Whereas Trump thinks the way to reduce "panic" is to lie, in his First Inaugural, FDR, who also wanted to reduce "fear" and "terror," said in the 3rd sentence, "This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly."/1
In that speech, FDR claimed (with considerable exaggeration, it must be said) "In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor" has been met with the "understanding and support of the people."/2
Moreover, FDR didn't say the problem would magically go away. Instead, he offered a diagnosis of the problem and a series of proposed solutions: "Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously."/3
He told the American people that the federal government had to be part of the solution: "It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war..." /4
And he explained how the benefits of a federal response to the economic crisis: a strong federal response could accomplish, he said, "greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources."/5
Even though he was dealing with an emergency that required immediate attention, FDR promised the he would also promote ""safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order," so that not only would the current crisis be solved but future such crises averted./6
Unlike Trump, FDR recognized and built on feelings of solidarity and mutual support: "If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other..." /7
And, toward the end of his address, FDR spoke of unity in the face of difficult problems, "We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of the national unity..." /8
And he concluded by celebrating democracy: "We do not distrust the future of essential democracy." /9
FDR's response to fear: honest diagnosis, proposed federal solutions for the short and longer term, emphasis on unity, solidarity, interdependence, democracy.
Trump's response: lying, undermining public goods like the USPS and democratic institutions like mail-in ballots. /10

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More from @LarryGlickman

31 Aug
Thread: I have a new piece in the @washingtonpost about why Ronald Reagan’s laughably bad prediction that the passage of Medicare would destroy freedom is frequently recycled by conservatives, most recently by Eric Trump at the RNC. /1
Here’s a link to Reagan’s 1961 speech./2
As I show, Reagan’s 1961 prediction was itself recycled from anti-New Dealers who made similar incorrect predictions about being “the last generation to receive and cherish the legacy of liberty,” as one New Deal critic put it in 1936./3
Read 11 tweets
9 Aug
This is a great piece of reporting by ⁦@elizabethjdias⁩. What stands out most are the intense and generalized feelings of victimization, which is a common thread among Trump voters and conservatives more generally. But why do they feel this way?/1 nytimes.com/2020/08/09/us/…
This part, for example, highlights feeling “like your freedoms kept getting taken from you” and the view that “it was dangerous to voice your Christianity” under Obama, but then specifies “white believers.” /2
This section, unlike much of the rest of the article, offers two specific examples of why they feel besieged. One is the charge that “we were viewed as bigots, as racists” and the other is that “Obama wanted to take my assault rifle.” /3
Read 13 tweets
7 Aug
As with Douthat's column the other day, David Brooks massively overstates small differences among Republicans and the degree to which some are "breaking free from old orthodoxies." /1
The 4 GOP Senators he singles out--Rubio, Cotton, Hawley, and Sasse--as representing the "Republican future" have voted with Trump 84.6% or more, about the same level as the sycophant Lindsey Graham./2
To take one example, the "populist" Josh Hawley opposes a minimum wage increase, worked hard as Missouri AG to take away health care from struggling people and now as Senator supports repeal of ACA, and supported (as did the other three) Trump's tax giveaway to the rich./3
Read 14 tweets
19 Jul
Trump's "militant and extreme language" is in fact very typical in American conservative politics and has been since anti-New Dealers employed apocalyptic language in the 1930s./1
As I show in my book, FREE ENTERPRISE: AN AMERICAN HISTORY, it was always "five minutes to midnight" for these critics of the New Deal. They used extreme language to explain why liberal reform was a "wolf in sheep's clothing" that would usher in an age of totalitarianism./2
Reupping this helpful thread by @KevinMKruse on the "socialism" charge that links to a couple of my threads as well./3
Read 4 tweets
8 Jul
Some of this research is fascinating and nuanced, but I'm skeptical of the idea of the "biology of political differences" or claims that "ideological orientations are genetically produced" or the "politicization of human nature."/1
Part of the problem is that so many of the categories described as having biological roots are socially constructed, mutable, and contested, including the very terms "liberal" and "conservative." /2
And I'm really confused by statements like "even if economic attitudes are not genetically constrained to go with cultural attitudes." /3
Read 5 tweets
5 Jul
I've long been critical of a common way of framing backlashes as an automatic, inevitable response to demands for social equality because this framing removes the agency of people who choose to participate in backlashes. A thread on why this matters for history and today. /1
President Trump is doing his best to foment a white backlash but, thus far, it doesn't appear to be happening in spite of what might be the largest social movement for African American equality in our history. /2
In seeking the cause of backlashes, we should grant agency to those who participate in them. Why do they do so? Under what conditions? /3
Read 13 tweets

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