Coming round again

via C&L

The whole speech is worth reading. From the introduction:

It is needless to repeat the details of the program which this Administration has been hammering out on the anvils of experience. No amount of misrepresentation or statistical contortion can conceal or blur or smear that record. Neither the attacks of unscrupulous enemies nor the exaggerations of over-zealous friends will serve to mislead the American people.

I watch a great deal of CNBC due to a compelling need to keep track of financial information. Things have gotten really ugly on there with the Obama-bashing. I am reassured that the opinion polls are holding strong in the face of the media onslaught of condemnation of programs which have yet to be developed, yet to be given a test on the “anvils of experience.” The posturing, the flipping from a rhetoric of picking “Obama stocks” to the picking of “Obama safe stocks” (from hope to fear), is nothing short of profound. I hope that FDR’s observations from his third year in office ring true again in a few years:

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.

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.

The honeymoon, with the media anyway, has been short lived. The battle is going to be a long and ugly one, I’m afraid. FDR closes with a faith-based initiative that even an agnostic can support:

For it is my deep conviction that democracy cannot live without that true religion which gives a nation a sense of justice and of moral purpose. Above our political forums, above our market places stand the altars of our faith-altars on which burn the fires of devotion that maintain all that is best in us and all that is best in our Nation.

We have need of that devotion today. It is that which makes it possible for government to persuade those who are mentally prepared to fight each other to go on instead, to work for and to sacrifice for each other. That is why we need to say with the Prophet: “What doth the Lord require of thee—but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.” That is why 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.

That is the road to peace.

Unfortunately, his wish did not come true. The world situation is nearly as volatile now. We can only hope it does not blow up in the same way.

1 thought on “Coming round again”

  1. Well put, Jeff. This side of the ocean, it comes across — especially in the pitiful comments appended to the financial pages — as a sibilant, whispering hatred fueled by the racism of self-professed free marketeers unable to question the souce of their rage (their idea of bliss appears to include broken-backed stock indices).
    Being a long-time watcher of the Web, its vituperative and bitter nature does not *surprise* me. However, it does *disturb* me.
    Illogical and counterproductive, it’s riddled with the contradiction on which authoritarians thrive. It appears to afflict particularly those for whom, while AIG and GM might not be too big to fail, they (in their small, made-to-order worlds) are. ‘Socialism’ and Obama are big on the media hate lists right now; but such short-sighted, self-centered and ill-informed bigotry serve none of us at all.
    Unfortunately, it’s not going to go away anytime soon. Thankfully, neither is Obama.

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