FDR’s 1932 Pittsburgh Speech: A Masterful Deception [GaryNorth]


Today marks the 80th anniversary of the most deceptive speech in American political history. Nothing else comes close. Of all the flip-flops in American political history, this was the premier flip. The flop was his inaugural address on March 4, 1933.

The setting was an industrial city where unemployment was astronomical. The steel town of the world was effectively shuttered. There was little demand for American steel in 1932. Industrial production had collapsed.

It was less than two weeks before the national election. Everyone knew that this was the most momentous election since 1860. The stakes were high: control over the national government in the middle of the worst depression in world history. Yet no widely read commentator at the time gave any indication of just how high these political stakes were. The federal government in 1932 was not the center of gravity economically that it became over the next four years, let alone four decades.

Walter Lippman, the premier political columnist of the day – a very long day, from 1913 until his death in 1974 – infamously wrote in 1932, “Franklin Roosevelt is no crusader. He is no tribune of the people. He is no enemy of entrenched privilege. He is a pleasant man who, without any important qualifications for office, would very much like to be President.”

 

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