Tag Archive: Franklin Delano Roosevelt


“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” – President Ronald Reagan

mountrushmore

Let’s imagine for a nanosecond or two the new Republican Congress and the Democratic President actually decide to embark on a genuine new era of bipartisan cooperation.

We are not talking about mere words that are quickly discarded, but actual deeds. These would be actions that could restore the tattered faith of the American people with those of infinite wisdom that reside and work within the contours of the Beltway.

Here’s an idea for a tangible-and-impressive undertaking, sending an unmistakable signal that a new spirit has arrived in Washington, D.C: Use the backdrop of the 2015 non-election year to pass and sign legislation to add 60-foot-tall likenesses of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan to Mount Rushmore.

The new lineup: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan – six consequential presidents who each earned and achieved the Mount Rushmore mantle of greatness.

FDRmedia

Would it be an easy vote for a GOP Congress to pass legislation to memorialize in granite the architect of the New Deal, the leader of the nation’s war effort against the Axis Powers, and the nation’s longest serving president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Absolutely not.

And likewise, would it take courage for President Barack Obama to resist the easily agitated progressive wing of his party to construct an iconic symbol of the man who restored national faith and took the critical steps to defeat Soviet-style Communism, Ronald Reagan? Yes, indeed.

That’s exactly the point here. Passing and signing this legislation to place Democratic and Republican icons side-by-side on Mount Rushmore will be extremely difficult, but don’t we as Americans specialize in monumental achievements (pardon the pun)?

Why FDR and Reagan for Rushmore?

Next year, it will be 74 years since the work was completed on the fourth and final face on Mount Rushmore: Teddy Roosevelt. The construction, which took 14 years to complete, was to salute the president who represented the birth of a new nation (Washington); one that spurred the growth of the new country (Jefferson); the one who saved the union and abolished slavery (Lincoln); and finally the president who founded the conservation movement and guided America into its role as an international power (T. Roosevelt).

The achievements of FDR and Ronald Reagan rise to the level of enshrinement on Mount Rushmore. Almost DailyBrett is not equating Franklin Delano Roosevelt with George Washington or Ronald Reagan with Abraham Lincoln. That’s not the point in any event.

What is germane is that both of these presidents came to the White House at times when the country was suffering a crisis of confidence: Roosevelt during the Great Depression; Reagan during the Great Inflation. Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy and Tojo’s Japan were the evil adversaries during FDR’s time. Reagan was pitted against the Great Inflation and the godless and expansionist Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

reaganatthewall

Historians with their usual histrionics will always debate the merits of FDR and Reagan, but what is indisputable was that America recovered from the Great Depression and the Great Inflation, and nationalistic Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia were all defeated. The conclusion: both FDR and Reagan were two of our nation’s greatest presidents.

Should Others Be Considered?

Harry Truman certainly is being treated well in the history books (he is more popular with historians than he was with the American people when he left office in 1953), but “Give Em Hell Harry” doesn’t rise to Rushmore immortality.

Dwight Eisenhower was a great commander of the Allied Forces in World War II, and he was an extremely popular president. Alas, there are more reasons to put Ike on Rushmore as a commander rather than a commander-in-chief.

John F. Kennedy tragically did not serve long enough in office to earn Rushmore enshrinement. LBJ was driven from office because of the Vietnam quagmire, and Richard Nixon was disgraced by Watergate. Gerald Ford? Historical accident. Jimmy Carter for Rushmore? Please.

The modern presidencies of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all fall way short of the standard for carving their likenesses into Mount Rushmore, which leaves FDR and Reagan.

This is not to suggest that FDR (Iron Curtain falling on Eastern Europe) and Reagan (Iran-Contra) were perfect presidents, and quite frankly, that is not the deciding factor. There is no doubt that FDR and Reagan were charismatic, leaders, who presided over consequential presidencies with real achievements that will stand the test of time.

Will the power brokers in Washington, D.C. take this monumental step to add the likenesses of FDR and Reagan to Mount Rushmore? Probably not. Nonetheless, the decision is warranted by history and it would be an even-more important signal that gridlock is not the only tangible outcome in our nation’s capital.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rushmore

http://www.jeanpatrick.com/mount_rushmore_faqs.htm

http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan

 

 

The label “Happy Warrior” is eternally associated with former Democratic Vice President and Minnesota Senator Hubert Horatio Humphrey (HHH), describing his relish for political jousting with a big smile of his face.

