The other day I posted Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural address. I posted it under the title, That Old Gut Feeling or the Only Thing we Have to Fear is Bush Himself. My intent was to try and draw the parallel between Bush Roosevelt and Chertoff.
Between dispelling fear and sowing fear between the certainty of firm beliefs and assumptions and gut feelings. The speech given by Roosevelt is the Magna Carta of modern liberalism and the founding document for the New Deal and the modern Democratic Party. How was it received? It was received with out comment, posted on the two top Democratic websites in the country and viewed hundreds of times without one word of comment.
Perhaps they were looking for something more topical than, "I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper." A President speaking the truth? Well not recently I guess.
"Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone." Sounds almost like a Republican doesn’t he?
"More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.
Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men."
This is a direct condemnation of the greedy capitalist’s and the financial institutions that the Republicans love to suckle from. By saying we are stricken by no plague of locusts he is implying that big corporations and big financial institutions are no different and no better than a plague of locusts.
Those of us old enough to remember the Reagan revolution know that the Reagan dogma was the antithesis of this document. Trust big business, deregulate banking institutions and break the power of organized labor. A quarter of a century later we are right back where the Republicans put us in 1933, with almost one million home foreclosures in the first six months of 2007.
Listen to Bush rhetoric, the message is he is in charge and we must trust him then look at what Roosevelt was saying in the dark days of 1933.
"The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit. Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men."
There is no comparison, a President who speaks about building a more equitable society verses a President with no goals what so ever towards building anything but an easy road for the wealthy. But both Presidents claim the mandate of crisis
Bush claims the war on terror gives him unprecedented powers to spy on Americans. Roosevelt like wise claims an emergency but yet handles is differently
"Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.
Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.
It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, State, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, and unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities which have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly.