|“This is, in short, a time which begs for true leadership.” Letter to a new President, Page 56
,“Presidents have for years been giving Saturday radio address, but these have as much in common with Roosevelt’s eloquent, earchingly composed address as a form letter from a ntional politkical party has with a handwritten love letter.” Letter to a new President, Page 61
“Above all, they require a national figure that can treat them with dignity and honesty and trust them to understand the real problems of this nation and world, not merely cook up faniciful scare schemes.” Letter to a new President, Page 63
|Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said we have nothing to fear but fear itself. He could talk with the loftiest of ideals and rhetoric, but always sought to address his speech to the commonsense of the everyman. FDR was always honest to the American people, never condescending, something that should shame the Bush Administration. For all the threats we face from zealots hiding in caves, the only people who can undermine our democracy is ourselves.We must always watch against our leaders, our own government, turning our democracy into a nation known for torture, the abandonment of law and the embracement of extreme actions based on irrational world views.
Fear mongering and scare tactics have been a cycle without end. Since fear works so well, it will take the rare politician to end it. For all the dangers in the world, from Osama bin Laden to those homegrown, now is the time which begs for a true leader to step up and show the audacity to speak straight to the American people and end the cycle.I hope that leader is you, new President, and might I suggest that you citing the words of FDR in your own inaugural address. “This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly,” he said. “….So first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance… support of the people themselves [is] essential to victory.” New President, that support is what you must now ask for and receive.
It was once said that we were the child of Europe, but we are no longer a child. As we approach middle age as a country, we’ve lost our youthful innocence, pride and our ideals have given way to doubt and a loss of optimism. FDR never lost his optimism, and through him, neither did the American people. Through the radio, he reminded us of the foundation of our great principles, the Constitution.
The hijacking of Democracy under Bush succeed where all other attacks failed. We must restore the constitution to it’s place of honor. To move forward we need to do more than accept the damage done, we must actively seek new consensus on the problems we face and the methods on how we solve them. I don’t believe we as a country will ever grow beyond our optimism.
Eight days after his inaugural address FDR gave another memorable talk, a folksy down-home talk over the new medium of radio. That was the first of about 30 such speeches he gave in what called his “Fireside Chats.“ It might be hard to imagine in our current world of instant information that a nation would wait for the familiar voice to come on the radio and staking so very much on every word. But I was there, I remember it. I remember how his words could imbue the people with optimism. His voice conveyed integrity and humanity, and everyone believed him. He was more than a President. New President, the American people crave a leader who can let in the light on our fears, a leader who can treat them with dignity and honesty, trust them to understand the real problems we face. Look to the American people and trust them, you will not be disappointed.