Franklin D. Roosevelt

Mid April: The Loss Of America’s Two Greatest Presidents

Mid April is every year a reminder of the loss of America’s two greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

It has been 156 years since Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, shot on the evening of April 14, 1865, and dying the next morning, April 15, 1865. No assassination in American history was more profound in its effect on the nation then and all of the years since. It affected the Reconstruction of the Southern States, and race relations for the long haul.

And then, 80 years later, Franklin D. Roosevelt died of natural causes on April 12, 1945, 76 years ago, with World War II nearing its end in Europe, but the danger of extended war in Asia, but prevented by Harry Truman’s decision to utilize the Atomic Bomb on Japan four months after FDR’s death.

The effects of FDR, his New Deal programs, and his foreign policy still affect all Americans today in 2021.

This is a time annually to commemorate the leadership and deeds of Lincoln and FDR in American history, and their impact on the present!

76th Anniversary Of FDR Death, And His Impact On The Nation Continues!

Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away on this date in 1945, being the last President to die of natural causes in office.

The debate about many actions and policies of FDR continue 76 years later, but there is no doubt that his impact on the nation was the greatest of any President other than Abraham Lincoln.

Right wing critics still condemn FDR in so many ways on domestic and foreign policy, even in 2021, but can one imagine what the nation and the world would have been like if FDR had never been President?

So much of America today is based on FDR and the New Deal, and even those elderly citizens who are right wing conservatives, are not about to repudiate Social Security, and they all benefited in so many ways from FDR policies in other ways that many may not be even aware of.

There are certainly plenty of issues and policies that even an FDR scholar, such as this author, can find fault with, particularly the Japanese American internment, and the issue of the Holocaust, but in FDR’s defense, he was faced with a myriad of issues and also health problems that it is hard to imagine any future President handling the circumstances at the time any differently.

The What Ifs Of Recent American History

History short term and long term are affected by events that no one can predict.

There are so many “What Ifs” just in the past generation since 2000!

For example, if Al Gore had won the 2000 Presidential Election, it is debatable whether the September 11 attacks would have succeeded, and whether America would have gone to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, both engagements not fully ended, and causing the loss together of more than 7,000 American soldiers.

If the Democrats had been able to keep control of both houses of Congress in the last six years of the Barack Obama Presidency, so much more could have been accomplished in legislation, instead of by executive orders by President Barack Obama, and Obama might have been able to be as significant as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, who had massive margins in both houses of Congress throughout their time in office.

If Joe Biden had not lost his son, Beau Biden, in 2015, it is thought possible that he might have defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, and might have defeated Donald Trump, saving America from the literal nightmare of the Trump Presidency in so many ways.

Finally, despite all of the horrors of the Trump Presidency, if it had not been for the COVID 19 Pandemic and the incompetent and uncaring handling of that crisis, it is possible to believe that Trump might have won reelection, and that would make the one term nightmare so many times worse!

Foreign Policy Rears Its Ugly Head For Joe Biden

Every President enters office wishing to deal with domestic policy and change.

But invariably, foreign policy rears its ugly head much too often!

Woodrow Wilson came to office in 1913, not expecting the First World War I to break out in 1914, and bring us into that war in 1917.

Franklin D. Roosevelt came to office in 1933, wishing to deal with the Great Depression, but also had to deal with the growing Fascist threat of Japan, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy, and eventually, entrance into World War II!

Harry Truman came to office in 1945 to end World War II, but had to deal with the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and send troops to Korea.

John F. Kennedy came to office in 1961, and had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Lyndon B. Johnson came to office in 1963, wanting to promote the Great Society, but also had to deal with the Vietnam War.

Every other President in modern times has had to face similar issues, and now, Joe Biden must deal with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran as major headaches, as he tries to resolve the COVID 19 Pandemic Crisis!

The American Rescue Plan Act Of 2021 Hearkening Back To Strong Actions Of FDR And The New Deal!

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is seen by many observers as hearkening back to the strong actions of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal nine decades ago.

For sure, the present COVID 19 Pandemic and the economic collapse that has occurred due to this crisis, has created the most dangerous and worrisome moment in American government since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Before this, the Great Recession of 2008-2009 was the worst economic moment, with Barack Obama accomplishing the greatest economic revival over his eight years, that we have seen in American history.

But now, his Vice President, Joe Biden, is moving ahead to promote structural changes in the American economy and work to promote a major attack on poverty, unseen since the Great Society War On Poverty of Lyndon B. Johnson, six decades ago!

Joe Biden Perceived By Many Observers As Potentially Transformational, As Was FDR And LBJ

It may be hype, but many political observers, impressed with President Joe Biden’s fast start in his first 50 days, are speculating that the 46th President could be a transformational President, in the mold of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.

