How Herbert Hoover Launched Cardinal Nation

The St. Louis Cardinals were the major league team farthest west and farthest south until the 1950s.  But that’s not the only reason the Redbirds built a massive flock of fans from the Alleghenies to the Rockies, and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The St. Louis Cardinals owe big government statism and technological innovation a big thanks, in addition to geography and great teams.  The technology was radio.  The big government statist?  None other than Herbert Hoover.

This was just one of the amazing facts I put together reading Michael Patrick Leahy’s magnificent book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement.  (Buy it today.)

Bill Hennessy Reading Covenant of Liberty

No, Mike didn’t devote page space to the Cardinals. Instead, he traces the ideological roots of the Tea Party—and the government-loving hatchet men who’ve been chopping at those roots since the Constitution was signed.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)Hoover addresses a large crowd in his 1932 cam...

Hoover used his power as cabinet secretary under Woodrow Wilson, and later Republicans Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, to grab the radio airwaves as the exclusive property of the US Government.  A champion of “associationalism” and public-private partnerships, Hoover granted mega-station power to a handful of lucky radio corporations.  These stations got 50,000 watt, clear channel licenses, allowing them to blast their signals around the continent.  And, thanks to geography, one station could broadcast around the world.

That station, KMOX in St. Louis, began broadcasting the St. Louis Cardinals in 1926. KMOX carried the Cardinals to farms, small towns, and cities throughout the Midwest and South Central states. In fact, by 1928, KMOX could be heard as far away as New Zealand, making it the first truly global radio station.The closest team to baseball fans in Missouri, Southern Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana, Nebraska, Kentucky, and even Georgia was now available at 1120 AM.

Leahy points out the economic value of a clear channel license:

A clear channel license was, in essence, a license to print money because each clear channel station could, in the evenings, reach up to half of the geographical territory of the United States. Each station, then, could reach well over 50 million listeners, and advertisers were more than willing to pay top dollar to reach those listeners, provided of course that the programming was half way decent.

Hoover’s intention was to draw more power into the central government. In 1926,the Supreme Court struck down Hoover’s directives as Commerce Secretary. Those directives had given the government exclusive power to operate radio stations in the United States. The Navy was, for a time, America’s only radio network. It created the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) to manage its stations.

(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Matt Holliday #7...

After the Supreme Court decisions, Hoover was ordered to issue radio licenses. Unwilling to surrender control to the free market, which he despised, Hoover managed to get Congress to adopt the Federal Radio Act of 1927—and Cardinal Nation was born.

One of the first things Hoover did was create a spectrum that allocated sixteen gigantic 50,000 watt stations across the country. He licensed these stations to General Electric, Westinghouse, and a few other powerful manufacturing interests.

Earlier, as Agriculture Secretary under Woodrow Wilson, Hoover was the first to win broad government control of food production and distribution. (President Obama’s Executive Order of March 16 extends the White House’s power to take over food and other industries, augmenting the damage Hoover’s statism as done.)

Hoover’s public policy legacy, according to Leahy, was, indeed, the Great Depression, but not for the laissez-faire we learned about in school.  Instead, Hoover and his Republican Congress micromanaged the U.S. economy from the moment of his inauguration in 1929. Just as the economy began healing from the stock market crash, Hoover clobbered it with high tariffs, stifling regulations, tax increases, and soaring federal debt. (Sound familiar?)

Hoover’s autocratic control of radio helped make General Electric the government-dependent, tax-free behemoth it remains today. And it continued a precedent of broken Constitutional principles that extends back to the first hours of our republic.

By moving economic decisions from people to government, and by coopting corporations, Hoover laid the foundation for the financial disaster that struck during his administration. But he also helped make my Cardinals one of the most storied franchises in baseball.

Just one example of the way progressives have used passion to steal liberty from people.  Leahy presents more.

In Covenant of Liberty, you’ll meet the first Tea Partier, John Lilburn of London, who spent years in prison in the 1640s for his insane desire to escape the arbitrary rule of other men.  You’ll learn the underhanded tactics that Alexander Hamilton employed to circumvent Congress and the states in extending the reach of the federal government.

You’ll also be introduced to Leahy’s 4-Promises theory. That theory holds that the Constitution is a covenant in which the government makes four promises in exchange for its existence, granted by the states and the people. Those four promises are:

  • to abide by a written constitution and its “plain meaning”
  • to refrain from interfering in private economic matters
  • to honor the “fiscal constitution”
  • to exercise thoughtful deliberation in Congress

Every Tea Partier knows that the fourth principle fell in 2008 and 2009, with dynamic duo of TARP and the Bailouts. And if the principle somehow survived Bush and Paulson, it certainly died with the passage of ObamaCare and Nancy Pelosi’s frightening assertion that we’ll have to pass the bill in order to know what’s in it.  “I’ll take whatever’s behind Door Number Four, Monty.”

