As he was running for President, the country had been under Republican rule for years. The economy was in shambles. Little had been done to effectively deal with the financial crisis that was resulting in continuous job losses with no end in sight. He ran on a platform of changing things in Washington and work with the Republicans. He had a contested primary for the Presidential Nomination. The feeling of the nation was turning against what the Republicans had created after years of deregulation and poor oversight of economic issues. People were complaining about the huge deficits being run up by the federal government. He won the presidency with a vast coalition of labor, blacks and other minorities. Prior to taking office he was the target of assassination plots from extremists who feared what he would bring to the White House.
During his first term, he had a full agenda of things he wanted to accomplish to make the country a more stable and better place for all. The economic collapse that begun under and due to Republicans that preceded him made his work difficult. Of course, the economic downturn was also world-wide. He wanted to govern under the principles of “relief, recovery and reform.” He regularly spoke to the American people and was ridiculed for it by the other side. They felt he was giving himself too much air time to feed his own vanity. He saw that Americans weren’t spending, placing money in the economy so he pushed for economic stimulus from the federal government to get things moving again. Initially Congress assisted, but later complained about how these government programs were increasing the national debt. Though there were signs of early success, things were not improving fast enough and the Republicans ran against him on a lackluster recovery in the following mid-terms. They also ran against him for the social programs and bank regulation programs he instituted with the help of the Democrats in Congress over the almost universal objections of the Republicans. Trying to work with the Republicans, he scaled back some of his stimulus requests in order to cut federal spending. As a result, some small gains were actually lost. However, recovery came back, but again at a slower pace than the country wanted to see. As he entered the end of his term, the Republicans felt they had him and ran against him on his “failed record” and increased deficit spending as it related to GDP.
The Republicans nominated a man who was a former Governor and who by all accounts was a “moderate” but to get the nomination presented himself as a conservative. He railed against the president about how his policies were hostile to business and a waste of tax payer dollars. The President was called a Socialist. The pundits all said it would be a close race. The country wasn’t satisfied with the President and what he failed to deliver from his first race.
I am of course talking about Franklin Delano Roosevelt who took office during the GOP depression created and perpetuated by policies of Herbert Hoover and his second run for the Presidency against Alf Landon. Despite the problems FDR faced and the “learned” opinion of the media of the time saying it would be a very close race and FDR could lose, Roosevelt ended up winning in one of the largest landslide in popular votes, states won and Electoral College votes. FDR took every state with the exception of Maine and Vermont. Further, there was a landslide of new Democrats being elected to Congress giving FDR a larger advantage than he had before in Congress.
After the election, it was determined that FDR, though seen as a socialist was still very popular in the country, especially over his opponent, Alf Landon. Further, Social Security was taking shape and hold and the people liked it and didn’t appreciate calls from the Republicans to repeal it. People saw that though the rate of recovery was slow, it was still a recovery and recognize that many of the problems in its success was obstruction from the GOP in Congress as well as the Supreme Court at the time. The American people were more aware than the media gave them credit for. FDR won in 1936. He won again in 1940 becoming the first President to win three terms. And he won in 1944. His economic policies, his handling of the War, his likability and populace leanings made him unbeatable. The country did so well under Democratic Rule; the GOP successfully changed the Constitution limiting a President to only two terms. Since FDR’s death, they continued to work to overturn or privatize Social Security. Though FDR was unable to get healthcare passed, his understudy in Congress Lyndon Johnson was able to get Medicare passed when he became President and the GOP has been working to eliminate that program too. When Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan say they want to strengthen both programs, you have to ask why they would want to do that when it’s been the policy of the Republican Party to this very day to repeal those programs.
ObamaCare is starting to take effect in much the same way Social Security took effect in 1936 and more and more people are seeing the benefits of it. Many insiders in the GOP are now acknowledging that it will not go away. Its popularity continues to increase as people learn more from it and experience its merits personally. What’s more, people are now seeing the open and unabashed obstructionism of the GOP in Congress. Not only is it likely President Obama will win re-election, he may be bringing back a Democratic House and a much more Democratic Senate as the centrists/independents of the country realize we cannot go back to the Republican policies that placed us in this mess in the first place.
Of course the key has been, and always will be voter turnout. People must register, ensure that they are registered, make sure they have the proper ID to thwart suppression efforts, and most important of all Vote. The higher the turn out, the more likely Obama and other Democratic Candidates will win. The GOP knows this and knows this is the only way they can hold on to any power in Washington. Don’t let them. Make sure you get your family and friends to also register, confirm, and get ID and vote. Give them all the assistance you can. What’s at stake?
Direction of the Supreme Court (populace centered or corporate centered?)
If you are for corporate control of Government and you, then do nothing. Otherwise get active and vote.