The journey from FDR’s “New Deal” to Trump’s raw deal

FDR, faced with America’s worst economic crisis, didn’t know what to do. He threw spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick. Some ideas spawned by his “brain trust” were failures; others, like Social Security, were spectacular successes. Before the economy had recovered, he was compelled to turn his attention to fighting the biggest war in history. He died before it was over, and it was left to his successors to shepherd America through a new prosperity and the growth of a huge middle class; then came the long slide down to gutting that middle class, gross inequality, and Trump. How did we travel from FDR to Trump? The answer is America’s ideology changed from the dominant liberalism of the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s into this:

  1. Government is bad.
  2. The past was better than today.
  3. Science and expertise are not to be trusted.
  4. People are entitled to their own facts.
  5. Short-term profits are everything.
  6. Being selfish is being free.
  7. Inequality’s not so bad.

America now resembles the 1910s.

Then a pandemic came along and showed up every one of these shibboleths as the falsehood it is, and

“Countries with better social contracts and more effective national governments promptly put strict pandemic protocols in place and have COVID death rates running at a third, a quarter, or just 2 percent of America’s. They also straightforwardly and immediately addressed the massive economic consequences, without much political rancor, because providing good social-safety nets to try to protect everyone from economic disaster is simply what governments do.

In other words, just about every other country on the planet handled it better, and made out better, than ours.

Read the details in this article, which is condensed from a book. One final thought: FDR was the real deal; Trump is a fraud. Now, how do we backtrack?

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0 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Mark Adams #

    The problem in large part is that FDR would not be welcome in todays Democratic party. He would be shown the door. Instead todays torch bearer is Biden. Certainly no Truman and certainly not a FDR.

    There is also the subtle issues of being a televised President. Impossible to hide that wheelchair and assistance while making speeches. Since we don’t jus listen to candidates like over the radio in the 30s we see them. For better or worse since at least Kennedy looks have mattered. No Claudius for the American Republic these days.

    Few rich men of his day or ours are willing to tell their own class to stuff it. even his cousin in actually going after corporations and breaking up monopolies, or putting monopolies that serve the public good under an effective pubic control.

    Democratic leaders catering to Wall Street than to Main Street.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    You’re thinking like Republicans do. Democrats care about whether a candidate is competent to govern and has policy smarts, not whether he looks good on TV. Biden probably was the least telegenic candidate in this year’s large Democratic primary field. He’s not a great orator, either. He doesn’t have to be. All he has to do is win voters’ trust, and he appears to be doing that, if you believe the polls.