Huey Long: The Populist History of Louisiana

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

Louisiana, a decidedly red state electorally, has a powerful populist history. Namely, Louisiana had Huey Long. If you are not from Louisiana, you are probably unfamiliar with our popular depression era Governor and Senator and that is a shame. If he had not been murdered at 42, I suspect that this would not be the case.

Had Long lived longer I have no doubt that he would have been a force of great change in our country. In fact, I suspect he would have been president. Despite his untimely death, he has left behind some amazing speeches that are so powerful that they hold a great deal for us even today.

In speaking about the need for the wealthy to contribute back to society Huey said:

Giv’em a yacht! Giv’em a Palace! Send ’em to Reno and give them a new wife when they want it, if that’s what they want. But when they’ve got everything on God’s loving earth that they can eat and they can wear and they can live in, and all that their children can live in and wear and eat, and all of their children’s children can use, then we’ve got to call Mr. Morgan and Mr. Mellon an Mr. Rockefeller back and say, come back here, put that stuff back on this table here that you took away from here that you don’t need. Leave something else for the American people to consume. And that’s the program.

The entire speech can be read here and I recommend it for anyone interested in progressive, populist ideals.

If you would rather watch Huey speak, you can do that too. Many modern political figures could learn a lot from the earnest passion which which he speaks.