Darren Richardson

With the McCain-Palin campaign now focusing all its energy on obscuring the meaning of the word "socialist" and relying on the pathetic "Joe the Plumber" figure to paint Obama as one, an obvious question that the mainstream press has failed to ask the Republican hopefuls (and Joe the Plumber) is this:

Do you think FDR was a socialist?

A quick historical review is in order:

In 1932, after the failed Bush-like policies of Republican presidents Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and ultimate fall guy Herbert Hoover, Americans elected New York Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the 32nd President of the United States in a landslide. (Note to Republicans who are under the spell of McCain-Palin smear tactics: The actual Socialist in the race, Norman Thomas, finished a distant third with 2.2 percent of the popular vote.)

FDR, though by no means perfect, went on to revive America and help the world defeat Hitler, the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese Army. He instituted the safety net of Social Security, which President Bush and John McCain want to privatize and turn over to Wall Street, though they know better than to talk much about it during a campaign.

So Punditty, once again, asks the question the Republican ticket has yet to be asked by the mainstream press. Do you think FDR was a socialist? Please explain you reasoning.

Very simple, so simple you can bet the Republicans will avoid it like the plague while smearing Obama with all manner of slander, innuendo and false charges between now and Nov. 4.

And speaking of socialism, Gov. Palin, aren't Alaskans near the top, if not No. 1, in terms of which state's residents receive the most federal largesse? Socialism is as socialism does, governor. Perhaps you should look in the mirror for more than just applying makeup.

FDR's FOUR FREEDOMS SPEECH, delivered to Congresss Jan. 6, 1941:

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want -- which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear -- which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor-- anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

To that new order we oppose the greater conception -- the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change -- in a perpetual peaceful revolution -- a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions -- without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.

To that high concept there can be no end save victory.


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