Monday, February 07, 2005

WHAT'S SO BAD ABOUT F.D.R.?

Thanks to J. Marquis for posting a picture of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on his weblog (www.arewetheryet.blogspot.com). J. is doing a good service to all of us in keeping this great man's memory alive.

The mere sight of a picture of FDR will make the blood of many good Republicans boil to the point of near-evaporation. He is the one major thing Republicans would like to erase from our collective political consciousness. As history continues to be rewritten by right-wingers (I'm not sure they are actually rewriting it, but I said so just to piss off any of them who might be reading this because they always like to say that about "liberals"), I am sure FDR's positive role in U.S. history will be diminished. It seems that no matter what he started, the GOP is still hellbent on getting rid of it even after all these years. I guess when most of what the GOP accomplishes is a series of non-accomplishments, it's o.k. to be jealous.

When George W. Bush spoke the other day about getting rid of about 150 government programs, I had to cringe. Especially when he got to Social Security. However, I don't think he will make much headway with major reforms of that program because there are too many Republicans, particularly elderly Republicans, who depend on it. While the proposed changes shouldn't affect the elderly as much as those younger, I can't see the AARP being in favor of very much of what Bush is talking about re. this issue. Those in Congress and the Senate who don't listen to their consituents and who instead go along with Bush may not get votes from those people next time around. While this could be a good thing for Democrats trying to gain seats in Congress and the Senate, I don't think destroying Social Security and a whole bunch of programs upon which many people depend would be good for the country. Anyone who cares about making sure Social Security remains a safe plan for everyone, let's call or write our Representatives and Senators!

I think the GOP drive to "revamp" Social Security is a continuation of a "get FDR" thing. I think the bill introduced a while back to have at least one building in every U.S. county named after Ronald Reagan is another part of that plan. Those who are serious about putting Reagan on Mt. Rushmore or on our currency are doing their part too. The Soviet Union collapsed while Reagan was in office, and Reagan had a great charismatic personality. I'm not sure what else there is in his repertoire to merit such lionization. Trickle-down economics? Iran-Contra?

An aside: it always seemed to me like the Soviet Union was headed for collapse anyway. It was such a flawed concept to begin with, and people can only tolerate repression for so long. Its economy was horrible. Had that country collapsed during the administration of Bush 1, would people be singing his praises instead of Reagan's? What if the USSR had collapsed while Clinton was in office? How would today's GOP deal with that? Not very well, I would imagine.

Back to FDR. When I was back East four years ago, one of the highlights of my tour of Washington D.C. was time spent one beautiful spring evening at the FDR Memorial. When my daughter took a picture of me sitting on the knee of a statue of FDR, it was a personal moment of joy! With my arm around FDR's shoulder and a smile on my face, it was the next best thing to being right there with the man himself.

We need to put a stop to all the anti-FDR moaning so many of these GOP folks engage in. We survived WWII, and the USA did its part for the world while we were under his leadership. Let's at least keep him on the dime as we continue to teach our kids about what he accomplished during his time as president. I'm not in favor of adding anyone else to Mt. Rushmore, but for sheer impact on our country's history, if anyone else could be on Mt. Rushmore... it's FDR. More so than JFK for sure. And yes, more so than Ronald Reagan.

Come on, Republicans! None of this "But... but..." stuff! Don't be afraid! Acknowledge his greatness. It isn't like our national memory of and appreciation of FDR are a Big Bad Wolf, here to huff and puff and blow your house down. FDR isn't the hungry wolf who ate your grandmother and who wants to devour you whole. Step back, take a look, and you might see that all the reasons you have been given to whine about him are merely fairy tales.

9 Comments:

Blogger Ms Liberty said...

Yes, Repigs hate FDR. But we're not going to allow them to turn back the clock. The gilded age was an abusive and horrible time for the poor, and we're not going back to that. I say class war first!

10:53 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

You mean "the Dilded Age", right?

10:57 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Just kidding, of course. I know exactly what you mean. The Gilded Age is over and done with, no going back now.

Although I do think the term "Dilded Age" is appropriate when discussing the era into which the GOP would like to usher the nation.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

The Dilded Age: A Nation of Dildographers.

11:01 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Thanks for the nice comment, Snave. I think the Dems should talk more about the historical context of programs like Social Security and where the two parties have stood over the years.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

You're right on, as usual, J. Now if we can only get those darned dildographers to listen... ! Heh!

6:17 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Yes, let's talk about where the party's have historically stood on, say racial equality. I'm sure Sen Gore could join in this discussion. Possibility Sen Byrd, if he isn't too busy patching a pothole.

Let's not forget that most of FDR programs were started by Hoover. JP Morgan, that evil capitalists, saved the banking industry. Oh, and what was that think that demand for products, oh yeah, a major world war.

To be honest, FDR was a great president. He took Americans at a time of dispair, and showed them how to defeat their problems. Reagan did the same. Both were visionary men, and great presidents.

We should keep SS around to honor FDR. We should fix it to honor him.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Sure, like many good Americans, I'm sure Gore and Byrd have skeletons in their closets too. Until it is proven re. their skeletons, I'll say they are innocent until proven guilty.

Sure, the evil capitalists would have saved their own system. And it's a good thing they did.

Phil, I agree with you about FDR. I'm not so sure about Reagan... how did he teach people to defeat their problems during a time of despair? I'm not sure I see it.

You're right, I think we should keep Social Security around. As far as "fixing" it goes, let's define the word "fixing". If we aren't going to change the whole face of the program, I might be able to go along with a neocon "fix", but I don't trust the neocons.

I have been contributing to my Social Security for over 28 years, and I DO want to see some of the money back when I retire. That will be in about 16 or 17 years when I'm 62 or 63. I would like to be sure the system is working then, not just for me, but for all older Americans. I'm not a religious person, but I think the Ten Commandments contain some good values... and when I look at Social Security money going to older Americans, I feel like I am "honoring my father and mother" in a national sense. If more people looked at it this way, I don't think so many of them would be p.o.-ed about having it be a compulsory thing. I see nothing wrong with helping provide some income to those who have paid their debt to society.

I still don't understand how privatizing Social Security is going to keep it solvent. All it would see to do is decrease the size of another government program, which could serve as little more than a smokescreen by the Bushistas during a time when they are increasing the amount of government control over our lives at an alarming rate. Go for the Social Security thing, and people might not pay attention to the inroads being made into education, for example, at the expense of "states' rights". Whatever happened to "states' rights"?

But I do agree, Social Security should be kept, and it should be kept effective.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Oh I think it is a matter of record. Byrd admits that he was a KKK member. Gore's old man voted against civil rights acts. Guilty!!!

As for social security, I am working through a multi part entry on my feelings on the subject at my site. I'm looking forward to your input.

7:01 PM  

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