I’m a progressive. I like Roosevelt. I think his policies are great and just what this country needs. But he’s selling America a pipe dream.
Change in America comes slow. It’s a sad reality, but it’s one we have to face.
We’re coming off of one of the worst depressions our nation has ever known. And while this happened under a Republican President, Herbert Hoover, it’s also wise to remember that the Republicans hold a majority in both houses.
Roosevelt is promising change. He’s campaigning on promises he will never be able to act upon. The Republicans will never work with him and it will be impossible to unseat them. Change is slow.
He’s reaching out to ethnic minorities and the religious groups that are constantly maligned by the conservatives. I think that’s excellent and I hope this trend continues! I don’t believe it will be enough for him to overtake the establishment Democrat, Al Smith
, but I’m glad he is there to push Smith further to the left.
Roosevelt is doing some unthinkable things, that although I support, just aren’t tenable. He wants to make alcohol consumption legal so that we can tax it. That just won’t happen. Not right now. Maybe a decade or two down the road. But we’re just not going to repeal an amendment to make it legal. Now Smith personally may believe that prohibition needs to be repealed, but he’s pragmatic. He realizes that it’s a long way off.
He wants to regulate the banks and Wall Street, and also create an insurance program for banks called the FDIC
. I agree that should happen. I think all great Americans agree with that as well. He wants to take the unemployed in our nation and give them government jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. He wants to create a minimum wage. He believes we should take care of our elderly through providing them a guaranteed wage called Social Security. He wants to push through all these government programs, but let’s be honest: how are we going to pay for them?
While I’m a huge fan of what he’s proposing, let’s be honest. He’s not going to pass through the partisan gridlock. It would take an overwhelming voter revolution to accomplish these ends. Both houses of Congress would have to return to Democratic majority, and then you would have to elect Democrats who have the same vision as FDR.
Let’s think about it. We need a pragmatist. We need a Democrat like Al Smith. Now, I know he’s got baggage. He’s a Catholic, which is scary to some of the Protestants in our nation, but I think it’s something that can be overcome. He’s worked his way through the New York political machine. He does have ties to corruption in the establishment, but honestly who doesn’t? That’s just part of the game. (Well, except FDR, who has actively fought the corrupt establishment of the Democratic Party since 1910. But he’s an outlier, a dreamer, and unrealistic.) Nonetheless, Smith is the candidate we can elect, despite FDR being the one we need. Smith has championed safe working conditions, pushed for and succeeded in getting strong labor laws in New York, and was successful in getting rights of compensation for working women and children.
Smith knows how to reach across the aisle and get things done. He doesn’t sell us on what America should be, despite us knowing one day we may achieve those ends. He tells it like it is.
Smith is healthy. He has the tenacity and endurance to make it through, not just the election but, the four years of governing. That takes a toll on anyone and I’m just not sure that Roosevelt, who was afflicted by Polio a mere decade ago, will be able to see through beyond the election season in the most demanding job in our nation.
I could go on but I shan’t. I like Roosevelt. I truly do. But he’s selling us a whole lot of promises with no way to pay for them. Wall Street will never let us raise taxes. The banks have a stranglehold on Congress. And getting the turnout necessary to fight for the reform Roosevelt is talking about is unrealistic.
It’s 1932. Let’s put Smith in office. He’s the pragmatic Democrat who knows how to get realistic accomplishments done.