In an op-ed appearing in Time, Frankin Roosevelt’s grandson, Frank Roosevelt, cites FDR’s words, that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Acknowledging the truth of this, he says, there is only one logical step to take:
“On one hand, we can choose a candidate who is thoughtful, steady, and hopeful about America’s future and wants to work together with everyone to build it. On the other, we can choose a candidate who plays off fear, offering policies of hate and division that risk tearing our country apart.”
Frank Roosevelt’s praise of Hillary Clinton is unstinting. He explains,
True leaders believe in the strength of their people. Hillary believes that the American people can weather any storm if they do it together. Over the course of her illustrious career, she has demonstrated the toughness, compassion, and temperament that one must have to meet the challenges of the highest office in the land. She knows that leadership is not about being the loudest voice in the room—it’s about having an open mind and a steady hand. And just like my grandfather, she’s determined to bring everyone together. She believes that in this great country it is our duty to ensure that no one is left out and everyone has a fair shot at success, especially our children.
Roosevelt’s coalition fell apart after his death in early 1945. Conservatives who had long bridled at the threat to the old status quo posed by the New Deal, were quick to organize and attack. A lesson that can be taken from this is that it is more difficult to bring people together than it is to tear them apart.
As a result, our country endured McCarthyism and Hollywood blacklisting. There were anti-communist witch hunts and the pervading wisdom of the era was that there was no effective difference between liberals and communists.
Our nation saw ideological tests. Trump wants to bring those back. He wants to introduce a new generation to the horrors of McCarthyism.
Donald Trump is capitalizing on these old fears and animosities. Like Republicans then, he claims he wants to make America great again by “taking it back” from subversive foreign elements. As then, so now, as Trump points to globalism (which he once advocated) and Jews (international banking) as the enemy.
Frank Roosevelt points out that,
“When it comes down to it, Trump has made clear he does not believe in the biggest asset of America—our people.”
Unless they’re Trump’s angry white base. Like the Republicans of the McCarthy era, Trump does not see anyone who is not white and at least ostensibly Christian as deserving of our country’s blessings.
As Frank Roosevelt says, Hillary Clinton embodies FDR’s spirit while Donald Trump uses fear “in order to benefit only himself.”
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.