Tuesday, May 20, 2008

FDR Warns Against "Gov't by Organized Money"

"Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me and I welcome their hatred."

Not many people get away with thumbing their noses at the rich and powerful. Roosevelt did.


Last night, PBS's fascinating series about FDR concluded. Roosevelt ran against monied interests, not Republicans. Instead of courting wealthy contributors, as most pols do on both sides of the aisle, Roosevelt tried to rein them in.

What was his radical agenda? In his own words, it was "a gallant, sincere effort to raise wages, to reduce hours, to abolish child labor and to eliminate unfair trade practices."

But contrary to popular opinion, a former member of his administration claims FDR was the "least ideological person that ever lived -- that's why I think he was such a great success."

He was no liberal. A former aide instead compares him to a quarterback. "He likened himself to a quarterback. You try a play. If that play doesn't work, you turn to another play."

17 comments:

A.J. Cordi said...

If the Knicks can fire Isiah Thomas, the U.S. can try a new government. We need a "change."

Anonymous said...

i thought, we poor people were suppose to eat the rich>

if not, well* what do we eat <

hayshaker said...

"He was no liberal."

"...a gallant, sincere effort to raise wages, to reduce hours, to abolish child labor and to eliminate unfair trade practices."



Sounds like a liberal to me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Eleanor was clearly very liberal in her outlook, but not Franklin. He would have adopted conservative policies if he thought they would have worked.

Here's how he himself explains it.

""It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another, but above all, try something."

Here's how he answered those who called him a socialist, etc.

"A few timid people who fear progress will try to give you new and strange names for what we are doing. Sometimes they will call it fascism and sometimes Communism and sometimes regimentation and sometimes socialism. But in so doing, they are trying to make very complex and theoretical something that is really very simple and very practical.

"I believe in practical explanations and in practical policies."

Bill Villa said...

I believe FDR was our best President ever, by far.

hayshaker said...

I think you are doing exactly what Roosevelt warned against - using the word "liberal" as some negative label.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Not at all. I consider myself a liberal. FDR was not interested in labels. That's his point. He was interested in fixing what was wrong. When it came to the war, he was interested in winning. he interred Japanese, ordered the study of the atomic bomb and refused to send troops to rescue Jews before they were ready. Thos could not be considered "liberal" views, but he wanted us to win the war. He was practical, not an ideologue, at least in my view.

Anonymous said...

Then why the support for Dent and
Don Cunningham?


Bernie O'Hare said...

Not at all. I consider myself a liberal.

Bill Villa said...

2nd Best: JFK

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:24,

It's not just Dent or Cunningham. I'll support people like Ron Angle, too, at least in his county position. I view ideology as a factor, but not the only factor, in deciding who I like. I tend to try to find out as much as I can about the person. How well-prepared is he? Does he really study the issues before coming to an opinion? Am I so sure of myself that I can't concede the possibility that I may be wrong about something, especially when it's something I have not looked at closely?

Anonymous said...

It's ironic that FDRs programs that commandeered such a large portion of the US economy for federal purposes resulted in the feeding frenzy for government money that has given us exactly that which he seemed to warn. It's the law of unintended consequences. Perhaps he didn't intend to be a liberal, but he certainly ended up that way. I'd prefer to judge him not by words, but by deeds. He gave us the nanny state. That's his legacy (that and entering into a war against a guy and country who had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor). Sounds familiar.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:24,

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 3:41,

FDR stopped little things like starvation and child labor. He enabled a lot of people to keep their homes. He put people to work. He restored America's confidence and gave us hope. That's his real legacy.

As far as entering into war with a guy and country who had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor, you better read your history. Germany and Japan were allied. We never declared war on Germany; that country declared war on us.

hayshaker said...

The Nanny State. Such a sad description of the achievements of FDR. Many of us know people who worked hard their entire lives and receive social security benefits. Many of us may know people who survive day to day on those payments. I wouldn't describe them as needing a nanny. As I get older, I am sure glad these people I know have something to rely on.

On the war, FDR defeated Italy AND Japan in a lot less time than we've been in our current war. And PLEASE don't compare Hitler's Final Solution with Saddam Hussein, I'm begging you.

Chris Miller said...

Bernie
This man was the biggest consolidator of power in the history of this nation save for possibly LBJ. Many economists and historians belive his New Deal, it did not end the depression, did more harm then good. You are correct, he is not a liberal, he is a Progressive in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt, who called for universal and a national health care policy and Woodrow Wilson, not only a major Progressive but a major Globalist.

Bernie O'Hare said...

FDR considered TR his idol.

Chris Miller said...

Bernie
And the reason FDR consideered TR his idol was because Teddy took the Republicans into the Pregressive Age and the Progressive wing of the party in full force. Lots of discussions can be centered around this issue because it centers on what some would deem good actions for good causes while the counter is too much government involvement