December 30, 1933 - Editorial - From Roosevelt to Roosevelt, by George Lorimer

Two Presidents of the United States, both Roosevelts, were given a great opportunity, and both failed to grasp it. We must credit each of these Presidents with high ideals, a sincere purpose to improve conditions in their country, and with accomplishments of no mean order. But we must debit each of them with a failure. The book of the first Roosevelt was closed some years ago. That of the second is still partly open.

To Theodore Roosevelt came the opportunity to found a great liberal party. He made a beginning, but his motives were primarily concerned with his own political fortunes. Though his followers were a fairly heterogeneous group, there were many able and disinterested men among them. Given time and a steadfast leader, these men could finally have organized a party that was progressive in the best sense and that would have curbed many of the evils that have plagued us ever since. But when faced with temporary defeat, Roosevelt abandoned the party that he had fathered and wrapped the more comfortable cloak of Republican regularity about him.

The second opportunity came to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Both his preëlection speeches and the platform on which he ran encouraged the country to believe that under his leadership the Democratic Party might stand for a clean-cut, sensible liberalism - become a party that inclined neither to the extreme Right of reaction or the extreme Left of radicalism. What the country has is something very different from what it had the right to expect in the premises and promises. For the long pull we can see no health for the country in the Democratic Party as it is at present constituted and operated. It is against some kinds of privilege and for some other kinds. Every organized, articulate class is getting handouts in the name of recovery, some no doubt defensible, but others of more than doubtful value. The unorganized, inarticulate classes will pay the final bill.

We can see no future for the Republican Party as it is as present constituted and as it has operated. The only element that is content to go along with past policies of the party is the extreme conservatives. Its old leaders have not sensed the temper of the times and of the country if they think that they can come back on the strength of the mistakes of the Administration and the blunders of the brain trust.

Today we are in danger of making it a crime to disagree with those who hold ideas and beliefs contrary to our own. We have boycotts and threats of boycotts all over the country. If a man in public or business life disagrees with the ideas and methods of those in power, a cry goes up from some group or individual to boycott and to destroy him. (pg. 22)

Comment: What Lorimer was pointing out was that both the Republican and Democratic parties were abandoning their roots and what they used to stand for.

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