This bears no reflection on Mrs. Broughton, but it does describe a world of historical precedent that echoes eerily of the present day political climate.
So much was I reminded of the efforts of our current batch of financiers against “the government”,such as the Koch Bros., Sheldon Adelson and many others, that I offer these links to anyone who wants to brush up on this era in our history, and to contemplate FDR’s words in a speech that to my ears, could be delivered today. He was speaking of a group in particular, the American Liberty League, that plotted a coup against him, and which was financed in part by Mrs. Broughton’s grandfather, Sewell Avery.
About Sewell Avery, Lenore Broughton’s grandfather:
“Sewell Avery, a precocious darling of the right-wing anti-New Deal movement, came from a wealthy Michigan family of lumber barons. Avery was president of Montgomery Ward, America’s first mail-order business. Created in 1872, its first store opened in 1926. By 1929, it was the world’s top retailer, with 530 outlets. He was a director of J.P.Morgan’s U.S.Steel Corp. In 1931, Avery was president of U.S. Gypsum, America’s top supplier of plaster.”…
About the American Liberty League:
“Lurking in the background behind the plot to oust FDR was the American Liberty League , a pro-business think-tank and ultra-right wing lobby group. Avery was a financier of the American Liberty League and a National Advisor for the Crusaders, a fascist front group for the A.L.L. He was also a University of Chicago trustee “where an anti-radical drive took a sudden spurt after the Crusaders went into active anti-labor activity.”‘….
FDR on the League:
On Jan. 3, 1936, in an unprecedented joint session of Congress, when President Roosevelt announced a ban on military exports to fascist Italy, he blasted the American Liberty League.
“They steal the livery of great national ideals to serve discredited special interests…. This minority in business and industry… engage in vast propaganda to spread fear and discord among the people. They would gang up against the people’s liberties…. They seek the restoration of their selfish power…..
Our resplendent economic aristocracy does not want to return to that individualism of which they prate, even though the advantages under that system went to the ruthless and the strong. They realize that in 34 months we have built up new instruments of public power. In the hands of a people’s government this power is wholesome and proper. But in the hands of political puppets of an economic aristocracy, such power would provide shackles for the liberties of the people. Give them their way and they will take the course of every aristocracy of the past – power for themselves, enslavement for the public.”