HHH

His biographer and personal physician Edgar Berman, M.D. in “Hubert” described Humphrey as a warrior who seemed to get happier even as the odds grew longer with the Vietnam War casting a dark shadow over his 1968 presidential campaign…eventually giving us Nixon and Watergate.

For Republicans, our version of the happy warrior immediately evokes memories of Ronald Reagan, “Morning in America” and references to “That Shining City on the Hill.”

As Nancy Reagan has said repeatedly: “He appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears.”

Portrait

As I look out upon the Doug fir trees that surround my hillside home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley as what stands for the sun in the twilight closes the Memorial Day weekend, I sense that yet another Strategic Inflection Point has descended on me. My goals of a predictable position and that very special woman…I know they are both out there…have eluded me for three years and seven years respectively. I am not growing any younger with each passing day.

I have faced down cancer, saw the same disease take my dear wife of 22 years, and then fought Valley Fever to a draw. I raised my daughter by myself for five years, and then moved my lounge act to Eugene…all in pursuit of an advanced degree and a teaching gig that may or may not help me in the end.

Both conventional and social media tell essentially the same story: A historically stubborn unemployment rate, just a couple of clicks under double digits; nearly 24 million unemployed and underemployed (doesn’t count those who have given up the hunt). There are more than 16 million underwater on their mortgages and 13 million vacant properties. The federal government alone is $16 trillion in debt and ditto to a certain degree for states and municipalities. The bill has come due in the form of too much spending, too much credit card debt and mortgages that cannot and never will be paid.

The party is over.

And yet I realize that in the face of my personal adversity and the monumental challenges facing our society that in many ways, I am one of the lucky ones.

What gives me so much inspiration are those rare people who never seem to have a bad day, no matter what happens to them or others. They may be burning up inside, but you would never know it on the outside.

Who wants to be around a “Gloomy Gus” or a “Negative Nancy?” I will take my cup half full thank you very much.

eeyore

Even though I don’t subscribe to his political leanings, I want to be that Happy Warrior or Hubert Horatio “Horn Blower” as Jimmy Carter once described him. In fact, everyone should be a Happy Warrior. We know that better days are out there. We know that the answer lies with innovation, ingenuity and entrepreneurship. We need to keep fighting, keep believing and keep smiling.

One of the great unattributed factoids that I learned in my Silicon Valley days is that 70 percent of the scientists that ever lived are alive today. One must let that statement sink in. Galileo, Copernicus, Salk, Einstein, Newton, Pasteur et al. have all bit the dust, but they only represented a mere fraction of the intellectual firepower of all the scientists that presently walk the earth. What will be the next killer app? Something tells me it will not be with social media and cell phones (albeit they remain vital), but with energy and health care.

I received some bad news Sunday as it applies to my academic career, which will inevitably prompt another decision, maybe taking my taco stand to another city…or maybe not. I also rekindled the flame with someone special on Saturday that reminds me to always maintain reasonable standards, but to never settle in life. When you are confronted with a negative and greeted by a positive, contemplate the latter with a big broad grin on your face.

Somehow, someway I will reach my goals. I will not do so by just focusing on the problem, but by casting my gaze to the horizon and coming up with the answer. I will use every bit of my modest talent and intellect to face down the newest challenge that comes before me.

Didn’t one president state the “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself?” I sense that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a confident smile on his face when he said it at his first inaugural in 1933 (even though believe it or not, it was way before my time).

I refuse to ever feel sorry for myself…there is nothing remotely attractive about whining and complaining. Instead, I know instinctively that I have to be that happy warrior no matter what else life throws at me.

Bring it on.

http://books.google.com/books/about/Hubert.html?id=AktIup4i-nwC

http://books.google.com/books?id=63r22RO3Z2kC&q=70+percent+of+the+scientists+that+ever+lived+are+alive+today&dq=70+percent+of+the+scientists+that+ever+lived+are+alive+today&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ckDET_2TE4mjiQKO5dHqBw&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/06/us-usa-economy-idUSTRE7BM0AB20120106

http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/24/real_estate/underwater-mortgages/index.htm

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=49092

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/

%d bloggers like this: