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Poem on FDR. Anyone know the source? (Yes, this is a vanity)
Unknown | Circa WWII | Unknown

Posted on 09/28/2007 12:43:05 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes

A stranger stood at the gate of Hell

And the Devil himself had answered the bell

He looked him over from head to toe

And said “My friend, I’d like to know

What you have done in the line of sin

To entitle you to come within?”

Then Franklin D. with his usual guile

Stepped forth and flashed his toothy smile.

“When I took over in ’33,

A nation’s faith was mine”, said he

“I promised this and I promised that,

And I calmed them down with a fireside chat.

I spent their money on fishing trips

And I fished from the decks of their battleships.

I gave them jobs on the WPA

Then raised their taxes and took it away.

I raised their wages – then closed their shops,

I killed their pigs and buried their crops.

I double-crossed both young and old

And still the folks my praises told.

I brought back beer and what do you think?

I taxed it so high they couldn’t drink.

I furnished money with good loans

When they missed a payment I took their homes.

When I wanted to punish people, you know,

I put my wife on the radio.

I paid them to let their farms lie still

And imported foodstuffs from Brazil.

And curtailed crops when I felt mean

And shipped in corn from the Argentine.

When they started to worry, stew and fret,

I’d get them to chanting the alphabet.

With the AAA and the NLB

The WPA and the CCC.

With these many units I got their goats

And still I crammed it down their throats

While the taxpayers chewed their fingernails.

When the organizers needed dough

I signed up plants for the CIO.

I ruined their jobs and I ruined their health

And I put the screws on the rich man’s wealth.

And some who couldn’t stand the gaff

Would call me up and how I’d laugh!

When they got too hot on certain things

I’d pack up and head for Warm Springs.

I ruined their country, their homes, and then

Laid the blame on the ‘nine old men’.”

Now Franklin talked both long and loud

And the Devil stood with his head bowed.

At last he said “Let’s make it clear,

You’ll have to move, you can’t stay here.

For once you’ve mingled with this mob

I’ll have to hunt myself a job.”


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: depression; devil; fdr; hell; hoover; newdeal; roosevelt
A friend posted this on another board. He doesn't know the source but said it was typed on a piece of paper that was in his father's WWII pilot's log book. Google comes up empty. Wherever it came from, I like it and I know my father would have LOVED it.
1 posted on 09/28/2007 12:43:09 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes
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To: Past Your Eyes

Is it possible that your friend’s father wrote it?


2 posted on 09/28/2007 12:45:55 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

I wouldn’t rule that out.


3 posted on 09/28/2007 12:49:01 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes (Some people are too stupid to be ashamed.)
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To: Past Your Eyes

Most often it’s attributed to “Anonymous”, but I did find one site that credited “V.M. Rodebaugh, 1938”.

I used AltaVista instead of Google and found a number of possibilities to sort through.


4 posted on 09/28/2007 12:49:49 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: Past Your Eyes

Hitler somehow managed to pull Germany out of depression by 34; Roosevelt appeared to be trying to prolong the depression in America.


5 posted on 09/28/2007 12:53:36 PM PDT by damondonion
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To: Past Your Eyes

I find that even rock-ribbed Republicans “of a certain age” don’t have too much bad to say about FDR - he “got the country moving again” - they have been brainwashed ... while I myself, of a younger generation, think they should dig up FDR’s worthless carcasse and throw it to the dogs a la the story of Jezebel in the Bible.


6 posted on 09/28/2007 12:58:37 PM PDT by ikka
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To: ArrogantBustard

The poem, “Rejected,” is in The Assault of Laughter: A Treasury of American Political Humor, Edited and with an Introduction by Arthur P. Dudden (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1962), 499-500, attributed to “Anonymous.”


7 posted on 09/28/2007 1:01:44 PM PDT by michelangelo
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To: ClearCase_guy

Dudden’s version supplies some choice couplets missing in the text above.

