Letter to the Editor
Fort Dodge Messenger
(Published May 16, 2012)
In 1936, FDR (that would be President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for the young whippersnappers) gave a speech in Madison Square Garden, New York, just days before his re-election. It was powerful; defiant; inspiring.
I was startled by how circumstances now reflect that time of monopoly, grave financial risk-taking, pocket government, and the resulting Great Depression. I was astonished at how FDR’s words could just as easily be coming from our current president.
“For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away.
Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair!
Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent. For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.
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.”
This speech was introduced as part of a “crusade to restore America to its own people.” FDR hoped that, as the forces of selfishness and lust for power had met their match in his first term, they would meet their master in his second.
FDR concluded: “…the recovery we seek, the recovery we are winning, is more than economic. In it are included justice and love and humility, not for ourselves as individuals alone, but for our Nation.”
After watching the recent PBS Frontline report on “Money, Power, and Wall Street,” I am more determined than ever to do what I can to help, yet again, restore America to its own people.