Monday, November 5, 2012

Final Push: A Lesson From the Past

     The election is just one day away!  Millions and millions of dollars spent, countless hours on the trail, and volunteers across the nation have donated their time in the hopes of aiding their candidate to become the next president of the United States of America.  With the economy being the number one issue in this election, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back into our nation's history during a time with an even bigger economic crisis then what we are experiencing now - the Great Depression.
      In my opinion no president in the modern era has had a greater impact on our federal government and social structure than Franklin Roosevelt.  FDR took office during the most critical economic time in our country's history.  There was no question that drastic measures had to be taken in order to save our economy.  Roosevelt forced legislation through congress to get his initiatives passed.  FDR is famous for the New Deal and the court packing plan which was key to getting these policies forced through congress.  He created Social Security, the 40-hour work week, minimum wage, increased the size of the federal government by starting federal agencies, supported labor unions such as the AFL and CIO.  These are just a few of many policies passed by the Roosevelt administration.  The take off from these programs have had an enormous and lasting impact.  Seniors heavily rely on Social Security for retirement and federal agencies now regulate every aspect of our lives.  He was thought by some as a socialist due to his economic policies.  The fact is that the nation needed a drastic change and FDR knew this.  He completely reshaped our economy for the modern era in order to protect the middle class during a crippling time.
     Fast forwarding to today, the nation has faced record unemployment the likes of which have not been seen since Roosevelt and the Great Depression.  I believe that the same leadership and drastic policies need to be taken in order to save our economy today.  Some may say that the world has changed and is much more complicated now in terms of foreign policy with the pressing issues of Iran, Syria, and Libya, but Roosevelt was also president during World War II.  Some have called our president a socialist because of his policies, namely, the Affordable Care Act.  Bottom line, the nation needed a change then and it needs a change now and we need to forgo our previous notions and phobias of government.     
     Whoever the next president is, there must be better compromise between the congress and the executive.  This congress has had the worst approval rating at 11 percent.  This congress makes us miss the days of Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan or even Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich who came together on several occasions to work out deals and legislation.  We must look to the past in order to learn for the future and our predecessors have paved the way for us in the present day.  We need leadership and initiative in this age of growing angst and uncertainty.            

1 comment:

  1. Some would say that "looking to the past" is not the proper direction in which to travel. Democrats say that Republicans want us to move backwards and reinstitute the policies of the Bush years. Rather, the phrase, "Those that do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it" seems to be a better fit in this context.