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louis c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 09:23 PM
Original message
How FDR saved America
Edited on Wed Feb-25-09 09:24 PM by louis c
While many revisionists like to talk down the New Deal and tell us that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn't end the Depression, that World War Two did, they need to be educated beyond that simplistic statement.

The Great Depression must be put into the context of the times. The Depression was world wide, so let's look at what other countries did. Germany decided, by free election, to put a diabolical dictator in charge of that country. Times were desperate, and the existing government in Germany let chaos reign. Germany turned to Hitler.

Italy's government was incapable of sustaining pride, enter Mussolini. Spain, Franco. Russia, Stalin. Japan. The war Lords. Get the picture.

As nation after nation sank into economic despair, they turned either away from their democracy or deeper into dictatorship.

Other nations were hollowed out. Poland, France, Austria Checkeslovakia and on and on.

Two countries relied on a new economic principal developed by John Maynard Keynes. Great Britain, the birthplace of Keynes, and the United States under Roosevelt.

You see, they believed the government was the employer of last resort. They believed in creating a safety net, like Social Security and unemployment benefits. They believed the government had to act in a time of economic crisis. The "long run be damned", we need to act now. They believed, as Keynes did, that in the long run, "we're all dead". FDR helped Americans regain their confidence in the banking system by implementing the FDIC. He put Americans to work in the WPA. He started worthwhile projects like the Tennessee Valley Authority and the CCC. Unemployment went down from 25% to 14%. Still high, but hope displaced fear.

FDR helped retool America and through Labor Unions, allowed workers a say in the work place. The best judge of FDR is not a drug addicted radio host, but the people who lived at that time, the voters. While many other nations were devolving into chaos or worse, America was a land of hope and optimism. My proof? The 1936 election. FDR won 46 of 48 states. Pretty impressive in the midst of a Depression.

The same in 1940. And when WWII struck, an optimistic Democracy joined forces with another national survivor, Great Britain, both with a people who had confidence in their governments, and defeated the dictators who emerged from the chaos that FDR prevented here in America.

There is a reason that our parents and grandparents speak so fondly of FDR. It's because they remembered him in the first person, not a rehashed history from a drug addicted radio host.

On the day that Franklin Roosevelt was laid to rest, one common man was seen crying. A stranger asked this man "Did you know Mr. Roosevelt?" . "No", the common man replied "But he knew me".

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Political_Junkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. Very well written piece.
K & R
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Agreed.
K and R. :kick:
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent post!
K&R
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louis c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. thanks
I really get sick and tired of people who don't know shit thinking that the depression would have ended if we just waited. that government did nothing.

FDR mitigated the dire consequences of that period and made america the strongest nation in the world by just treading water while nearly every other country sank.

no sense of history or perspective.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. K & R
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Kingofalldems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. Our finest President
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louis c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. You ain't just a kidding
The best President of the Twentieth Century, (FDR)

Lincoln in the 19th

Washington in the 18th (only one, but still a Mount Rushmore)
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
18. I'll note that...
Edited on Thu Feb-26-09 10:16 AM by Captain Hilts
historians and general population surveys also name Eleanor the Greatest Woman of the 20th.

Harry Truman said that Eleanor was "one of the greatest people who ever lived." Tough talk from a guy that usually left the bark on.


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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. FDR and Jefferson
are my favorite presidents! I have been to his house in Hyde Park and this summer we are taking my mom to Washington to see the FDR Memorial.
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louis c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. Jefferson's first term
Edited on Thu Feb-26-09 07:24 AM by louis c
As an American, Jefferson is my favorite. He did more for our country before he was elected President. Declaration of Independence and his hand in the Bill of Rights.

However, as President he was very good, in my opinion, but not great. Not as effective as Washington, Lincoln or FDR.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. Do you have a preferred bio of Jefferson to recommend?
I was going to start with the Malone series with the volume that covered TJ as architect, then diplomat.

Have you heard the analogy to help folks understand that era?

Alexander Hamilton - John
Thomas Jefferson - Paul
George Washington - George
Benjamin Franklin - Ringo
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. Jefferson would be a 'small govt.' Republican now. Sad, but true.
Don't you love how the upstairs at Hyde Park is "not handicapped accessible."!?!

Did you go to Val Kill?

The FDR Memorial in DC is kind of weird. None of the stone came from NY or GA. Folks bring their dogs to pose for photographs with Fala. Really! I met Neil Estern who did the sculpture. Nice guy. We were the first two strolling through the newly-renovated R house on R St., appropriately enough, and got to chat quite a bit.

