Rethinking FDR

Like many Americans and non-American enthusiasts like myself that consume their fair share of American history, the standard narrative about FDR was that he ended the Great Depression through the New Deal and steered America through WWII with much competence and excellent statesmanship.

However, these things aren't static and as I've continued to read about those periods, the reality is not as clear cut thus bringing us to a closer truth.

On the New Deal, there's plenty of reputable literature that points to the theory that in fact it delayed the depression still further. The government intervention in the economy didn't necessarily set the nation back on track. It's not that difficult to find essays on this.

It was here I began to critically assess better how Presidents are viewed. Let's just say my list of great President varies from the official one.

Particularly where the economy and war are concerned.

It also forced me to rethink standard cherished theories like Keynesian economics. Looked at it from a dispassionate point of view, the modern interpretation of it is nothing but an adherence to it for its own sake regardless of its efficiencies or whether it's even applicable. It was via his lectures and exploring them I discovered it wasn't even a full formulated theory and he felt it was being misused. As he once said, 'I was the least Keynesian in the room' of enthusiastic proponents of his own theory.

These are moments that helped me further ponder progressive policies and to examine the results.

I chose not to take at face value what we were told in school and discovered it's not exactly accurate.

Just an accepted interpretation. Mostly a liberal one. And more recent, a progressive one.

On war and the concessions the West made to Stalin. While there is no question without American (and to a lesser extent Commonwealth with Canada and Australia) support, the war would be lost. Russia did indeed fight off the Germans, but it was the United States who won the war through its activities in the Asian theatre and Europe.

Prior to the war and during, the American and Western elites and liberal journalists (with some conservatives as well) alike tended to romanticize (as they later did with Che and Castro and still later with Chavez) the evils of communism, Lenin and Stalin. Right before their eyes horrific and atrocious acts against humanity were being committed by the Nazis and communism, and still they chose to sing the praises of Hitler and Stalin.

Concentration camps and gulags were the agents of the devil and we in the West did nothing about it.

The New York Times in particular was the worst offender (and continues to be). At every given chance, they never sided with the guiding values and principles of America. Rather, they looked to heap praise on dictators and communists while turning its eye from the Holocaust. Not much has changed.

Yet, people still read that unprincipled rag.

Worse, FDR and Western allies just handed over Eastern Europe and Berlin to Stalin.

This is a blemish on the record of the free West.

One in which I'm not sure we can make amends.

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