- Books, Literature, and Writing
Two Presidents From New York
FDR and DJT
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was elected the new American president in 1932 his country was desperate both for change and for leadership.
When Donald John Trump (DJT) was elected the new American president in 2016 his country was also desperate for change and for leadership (at least in an impressive majority of the states, and more importantly in the states that decided his victory in the Electoral College.)
Allan Nevins wrote a classic article "The Place Of Franklin D. Roosevelt In History" for the American Heritage magazine. Fortunately Nevins was the right man for the job, and he had a wealth of material to draw his conclusions from. Being a Pullitzer Prize winning journalist turned historian certainly gave credibility to his assessment.
Lest any reader falsely presume that this brief HubPages article is to be an atttempt to assess DJT's "place in history" let me assure you that it is not.
What is important is this: the starting point of their presidencies is similar.
What DJT does with his presidency will determine the judgment of history.
In my opinion, leadership which carries us backward is not leadership at all.
The contrast between a unifying and positive FDR, and an already embittered and divisive DJT is a stark one.
One lived up to, and perhaps exceeded, his potential at a time of national crises.
The other is seemingly lacking the same skills we needed in America and the world in FDR's critical time.
Rising to the challenges earned one president's place in history, while failing to do so could well earn the other president his place in history, a place he cannot simply blame others for.
President Trump must rise to the occasion, or Canada and America will be among the first to suffer.
Coming in to office President Trump had a reputation for organization and decisiveness which has been seriously lacking in his first six months in office.
Advisers have come and gone. The floor in the West Wing of the White House seems a rolling and turbulent sea while that nation yearns for the organization and decisiveness so many feel they voted for.
A Republican sweep of the Congress had seemingly insured an end to the deadlock of the prior eight years, though the previous president had somewhat fumbled the same sweep by his own party in 2008 and deadlock had followed.
FDR had shown up early for his first day in office. By the end of that first day his desk was clear at 6:00 PM and he pressed a button and four secretaries appeared. FDR asked them, "Is there anything more?" The secretaries replied, "No, Mr. President." FDR flashed his bespectacled smile, and was heard to say, "This job's a cinch." Meanwhile America's banks were locked shut and America had ground to a halt at its rock bottom. The task ahead of FDR was leadership.
For President Trump the task ahead is leadership. He must end the deadlock, cope with international challenges that could end civilization, enforce the laws, deal with gangs, drugs, and illegal immigration, lead a reform of the tax system, rebuild America's crumbling infrastructure, reassert America's championing of democracy, and restore the American dream.
His place in history will be determined by just how much of that he can accomplish.
© 2017 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.