February 21, 2016

Franklin Roosevelt

PBS American Experience

Franklin Roosevelt (1882 – 1945):
[The] only thing we have to fear is fear itself …

[There] must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. …

[In] our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order:
  • there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments, so that there will be an end to speculation with other people's money; and
  • there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency. …

[We] now realize as we have never realized before, our interdependence on each other …
[That] we cannot merely take but we must give as well …
(First Inauguration Address, 4 March 1933)

A few timid people, who fear progress, will try to give you new and strange names for what we are doing.
Sometimes they will call it 'Fascism.'
And sometimes 'Communism.' …
And sometimes 'Socialism.'
But in so doing, they are trying to make very complex and theoretical something that is really very simple and very practical.
I believe in practical explanations and in practical policies …

[The] simplest way … to judge recovery lies in the plain facts of your own individual situation.
Are you better off than you were last year?
Are your debts less burdensome?
Is your bank account more secure?
Are your working conditions better?
Is your faith in your own individual future more firmly grounded. …

Plausible self-seekers and theoretical die-hards will tell you of the loss of individual liberty.
[Again,] answer this question out of the facts of your own life.
Have you lost any of your rights or liberty or constitutional freedom of action and choice?
(Fireside Chat, No 117, 28 June 1934)

[We] struggle with the old enemies [—] business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism [and] sectionalism …
We know … 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. …

[There are] those who disparage their fellow citizens on the relief rolls.
They say that those on relief are not merely jobless — that they are worthless.
Their solution for the relief problem is to end relief — to purge the rolls by starvation. …

[It] is my deep conviction that democracy cannot live without … a sense of justice and of moral purpose.
(The Second New Deal, 31 October 1936)

Henry Fletcher (1873 – 1959) [Chairman, Republican National Committee, 1934-6]:
The New Deal is government from above.
It is based on the proposition that the people cannot manage their own affairs and that a government bureaucracy must manage for them. …
(David Grubin, FDR, 1994)