Thursday, January 10, 2008

Looking for FDR

By McCamy Taylor

For over half a century, we have been looking for FDR. Now, during this election cycle, in which we have seen the corporate media take their Two Man Race between Obama and Hillary to the ridiculous extreme of continuing it in the face of John Edward’s second place finish in Iowa, I know why we have not heard from FDR in all that time.

It isn’t because his spirit does not live on in America. FDR's New Deal gave birth to LBJ's Great Society. That in turn is the reason why polls show that Americans are turning away from the "me, me, me" trickle down morality of the Reagan era in order to embrace a more compassionate ethic. Children of the 1960s, who grew up cheering for civil rights and women's rights are now adults, and as adults they honor the same values of individual liberty and justice that they saw championed as kids. Forget pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Americans nowadays are willing to offer a helping hand to their neighbor. Hell, they will even pay more taxes if it means that their neighbors' kids have health insurance.

We are all searching hard for FDR, after seven years of Federalist "Let's roll us back to the Great Depression" bs. The reason we can not find him is because the corporate media has muzzled him.

During the 1950s and 60s they called him a “Red” and silenced him that way. They used the FBI and wiretaps and the tactic of Divide and Conquer to keep opposition leaders weak and jailed and incapable of joining together to effect meaningful change. Sometimes, they assassinated the new FDRs, when they thought they could get away with it. Later, they sent George Bush Senior to Iran to arrange a Hostages for Votes deal, beginning a tradition of elections stolen by manipulation of the Democratic primaries, voter suppression, fraudulent vote tallies and---when that did not work---blatant election theft by the US Supreme Court.

And still we keep looking for FDR, because the economic ills that plagued us earlier in the century---the monopolies, the plight of farmers, rising wealth disparity, credit crises—have not gone away. The farther we get from the New Deal, the worse they have gotten, and the greater our longing for FDR’s voice becomes.

That is why John Solomon did not even wait for the Democratic primary to get underway before he penned his series of articles for the Washington Post that would set up the Edwards is a phony narrative. For the corporations of America and the world, this was an FDR emergency. This was why the media blacklist of John Edwards began when he was still the front runner in Iowa and why the corporate media came up with the “Two Man Race” between Obama and Hillary when the Senator from Illinois was barely a blip. The mainstream media has very sensitive FDR detectors. They can smell populism from miles away.

Here is a radio speech that FDR delivered in the spring of 1932 entitled “The Forgotten Men.”

These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

Obviously, these few minutes tonight permit no opportunity to lay down the ten or a dozen closely related objectives of a plan to meet our present emergency, but I can draw a few essentials, a beginning in fact, of a planned program.


Such objectives as these three, restoring farmers' buying power, relief to the small banks and home-owners and a reconstructed tariff policy, are only a part of ten or a dozen vital factors. But they seem to be beyond the concern of a national administration which can think in terms only of the top of the social and economic structure. It has sought temporary relief from the top down rather than permanent relief from the bottom up. It has totally failed to plan ahead in a comprehensive way. It has waited until something has cracked and then at the last moment has sought to prevent total collapse.

It is high time to get back to fundamentals. It is high time to admit with courage that we are in the midst of an emergency at least equal to that of war. Let us mobilize to meet it.

The “snip” is important. FDR does not claim he will lead America to the promised land. He does not make vague statements about being an agent of change. He talks specifics in a calm, cool, rational voice designed to inspire confidence and ease fear. He invites his listeners to join him. He does not condescend. He does not patronize. He speaks as a fellow American, not as Mom (Hillary) or as a Messiah (Obama).

This strategy is terribly effective. An informed electorate is no longer afraid. Once fear is overcome, voters can make rational, sensible decisions at the polls that are based upon their own economic best interests. Plus, they can work together to effect real economic change that improves their communities. This strategy is terrible for groups that rely on fear—like the current Republican Party or certain large corporations. When FDR used this strategy during his long administration, he changed the nation irrevocably—the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s were proof of that.

FDR’s most recent incarnation is John Edwards, and for this the corporations and the news media which they control can not forgive him. They have made every effort to keep Americans from hearing what he has to say. If he is heard, they want it to be through the haze of the media lie “That Edwards is just a rich phony pretending that he cares.” They might have said the same thing about FDR. Since his message is so persuasive—and since it is what so many of us have been searching for---they have done their best to make him the Invisible Candidate, silent, friendless, poor.

The nomination was no cakewalk for FDR, but he did not have it this bad.

http://campaigningforhistory.blogs.nytimes... /

Several powerful people, such as William Randolph Hearst, who would later come to regret his decision, helped him at the nomination convention. I guess the corporate media learned its lesson back in 1932.

If the corporate media has its way, America will never find FDR again. That is why it is so important that we look for FDR on our own. They can deny him equal time on TV and radio, but if we search him out on the Internet and spread the populist message where we find it, the corporate media is SOL.

Posted in full with author's permission.

Originally posted at

1 comment:

Ghost of Smdley said...

I wish folks would stop lionizing F.D.R.He was "a wolf in sheep`s clothing"i.e.a plutocrat posing as "a friend of workers"and instituting the New Deal to prevent a revolution which would have spelled the end of him and his incestuous fellow plutocratic "aritocracy" Furthermore the New Deal was propped up with deficet financing and would have collapsed had he not engineered the U.S.A.into W.W.2!