One such viewpoint is expressed by NY Times Columnist David Brooks, who is a conservative, but sees elements in Joe Biden to unite the nation, as has occurred with the just signed COVID 19 $1.9 Trillion legislation today, which is seen as a law that will have a great effect on taking many people, including children, out of poverty, along with essential aid to small businesses, state and local governments, and the rapid availability, now said to be on May 1, of COVID 19 vaccine for all adults.

Joe Biden has surprised many in his ability to draw Republican registered voters to be totally supportive of assistance this legislation provides, even as Republicans in Congress refused to support the legislation, but are already claiming credit for some of the programs and aid being distributed rapidly, starting this weekend.

There certainly is great optimism, on this anniversary of the declaration of the COVID 19 Pandemic a year ago today, after the horrible loss of 525,000 Americans, the greatest loss in one year in American history!

Time To Raise The Federal Minimum Wage To $15 In Stages By 2025!

The last federal minimum wage increase occurred in 2009 during the first year of the Obama Presidency.

That minimum wage was $7.25, and yet, 12 years later, there are those who oppose an increase after more than a decade.

It is true that many states have a higher minimum wage, but it is more than past due to raise the federally mandated minimum wage in stages to $15 by 2025.

It is not as if there is a call for an immediate jump, but over four years, it is not too much to demand!

There are millions of low paid wage earners who cannot support themselves, and if the minimum wage had been based on the cost of living since its inception in 1938 under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the minimum wage now would be $24!

So the Democrats need to push through this legislation, maybe separately from the COVID 19 Pandemic legislation, with or without much Republican support!

One Month Anniversary Of The Biden Presidency: Tremendous Initiatives And Goals And Early Success!

It is today one month since Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States, and there is a sense of great optimism.

The basic decency, compassion, empathy of Joe Biden is very evident, and he has staked out goals in foreign policy and domestic policy, canceling out most of the damage done by Donald Trump in his horrendous four years in office.

Biden has embraced NATO and our democratic allies in Asia;

has made clear that America will hold authoritarian governments around the world accountable for their outrageous violations of basic freedoms;

has selected an exceptional group of Cabinet and other advisors to deal with the myriad of issues he faces, greater than anyone since Franklin D. Roosevelt nine decades ago;

has committed himself to the fight against climate change;

has dedicated himself to the need for immigration reform, and to protect DACA recipients who have been living in uncertainty for the past five years;

has worked to promote the environment and conservation after the worst environmental record of any American President;

has been moving forward on a major economic relief bill;

has surpassed his goal of daily vaccinations against COVID 19 and made it a national commitment, not just left up to states alone;

has made the fight for civil liberties, civil rights, and the struggle against racism, nativism, misogyny a major commitment;

has endorsed full protection for the gay and lesbian community;

and above all, has restored the dignity and prestige of the American Presidency which was in rapid decline.

Joe Biden may not be able to accomplish everything he wishes, due to political realities, but his heart is in the right place, and he clearly is out to promote progressive goals and work against domestic terrorist groups which endanger American democracy.

No Donald Trump Highway, Library, Holiday, Or Any Other Honor!

The Crazy season has begun, now that Authoritarian Fascist Donald Trump, who provoked the US Capitol Insurrection on January 6, 2021, is thankfully out of office, and not the constant news item he was five plus years after he announced his Presidential campaign in June 2015.

So now in Florida there is a proposal to name the US 27 Highway, Donald Trump Highway, and to have a Donald Trump Presidential Library in Palm Beach County, where Mar A Lago, his resort, is located.

Also, in Ohio, there is a proposal to make Trump’s Birthday, June 14, which is already Flag Day, a state holiday in his honor.

All of these preposterous ideas should be vetoed, and a Presidential Library and Museum for a criminal, responsible for promoting so much harm and damage, is an outrage!

Any documented material of the Donald Trump Presidency should be owned by the US Government, and none of it should be made available in any way, particularly national security matters, to the former President or his family members!

We need the truth, the unvarnished truth about this monster, to come out, not a landmark established to “worship” him as if he was a God!

One must understand, it is one thing to name places, buildings, holidays, after our greatest public leaders, so to have honors for George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan, and others is fine.

But do we name places, buildings, holidays after Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, or Richard Nixon?

The answer is obvious!

Mitch McConnell Has Conceded Democrats Control Senate With 50-50 Tie, A Major Step Forward!

After five days with a stalemate in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell has conceded that the Democrats and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer control the Senate with a 50-50 tie, allowing the opportunity for progress, after standing in the way of approval of Cabinet members expeditiously.

The Donald Trump Impeachment Trial will start in two weeks, and work will begin on the COVID 19 Pandemic legislation, and the confirmation of all of the Cabinet appointees of President Joe Biden will now move forward rapidly.

Joe Biden wants a very activist first 100 Days, possibly the greatest since Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal in the years of the Great Depression.

This is a time for optimism and hope as we move forward!