As successfully as the Democrats seem to be repelling Bush's assault on Social Security, we still show no conception of how to turn our defensive entrenchment into a powerful counterattack. We cheer when one of our number tags privatization as an attack on Social Security's legitimacy, but what about on the legitimacy of government?
For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.
For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace...business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me‹and I welcome their hatred.
But they are guilty of more than deceit. When they imply that the reserves thus created against both these policies will be stolen by some future Congress, diverted to some wholly foreign purpose, they attack the integrity and honor of American Government itself. Those who suggest that, are already aliens to the spirit of American democracy. Let them emigrate and try their lot under some foreign flag in which they have more confidence.
Head here and you can listen to FDR deliver that speech. It sends chills down my spine. What have we done, that we've gone from crushing Goldwater to allowing Clinton to close out the era of big government? I'm reading about the 1993 health care battle and I'm just stunned at how we let the special interests walk all over us, barely noticing until their foot finally found our throat and stomped down. In FDR's hands, their opposition was a positive; let them mass, it was his job to repulse their assault! In FDR's eyes, those who hated America's government hated America, unlike today, when believing in our country's government is somehow inimical to the ethos of this country. Which one is more logical? How the hell did we lose that rhetorical battle?