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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fwd: The Massachusetts Observer

The Massachusetts Observer

Tea Party Government Haters Could Not Have Pushed FDR Around

Posted: 04 Oct 2013 08:40 PM PDT

Once again the radical right-wing is holding the nation hostage, and they have closed down much of the government. The Republicans are now choosing through political posturing what they deem worthy to fund.

It is amazing that there are people who are actually taken in by this pretend concern. The fact is that Republicans are now feeling the heat as the very real effects of their careless and irresponsible actions are being felt by real people.

I believe that if Franklin Roosevelt were alive today, this would be his message to the Tea Party crowd.

On October 31, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a campaign speech before a crowd at Madison Square Garden. He spoke plainly without equivocation. He spoke to his audience as adults.

I have edited this just over 30-minute speech down to less than 10 minutes to provide highlights. We need this kind of leadership today. Following the video is a transcript of it.

Here is what an "adult conversation" sounds like:

Franklin D. Roosevelt -Speech at Madison Square Garden (October 31, 1936)


For twelve years our Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to that Government , but that Government looked away; and my friends, powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent to mankind.

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. And 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.

And my friends, and my friends, the American people know from a four-year record that today there is only one entrance to the White House and that's by the front door. Since March 4, 1933, there has been only one pass-key to the White House, and I have carried that key in my own pocket. It's there tonight, and so long as I am President, it's going to remain in my pocket.

But, those who used to have pass-keys are not happy. Some of them indeed are desperate. Only desperate men with their backs to the wall would descend so far below the level of decent citizenship as to foster the current pay-envelope campaign against America's working people. Only reckless men, heedless of consequences, would risk the disruption of the hope for a new peace between worker and employer by returning to the tactics of the labor spy.

And, here is an amazing paradox! The very employers and politicians and newspapers who talk most loudly of class antagonism and the destruction of the American system now undermine that system by this attempt to coerce the votes of the wage earners of this country. It is the 1936 version of the old threat to close down the factory or the office if a particular candidate does not win. It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them.

But they are guilty of more than deceit. When they imply that the reserves thus created against both these policies will be stolen, they attack the integrity and the honor of American Government itself. Those who suggest that are already aliens to the spirit of American democracy. Let them emigrate and try their lot under some foreign flag in which they have more confidence.

And, our vision for the future contains more than promises.

Of course we will continue to seek to improve working conditions for the workers of America—to reduce hours that are over-long, to increase wages that spell starvation, to end the labor of children, and to wipe out sweatshops. Of course we will continue every effort to end monopoly in business, to support collective bargaining, to stop unfair competition, and to abolish dishonorable trade practices.

Of course we will continue to work for better and cheaper transportation, for low interest rates, for sounder home financing, for better banking, for the regulation of security issues, for reciprocal trade among nations, and for the wiping out of slums.

Of course we will continue our efforts. We will persist in successful action for better land use, for reforestation, for the conservation of water all the way from its source to the sea, for drought control and flood control, for better marketing facilities for farm commodities.

Of course we will provide useful work for the needy unemployed because we prefer useful work to the pauperism of a dole.

And here and now I want to make myself clear about those who disparage their fellow citizens on the relief rolls. They say that those on relief are not merely jobless, they say that they are worthless. Their solution for the relief problem is to end relief—to purge the rolls by starvation, but you and I will continue to refuse to accept that estimate of our unemployed fellow Americans. Your Government is still on the same side of the street with the Good Samaritan and not with those who pass by on the other side.

Of course we will continue our efforts for young men and women so that they may obtain an education and an opportunity to put it to use. Of course we will continue our help for the crippled, for the blind, for the mothers, our insurance for the unemployed, our security for the aged.

And for these things, too, and for a multitude of things like them, we have only just begun to fight.
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