APRIL 12 – Franklin D. Roosevelt died on this date in 1945, some 65 years ago. There is a certain irony in those numbers. It was FDR who introduced Social Security. An American born on the day he died is eligible for full benefits today.
There are now attempts to compare Barack Obama with Franklin Roosevelt. The comparison is absurd. Whether we agree or disagree with Roosevelt’s New Deal policies, he was a giant of a president, whereas Obama is a miniature. Roosevelt, who was Ronald Reagan’s political idol even as Reagan moved to the Republican Party, exuded strength. Obama displays weakness. Roosevelt made a concerted effort to explain things to the American people. Obama feels no need.
Roosevelt tried to understand what Americans were saying. In a famous incident at the White House gates on the day he died, a soldier was asked by a reporter, “Did you know him?” “No,” the soldier replied, “but he knew me.” Contrast please with the utter indifference to public opinion shown by President Obama during the health-care debate.
Roosevelt understood and nurtured the alliance with wartime Britain. Obama has trashed that alliance, symbolically sending back to Britain the bust of Winston Churchill, Roosevelt’s ally.
Roosevelt, a patrician, seemed to have an instinctive feeling for the average American. Obama, from decidedly more modest origins, seems to have none, describing some Americans as clinging to their guns and their religion.
Roosevelt knew what “victory” meant and relished the word. Obama will not use it.
No, the comparison doesn’t quite work.
From Urgent Agenda (www.urgentagenda.com)
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