Indeed, by the time Franklin Roosevelt took office in March of 1933, it is estimated that approximately 50 percent of all urban mortgages in the United States were delinquent or in foreclosure and that an average of 1,000 homes per day were being lost.
There comes a time in the life of every people when the only way to take on the forces of "economic tyranny" -- whose callous behavior has twice in the past century nearly brought our country to ruin -- is to turn to "the organized power of government."
Is Capitalism at fault, a flawed economic system? No. The problem is the way people use the free market, a system that readily responds to the compulsive appetite of greed. Without government imposed regulations we run amok.
Law and order is the American way. Except when it isn't. We sometimes forget about the violence protesters were subjected to when supporting the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Or when protesting against the Vietnam War.
With Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney heading up a desultory field of Republican patriots, all pretending they have a lock on American national pride, I'd like to say a few things as a professional American historian and biographer.
What is notable about Roosevelt's actions that day is not just that he was right, but that he had the strength and conviction to stand firm in the face of the united opposition of his secretaries of war, state, and navy.
If politicians want to completely restore Social Security to long-range balance, they should consider scrapping the cap entirely. That is what, poll after poll reports, the American people overwhelmingly favor.
The effort by junior administration officials to prevent the addition of any references to God from the speeches recorded on plaques at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC, is an outrage.
There is a reason why a majority of Americans have a favorable opinion of Occupy Wall Street. You don't have to be an occupier to share their frustration. Finally, a populist movement even a reformer can love.
Those who followed the 2008 presidential campaign will remember Joe the Plumber. He was the man John McCain invited up on stage and attempted to portray as the symbol of America's "noble working class."
If anyone believed 2011 was the year of the direct assault on proponents of the middle class, clean air and water, public education, and respect for first responders, and democracy itself, just wait until 2013.