Monday, October 26, 2009

The only thing we have to fear.....

You can finish the sentence because you know it from history. A critical time in our history. The masses of people in America had seen unending hardship, as they worked on small farms or unskilled jobs. Poverty was the everyday thing. They worked hard, but loved life, family and friends. Many old-timers have said "We didn't know we were poor."

The roaring twenties are glamourized in the arts: music, movies, dancing the Charleston. But farmers began to lose the land that had been in families for generations. Tenant farming doubled in a decade. After three uncaring Republican Presidents, the country was in a mess. Good capitalism had run amuck. "The rich got richer, and the poor got poorer."

The people all over the land rejected Hooverism and elected a man from a leading, rich New York family later known simply in three initials, FDR. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The news media were the newspapers, magazines, and radio. Television hadn't raised its dangerous head.

In his inaugural address the new President set the pace for his four elected terms of popular success. The people were suffering and FDR knew it. They were worn down with. They were afraid, more than they had ever been afraid of losing everything they had worked and prayed for. FDR was more than a man, he was a man with a heart. He summed it up right off the bat.

"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days."

FDR was a man of the people and for the people, and he knew that the government had to be by the people --- all the people.

In 2009 people again are afraid. No wonder! We are scared of the deficit, the wars, the foreign terrorists, the home-grown terrorists, insecure jobs and wages, cost of education, health care and health care insurance, demons and blood-suckers, and rushes in the tree-tops, and howls in the wind.

Polite discussion has given away to extremism. Left and right, the fighting continues. Can't we all drink Pepsi and Coke without taking a public stance. Can't we all get along. The current President needs support by the people to guide him just as Roosevelt needed it. The campaign is over. The President is elected. Are we going to sit and whine while the situation gets worse. When something is broken, it's time to fix it. Waiting won't help.

The Greatest Generation met severe problems head-on and solved them. FDR was the leader. What would have happened if the people hadn't followed him? What will happen if too many people agree with one person's wish "I hope he will fail."

Take time to read or listen Roosevelt's speech on this link:

William A. Ricks

No comments: