Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Everybody is a Liberal In Heaven."

Well, at least that's what FDR says.....yeah....THAT Franklin D. Roosevelt....

It seems our friend Steve over at Last Chance Democracy Cafe had a little chat with FDR the other night and the above caption was just PART of what FDR had to tell us.....

and really now, you didn't think I'd end without a few snippets of the conversation did you?

Here's part of it:

“The truth is,” he began, “there are only certain times when liberal advocacy has a ghost of a chance of making any significant headway in the United States . . . times when a majority of people are willing to look past their own selfish interests and give serious weight to the good of the national community as a whole. I’m not talking about wars of national survival like we faced in World War II, when, of course, Americans always rally ‘round the flag. No, this is about the willingness of people to sacrifice to make major changes in order to build a better, more just society. I was president at such a time, of course. So was Eleanor’s uncle, Teddy Roosevelt. And what I came here to talk about is the fact that I’m convinced . . . almost dead certain, in fact, that you’re entering into just such a time again today.”


“So you’re saying we’re at the beginning of a new liberal era?”

Franklin slammed his fist on the bar top. “No! I’m not saying that at all. Nothing’s guaranteed . . . nothing ever is. Even the New Deal didn’t have to happen. There was nothing written in the stars saying things had to turn out the way they did. The nation could just as easily have turned to the right in its panic, finding hope in a tyrant . . . the fabled man on a white horse. Progressive change doesn’t just happen. Those who benefit under an existing economic order, no matter how unfair, never give up without a fight. Never! Certainly, there are always individuals who, like me, are accused of betraying their class in order to help the downtrodden, but they will always be the exception. Every major progressive stride that has ever been achieved in this country . . . every single one, has come about as a result of a knock-down-drag-out fight.”

I finally understood. “That’s what you
were saying before about the power of political partisanship to bring about good, right?”

What a powerful message......

Okay. We all know that the Cafe is only virtual and the conversation with FDR is fictional....maybe... but the point is profound. Go along to get along will not rid the country of the creeping tyranny that the Bush adminsitration, or 12 years of a Republican-controlled Congress, or the eitght years of "Reganonmics" , or the George H.W. Bush era brought us. Change by its very nature is painful. And unless we're willing to take the stand and pay the price of the subsequent pain it inflicts, we will never see the fundamental change we need.

Even on our local level, we see a reluctance to engage in hard, partisan warfare but without it we will not go forward. Franklin (through Steve) makes the stakes very, very clear:

.... “Anyway, all of these people insisting that the Democrats should just try to get along and work out compromises with Bush and the Republicans, make no mistake, what they’re really calling for is surrender, pure and simple. Because the plutocrats . . . the same people who finance the GOP today, have one heck of a sweet deal going and they’re not going to give it up without a fight. They never do. Bipartisanship didn’t create the New Deal. And it won’t bring about the kind of major change that’s needed to return fairness to America today.”

Got it?

I can't help but imagine that if FDR were alive today that the very same conversation wouldn't have taken place...."click through" and read the whole entry...

As usual, Steve inspires us all.

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