The '50s-era Eleanor is kinda weird juxtaposed to a 40s era FDR. And the plants are too close to her statue to get a good photograph. That wasn't planned well. But it's cool how she's staring directly at the White House.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-09 11:57 PM
Response to Original message
9. Yeah bay-bee!
FDR: Keep it coming, louis c! Keep it coming!
ER: Darling, it's unseemly to cheer him on like that!
FDR: Dontcha love it?
ER: It's a grand essay, dear, now move over, it's my car!


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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
10. My Mom remembers - and she tells the story this same way. I'd believe her
before I'd believe a stinking Republican about FDR and the Depression. She was THERE, though young. My grandmother - her mother - told the story this same way also, and I'd believe Gran before I'd believe a stinking Republican about FDR and the Depression.

Mom and Grandma, unlike today's Republicans - had no self-serving reasons to attempt to revise history. They told it like it was and I believe them.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
11. FDR saved Capitalism
That's for sure
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. Buy using socialism! That's one of the several reasons he's still popular in Russia. nt
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Earth Bound Misfit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
12. K & R'd Bookmarked
Great Post, thank you. This goes in my "The New Deal Failed" debunking file. :toast:
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louis c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. Thanks
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14thColony Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
14. And...
FDR led the US brilliantly in two simultaneous wars against two military superpowers across two oceans, while supplying our Allies at the same time. The Republicans are 0 for 2 in World Wars and were scared of helping the UK against Germany in 1940/41. That's gotta be a little tough on the pride pride over at War Party HQ. Not to mention FDR did it all from a wheelchair.
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louis c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Also a good point
As the right wing detractors try to minimize FDR's greatness, we must fight back with facts. They remind me of the Holocaust deniers.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. Boo-yeah!
ER: Everybody say 'cheese'!
FDR: Cheeeeeese!
WSC: Wha'?


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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. My uncle was radioman on IOWA when they took FDR, et. al to the Teheran conference...
saw FDR every day. Took him the ship's newspaper. Saw the ship's barber give him a haircut.

My uncle was stunned at the degree to which FDR was disabled. He could barely hold himself up.


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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
22. for you young uns' ......
who haven't listened to much Woody Guthrie....


Dear Missis Roosevelt, don't hang your head and cry;
His mortal clay is laid away, but his good work fills the sky; This world was lucky to see him born.
He's born in a money family on that Hudson's rocky shore;
Outrun every kid a-growin' up 'round Hyde Park just for fun;
This world was lucky to see him born.

He went away to grade school and wrote back to his folks;
He drew such funny pictures and always pulling a joke;
This world was lucky to see him born.

He went on up towards Harvard, he read his books of law;
He loved his trees and horses, loved everything he saw;
This world was lucky to see him born.

He got struck down by fever and it settled in his leg;
He loved the folks that wished him well as everybody did;
This world was lucky to see him born.

He took his office on a crippled leg, he said to one and all:
"You money changin' racket boys have sure 'nuff got to fall;"
This world was lucky to see him born,

In senate walls and congress halls he used his gift of tongue
To get you thieves and liars told and put you on the run;
This world was lucky to see him born,

I voted for him for lots o' jobs, I'd vote his name again;
He tried to find an honest job for every idle man;
This world was lucky to see him born,

He helped to build my union hall, he learned me how to talk;
I could see he was a cripple but he learned my soul to walk;
This world was lucky to see him born.

You Nazis and you fascists tried to boss this world by hate;
He fought my war the union way and the hate gang all got beat;
This world was lucky to see him born.

I sent him 'cross that ocean to Yalta and to Tehran;
He didn't like Churchill very much and told him man to man;
This world was lucky to see him born.

He said he didn't like DeGaulle, nor no Chiang Kai Shek;
Shook hands with Joseph Stalin, says: "There's a man I like!"
This world was lucky to see him born.

I was torpedoed on my merchant ship the day he took command;
He was hated by my captain, but loved by all ships hands;
This world was lucky to see him born.

I was a Gl in my army camp that day he passed away,
And over my shoulder talkin' I could hear some soldier say:
"This world was lucky to see him born."

I guess this world was lucky just to see him born;
I know this world was lucky just to see him born;
This world was lucky to see him born.

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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-26-09 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. And here's to you, Mrs. Roosevelt, Jesus loves you more than you would know...
ER: What a grand song!



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