HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » The Battle Continues

Mon Oct 28, 2019, 11:41 AM

 

The Battle Continues

Last edited Tue Oct 29, 2019, 05:00 AM - Edit history (2)

The year was 1932, we were in the third year of the "Great Depression". It was a time of no hope for the future. Desperation ruled as the stock market had crashed, and banks closed never to reopen their doors. In the time it takes the eye to blink, or the heart to beat, a lifetime of savings was wiped out. Businesses failed, jobs were lost, homes and farms were foreclosed. Dreams were swept away. For many years the unemployment rate would be over 25%.

The old and disabled literally died in the street from starvation, too weak to wait for hours on breadlines at soup kitchens for a meal. World War One veterans, who had lost their homes, set up an encampment in Washington. They were calling for the bonus they had been promised after the war. But instead of being honored, they were brutally attacked and expelled by other soldiers. Hundreds of thousands of homeless men, women, and children traveled from town to town, in open boxcars on the rails, and falling apart jalopies looking for work. Any job, at any wage, just to put a scrap of bread on the table and end the relentless hunger that consumed them. Fear and hopelessness lurked throughout the land.

The radio was filled with talk of revolution. The Nazis were held in high esteem. Many respected businessmen said they were the model for government efficiency and solving our problems. Politicians were talking endlessly about the need for fiscal responsibility. They said the solution to our economic crisis was to cut the budget. People wondered if the “American Dream” was dead, never to return. It was a time of desperation as the light which is hope was extinguished and a darkness covered the land.

<iframe width="488" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And in the middle of this time of crisis, this great test of democracy, three years after the "Crash of 29", there was an election. This was a time to renew the dream with a vote. Perhaps the last chance for that dream that is America.

His campaign theme song was “Happy Days Are Here Again”. On his first day in office, after he had just been sworn in, he said: "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". This was a man who could not walk without help from others, yet he chose to carry a whole nation on his back, to a new day of hope. Perhaps the secret of his greatness was he knew what it was like to depend on others, and how interconnected we all are. His name was Franklin D. Roosevelt, but in the hearts of his fellow Americans he was just FDR, and to many, the savior of the “American Dream.

Some of the wealthy elite called him a Communist. Others said he was a Socialist. He called himself a Democrat, but he really was a Pragmatist. His ideology and program was to try something, if it does not work, try something else. He greatly increased the role of government in the economy. He had programs to provide jobs, and create a social safety net. His public works program built roads, schools, bridges, Dams, and docks. He pushed for and got laws that would regulate the financial industry and banks. Laws were passed that helped workers to form Unions, thus ending the downward spiral of wages.

The economy did not zoom ahead, but people had more money in their pockets. They had a greater sense of security and renewed hope about the future. Slowly but surely, the American Dream was once again revived. But this job is not yet finished. The battle against the forces of darkness and inequality goes on. This is our fight now. We come from a proud tradition, never forget this. It is up to us to keep hope alive and finish the job.

5 replies, 544 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Battle Continues (Original post)
Teach-only-love Oct 2019 OP
Garrett78 Oct 2019 #1
Teach-only-love Oct 2019 #2
FM123 Oct 2019 #3
Teach-only-love Oct 2019 #4
Teach-only-love Oct 2019 #5

Response to Teach-only-love (Original post)

Mon Oct 28, 2019, 11:59 AM

1. Let's also remember, though, that life was still awful for POC.

Last edited Mon Oct 28, 2019, 12:34 PM - Edit history (1)

And most POC were excluded from the New Deal benefits.

Life wasn't too great for women either.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Garrett78 (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 28, 2019, 01:57 PM

2. We are talking about the base line

 

that existed at that time. Everybody's life improved under FDR, but everybody did not start at the same point. POC and woman's lives became less awful. Hopefully, things are more equal now than they were then.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Teach-only-love (Original post)

Mon Oct 28, 2019, 09:47 PM

3. FDR was certainly a positive thinker!

One of my favorite quotes of his is: “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.”

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Teach-only-love (Original post)

Tue Oct 29, 2019, 05:40 AM

4. If Trump calls us Socialist, ask if FDR

 

and Social Security are Socialist.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Teach-only-love (Original post)

Tue Oct 29, 2019, 02:07 PM

5. Who will be our next FDR ? (nt)

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread