On October 25, 1929, the day after Black Thursday, one of the days signaling the start of the Great Depression, where the Dow Jones lost 9 percent of its value in a single day, Republican President Herbert Hoover announced to the American people: “The fundamental business of the country… is on a sound and prosperous basis.”

Sound familiar? In perhaps the biggest political gaffe since then, just three days ago on September 15, 2008– on the very day now being referred to as ‘Black Monday’, where the Dow collapsed by over 500 points– John McCain, seemingly channeling the restless ghost of Herbert Hoover, declared: “I think still — the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

The parallels are so frighteningly uncanny that one can’t help but be reminded that history, when forgotten, does repeat itself. In fact, it appears to repeat itself nearly word for word.

And the wheels of irony don’t stop churning there. September 15th wasn’t the first Monday to earn the ghoulish title of ‘Black Monday’. In fact, that title originally belonged to October 19, 1987, where the Dow Jones collapsed, as it did three days ago, by over 500 points, which ended up signaling the start of a massive recession in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Despite the eerie echoing of McCain and Hoover being quoted side by side, and despite the pun-worthy reminder that nobody likes Mondays, the ominous connections between these three days are perhaps best put into perspective by their most startling relationship. Namely: all three of these events happened at the end of long-held Republican administrations.

In the case of Black Thursday and the eve of the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover was the fall guy for 8 years of previous Republican rule. Republicans Harding and Coolidge held the presidency from 1920-1928, instituting many similar economic strategies as have been implemented by Republican administrations in modern times. Of course, the collapse which occurred in October of 1987 rests at the end of a Reagan administration which had unprecedented economic control, instituting policies occasionally referred to as “Reaganomics”, and which focused on massive deregulation and deconstruction of the social programs created by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s. Roosevelt’s social reformation was called “The New Deal”– which is what incidentally pulled the country out of the Great Depression. Should we be surprised by an economic collapse instigated by a removal of Roosevelt’s policies?

Reaganomics were, of course, the primary economic inspiration behind the policies of the Bush Administration of the last 8 years, which has unfortunately led us down another doomed road, perhaps already signaling yet another Great Depression.

History has been very clear here: Every time Republican and conservative economic policies are implemented, the results are worse than disastrous: they’re catastrophic. And yet, at frequent historical turns, the American people continually get swindled by the right wing rhetoric. The myth of ‘trickle-down economics’ and the utter destruction of oversight and regulation has never worked.

In a political season supposedly themed by “hope” and “change”, it’s remarkable to me just how closely recent events are paralleled by mistakes and economic blunders of the past. Even in the midst of a monumental economic collapse, John McCain has the naivete to announce that the fundamentals of the economy are still strong. Yes, well, the conservative principles which he extols are certainly still firmly in place. But is anyone honestly still being fooled? Those principles have been convincingly falsified by history again and again.

This time, let’s remember history.

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