You will gain some remarkable insights into American history, how we got where we are, and maybe even sports when you read Covenant of Liberty—the most important book about the Tea Party by a true Tea Party founder to date. It’s the best history book I’ve read in years, and you’ll be saying the same thing after you read it.

Covenant of Liberty Is Available Now

Covenant of Liberty is the best American history I’ve read in years.

Michael Patrick Leahy, among a very small group of patriots who hatched the first round of Tea Parties in February 2009, documents the US Government’s 230 year history of Constitutional infidelity.

My full review will be finished soon, but don’t wait: buy Covenant of Liberty today.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=hennesssview-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0062066331

Mike Leahy was the keynote speaker on day one of the 3rd Anniversary Tea Party in St. Louis and has been a great friend and ally to STLTPC in our continuing fight for liberty.

Buy TWO copies—one to keep and one to lend.  Everyone needs to read this Covenant of Liberty.

3rd Anniversary Tea Party: Thank You!

The 3rd Anniversary Tea Party rocked . . . because of the great patriot-activists who have decided it’s time to act and win. 3rd Anniversary Tea Party--Mike Leahy Keynote

Although Dr. Larry Schweikart couldn’t make it (because of the Chicago snow storm), Friday’s event was better than planned or expected.  Tea Party champion Michael Patrick Leahy jumped into fill a last-minute void, and the crowd loved it.

I had the the pleasure of reading and advanced copy of Mike Leahy's new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement in December. It blew me away. (I’ll publish a review shortly.)

Mike’s interaction with the crowd, via Skype, lasted an hour. The conversation showcased the intelligence, integrity, and commitment of both Michael Patrick Leahy and the St. Louis Tea Partiers who attended the event.

But the star of the show on Friday might have been the food. Boaz Steiner, one of our hardest working freedom Boaz Steiner's Banquet at 3rd Anniversary Tea Partyfighters, prepared a remarkable banquet of hors d’oeuvres.  From mounds of gigantic shrimp to stuffed peppers to chicken tenders, cheese trays, veggie platters, Crab Rangoon . . . I can’t even name it all.  It was fabulous. The Crowne Plaza in Clayton should be your first choice for lodging, banquets, and conferences in the St. Louis area.

Saturday began at 7:30 (yes, that’s really early). Again, a fabulous hot breakfast led off.  The eight sessions, plus Bill Federer’s lunchtime keynote address on 6,000 years of human history, earned praise for Michelle Moore’s planning and logistics.

Darin Morley at 3rd Anniversary Tea PartySo did the hard work of Donna and Kathy, two of our most dedicated workers. These ladies handled the front desk of the event perfectly.  Professional event staffs I’ve worked with would be delighted with such great hospitality, efficiency, and cheerfulness.

Mr. Raz Shafer, who left it all on the field for Ed Martin’s 2010 Congressional race, returned to St. Louis to deliver more 3 hours of training on campaigning, social media, and countering leftist tactics. Big thanks to American Majority Action and to Raz for giving up a weekend to help us.

Thanks also to Ruth Carlson of Eagle Forum for her extensive training on how to caucus in Missouri.  And to Darin Morley who educated us on Social Media in two wildly popular sessions.  Mrs. Frieda Keogh of Missouri Precinct Project (MOPP) taught us about MOPP and bringing new  conservative voters out for the 2012 election.

donnaandkathy

My personal thanks to Michelle Moore, Ben Evans, Jonathon Burns, “NRA” Ed, Donna and Kathy, Boaz, Raz, Bill Federer, Michael Patrick Leahy, and everyone who put in countless hours to pull this thing off. It was way more successful than I expected. And it lays the groundwork for victory in 2012. As Mike Leahy says, we will “drag the candidates across the finish line” in November.

Mostly, though, thanks to you who attended. You have rejected apathy and embraced responsibility for liberty—liberty for you, me, and everyone.

In the end, we completed over 500 training hours in addition to Friday’s great conversation between St. Louis Tea Party Coalition folks and Michael Patrick Leahy.

What I heard most of all, loudest, and clearest was this: “we’ve needed something like this for a long time, and we need to do more of it.”

Stand by.