Craig Dunn: Pondering FDR on the way to the Trump Memorial
Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:15 AM
KOKOMO – Some good news for my liberal and Democrat friends suffering from DTIBS (Donald Trump Irritable Bowel Syndrome.) Someday, maybe just someday, your grandchildren and great grandchildren will take a trip to Washington, D.C., to see the newly constructed President Donald Trump Monument. While I was in our nation’s capital for the inauguration, I began the process of scouting locations for the Trump Monument.
There’s a yuuuuuuge green space between the Roosevelt Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial that would be a perfect location for a bigly monument to the accomplishments of Donald J. Trump. When I say bigly, I mean bigly. I’m talking at least two tons of monumental bronze hair!
For those of you who have spent the time since Nov. 8 wailing, moaning and living in a perpetual purple haze of melancholy funk, I say, “Take heart. If historians can make Franklin Delano Roosevelt worthy of his own memorial, there may be an equal opportunity for President Donald J. Trump.”
To prove my point, I have prepared a suitably one-sided argument slanted to illustrate my case. Helping me in this effort are three of the best mainstream media headline writers in existence today: Phil O. Dendrun of the New York Times, Seymour Butts of the Washington Post and Gertrude A. Pacolypse of the Huffington Post. I’ve asked these masters of disasters to craft headlines to go with true stories from the great Franklin Roosevelt’s tenure in the Oval Office, written as if it was Donald Trump they were writing about. I will provide you with the stories to match the headlines.
For those Millennials who might wonder where information like the following is found, I would direct your attention to these amazing low tech inventions called books.
Roosvelt campaigns using trite slogan that appeals to populist voters: Franklin Roosevelt campaigned using the theme of “Happy Days Are Here Again.” It went with a melody and was the centerpiece of his election strategy. It would have looked good on a red baseball cap and a t-shirt.
Roosevelt bypasses media by using new technology: FDR used a relatively new technological development, the radio, to carry his message directly to the American people. He believed that he could communicate his thoughts better directly through his Fireside Chats than by trusting his message to the print media. Trump has Twitter, but Roosevelt had the fireside sitter.
Roosevelt cabinet comprises mainly white males: Despite pandering to both women and minorities for their votes, Roosevelt had little diversity in his cabinet, the only woman being Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins.
Experts shocked that Roosevelt wants to pay people not to work and farmers not to farm: Various New Deal programs involved providing workers with income for little or no work. Farmers paid to let fields lie idle in effort to stabilize farm prices.
Thousands of poor citizens forced to leave homes for FDR dam project: The Tennessee Valley Authority uprooted thousands of citizens from their homes to make way for massive flood-control and power-generating dam projects.
Roosevelt appoints KKK supporter Hugo Black to U.S. Supreme Court: FDR appointed former KKK member Hugo Black to the Supreme Court despite the fact that he did not believe in a Constitutional right of privacy and fashioned himself a “tectualist” when it came to interpreting the Constitution.
FDR joins Hitler in snubbing Olympic champion Jesse Owens: Roosevelt invited white Olympic champions to the White House in 1936, but refused to invite Jesse Owens, the hero of the games, because it would anger Southern Democrats. As Owens put it, “Hitler didn’t snub me; it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send a telegram.”
Roosevelt seeks to trash constitution by packing Supreme Court: Frustrated with his inability to get many of his legislative initiatives past the Supreme Court, Roosevelt proposed the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937. The main provision of the legislation would have granted the president power to appoint an additional justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, up to a maximum of six, for every member of the court over the age of 70 years and six months.
Roosevelt joins racist Democrats in opposition to Republican anti-lynching legislation: Yes, it’s true. FDR opposed Republican legislation against lynching of blacks. Roosevelt feared it would anger much of his political base.
FDR condemns Jewish immigrants to clutches of Nazis: In 1939, Roosevelt turned away over 900 German Jewish immigrants who were trying to escape Adolph Hitler. They were passengers on the S.S. St. Louis. It sailed up and down the Florida coast hoping for permission to save its human cargo. Roosevelt refused entry and ordered the Coast Guard to repel the ship. It has been estimated that as many as a third of the passengers eventually died in death camps during the Holocaust.
Roosevelt sits idly by while France is conquered and England brought to her knees: Wishing to remain neutral, a politically popular position, FDR failed to offer any support or assistance to either France or Great Britain. Roosevelt initially turned down Churchill’s plea for the lending of surplus American naval vessels.
FDR refuses help to Jewish immigrants by allowing 1941 immigration quotas to go unused: Chuck Schumer and Lady Liberty will really cry about this one. FDR turned away Jewish immigration requests even though current immigration quotas were unfilled.
Roosevelt sleeps while Pacific fleet is sunk by surprise at Pearl Harbor: Even though Roosevelt knew that war with Japan was imminent, he failed to adequately inform his Pacific forces of known intelligence.
Helpless Japanese-American women and children forced into concentration camps: Amid fear over issues of national security following the attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR ordered lawful Japanese-American citizens interned in concentration camps.
FDR renegs on 1940 election promise to civil rights leader: In an effort to gain support from black political leaders, FDR promised to fully integrate the American armed forces. He failed to do so and left the task to Truman.
Disarray in the White House as Roosevelts sacks his second vice president: FDR first dumped Vice President John Nance Garner in 1940 over philosophical differences. Garner’s replacement, Henry Wallace, was sacked in 1944 for similar reasons. Wallace had distinct Communist sympathies and he was replaced with the relatively unknown and lightly regarded Harry Truman.
FDR refuses to bomb Auschwitz death camp and save Jewish lives: Even though intelligence reports informed FDR about the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, Roosevelt refused to allow the Army Air Corps to bomb the camps or the rail lines leading to the camps.
Doomsday clock turned up to one second before midnight as FDR prepares for the big one: Although Roosevelt left it to Truman to make the ultimate decision on the use of the atomic bomb, it was FDR’s willingness and determination to create a nuclear bomb that made the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki possible.
On May 2, 1997, the Roosevelt Memorial was dedicated. Despite many actions or inactions on FDR’s part, a grateful American people wanted to remember the man who led them through the Great Depression and World War II.
It takes the wisdom of time to divorce ourselves from the here-and-now daily evaluations of our president made by hysterical media elites and Hollywood celebrities and give the passage of time coupled with an examination of his collective body of work to make an accurate judgment as to his ultimate success or failure. Only time will tell whether Donald Trump ranks with Millard Fillmore or Ronald Reagan. Until then, can’t we just all get along?
As my wife and I were driving to the Reagan National Airport to return to Indiana, we passed numerous female protestors holding signs referencing our president and a part of the female anatomy. I wanted to direct the ladies to the Roosevelt Memorial where they might contemplate FDR and his five mistresses, including a distant cousin. I’m pretty sure that even though ole FDR wasn’t caught on tape discussing grabbing anything, with a stable of fawning mistresses, he was most likely grabbing something. In the long run, it just didn’t matter.
I certainly believe that Donald Trump will be a controversial president. Someone as bombastic as The Donald just won’t be able to escape the inevitable dust-up with both his friends and enemies. That being said, I also see the real potential for presidential greatness. Let’s just hope that the sideshow doesn’t deter us from making it into the big tent. For the sake of every American man, woman, child or gender neutral personhood, I sure hope that a monument to President Trump is built someday.
The biglier, the better!
Dunn is the chairman of the Howard County Republican Party.