Last modified on August 4, 2011, at 03:06

Talk:Franklin D. Roosevelt

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FDR was a socialist, and probably the last US president to describe himself thus.

  1. FDR was perhaps the most openly socialist leader ever to occupy the White House, and his policies reflected a firm belief that government should control business and redistribute wealth. The Liberty Committee (a lobbying group)
  2. Many attacked Roosevelt as a socialist, but he ardently refuted these accusations and the principles of Marxism. In truth, Roosevelt did not despise big business. In fact, he realized that the trusts in the latter half of the nineteenth century had indirectly increased the standard of living for nearly every American. He did, however, dislike the power of the trusts and the fact that the American public had little control of them. Yet, at the same time, he feared giving too much power to labor. His Square Deal policies attempted to strike a balance between the two. [1]

There is controversy over whether he was socialist. --Ed Poor 05:43, 28 April 2007 (EDT)

Please don't delete the section on his decision to run for a third term before somebody writes an article on the Constitution in exile movement. I see the latter as absolutely central to modern conservatism, which is as much a reaction against Franklin Roosevelt as anything.

By the way, #2 above refers to THEODORE, not Franklin Roosevelt. Ironically, fans of Franklin typically designate Theodore as the last great Republican President. #1 is interesting, but Roosevelt never said, "We desire not just equality in theory and opportunity, but equality as a fact and a result," as Lyndon Johnson did. Of course, Johnson didn't make Henry Wallace his vice-presidential nominee, either.

I believe it was with FDR that the Democratic Party moved from being a party of the uneducated masses to the representative of those segments of the elite which are pragmatic, yet a little jumpy. Whether one is a Democrat or Republican largely depends on which of the latter two adjectives one believes predominates.--User:Amyz 16:10, May 7, 2007 (EDT)

What does that thing mean when it says "specialized knowledge"? -Additioner 14:10, 9 July 2007 (EDT)


"Roosevelt" should not redirect here. There should be a disambiguation page that can specify which Roosevelt. DanH 22:43, 21 July 2007 (EDT)

Agreed. Bohdan 22:47, 21 July 2007 (EDT)

Theodore Roosevelt was also a famous President for another thing. -Additioner 14:02, 23 July 2007 (EDT)

  • The whole article needs to be moved. Again. Look at any history book or encyclopedia; he is never referred to as Franklin Roosevelt, but always as Franklin D. Roosevelt. Same for any are taken to Franklin D. on Google when you search plain Franklin. What were you guys thinking in re-directing it here? The template is wrong as well. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 05:42, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

Anatomically impossible act

This language obviously was cleaned up:

"In August 1939...Assistant Secretary of State Adolph A. Berle, disclosed that a Soviet espionage cell was operating in the State and Treasury departments that included Hiss and Harry Dexter White... The president coldly told Berle to perform an anatomically impossible act [2]

In keeping with our family friendly Commandments, should this be included? Rob Smith 22:22, 2 November 2007 (EDT)

  • IMO it could be safely paraphrased as "where the sun doesn't shine". Or the like, and link to the historically correct quote in the citations, eh? How is that for family-friendly and diplomacy? --şyŝoρ-₮K/Ṣρёаќǃ 23:11, 2 November 2007 (EDT)

conservative aspects

FDR has been described as one of the most conservative presidents, because he made just enough liberal changes to the role of the govt to save conservatism as a whole. Some say that without the changes he made, the U.S. risked a revolution, perhaps communist or fascist, like in several European countries at the time. I need to find a source for this, but I think it is worth adding. FernoKlump 17:17, 26 March 2008 (EDT)

Fourth term/ALP

The section on Roosevelt's fourth term states, "It was 825,000 votes from Earl Browder and Sidney Hillman's American Labor Party that gave him his majority." This is complete nonsense. Roosevelt's popular vote margin in 1944 was 3,594,987. In the Electoral College, a minimum of 6 additional (large) states would have had to have been carried by Dewey for the Republican to win the presidency. Dadsnagem2 13:55, 3 June 2008 (EDT)


I'd like a citation for this passage-

"Although Mr. Roosevelt was very popular, it has been argued by scholars and analysts then and now that many New Deal relief efforts actually helped to prolong the Great Depression. Mr. Roosevelt started the second wave of the massive expansion of the Federal Government and greatly increased American foreign aid. Some of these policies were coupled with a persistent high level of unemployment "

