A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 09, 2011
“Two wings of the same bird of prey”

It has frequently been said that the Democratic Party (left wing) and the Republican Party (right wing) are “two wings of the same bird of prey.” Both parties need campaign money and both parties attempt to befriend rich people and wealthy corporations.

The phrase “two wings of the same bird of prey” was used by Morris Hillquit and Norman Thomas of the Socialist Party in September-October 1928. The phrase has long been used by socialists and is still used today. Patrick Buchanan, who left the Republican Party to seek the Reform Party’s nomination for president in 1999, said that ‘’Our two parties have become nothing but two wings on the same bird of prey.’’

Charles Edward Merriam, Jr. (1874-1953), a University of Chicago political science professor and author, was credited by at least 1932 for having said, “The Democratic and Republican parties here are merely the two wings of the same bird of prey.”


17 September 1928, New York (NY) Times, “Says Progressives Will Back Thomas,” pg. 11:
Efforts to swing the 5,000,000 Progressive votes for Senator La Follette in 1924 tothe support of Governor Smith in this campaign will fail, according to a statement by Morris Hillquit, issued yesterday by the Socialist National Campaign Committee.
(...)
“No one, not even my good friends, Frank P. Walsh and Fred C. Howe, can deliver the Progressive vote nor any appreciable part of it. The 5,000,000 men and women who voted for the late Senator La Follette in 1924 saw the truth of the statement that the Democratic and Republican Parties are two wings of the same bird of prey. Now in 1928, with both parties matching millionaires, they are not likely to forget it.”

19 October 1928, New York (NY) Times, pg. 7:
OLD PARTIES ATTACKED
OVER RADIO BY THOMAS
Presidential Candidate Credits
Social Legislation in State
to His Own Party.

Characterizing the Republican and Democratic Parties as “the two wings of the same bird of prey,” Norman Thomas, Socialist nominee for President, in a speech broacast from Station WJZ and twenty other radio stations, urged the voters last evening to vote the Socialist ticket to build up a progresive party of opposition.

Google Books
The Intelligent Voter’s Guide;
Official 1928 campaign handbook of the Socialist Party

New York, NY: Socialist National Campaign Committee
1928
Pg. 5:
TWO WINGS OF THE SAME BIRD OF PREY

Google Books
The American Mercury
Volume 25
1932
Pg. 170: 
As a University of Chicago professor once remarked, “The Democratic and Republican parties here are merely the two wings of the same bird of prey.”

Google Books
Politics in Kansas, a 4-act farce
By W. G. Clugston
Topeka, KS: The Helms Press
1945
Pg. 13:
How accurately the plight we are in was described by the late Paul Y. Anderson in The Nation more than a decade ago when he likened our two major political parties to two wings on the same bird of prey!

Google News Archive
30 May 1949, Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan), “Speaking of slanders,” pg. 13, col. 1:
Though the Socialism to be discussed has to be of the milk-and-water variety, the most predatory concerns are always taken as representative of the free enterprise system. Mr. Douglas characterizes the two major parties as “two wings of the same bird of prey—capitalism,” though obviously much so-called “Socialism” in Europe has been very much a “bird of prey.”

Google Books
Society in Transition
By Harry Elmer Barnes
New York, NY: Prentice-Hall
1952
Pg. 415:
As Charles E. Merriam of the University of Chicago once put it, “The Republican and Democratic parties are but the two wings of the same bird of prey.”

New York (NY) Times
Buchanan Bolts G.O.P. for Reform Party Run
By FRANCIS X. CLINES
Published: October 26, 1999
Patrick J. Buchanan put aside a lifetime of Republican fervor today and shifted his lagging Presidential quest to a run for the Reform Party nomination.

‘’Our vaunted two-party system is a snare and a delusion and a fraud upon the nation,’’ Mr. Buchanan told a crowd of cheering supporters as he bolted the Republican Party, showing his fiery instinct for insurgency. ‘’Our two parties have become nothing but two wings on the same bird of prey.’’

Washington’s Blog
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Is Nobel Peace Prize Winner Obama More Brutal than Bush?
(...)
(Illustration—ed.)
Two wings of the same bird…
Vote all you want, the flight plan doesn’t change.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Saturday, April 09, 2011 • Permalink