Welcome Their Hatred

Steve Novick

Today is Franklin Delano Roosevelt's birthday - YAY! I thought I'd reproduce a portion of one of his speeches, a speech that Paul Krugman referred to recently:

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace--business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that 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.

I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)

    Great speech. Shame the guys making reference to the words of Teddy Roosevelt appear to be more in line with the political philosophies of Mao Tse-Tung.

  • Michael M. (unverified)

    It was his second administration where he launched his attempt to pack the Supreme Court, right? Is that what he means by meeting their master?

    It's always struck me as sadly ironic and supremely cautionary that one of the the U.S.'s greatest 20th Century Presidents was also perhaps the most dangerous -- the one who came closest to decimating the system of checks and balances that has stood us in good stead throughout our history. Far, far worse and more insidious than anything George Bush has even attempted. I wish partisans -- on both sides of the isle -- would remember that no one is perfect. Instead we get Republicans and Democrats engaged in hero-worship and attempts to demonize their opponents. FDR is such a great example of a man who was neither hero nor villain, but a little bit of both, like most people.

  • ws (unverified)

    Both hero and villain; Yeah, but it's the way that Roosevelt took that bit of hero, bit of villain mixed with a healthy dose of deftly managed danger to mount seemingly insurmountable problems with inspired solutions that worked and so makes him someone to remember. If the key agent of responsibility doesn't possess a certain amount of danger in their bearing and in the way they do things, everybody can play it safe, sit back, not think, and then nothing gets done.

    In someone like Roosevelt's character, that inherent danger, the knowledge that it existed and how it was used is what got people to admire as well as fear him, rise to correct those occasions where the danger threatened to go wrong and feel blessed for the many occassions where it went very right.

  • jaybeat (unverified)

    Packing the court? Puh-leez...

    Read what he said in the speech and what he campaigned on. The narrow-minded right-wing court (then and now, I'm sorry to say) was a tool of the same "forces of selfishness" that he had been elected to oppose.

    Their rejection of many of the most successful parts of the New Deal was simply the first wave of the counter-attack that those forces have waged against we the people ever since. All FDR was trying to do was hold the line against them for the rest of us, at great risk to his own political future and legacy. Sounds pretty heroic to me.

    70 years later, "government by organized money" just about sums it up, doesn't it?

  • sargentripper (unverified)

    A traitor to his class. What a friend we had in Franklin Delano Rosevelt.

  • (Show?)

    From FDR campaign speech in Portland on September 21, 1932

    "Judge me by the enemies I have made. Judge me by the selfish purposes of these utility leaders who have talked of radicalism while they were selling watered stock to the people and using our schools to deceive the coming generation."

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