Term of Office

I would like to add a footnote to Franklin Delano Roosevelt's term of office section. Is there any way that this can be done? Mal 16:31, 21 June 2008 (EDT)


"While the Democrats were damning Hoover as a big spender" Was this meant to be a joke? It struck me funny, Hoover damn, ya'know? --Ṣ₮ёVeN 19:48, 13 November 2008 (EST)

No--that line appealed to a lot of conservatives who distrusted Hoover. Just like Democrats in 2008 attack Bush deficits. RJJensen 00:00, 14 November 2008 (EST)

focus on FDR

This article is about FDR and so I dropped all sorts of extraneous stuff. RJJensen 00:36, 22 April 2009 (EDT)

Complimenting your writing prowess is sort of like bringing those old coals of yore to Newcastle, Richard, but nevertheless a masterful work! Perhaps some of that extraneous material can be gathered into some sort of critique of the New Deal? Personally, I would like to see RobS's New Ordeal expanded, and perhaps some of the removed material can find a new life there? Thoughts? --₮K/Admin/Talk 03:10, 22 April 2009 (EDT)
thanks. The extraneous stuff is mostly about Communist spies and can go into another article. Libertarian criticism of the new Deal also should have its own article. RJJensen 03:56, 22 April 2009 (EDT)
I'll review it tomorrow, but as I remember it, much of the spy stuff crossover is in the Hiss article, maybe. Occurs to me encyclopedias need a new indexing system, perhaps not invented, that reads as a narrative, to help with logical progression learning......instead of the piecemeal method used for centuries. Oh well, educational methods are over my my pay grade! --₮K/Admin/Talk 05:21, 22 April 2009 (EDT)
I agree the Hiss article shows the way to handle this material.RJJensen 06:57, 22 April 2009 (EDT)


Because of the nature of the controversy later, i.e. policy subversion, the ambiguity of this statement, "He was a strong supporter of China" must be clarified.

I do not think it can be argued that FDR was "a strong support of Maoist China," or the Comintern, or the CCP, or the trusted appointees of his Brain Trust responsible for subverting his own policy. The Kuomintang was a signer of the Joint Four Power Moscow Declaration in October 1943 [3]; FDR spoke of the "Four Policemen" which was a reference to China under Chaing Kai-shek, not Mao. We need to be absolutely clear on this point, at this junction of FDR's bio, which China we are speaking about. Rob Smith 16:06, 30 June 2009 (EDT)

FDR talked a lot about his strong support for China, meaning Nationalist China (Chiang)...and he met Chiang in person and insisted on a UN security council seat for him. I don't think he ever mentioned Mao. RJJensen 17:54, 30 June 2009 (EDT)
So you agree, just as we distringuish between Wiemer Germany and the Third Reich, or Vichy France and the Free French, likewise we need to distinguish between Kuomintang China and Maoist China. Rob Smith 22:15, 30 June 2009 (EDT)
yes indeed I agree. in discussing WW2 every historian uses thr term "China" to refer to the country Chiang headed (and NOT to Mao's small area or to Japan's large area of control). RJJensen 17:15, 1 July 2009 (EDT)
I'm not certain of "every historian," and/or a claim of any one person claiming to speak for them all. But Conservapedia definitely needs to delineate the differance, and here is perhaps a very good starting point. Rob Smith 17:48, 1 July 2009 (EDT)
the FDR article just touches on China because there are lots of other topics to summarize, the articles on the KMT, Chiang. Mao, and China are the right places. RJJensen 18:18, 1 July 2009 (EDT)
"China" is ambiguous, and it masks the true nature of a domestic partisan controversy later. FDR lent specific moral and material support to a regime, the KMT, not a geograpical expression, "China." Rob Smith 18:33, 1 July 2009 (EDT)

ending the depression

There is no question that FDR ended the depression. the debate is whether he could have done so earlier. Would Hoover's reelection in 1932 have ended the depression earlier? no conservative historian has made that argument. RJJensen 17:13, 1 July 2009 (EDT)

Yes there is question that FDR ended the Depression. Just because he was president long enought to finally, finally see the Depression end does not mean that he was responsible for it ending. Faulty logic there.
No one is claiming that Hoover's policies were effective. Hoover was a RINO who was about to run as a Democrat with Roosevelt in 1920 and believed from his time under Wilson and Harding that government intervention was the best way to solve unemployment. In fact, economists blame the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill for severely worsening the Depression.

