The Love of My Life: I want to write an opinion about the love of my life who occupied the office of the US Presidency and who rises beyond the level of my critical expectation. I want to put on the record now, on my blog, and send it out to anyone who wants to read it what I have to say about the president I have loved above all others. An enormous emotion overcame me as I watch today the decay of our political system rotting from inside with petty bickering and partisan politics. I watch the hope of 2008 disintegrate before my eyes. So I will wax melancholy but state succinctly, I hope, whom and why I love a particular president, hold him high above all others and cried while standing at his grave in Hyde Park, New York.
Obviously, one does not have to be a David McCullough or a Doris Kearns-Goodwin to know that I LOVE (present tense) Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I have LOVED him all of my life and I, incredulously, never knew him. I knew only of him from the many things I have read and the deep adulation of even my very Republican father. My parents LOVED him and transmitted that love to me.
Was he perfect? NO of course not. Who is? I am sure many can tell me some of the less-than-lofty decisions that were made during his tenure and as Kearns-Goodwin, wrote about in "No Ordinary Time" over nearly 16 years of the Roosevelt presidency. I am able to recite a few as well. Some, who were born during his first administration, never knew anyone but him as president. They knew him well into their teenage years. I am fortunate I did not have to experience those dreadful times of the Great Depression and a world at war but IF I did I KNOW I would have felt as my parents did that FDR and the nation that elected him FOUR times would get us through it all and they were correct. He and they did.
I swoon when I read he welcomed the disdain of his Republican enemies and thought that fact was a TRIBUTE to him. He was NOT about compromise with small men who had small minds and cared only for their small upper class part of the world while they expectorated on the rest of America and sunk it into the Great Depression.
Paraphrasing FDR he said first we will try this and if that doesn't work we will try that but the IMPORTANT thing is to try SOMETHING. For the first time in the history of this country the poor, the disabled, the dispossessed, the elderly, the unemployed and the hungry felt a sense of hope that their government would help them in their hour of need. For the first time government WAS the SOLUTION and not the problem for social ills and its spawn of social injustice. This president, at that time, cared but could NOT have cared less about his Republican detractors who cared only for themselves and never knew government could, if the people wanted, fix a problem!
I could recite a PLETHORA of legislation and an abundance of programs from which we the people, the average people, the little guy benefit. Franklin Roosevelt was called a "traitor to his class." He laughed and considered that a compliment. I thank God for him. I think of him every day I am saved by programs such as Social Security he began and Medicare which followed later. I thank him every day for the MILLIONS whose lives he saved and for those who stand on this side of deep death because someone larger than life cared and showed that he did by the policies he wove into the tapestry of the American quilt.
There are those today who want to unravel every thread of that quilt and lead you to believe they are about you and the deficit. They are not. They do not care about most of you. They care about themselves and those who pave their way with gold into office. Still they call themselves patriots! Franklin Roosevelt, those who served under him and the people who elected him FOUR TIMES were patriots.
Thank you, President Roosevelt. I remember you today, I will remember you tomorrow and I will remember you every day I live and hope someone is out there who can use your example to save this country you helped forge but that is disappearing before my very eyes!