“Rejected”

A stranger stood at the Gates of Hell
And the Devil himself had answered the bell
He glanced at him from head to toe,
And said “My friend, I’d like to know
What have you done in the line of sin
To entitle you to come within,”
Then Franklin D. said with his usual guile
As he gave the Devil his winning smile,
“When I took charge in ‘33
A Nation’s faith was mine you see
So I promised this and promised that
And calmed them down with a Fireside chat.
I put padlocks on their banks
And called the Congress a bunch of cranks.
I spent their money on fishing trips
Fishing from decks of their battle-ships.
I gave men money with W.P.A.
Then raised their taxes and took it away.
I killed their pigs and burned their crops,
Would raise their wages then close their shops
And double-crossed both old and young
And still the fools my praises sung.
I brought back beer, then what do you think,
I taxed it so high they couldn’t drink.
I gave them money with government loans,
When they missed a payment I’d take their homes.
When I wanted to punish the folks you know,
I’d put my wife on the radio.
I payed them to let their farms lie still
And imported foodstuffs from Brazil.
I curtailed crops when I felt real mean,
And shipped in corn from ‘Argentine’.
Now when they’d worry, stew or fret
I’d get them chanting the alphabet.
With the A.A.A. and N.R.L.B the W.P.A. and C.C.C.
With all these units I got their goats
And still I crammed it down their throats.
When organizers needed dough
I closed the plants for the C.I.O.
I ruined jobs and I ruined health
And put the screws on the rich man’s wealth
And some who couldn’t stand the gaff
Would call on me and how I’d laugh.
I ruined the country, its homes and then,
Placed the blame on Nine Old Men.”
Now Franklin talked both long and loud.
The Devil stood and his head was bowed.
At last he said, “Let’s make this clear,
You’ll have to look elsewhere, you can’t come here.
For once you mingle with this mob,
I’ll have to hunt myself a job.”


8 posted on 09/28/2007 1:24:26 PM PDT by michelangelo
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To: damondonion
Hitler somehow managed to pull Germany out of depression by 34; Roosevelt appeared to be trying to prolong the depression in America.

Through a massive arms build up and and funding internal projects like dams and autobans and the like. Roosevelt only had the second alternative available to him.

9 posted on 09/28/2007 1:30:02 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
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To: ikka
I find that even rock-ribbed Republicans “of a certain age” don’t have too much bad to say about FDR - he “got the country moving again” - they have been brainwashed ... while I myself, of a younger generation, think they should dig up FDR’s worthless carcasse and throw it to the dogs a la the story of Jezebel in the Bible.

Maybe because those rock-ribbed Republicans lived through those times and the younger generation didn't? Look at what Roosevelt inherited from Hoover. Fifteen million unemployed. Thousands and thousands of farmers forced off their land. Cities and states bankrupt. Millions on the road. Over 5,000 banks had gone bust during Hoover's term, and almost as many more went down between Roosevelt's election and his inauguration. Widespread hunger. The U.S. Gross National Product in 1929 was $101.4 billion. In 1933 it was $68.3 billion. And most of all the people of this country were beaten. They had watched Hoover do nothing for four years and they were ready for someone who would do something, anything to try and make things better. In retrospect many of FDRs programs were mistakes and one can honestly say that World War II did more to end the depression than Roosevelt did, but to his credit Roosevelt provided leadership where there had been none, and got people believing in themselves again. As Will Rogers said, if Roosevelt had burned down the Capitol people would have brightened and said, "Well, at least he got a fire started somehow." Someone is supposed to have said to Roosevelt that if his policies succeeded then he would go down in history as the best president. But if they failed he would go down in history as the worst. Roosevelt is supposed to have replied that if he failed he would go down in history as the last president. And he's probably right. Roosevelt's lasting legacy may be that he got people trusting in their government again and ensured that democracy would continue.

10 posted on 09/28/2007 2:33:02 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
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To: Non-Sequitur

Hoover did not “do nothing for four years,” as the Democrats have contended ever since (remember the phrase “George Herbert Hoover Bush” from 1992?). Unfortunately, many of the actions he took, such as raising taxes and tariffs and trying to keep wages high in the face of a deflation of the currency only made matters worse.

