Wow. For proof that the GOP is running with a more extreme version of the same mentality they had during the Great Depression, here is the perfect example. Tell me which parts of this speech sound like they could come out of a Mitt Romney speech. Also, look for which parts prove just how far to the right our entire body politic and the Republican party is now compared to back then.
If you want to be simply STUNNED today read this, it's the 1936 Republican Presidential Nomination Acceptance speech of Alf Landon. Here are a few excerpts . . .
I intend to approach the issues fairly, as I see them, without rancor or passion. If we are to go forward permanently, it must be with a united nation—not with a people torn by appeals to prejudice and divided by class feeling.Oh yeah, here's more?
The time has come to pull together.
No people can make headway where great numbers are supported in idleness. There is no future on the relief rolls. The law of this world is that man shall eat bread by the sweat of his brow.
Mounting debts and increasing taxes constitute a threat to all of these aims. They absorb the funds that might be used to create new things or to reduce the cost of present goods. Taxes, both visible and invisible, add to the price of everything. By taking more and more out of the family purse, they leave less for the family security. Let us not be misled by those who tell us that others will be made to carry the burden for us. A simple inquiry into the facts and figures will show that our growing debts and taxes are so enormous that, even if we tax to the utmost limits those who are best able to pay, the average taxpayer will still have to bear the major part. While spending billions of dollars of borrowed money may create a temporary appearance of prosperity we and our children, as taxpayers, have yet to pay the bill. For every single dollar spent we will pay back two dollars!Wow! Same argument we here today, the "if we tax the rich it won't make a difference" argument that is pushed by the same guy saying we have to cut unemployment insurance and food stamps. When the poor pay it counts, when the rich pay your just being mean and what's the difference anyway?
More below the fold . . .
Judged by the things that make us a nation of happy families, the New Deal has fallen far short of success. The proof of this is in the record. The record shows that in 1933 the primary need was jobs for the unemployed. The record shows that in 1936 the primary need still is jobs for the unemployed.Same line of attack, eh? Just replace 2009 and 2012 with 1933 and 1936. I guess that means George W. Bush is kind of like Herbert Hoover, though Barack Obama has by no means been FDR, but see the line of attack? Pretend the GWB or Hoover of your day never existed, blame the current President for ALL the things.
The funny thing is the similarities between Alf Landon and Mitt Romney don't end there because Landon supported a ton of things in this speech that would NEVER EVER fly in a million years with this current 2012 GOP, much in the same way that Mitt has in his flip-flopping between appealing to conservative extremists compared to his record as a moderate North Eastern Governor. Please read this full speech by Alf Landon, there are things in there about a worker's right to choose to unionize, the need for diplomacy in foreign affairs practiced by great Republican President's before him and the need to protect the environment that you would never hear come out of a modern Republicans mouth. This is proof of just how far to the corporate right the country has shifted since the Great Depression, and as we have slowly torn down the last of the New Deal we have unleashed the same dam that drowned us once before, only now we do so in the unholy name of Austerity. In 1936 it was okay for a Republican Presidential Candidate to talk about the need to bust up monopolies in his Acceptance speech. Could you possibly imagine such a thing happening now?
On a side note, FDR demolished Alf Landon 523-8, carrying every state except for Maine and Vermont. Sadly, Obama is no FDR. Obama could have very well given most of Landon's speech himself too. Here is the link to FDR's 1936 Democratic Nomination acceptance speech and an excerpt . . .
Sadly, we face the same unbridled economic royalty today, only now money equals speech and the banks are Too Big To Fail. In three years the White House has failed to deliver a vision of the role Government should have in our economy and society that counters the Conservative dystopia of Austerity based Reaganomics. The problem isn't just that the Republican party has fully embraced Hoovernomics and madness over reason, it is that the Democratic party has too. "Vote for me or the crazy people will win!" isn't hope, it is cynicism.For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital—all undreamed of by the fathers—the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.Read more at the American Presidency Project: Franklin D. Roosevelt: Acceptance Speech for the Renomination for the Presidency, Philadelphia, Pa. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/...
There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.
It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.
The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor—these had passed beyond the control of the people, and were imposed by this new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average family, the capital of the small business man, the investments set aside for old age—other people's money—these were tools which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.
Those who tilled the soil no longer reaped the rewards which were their right. The small measure of their gains was decreed by men in distant cities.
Throughout the Nation, opportunity was limited by monopoly. Individual initiative was crushed in the cogs of a great machine. The field open for free business was more and more restricted. Private enterprise, indeed, became too private. It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise.
An old English judge once said: "Necessitous men are not free men." Liberty requires opportunity to make a living—a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.
For too many of us the political equality we once had won was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's money, other people's labor—other people's lives. For too many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real; men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.
Against economic tyranny such as this, the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of Government. The collapse of 1929 showed up the despotism for what it was. The election of 1932 was the people's mandate to end it. Under that mandate it is being ended.
The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the Government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the Government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the Government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.
Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.
These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the Flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the Flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike.
Alf Landon's 1936 speech is proof that if the modern GOP has changed at all, it has gotten worse, much, much worse. FDR's 1936 speech is proof of that we CAN fight back, but first we have to pick a fight. President Obama is fond of telling us that this "isn't class war, it's basic math". WRONG! It is a class war, always has been, and the rich are back to where they were before the Great Depression, they have more money than ever and the rest of us are not sharing the sacrifice, we are carrying the whole thing. Mitt Romney may be like Alf Landon, but that doesn't make Obama like FDR. At least FDR could admit to us all what we are up against, but then, FDR never had to compete with Karl Rove's SuperPAC. The core problem is this, the combination of an extreme income inequality gap and the rampant influence of big money in American has restored the economic royalty to a level of power we have only last seen in America in the era directly before the Great Depression and now both of our parties are farther to the right than Alf Landon's GOP was in 1936.
So, somebody talk me down.
Peace and love to one and all
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