Infatuated progressive scholars credit Franklin Delano Roosevelt with ending The Great Depression when, in fact, American manufacturing kickstarted the economy enough to negate the damage done by his massive government programs. Scholars and leftists alike also ignore his internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II, just as his progressive hero Woodrow Wilson had done with Germans and Italians during World War I. Most of these loyal Americans never got their homes back. Unfortunately, the loss of liberty under FDR didn’t stop there.
Under cover of war, President Roosevelt illegally authorized agents to wiretap the phones of not just aliens who threatened national security, but also potential political enemies and even political friends. Roosevelt’s spying targets included former President Herbert Hoover, 1940 Republican presidential opponent Wendell Wilke and critical journalists. FDR also requested a tax audit on The New York Times and had the heads of various agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Justice, investigate several newspaper publishers in a failed witch hunt for Nazi ties.
As World War II wound down, FDR proposed a second Bill of Rights, arguing true individual freedom could not exist without economic security and independence. He may have once claimed the only thing to fear was fear itself, but in reality, he wanted Americans to fear a host of things. Fear after all, opened the door to things people otherwise wouldn’t think possible. Additionally, FDR warned that if Americans let his wartime reforms go away, they might as well have lost the war.
Incredibly, this strategy is successfully employed by progressives in government over and over again. Legislation during a crisis lives on like a cockroach, able to survive even in the worst of conditions. In FDR’s wartime America, rights were to be granted no longer by our creator, but the federal government.