Letter to the Editor of the Journal News 9-4-08 FDR and 1932

Letter to the editor of the US News and World Reports

Editorial about FDR and the most important election-

September 11, 2008

 Richard J. Garfunkel

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the
abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who
have too little.”  FDR, the Second
Inaugural Speech, January 20, 1937


“The immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the
sins of the cold blooded and the sins of the warmhearted in different scales.
Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in the spirit of
charity than the constant omissions of a government frozen in the idea of its
own indifference.” FDR, from remarks he made in 1936.


Thank G-d for Franklin Delano Roosevelt! Ken T.
Walsh's column hit the nail squarely on its head. The three years of Hoover
inactivity on top of the Coolidge five-year sleep-a-thon created, as Arthur
Schlesinger articulated in his book, “The Crisis of the Old Order,”  a climate of despair and a reality of
collapse, panic and the inability to cope. One should read his great prose. The
Great Depression threatened the very essence and survival of our Democracy. All
over Europe, country after country turned to dictators, and desperation was
changing into the distinct possibility of social disorder and revolution in America. Roosevelt stopped the bleeding, reversed the slippery
slope of the collapse and engineered the greatest period of financial, economic
and social reform in our history into 100 days. The recovery to the pre-crash
inflated and unrealistic market numbers advanced every year until the Dixiecrat
forces and the Wall Street plutocrats demanded a slowdown in New Deal spending.
When FDR exceeded to their wishes the economy quickly reverted to almost
pre-recovery status. FDR realized almost immediately that the pump must be
still continued to be primed, and he reversed course quickly, and the severe,
but short recession of 1938 was stopped. As to foreign affairs, FDR warned us
of the totalitarian rise in Europe and Asia
with his Quarantine Speech, but he
was silenced by hundreds of editorials, egged on by the American First
isolationists, which sought his impeachment for his warnings. Eventually with
the passage of Lend-Lease, the repeal
of the Neutrality Laws, and the authorship of the Atlantic Charter created from the essence of the Four Freedoms
State of the Union
Address of January 1941, the country started to take re-armament seriously. FDR
beat back the Lindbergh hatred and the isolationist insanity, racism and
xenophobia. After Pearl Harbor, he made the United States into “The
Arsenal of Democracy,” created a winning strategy and partnership with
Winston Churchill, and selected excellent military leaders to prosecute the
war. He became truly “The Soldier of Freedom,” as named by James
McGregor Burns in his award winning book of the same title. His leadership
established the GI Bill of Rights, the Bretton Woods Monetary Reforms, the
United Nations, and established the basis for Eleanor Roosevelt's authorship of
UN’s “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The future world is
more in the image of FDR than any other person. It is his world we live in. Roosevelt's dual leadership through the panic and
recovery days of the Great Depression and the dark days of WWII made him the
“essential” and “indispensable man.” Churchill said,
“Franklin Roosevelt was the greatest man he had ever known.” President
Roosevelt’s life, he said must be regarded as “one of the commanding events of
human destiny.”  Enough of the
revisionism of the far right!


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