In this existential crisis we can learn from FDR



As the virus spreads, who knows what awaits.

All of us anxious of ominous fates.

To FDR look

When at war how he took

Command without saying ” Depend on the states.”


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  • Not correct. From an an official source Roosevelt had called up the National Guard in anticipation of entering the war.

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm not sure what you claim to be incorrect. September, 1940 was the beginning of massive mobilization. That was the month when the Selective Service Act was passed and the military draft began. It was also the month when FDR "federalized" many National Guard units, taking them out of state command and placing them under the
    president's commander-in-chief powers.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    "I'm not sure what you claim to be incorrect."

    That FDR didn't depend on the states. He apparently couldn't mobilize without federalizing state troops.

  • In reply to jack:

    FDR depended on all Americans to step up to the dire challenges of the Great Depression and the subsequent World War.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Including the governors.

  • In reply to jack:

    The regular army was so small in 1940 that the addition of the National Guard nearly doubled it in size. FDR could have expanded the army without them through the draft, but this would have taken a long time before the draftees were ready for service. It was FDR who decided the mobilize the state militias, not the states themselves, and not their governors.

  • Yes, FDR took decisive command and did not say that the states and cities should act first and that he would back them up.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Decisive command. How I miss it, in place of changing "truths" every few days and insisting he hasn't changed at all.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    The last I knew, governors do not have the power to wage foreign wars. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 confers on Congress the power to declare war, and Article II, Section 2, makes the President Commander-in-Chief.

    Governors have inherent powers relating to public health. Admittedly the feds have messed up, but would you rather follow the example of Modi and shut down the whole country?

  • In reply to jack:

    I don't know whether, at this point, the Modi operandi is a good idea or not.

  • BTW, I think this is the third time you attributed something to FDR that didn't hold up. Also it appeared that the US was indecisive until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

  • In reply to jack:

    "When he took office, nearly a third of America's workforce was unemployed. Many banks were closed and tottering on the brink of collapse. Business confidence was broken, the nation was rudderless. At his death, the US was the richest and most powerful nation on Earth, the position it has held ever since. Few historians doubt that Roosevelt deserves a large part of the credit for this achievement. Although some of his policies remain shrouded in controversy, he mobilised the American genius in a way few of its leaders have matched, either in peace or war." Max Hastings


  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Too independent. While he did get things constructed by the WPA, most sources indicate that that was insufficient stimulus. Your reference to "At his death" establishes only that the actual stimulus was the need for war material. The current talk about the Defense Production Act hearkens back to when Ford, Dodge, Willys, etc. were conscripted to make aircraft and jeeps (leading to such things as the name of the Ford City neighborhood).

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