GLENN: Okay. I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the presidency I will address them with candor and a decision which the present situation of our nation impels. This is the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. In every dark hour of our national life, the leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding to support the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
In such a spirit on my part and on yours, we face common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels. Taxes have risen. Our ability to pay has fallen. Government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income. The means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade. The withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side. The savings of so many years in thousands of families are gone. Most important, a host of unemployed new citizens now face the grim problem of existence. An equal great number toil with little return now. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment, yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because of the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed. Through their own stubbornness, their own incompetence, they have admitted their failure and abdicated.
Practices of the unscrupulous money-changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.
Is this what you expected so far, Stu?
STU: Yeah, it sounds pretty much --
GLENN: I mean, he's taking down the -- he's taking down the Wall Streeters.
GLENN: And business. He's telling us it's really a bad time.
STU: That's what you'd expect.
GLENN: People are -- yeah, it's what you'd expect. People are having a hard time, but we'll get past it.
True, they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit, they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision. And where there is no vision, the people shall perish. The money-changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may not restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of that restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit. Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money. It lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of created effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase for profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister unto ourselves and to our fellow man.
Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride, of place and personal profit, and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and business and government which too often has been given the sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing.
Small wonder that confidence languishes, for thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.
Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This nation asks for action, and action now. Our greatest primary task will be to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the government itself, treating the task as we would treat an emergency of war. At the same time through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.
Hand in hand we must frankly Wednesday the overbalance of population in our cities and by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution endeavor to provide a better use of the land best fitted for the land. It also can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and communication and other utilities which have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act, and we must act quickly.
Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work, we require two safeguards against the return of the evils of the older order. There must be strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments. There must be an end to speculation with other people's money. There must be a provision for an adequate but sound currency. If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence with each other, that we cannot merely take but we must give as well. That if we are willing to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline because without such discipline, no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline because it makes possible a leadership with aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon all of us as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty, a vote only in a time of armed strife.
With this pledge taken, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Barack Obama's inaugural speech, or it could be -- it's actually what Franklin Roosevelt said in 1933. I cut one line out of the speech: So first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. But the rest of it was that. Couldn't this speech be given today? Isn't this the same language that we've heard from FDR about self-sacrifice? I was shocked when I read that we would be willing to submit our lives and property to such a discipline because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. I'm not willing to submit my property to the government that aims at a larger good.
Okay. Actually this is President Obama's inaugural speech. Just cutting down to the middle: But the evil has come with good and much fine gold has been corroded with riches has come an excusable waste. We have squandered a great part of what we might have used. We have not stopped to conserve the exceeding bounty of nature without which nature our genius for enterprise would be worthless and impotent.
Meanwhile government went many deep secret things which for too long delayed to look into and scrutinize with candid fearless eyes. The great government we loved has too often been made use for private and selfish purposes, for those who have used it and had forgotten the people.
This, of course, is Barack Obama talking about cleaning up the government and also making sure that we save the planet. Or... it's part of the first inaugural address of Woodrow Wilson. Woodrow Wilson was the architect of, "Jeez, if we just could treat the planet in a crisis on the planet or something like that, the environment, like a war, we could use that." He's also the guy that got us into World War II. He's also the guy -- or World War I, and set up for World War II. He's also the guy that brought us the income tax. He's the real, first real progressive. He's the guy who said it's important to silence dissent because it's just too important now; our country is at stake.
I learned more this weekend about our country's history than I think I ever have in one sitting. What I did is I sat down and I read the speeches, the inaugural addresses, and I was curious why everyone was looking to Lincoln and comparing Obama to Lincoln instead of FDR. I'm fascinated by Woodrow Wilson because the genesis is there.
If you look at what has happened in this country, if you start with George Washington and just end with FDR -- my kids got up from a nap and so there was just no reason I stopped at FDR other than the kids were up now. So -- but if you just read those speeches, you'll see the history not through the eyes of historians but through the eyes of the Presidents and you'll see what's coming. You'll see the problems as they unfold over and over and over again. At first it was about expansion and foreign wars and do we get involved, and it was always "We don't get involved. We stay out of it. We don't want to get involved." And then as it started to build up towards the Civil War, you saw slavery: Is it state rights, is it not state rights. Can we have slavery, can we not. This is a stain on our country; what do we do? Solve it through the courts, solve it through the courts, solve it through the courts.
And then Abraham Lincoln was elected and he said in his first inaugural something that stunned me: I have no desire or intention, nor authority to change slavery. He wasn't going to do anything about slavery. So why did that happen then? What happened?
See, in Abraham Lincoln, before Abraham Lincoln came, there was a discussion. There was an argument about whether or not we should build railroads. Should the government be subsidizing railroads? Remember the Carnegies, the Vanderbilts, they needed to be subsidized. They needed help to be able to build these giant railroads, and it was in the common good. It was for the general welfare. It was to bring us together and help us expand. And there was a big argument over it: Should federal money be spent to subsidize railroads? Vanderbilt, Carnegie, they were getting rich. Why should the regular folk have to pay for that? Well, they can only do it if we help. And the Carnegies and the Mellons, all of these names, the Rockefellers got wealthier and wealthier and wealthier and more and more control.
Then there came a change. After the Civil War it was all about federal rights, and I noticed that in the speeches during the McKinley time, right before Roosevelt, the first Roosevelt, they started to talk about banking and they started talking about enterprise and businesses and big businesses. And then through Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, he started talking about we're a great nation and we need to get involved overseas and we have great responsibility to spread liberty. And then Wilson: We're going to have a federal bank, we need more taxes, we need to be able to stop the economy from changing like this. And all the way through. There was never a discussion in the first 75 years of this stuff in the inaugural addresses and yet the majority of everything in the 20th century is about business, is about global politics and global business and finance. There was a change. There was a change at the Civil War and change again at the turn of the century. And that change at the turn of the century is what we're dealing with today. The reason why FDR's speech could be given tomorrow is because the problem is the same.
Well, the businesses that went out in '29 are not the same businesses. So what remains that caused the problem in '08, caused the problem in the teens, caused the problem in '29, caused the problem now? The banks, the financial institutions, the government, the Fed. All the things that we're really not talking about today. Instead we're just talking about how capitalism has failed.