On Herbert Hoover and FDR

Continuing with Gerald Nathan Hodgson’s Northwest family narrative, with thanks to Michael Howard Hodgson:

My personal opinion is that Hoover was one of the most conscientious men to ever hold the office — which doesn’t mean that I think he was always right. The thing that most people do not seem to comprehend was that he had no effective political support during his last two years in office. A good deal of trouble with elements of his own party during the first two. Executive power was far more limited in those days than it is today.

The only really good thing that I can say for his successor was that he was basically an iconoclast and accordingly more willing to accept change. My objection was not so much to what was done as to the way it was done. Nearly every word and act of the New Deal was designed to deceive the less informed members of the electorate — which includes most people. If Roosevelt had been a practical realist rather than a practical politician, he would probably have served only one term — two at most. Whatever they imagine few people would really like to turn the clock back. A right wing shift is long overdue but if it ever occurs it will probably go too far and to last, it will have to.

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