In contrast to Hoover and FDR, President Warren G. Harding fought the depression of 1919 by cutting taxes and downsizing the federal government. By the time he died in 1923, a recovery was well underway.


11 posted on 09/28/2007 2:58:21 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Non-Sequitur
"They had watched Hoover do nothing for four years"

Good grief. I suppose people would rather have somebody make them feel good about themselves than actually have to do it themselves by accomplishing something. Hence FDR and Slick Willy. At least with Reagan they had a reason to feel good again.

12 posted on 09/28/2007 3:13:52 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes (Some people are too stupid to be ashamed.)
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To: michelangelo

Thanks a bunch, mike. I’ll pass that on.
Seem like there was a “rogue” line in what I posted. Didn’t go with anything else.


13 posted on 09/28/2007 3:15:14 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes (Some people are too stupid to be ashamed.)
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To: Past Your Eyes
Good grief. I suppose people would rather have somebody make them feel good about themselves than actually have to do it themselves by accomplishing something. Hence FDR and Slick Willy. At least with Reagan they had a reason to feel good again.

Well, when the economy has gone to hell, and one in four is unemployed, and farmers are losing their land, and banks are failing left and right, and the president doesn't seem to give a damn then sure, I suppose people would rather have someone who actually acted like he cared and that he might be able to accomplish something. FDR, like Kennedy, had charisma. He made people believe again.

14 posted on 09/28/2007 3:28:00 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
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To: Fiji Hill
Hoover did not “do nothing for four years,” as the Democrats have contended ever since (remember the phrase “George Herbert Hoover Bush” from 1992?). Unfortunately, many of the actions he took, such as raising taxes and tariffs and trying to keep wages high in the face of a deflation of the currency only made matters worse.

And 4 more years of Hoover would have been better?

15 posted on 09/28/2007 3:28:59 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
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To: Non-Sequitur
WPA, WPA.
Sleep while you work while you rest while you play.
Lean on your shovel to pass time away.
'Tain't what you do, you can jive for your pay.
WPA.

Wpa, WPA
Don't be a fool working hard, it's passé
You'll stand for five or six hours a day.
Sit down and smoke while you joke; it's OK
WPA.

I'm so tired, I don't know what to do.
Can't get fired,
So I'll take my rest till my work is through.

WPA, WPA.
Don't mind the boss if he's cross when you're gay.
He'll get a pink slip next week, anyway.
Nobody beats this. You loaf every day.
WPA.

Skeets Tolbert & His Orchestra, Decca Records, 1940

16 posted on 09/28/2007 3:32:12 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Non-Sequitur

I believe that four more years of Hoover would have, indeed, been better. Hoover at least felt bound by the Constitution, so he probably would not have pushed for such boondoggles as the National Recovery Administration (NRA) regulations on business, which strangled the economy until the Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional.

In any case, I doubt that Hoover could have done much worse than FDR. By 1940, seven years into his presidency, the unemployment rate was still in double digits, while the Dow Jones Industrial average was half of what it was just before the stock market crash of 1929.


17 posted on 09/28/2007 3:46:38 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Past Your Eyes

18 posted on 09/28/2007 3:48:29 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Non-Sequitur

You are making the mistake of thinking that is possible to spend our way out of depressions. Germany got out of the depression because real wages were held down. Roosevelt, by contrast, kept propping up wages and prices which equalled continued depression.


19 posted on 09/28/2007 3:49:33 PM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: Non-Sequitur

Read the book “FDR’s Folly” if you really want to know how bad FDR’s administration was, and how his policies actually made a 3 year recession into a 12 year depression. Be sure to thank ole Franklin when you get your first Social Security check and find it won’t even cover one months property tax.


