Skip to comments.The great moral failure of FDR
Posted on 03/12/2013 4:37:19 PM PDT by presidio9
On April 12, 1945, my grandfather approached me as I played outside and asked where my mother was. He looked stricken, and so I quickly followed him inside and heard him say words that made my mother burst into tears: President Roosevelt had died. My mothers grief and panic were so palpable her brother was fighting in the Pacific, her brother-in-law was fighting in Europe that it scared me. In our house, FDR was not merely the President. He was a god.
He is a god no more. His New Deal is no longer solely credited with ending the Depression World War II did that and the war in Europe was not won, as we all once thought, primarily by the United States but more so by the Soviet Union.
Yet these to my mind are trifles compared to the criticism that Roosevelt was passive in the face of the Holocaust. Its not that he did nothing, its rather that he did nothing much.
This accusation of immense moral failure is now being addressed by a new book, FDR and the Jews, by Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman. It sets out to find a middle ground and instead makes things worse.
It is a portrait of a President who, in the authors own words, did not forthrightly inform the American people of Hitlers grisly Final Solution or respond decisively to his crimes. This is a Roosevelt who almost always had a more pressing political concern and who stayed mum while a bill to allow 20,000 Jewish children into the U. S. died in Congress.
Roosevelt inattentively also permitted a cabal of heartless anti-Semites in the State Department to control the countrys visa policies. Desperate Jews, fleeing from the Nazis,
(Excerpt) Read more at nydailynews.com ...
I don’t think this is the columnist Richard Cohen from the Washington Post. I believe this is Richard M. Cohen of CBS and CNN, the blind guy married to Meredith Viera.
Lichtman is a conservative. I believe he was co-author of the book, The Media Elite, which used statistics and media-business expertise to expose the one-sided pinko-hood of the talking-hairstyle class.
Cohen, on the other hand, is just perennially annoying.
People don’t realize that Protestants voted against FDR in 1940 and 1944.
This IS the WaPo Richard Cohen. The piece is an Opinion reprint from WaPo last month.
One of the more egregious errors of FDR in 1942, was to put thousands of American citizens (who happened to be Nisei Japanese) into US concentration camps and allowing private citizens and states like California take over all their property, homes and farms. The camps were terrible places where the men, women and children lived in tarpaper shacks, behind barbed wire fences guarded by US troops.
Right. Also, Protestants elected Hitler Chancellor in 1933.
Not all of them. My Methodist in-laws still worship FDR and the Democratic party. It’s like they were lobotomized early in life and cannot think independently.
Weird, extremely weird, Americans only vote in America, don’t tell me FDR is a hero of yours.
Most conservatives would be pleased as punch to learn that Protestant Americans were fighting FDR’s left wing presidency.
And I am. But I am also capable of differentiating between nationality and religious affiliation. You should try it some time.
Good Lord, of course not all of them, and your in-laws must be pretty old to have voted in 1940 and 1944.
In a Protestant nation, the majority of Protestants voted against FDR in 1940 and 1944, they had only voted democrat twice before then and have voted democrat once since then, that is a good thing.
You aren’t making any sense at all, Protestants voted against FDR in 1940 and 1944, why would that get your back up?
One of my favorite All In the Family exchanges:
[Maude refuses to get out of Archie’s chair] Well, I got the secret weapon that can lay this little lady right away. Here we go. This country was ruined by Franklin Delano Roosevelt!
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but Franklin Delano Roosevelt...
Archie, you promised never to say that name again in front of Maude.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt!
[to Maude] He don’t mean nothing. His whole family was for Roosevelt.
That was for two terms. But that was it. We didn’t know the guy was going to hold on to the job like a Pope!
Democrats have been riding Roosevelt’s coattails for a very long time. He was my dad’s commander-in-chief in WWII; a hero to my mother. I think my dad voted for Reagan once; but it took a lot for him to get off the reservation and do that. - They could never see what the Democrat Party was becoming; and now my aunt, the only one of them that’s left at 86, doesn’t like Obama at all; thinks he’s Hitler II, but thought the Clintons hung the moon. Still can’t get it to add up to what she sees now; but with Benghazi she’s finally seeing Hillary for what she is.
I don’t think you are understanding the term “Protestants.” It’s not really conducive to demographic umbrellas.
You made one heck of a memory catch with that, it sounds like the writers knew the numbers were, which is surprising.
Today that kind of voting knowledge is not common at all, in fact, knowing such things seem to be discouraged today.
The idea that the war ended the depression is simply the “broken window fallacy” expanded to absurd dimensions. Anyone who lived all alone would never imagine that having a window broken is anything but a loss but those who live in cities can somehow imagine that the broken window is good for the “economy”.
I used to believe that line about the war ending the depression but as I grew older I came to realize that war only destroys, if you could end a depression by destroying lives and property it would be a very strange depression. It is amazing that some still believe it but then some people seem to be able to believe almost anything as long as it makes no sense whatsoever. Two and two makes four they cannot accept but have some charlatan tell them that three plus one makes thirteen and they are okay with that.
The reason the Depression ended here, was that pretty much at the end of WWII we were the only industrialized country that still had their infrastructure pretty much intact.
Excellent point, but can we agree that FDR’s policies PROLONGED the depression?
What makes it much worse is that it was quickly realized that they had made a mistake, that the camps were unnecessary, but for really sordid political reasons, they left the Japanese in those camps.
Many farmers from Oklahoma and Texas had fled the enormous region struck by the Dust Bowl to head to California (as depicted in The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck).
By the time it was realized that the Japanese were not a serious threat, then California Attorney General Earl Warren strongly argued to FDR against their release, figuring that the Dust Bowl refugees were both bigoted and wanted the jobs the Japanese had held, and if he kept them in those camps it would help his future political ambitions. He also figured that those wealthy Californians who had taken their land would also back him.
He did not officially repent these actions until 1977, eight years after he had retired as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Here is a map of the German-American internment camps, distinct from the German POW camps. Some 5000 Germans were deported from South American countries to be put in these camps as well.
I couldn’t find a ready map of Italian American internment camps.
Alaska Natives living in the Aleutian Islands were also interned during the war; Funter Bay was one such camp