When people claim this may be the worst period in history, I beg to differ. I believe the period from 1929 to 1945 when we had a Great Depression, Dustbowls, Hitler, Stalin, and a World War that left 56 million dead is not comparable to today. Shutting down the government or losing your Food Stamps is not equivalent to being sent to a concentration camp or losing all of your possessions.
Derangements are nothing new whenever Republicans get elected from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump. Liberals go apocalyptic, with mass protests, mob violence, and prolonged hissy fits and temper tantrums. The Radical Left hasn’t changed. These are the same people that spit on soldiers coming home from Vietnam and couldn’t side with Americans when America was attacked during 9/11. The radical Left hasn’t changed, but social media has given them a bigger platform to spout their hate and propaganda.
While the hate and vitriol for Donald Trump and his supporters, sometimes can be frightening, it pales in comparison to the vitriol Franklin Roosevelt received. Roosevelt was so reviled by his enemies that one month before being sworn into office an Italian immigrant, Giuseppe Zangara fired five shots at the future president, missing him and killing Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, and wounding four people. In 1933, Major General Smedley Butler planned an attempted coup to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt. He was being challenged from his party by Louisiana Governor Huey Long, a charismatic speaker who ruled the state of Louisiana with an iron fist. He was Bernie Sanders before Bernie Sanders railing against the millionaires and billionaires until he was assassinated in 1935.
Where President Trump has Never Trump Republicans and The Radical Left, Roosevelt had a unique blend of Southern Dixie Crats, wealthy bankers and industrialists that detested him. His enemies were the who’s who of the privileged class, such as the Rockefellers, Henry Ford and George Bush’s father, Prescott Bush. His enemies were not just at home. Roosevelt had to deal with Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and Japan.
The 2016 election was a cultural war between Americans clinging to the traditions and norms which made American great; the Left believes all the things Americans love are inherently racist and need to be destroyed. Roosevelts 1932 election wasn’t a cultural revolution, but an economic and class one. Both the Right and Left believed in the Constitution and Judeo Christian principles. The arguments weren’t whether to destroy what works in America, but how can we preserve and improve on the American system.
While the Anti-Trump sentiment is a threat to American stability, our nation has been through worse. We are nowhere near the Great Depression, where unemployment was at thirty percent. During the Great Depression, the minimum wage was .25 cents an hour, but despite abject poverty, people weren’t homeless, families stayed together and didn’t starve to death.
As with Ronald Reagan, I consider myself a New Deal Democrat, but like Howard Schultz, today’s liberal ideal for big government when the economy is growing at 3% is ridiculous. During the Roosevelt era, the issue wasn’t inequality, but employment. Today, there are plenty of jobs available, but Americans are not trained to do them. We don’t need a big government agenda soaking the rich. Congress should do their job and go after corruption, however, the government should be getting out the way by deregulating industries and creating competition, so costs get lower and cheaper.
We don’t need a New Deal, but a transformation of our education system so the kids coming out of college will be ready for the jobs of the future. The Democrats during the New Deal didn’t push socialism or welfare entitlements. They pushed full employment. When the private sector fails to create jobs and reduce inequality, then the government can step in with infrastructure spending. You can solve a lot of entitlement spending by putting able-bodied people to work.
There should be a balance between the public and private. The government should tweak, not take over and intervene. The problem is normal; reasonable solutions don’t see the light of day while people such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez say insane things such as, “The world will end in 12 years or Ilhan Omar wanting to tax the rich at 90%. It’s not just on the Left. People such as Ann Coulter, who push narrow issues at the expense of what’s good long term, poison reasonable solutions.
Many reasonable Americans are looking for an off-ramp to the days of bi-partisanship and compromise. As Howard Schultz said, “The Democrats are not that off ramp.” They are pushing ideas that were suited for the 1930’s instead of the 21st century.
Jeffery is an award-winning writer, who has been published in the Washington Examiner and Street Sense Media. You can follow him on Twitter @Big_crusher1000.