20 posted on 09/28/2007 3:57:39 PM PDT by kylaka
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To: Fiji Hill

Good post, Fiji. I concur. Hoover was a damn good man and the fact that he didn’t have all that wonderful “charisma” didn’t make him any less so. He just never had the chance to make anything work.
My parents came of age in the depression. For them, it was no different than the years before. My father wrote two autobiographical books. I don’t think he ever used the word “Depression” in either of them. But he sure did hate FDR and it’s easy to see why. He graduated from high school in 1937. They got their first automobiles during the depression.
If you haven’t read “Hard Times” by Studs Terkel, you should.


21 posted on 09/28/2007 3:58:23 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes (Some people are too stupid to be ashamed.)
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To: kylaka
As for books on the Depression, I would recommend Rethinking the Great Depression by Gene Smiley (Dee, 2003), an insightful yet highly readable analysis of the Depression that is less than 200 pages long, and The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes (Harper Collins, 2007), a current bestseller.
22 posted on 09/28/2007 4:58:49 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: kylaka
Read the book “FDR’s Folly” if you really want to know how bad FDR’s administration was, and how his policies actually made a 3 year recession into a 12 year depression.

Huh? The 'recession' was well into its third year when Hoover left office. And if you call 25% unemployment, widespread hunger, homelessness, backrupt cities and school systems, and a banking system teetering on the edge of total collapes a 'recession' then either you have never read up on the times or you have no idea what a depression is.

23 posted on 09/28/2007 5:16:28 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
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To: Captain Kirk
You are making the mistake of thinking that is possible to spend our way out of depressions. Germany got out of the depression because real wages were held down. Roosevelt, by contrast, kept propping up wages and prices which equalled continued depression.

Maybe because one quarter of the country was out of work and those still working still had to eat and put a roof over their head. Maybe in the long run depressing wages may have caused the recovery to move slightly faster, but as one of Roosevelt's advisors told a Congressional Committee, "People don't eat in the long run, Senator. They eat every day." And that took money.

You also forget that Hitler had dictatorial powers and didn't have to worry about a congress or a Supreme Court. Hitler achieved his recovery through a massive rearmament program, something not open to Roosevelt, but also through extensive public works projects and also work creation programs. There was the Labor Service and other government programs. And Jews and women were excluded from the work force as well, don't forget the impact that had on unemployment.

24 posted on 09/28/2007 5:31:26 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
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To: Fiji Hill
In any case, I doubt that Hoover could have done much worse than FDR. By 1940, seven years into his presidency, the unemployment rate was still in double digits, while the Dow Jones Industrial average was half of what it was just before the stock market crash of 1929.

I disagree. When I was in High School back in the 60's, as a project my class spent a year collecting oral histories of the Depression, kind of like they did with the Slave Narratives. We talked to parents and grandparents and great-grandparents, city people and farmers, and in the overwhelming majority of the cases these people described the election of Roosevelt as if someone had opened a shade and let sun in. After 4 years of Hoover, with the depression growing worse week by week, month by month, they were beaten. They were desperate, and wanted someone, anyone to do something different. Almost without exception they were totally contemptuous of Hoover, and remember Roosevelt and his speeches the way people 30 years later would talk about Kennedy. We can speculate 80 years later what Hoover would have done and if he might have been successful, and maybe he would. But it's equally likely that the U.S. may have drifted into a socialist or facist state.

25 posted on 09/28/2007 5:38:43 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
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To: Non-Sequitur
But it's equally likely that the U.S. may have drifted into a socialist or facist state.

A facist state? Would that be a state preoccupied with saving face or putting its best face forward?

26 posted on 09/28/2007 6:46:21 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Non-Sequitur

Hoover, who was called the Great Humanitarian or the Napoleon of Mercy, probably saved more lives than anyone else in history, and so it is ironic that his Democratic opponents succeeded in portraying him as not caring about the victims of the Depression.


27 posted on 09/28/2007 7:09:09 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Past Your Eyes
My Dad came from a very Democrat family. His mom, my grandmother, was actually one of the local campaign leaders in FDR's 1932 campaign. She was quite talented in both vocal and instrumental music and worked tirelessly to get FDR elected.

Dad left home in 1937 at age 18 to find any work he could because while his hometown had always struggled financially, people had managed to get by.

