Friday, October 10, 2008


I've been listening to some of FDR's "fireside chats" from the 1930's (you can find them on YouTube.) The intelligence, forthrightness, and confidence in these speeches is remarkable, especially in comparison to what we have today. It's sort of like hearing in your mind the wise, knowledgeable voice of your parents telling you that no, there aren't any monsters under the bed (or the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi reassuringly saying "Use the Force, Luke.") Even when talking about epidemic economic failure, completely unheard-of governmental actions, the need for massive national sacrifice, and the threat of Nazis controlling the world, FDR managed to sound convincingly calm. It also seems, back then, that people wanted reassurance that their national leaders were smarter than the average person. Nowadays, it seems rather the opposite: Americans don't think their politicians have their best interests at heart, so they want politicians no smarter (or, even, dumber) than than they are.

Anyway, I think we could use a guy like that, now. I don't care if he did go to Groton, Harvard, and Columbia. I'd risk letting a smartypants run the country again.


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