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America found itself facing many problems during its history and development. These cruxes mostly relate to economic issues that are brought about by an economic downturn. In these situations the country needs a tactical and strong leader to lead it out of the situation and find proper solutions. Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of such leaders.
Franklin D. Roosevelt got into office in the depth of the Great Depression in 1933. He was the 32nd president of the USA and he served as president up to 1945. The Great Depression was characterized by high unemployment levels and the closure of many businesses, including banks, among other economic problems. Franklin D. Roosevelt is credited to have been able to inspire Americans to regain faith by driving the economy out of this situation and into prosperity. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said – ‘A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.’ He made this quote in 1939 in a radio address to describe the conservatives. At that time many conservatives had started to be criticized due to the economic policies taken and due to their fears that he was becoming a dictator by attempting to take control of the supreme court and by breaking the tradition of not seeking a third term as established by the first president of the United States, George Washington. The quote was meant to discourage the conservatives who did not agree with his policies.
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words were meant to show that the conservatives were wrong in their policies because they were not promoting economic growth. The conservatives were concerned about the addressing of social problems. Franklin D. Roosevelt had a practical idea of how it felt not to be able to walk. When he was 39 years old, he was stricken with poliomyelitis. This mean that he could not use his legs. However, in the same spirit of recovery that he had in the American economy, he fought to regain the use of his legs. Americans should follow the source policies of this quote because Franklin D. Roosevelt had real solutions for the real severe problems in the USA.
Franklin D. Roosevelt used the so called New Deal to implement the policies to improve the economy. The New Deal was a series of social and economic programs, implemented by him to fulfill his promise, to take vigorous and prompt actions in order to restore the economy. These policies meant the active involvement of the government in solving the economy issues through the New Deal. The New Deal granted Americans with such things as funds to farmers to curtail their production through the Agricultural Adjustment Act. The National Recovery Act gave the codes of fair competition and regulated the industry. The Public Works Administration (PWA) contracted roads dams and public buildings, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) provided insurance to the banks. These were just a few direct intervention measures taken by the government. The conservatives did not agree with these policies. Direct government’s intervention in economy issues is against the policies of the conservatives. The conservatives believe that the government should have minimal role in the direct affairs associated with economy. However, at the times of the Great Depression, such interventions were vitally essential, otherwise the country would have fallen into even more trouble. The country underwent such trials due to actions like liberalism in the economy, when certain individuals took advantage of this situation. The measures taken by the government were able to restore the country in a very short period of time. This created employment in various industries, including farming. It also enabled the banks, which had previously been closed, to open. The insurance from the government also ensured that the banks could operate without fear of being closed again. The recovery of the economy also increased the government’s income. This helped in the reimbursement of the money lost during the intervention.
The conservatives advocate for a strong military presence as an essential tool for safeguarding the society from such acts as terrorism. This is an expensive strategy, especially at the time of war. However, Franklin D. Roosevelt adopted the Good Neighbor policy. He sought through neutrality legislation to keep the United States out of the European war. America was not involved in the war and there was no need to join it without good reason. The country had just recovered from a depression and such a war would jeopardize the current progress. Through this policy, the country was able to greatly reduce its role in the war until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Then the Japanese attacked, Roosevelt tactically organized the country’s resources and manpower for the war. The countries, which took an active role in the war, suffered great losses. It took these countries many years to recover economically. This could be one of the reasons why the United States became the only super power.
In conclusion, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a courageous and tactful leader. He greatly helped his country to recover from the Great Depression and made it a prosperous country. To perform this, he had to be very radical, to be a different leader in taking actions that had not been taken by other leaders before. For example, he ran for presidency for the third time. He used the government resources directly in the intervention of the economy. He also had to make big changes in the legal system. This enabled him to achieve his goals within a very short period of time. The conservatives did not agree with him because the policies he took were against their traditions. This came as no surprise since he was a democrat and most conservatives were republicans. However, the success of these polices proves that they were very necessary at that time. In the quote he described the conservatives as an example of a man with two healthy legs, who has not learned how to walk forward. He was right in saying this because the conservatives did not seem to learn from the past mistakes. They still insisted on the traditional policies in spite of the fact that this had led the country into an economic crisis. They did not want to adapt to the new emerging society, thus remaining on the same level of development. That is why they were compared to a man unable to walk forward. In fact, they could even drag the society backwards. Franklin D. Roosevelt had lost the use of his legs at one point of his life. He then worked hard in ensuring that he got back the capability of using them. This quote seems to have come from a personal perspective of life.