To the editor:
A recent letter to the editor, “FDR legacy,” makes some valid points regarding Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s omissions that made us vulnerable to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also, the writer reminds us of other foreign policy flaws along with Roosevelt’s personal sexual peccadilloes. However, to assert that FDR was one of the most incompetent and damnable presidents is a dubious conclusion which overlooks Roosevelt’s greatest achievement.
When Roosevelt took office in 1933, America was well into its worst economic depression. Herbert Hoover’s passivity and belief that free enterprise somehow would fix itself was not helping. Thankfully, FDR understood the only remedy. Outside of aggressive government intervention and regulation, we could not be healed.
“There must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments. There must be an end to speculation with other people’s money,” said Roosevelt in his inaugural address. He knew popular sentiment against institutions and individuals responsible for our nation’s malady: “Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion.”
Today, conservative politicians have enabled America to turn the clock back to the late ’20s, economically speaking. These “representatives” abhor regulation and government oversight. Why? Their benefactors, enriched by Wall Street and corporate lawlessness, guarantee ample financial fodder for expedient political longevity.
Voters face a crucial decision in 2012. Do we want a Hoover? Or do we need an FDR? I, for one, will choose the latter. Or his closest facsimile.