Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
AHH! Hayward demystifying FDR! I. Just. Can't. TAKE IT ANYMORE. Not really. But surprise--we disagree! Not for the obvious reasons though; he's right, there would be a disconnect. I've never seen this FDR quote before now, but I've been spending a lot of time learning about the Great Depression recently (I'll be writing my American Studies thesis on Depression Era Culture this fall) and I think I know where this quote comes from. FDR knew that most people don't want the government's help and that we long to be self-sufficient. Much of the critiques of his programs came from people who refused to do it on the "I don't need the government's help" rallying cry (not the "government shouldn't provide services" cry)--and more would have refused had hunger not driven them to the point of desperation. The New Deal would have never gotten through without desperation on behalf of the American people. But he knew he had to convince people still. And judging by the date of and the words in the quote, he was speaking to the American Protestant work-ethic, self-reliance values. It was probably a speech aimed at passing government assistance programs by co-opting the self-reliance argument. But the whole reason he started the WPA and the CCC were because he knew Americans valued working and derived self-worth from it. Which is true. It was a common recognition of a fundamental American cultural more with two different ways of solving it.But this article is spin! Which I'm OK with. That's just politics. Just my two cents. I don't think I'm allowed to remain quiet when Hayward's served up to me though haha. I just want to put a disclaimer on the post.
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