[4] [5][6][7] [8][9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

However, it is a red herring to suggest that Hoover's failure implies that Roosevelt was successful in ending the Depression. The Depression did not end until 1941. Unemployment was still 20% in 1938 and 15% in 1940. New Deal programs, like the WPA, CCC, TVA etc. simply did not make a dent in the unemployment in the 1930s. Liberals will argue, just like supporters of Obama's stimulus plan that implementation was not quick enough. I argue that such progams are inherently unworkable and unsustainable. World War II, a war that killed 60 million people, is what ended the Great Depression, not FDR's New Deal of the 1930s. Thus, I will revert back to a more neutral and less liberal introduction. I welcome any comment.


Brown25 20:13, 1 July 2009 (EDT)

There was at one time a citation to New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian, Journal of Political Economy, volume 112 (2004), pages 779–816, as well as an analysis published by the St. Louis Federal Reserve Board. Now there is some poll cited of supposed scholars (of course Haynes & Klehrs make a pretty good case about challenging any of the conventional wisdom among academics about the New Deal era. [18]) These may very be the same scholars researching the Slime Mold Beatle [19] commenting on subjects outside thier area of qualification. Such is the state of modern day scholarship. Rob Smith 21:10, 1 July 2009 (EDT)

anyone who want a conservative interpretation of the economics of the depression should read my articles, especially "The Causes and Cures of Unemployment in the Great Depression" (1989) RJJensen RJJensen 13:21, 2 July 2009 (EDT)
Thank you. I promise I'll review the material over the holiday and comment later. One question, please. You extend special thanks to Eugene Genovese; is this the same Eugene Genovese in Ron Radosh's (author of the ground breaking & definitive Rosenberg File} piece, Eugene Genovese:Rise of a Marxist Historian? [20]Thank you. Rob Smith 14:49, 2 July 2009 (EDT)
On Genovese--yes and no: It's the same person but he moved from being a marxist in the 1960s to a strong conservative in the 1980s (and today).see "The Genoveses find God" in National Review, Feb 24, 1997 RJJensen 15:00, 2 July 2009 (EDT)
Yes thank you. Recently I've finished Radosh's memoir, Commies and that's why the name jumped out at me. He says in the link you provided only two years earlier (1995) he still was an athiest, so huis conversion comes in the post-Soviet era. Nonetheless, the essay you cite authored by you dates from 1989. Rob Smith 17:36, 2 July 2009 (EDT)
I believe Genovese was still an atheist in the 1980s, but he had rejected the left and was already a conservative in terms of American history. We had a number of conversations starting about 1979 and I watched him move to the right.RJJensen 17:58, 2 July 2009 (EDT)
I've taken on more than I can chew at the moment; Sorry, but I'll have to put the above piece on hold, but am going forward with the Joseph Lash bio. And thanks for the information you sent. Rob Smith 20:15, 5 July 2009 (EDT)
good luck! RJJensen 20:45, 5 July 2009 (EDT)
TY. On Joe Lash (this may not be the place to discuss this), I think it can be establish the AYC was established as a commie front in 1934; I see you reverted the portion about being a Comintern affiliate from the text, and elsewhere stated Lash quit "after the reds took it over" c. 1940. Is this in dispute whether it was in fact a commie front at the time of Lash's leadership, or are you simply looking for a cite? (You can respond at AYC/Talk). Thanks again. Rob Smith 20:52, 5 July 2009 (EDT)

"Criticism" section

The "Criticism" section at the bottom of the page seems to contain some truth, but it also seems really random, as if someone just tacked it on there just because it sounded nice and not because it fit with the article. It doesn't seem like it should go in the "Legacy" section, and seems more like a simple commentary than anything even mildly encyclopedic... I mean, no offense to the person who put it there; it's a NICE commentary, it just doesn't belong here. If there are no objections I think I'll remove it... --StoryMaker 16:20, 3 August 2011 (EDT)

It's a paraphrase of John Flynn, a contemporaneous critic. Rob Smith 23:06, 3 August 2011 (EDT)