Posted: September 3rd, 2013
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Being the thirty-second president of the United States and the only president who has ever been elected more than twice, Roy Jenkins has written some interesting information regarding his life in the White House. His political gifts, congressional achievements, his interaction with other world leaders, and his role in both the foreign and domestic dealings have all been highlighted in the book. The actions he took during his term in office are still felt to the present day. During his political life, he also overcame a paralytic disease. This victory became representation of other issues that he would overcome in the future that would bring significance change to America as a country and as a global leader.
His political gifts were evident even before he took over the presidential office. His work towards becoming the American president started in his previous public offices. He had worked in the office of New York governor as the state’s governor. He had also worked as an assistant secretary in the Navy department, and he had previously become a member of the New York state senate. These service years had shaped him into becoming a good public servant. He had also done remarkable works there thus the people had proof of his worth for the office he was vying for. His campaign song “Happy Days are here Again” (68), played a role in his defeat of his predecessor, Herbert Hoover.
The president was full of self-assurance (confidence), and optimism. Due to these attributes, he was able to come up with social and economic programs that started the long process of recovering from the depression that had been experienced during that period. The ‘New Deal’ is one of the major changes that were made during his first hundred days after taking over the presidency office. In this order, varieties of programs were designed in order to give the people reform, recovery and relief. Dues to such physical actions that were meant to fulfill the promises that had been made during his campaigns; his verbal speech was able to play a role in regaining the people’s confidence in the government.
During his time in office, he created good relationships with such people as Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. Such relationships would help his win against the Germans and the Japanese in the Second World War. Domestically, he created good relationships with the people of other races. For example, it was during his period that the African Americans were also asked a question such as “Who are you voting for?” (100). Good relationships and leadership also aided in the unity and confidence among the people as far as the government was concerned. Although he was not able to experience the victory over Germany and Japan, he was remembered for the role he played.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Social Security, which were created during the first four years of his leadership, are still present today. This shows the effectiveness of his innovation and creativity. The fifth Party System, Rural White Southerners and African Americans, white ethics, big city machines and the New Deal Coalition” (112) were all part of his creation. His creative and assuring speeches were able to keep the people of America calm even in the warring days.
As earlier indicated, Roosevelt had made good relations with such great leaders as Winston Churchill. Roosevelt had known of Nazi Germany aggressions and the invasion of China by the Japanese. In order to conquer them without spoiling the image of the nation, he remained neutral although he offered Britain and China both financial and diplomatic support. He was to strategize America as the “Arsenal of Democracy” (115). He offered Lend-Lease to the countries, which were against Britain and Nazi Germany. War was made on Germany and Japan after the Pearl Harbor attack. This was on December 7, 1941. He also called this day a “date which will live in infamy” (125). This made him get the nation’s support on his decision.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is referred to as the blazer of trails by the author. This is because of the various characteristics he had and portrayed. He enticed great loyalty to and from the people he led. He had an inspiring personal charm, which made those around him dazzle. However, those who had helped him rise to the position he was holding had all moved to the opposition party. This also made him both interesting and ambiguous.
His protean nature reinforced the author’s perception as a blazer of trails. He was not easy to understand. Although he was a hero, he possessed a number of characteristics that did not bring the heroism in him. For example, he would make diverse decisions before making a final decision on a given project. If it were an assignment, he would assign it to an individual, after which, if he found it too cumbersome; he would split the assignment so that it was done by different people. If this proved to be difficult, he would leave the issue alone altogether (130). In other words, he was unpredictable as much as many people relied upon his decisions and decision-making process.
Jenkins, Roy, and Richard E. Neustadt. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. New York: Times Books, 2003. Print.
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