Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 26 Share on Twitter 4 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H1'ed 11/12/12

Franklin D. Roosevelt Letter Criticizing Democratic Party and Declining 1940 Democratic Party Nomination

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   5 comments
Author 51819
Message Michael Moore

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt made plans to run for a third term in 1940 he decided to drop conservative Vice President John Nance Garner from the ticket, both because Garner disapproved of Roosevelt running again and Garner's opposition to much of the New Deal. Instead Roosevelt chose Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace.

However, many of Garner's fellow conservative Democrats, including the party's reactionary wing based in the South, despised Wallace for his liberalism and attempted to block his nomination at the convention before Roosevelt's arrival. The book American Dreamer: A Life of Henry A. Wallace describes what happened next:

At the White House, Franklin Roosevelt sat in the Oval Room playing solitaire, listening to the proceedings with growing disgust"It was a hot, humid evening in Washington, and Roosevelt was out of patience. Suddenly he reached for a pad and began to scribble. Shortly he handed his notes to [federal judge and confidant] Sam Rosenman and told him to "clean it up" because he might have to "deliver it quickly."

FDR
FDR
(Image by public)
  Details   DMCA

Below is the letter which Roosevelt drafted, in which he vowed not to run if his fellow Democrats blocked his choice of Wallace. (In the end the letter was never sent, as a speech by Eleanor Roosevelt turned the tide for Wallace at the convention.) Roosevelt's letter, with its powerful critique of the Democratic Party, was published almost nowhere and was essentially unknown before it appeared in Oliver Stone's new Showtime documentary series Untold History of the United States:

***

Franklin D. Roosevelt Letter to the Democratic Convention

July 18, 1940

Members of the Convention:

In the century in which we live, the Democratic Party has received the support of the electorate only when the party, with absolute clarity, has been the champion of progressive and liberal policies and principles of government.

The party has failed consistently when through political trading and chicanery it has fallen into the control of those interests, personal and financial, which think in terms of dollars instead of in terms of human values.

The Republican Party has made its nominations this year at the dictation of those who, we all know, always place money ahead of human progress.

The Democratic Convention, as appears clear from the events of today, is divided on this fundamental issue. Until the Democratic Party through this convention makes overwhelmingly clear its stand in favor of social progress and liberalism, and shakes off all the shackles of control fastened upon it by the forces of conservatism, reaction, and appeasement, it will not continue its march of victory.

It is without question that certain political influences pledged to reaction in domestic affairs and to appeasement in foreign affairs have been busily engaged behind the scenes in the promotion of discord since this Convention convened.

Under these circumstances, I cannot, in all honor, and will not, merely for political expediency, go along with the cheap bargaining and political maneuvering which have brought about party dissension in this convention.

It is best not to straddle ideals.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Must Read 3   News 1   Funny 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Michael Moore Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Permaculture Designer and Educator
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Franklin D. Roosevelt Letter Criticizing Democratic Party and Declining 1940 Democratic Party Nomination

Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange

Let's Pass Some Laws Before the Republicans Head Into Town (after all, that's what they'd do)