Posted Monday night, April 2, 2018.
A tool of Wall Street playing on his yacht, as some of his ultra-liberal critics saw him. Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. Photo via the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum.
This sounds familiar. Can’t think why:
The Townsendites [followers of Dr Francis Townsend, a physician turned political activist, who devised and advocated an extremely generous national pension plan to be paid for with a national sales tax] considered Roosevelt to be too tied up with conservative interests ever to bring them to heel. As one complained, “If only [FDR] would spend as much time looking after the welfare of the people as he does playing on his yacht, he might be of some help.” They argued that Roosevelt’s Social Security law was a watered-down version of the Townsend plan: it too current income from workers, promised nothing to the elderly for years, and ignored the needs of millions on the fringes. If it should collapse it would leave people who had paid into the system with nothing. ---from “Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life” by Robert Dallek.
The Townsendites and Roosevelt’s other critics on the left saw the 1936 presidential election as shaping up as a choice between the lesser of two evils.
…they regarded Roosevelt and the Republicans as little more than tools of Wall Street money changers and the Roosevelt presidency as having produced little more than ruin…