For my first blog post in 7 years, I am more than happy to give the first word to Franklin Roosevelt. Above you will find an excerpt from a speech given at Madison Square Garden on the eve of his landslide 1936 re-election. That year (and in his 1944 2nd Bill of Rights speech), FDR came as close as any major presidential candidate ever has to articulating social democracy in an American idiom. Of course, he then followed it up with the austerity measures and budget cutting that caused the 1937 'Roosevelt recession,' a mistake President Obama appears to be making too. FDR then learned his lesson. Will Obama?
You might also enjoy FDR's June 27th, 1936 speech accepting the Democratic nomination. It was given at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, just a block or two away from my old digs at Penn:
FDR, Acceptance Speech, June 27th 1936, Philadelphia PA
- Mark Santow
- I am Associate Professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. I am also the Academic Director of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, in New Bedford MA. Author of "Social Security and the Middle Class Squeeze" (Praeger, 2005) and the forthcoming "Saul Alinsky the Dilemma of Race in the Post-War City" (University of Chicago Press), my teaching and scholarship focuses on American urban history, social policy, and politics. I am presently writing a book on home ownership in modern America, entitled "Castles Made of Sand? Home Ownership and the American Dream." I live in Providence RI, where I have served on the School Board since March 2015. All opinions posted here are my own.