Opinion / Politics

“The only thing we have to fear is…FEAR itself”

fearHmm…with all this virus fear mongering by the media & politicians I thought I could take some comfort in FDR’s words…

“the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself”

BUT…when I read the context that he used those words in during his first Inaugural Address in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression…well, I got a bit depressed.

I thought those words were used by FDR to rally Americans during WW II in the fight against Nazism & totalitarianism. But no, in that first Inaugural Address FDR was actually asking Americans to give him more power as the Executive to “solve” the economic disaster.

History has shown that many of FDR’s big government economic solutions actually prolonged the Great Depression… even his own Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau said so…Morgenthau said much of the New Deal did not improve the economy… On May 6, 1939, Henry Morgenthau confirmed the total failure of the New Deal to stop the Great Depression: “We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. . . . I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . . And an enormous debt to boot!”

So much for relying on government to solve all our ills! My point is that “We the People” must follow FDR’s advice at the beginning of his Inaugural Address:

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

BUT, we must dismiss his ending words of the Address which requested more power for the government as a solution…

Government as the solution to all ills is rarely a healing prescription.

Diana Erbio is a freelance writer and author of “Coming to America: A Girl Struggles to Find her Way in a New World”, along with her Blog Series, “Statues: The People They Salute”.

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