Much to grandma's chagrin, he became a Republican. By 1940, grandma was even more disgusted with FDR than Dad. It had become clear to even the most ardent FDR supporters like her that he wasn't what he was advertised.

FDR got elected in 1932 campaigning against much of Hoover's activism, high taxes and excess spending. Then he proceeded to sell America on the notion that Hoover failed because he had not been bold enough.

Hoover was a thoroughly decent man. He was a self-made multi-millionaire and first came to the public eye by heading up the relief efforts in Europe after World War I. He did the same thing after World War II and probably saved millions from starvation. Yes, his economic policies failed because America had never been faced with an economic downturn of that magnitude, but if any care to check the record, the Depression was much worse after four years of FDR in 1936 by doing more of what Hoover did.

28 posted on 06/18/2009 9:45:57 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or, are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
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To: Fiji Hill
Nobody beats this. You loaf every day.

My god: It's like holding a directorship or being in Congress or the Senate now!

29 posted on 06/18/2009 9:59:10 AM PDT by Androcles (All your typos are belong to us)
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To: Non-Sequitur
They had watched Hoover do nothing for four years

Smoot-Hawley, tax increases, wage freezes,price controls... sure, that's nothing (compared to what FDR did). Actually, doing nothing - a la Silent Cal in prior recessions - would have been preferable. But FDR did have the microphone (literally, with the Fireside Chats) and he had the public eating out of his hand.

30 posted on 06/18/2009 10:16:43 AM PDT by Cooter
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To: Vigilanteman

Wow, how’d you manage to dredge this one up after almost two years? I had forgotten all about it.


31 posted on 06/18/2009 11:36:27 AM PDT by Past Your Eyes (Are you in a union job? I'm sorry to hear that.)
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To: Past Your Eyes
Good afternoon,
While restoring a historic home in Dana Point, Ca I came accross a box labeled “Original War Poetry”. I purchased the home from the original family. The home had been in the family since it was built in 1928. This poem was located in an envelope on original typewritten rice paper in destressed condition. The author appears to be ‘John Hollings Kinkade’ a WW1 Pilot in France and Italy. A founding father and original family in Dana Point, Ca.
This poem and others in the same envelope appear to be original and in fair to poor condition. They are available to be appraissed as to originality. Feel free to contact me for a color copy of my original plus history on the possible author. Johnny Fotsch “Orange County Conservative Business Leaders Assn”. occbla.com
32 posted on 05/27/2010 3:15:43 PM PDT by johnnyfox (Johnny Fotsch "Founder" occbla.com)
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To: johnnyfox

I had forgotten all about it and can’t remember who it was who gave it to me in the first place. Thanks for the offer.


33 posted on 05/27/2010 5:16:52 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes (No matter where you go there are always more stupid people.)
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To: Past Your Eyes

I think my grandfather may have?????? I just found this handwritten in my fathers basement. I started to search and found this. Maybe he just copied it but I know he used to write poetry and this reflects his feelings on the WPA.


34 posted on 08/06/2010 4:57:04 PM PDT by What a poem (Rejected Poem Author)
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To: What a poem

Interesting. Welcome to FR.


35 posted on 08/07/2010 8:02:41 AM PDT by Past Your Eyes (Some people are too stupid to be ashamed.)
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To: Past Your Eyes

The author of the Poem “Rejected” is Gordon Bennett. I found the poem inside a 1935 copy of Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here. There are also some notes by Mr Bennett in the back of the book.


36 posted on 11/03/2010 7:46:58 AM PDT by Seeker1
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To: Past Your Eyes

I think I may have found the original writing. I found a very old piece of hand written paper with editing that is this poem. It is titled “Rejected” and signed by Mouse Smith. Does anyone know who this is?


37 posted on 07/12/2013 2:26:28 PM PDT by thewojoes1
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To: thewojoes1

And this thread comes back to life again. Wow!


38 posted on 07/13/2013 6:18:40 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes (You can't force people to care.)
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