(J.P.Morgan attacking photographers)
Of course, at the outset, I must admit that I hold no degree in history. I am by no means an expert on the subject. So, the following may be considered pure conjecture on my part. But, if there was ever a time in US history where integrity, truthfulness, forthright courage, and just plain intestinal fortitude were qualities so desperately needed to combat overwhelming forces of corporate-political graft, the overall perversion of our representative-social-democratic system wrought by massive, almost common-place, money-fueled influence peddling—while all of this being dangerously mixed with public ignorance and misguided anger fed by a corporate-controlled broadcast media—then I’m hard-pressed to come up with a comparison to what has transpired in the past 35 years. More specifically, coming up with a proper comparison to what has happened in the first decade, and continues seemingly unabated into the second decade of this new century, is a difficult task to perform in my little head.
Oh, one may tend to sight similarities to the days of the robber barons, while pointing out the oligarchic political shenanigans leading up to the Crash of ‘29’ and the first Republican Depression—and that would be a fair comparison. Integrity and courage were needed then, as well. Corruption and oligarchy were battled (or at least attempted to be curbed) legislatively with everything from measures like the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, an official Act which is still on the books, but goes unused and lies dormant like a traffic cop on valium, to the successful implementations of the New Deal. But, in this continuing post-New Deal era—arguably more so since the Reagan administration—where the corporate power elite, along with their right-wing hand maidens/enablers in
It is with all of this in mind I present a few examples of courageous and outspoken presidential moments. Words pronounced in defiance and earnest, speaking truth to power…resolute and strong in times of deep trouble.
Yes. Some channeling of courage, spirit and intestinal fortitude is most desperately needed right now!
Democratic National Convention (June 27, 1936) - click to hear entire speech
"These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power. In vain they seek to hide behind the Flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the Flag and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, they stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule and the over-privileged alike."
"For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent."
"We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
"They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
"Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.
"I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master."