Where is the “Greatest Generation” Today?

The “Greatest Generation” of Americans, according to Tom Brokaw, was the one which grew up in

the Great Depression, fought and won World War 2, and then (neither boasting nor whining) returned home to make America the leader of the free world.

That nation was led by, and this is no easy thing for me to say, one of its greatest presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

It’s not easy to say, because as a proponent of free markets, I am convinced that the Roosevelt administration made the depression even worse, and longer, than it need have been, but this is not about that. This is about greatness.

The key words to focus on, here, are loyalty, character, and if I may, maturity.

The Roosevelt administration was populated by statesmen, by people whose character, while imperfect, was exemplary. They projected a sense of dignity, decency and honor that even their political opponents recognized and respected. That image impressed itself on the American people. It gave them confidence that their leadership was competent and effective, even amid policy disagreements. Roosevelt set a standard that ordinary Americans did their best to live up to.

The contrast with the present administration of the same political party is crushingly disappointing.

Roosevelt would never have been accused of taking lavish vacations at taxpayer expense, of buying a house at below market price due to a deal with a convicted real estate swindler. He would never have collaborated with someone who had bombed government buildings. He would never have remained in a church where the preacher said, from the pulpit, “Not God bless America, but God damn America.”

In 1941, these, and a long list of outrages attached to Obama, would have landed Roosevelt quickly onto the sidewalk outside the White House, into forced retirement and public opprobrium.

Likewise, the administration officials under Roosevelt were men of selfless dedication, competence and decorum. Even as the war raged, these men planned and executed not only victory, but the post war reconstruction of Europe, the democratization of Japan, and a plan designed to ensure peace through strength. Roosevelt himself, knowing that his disease would soon kill him, labored from his wheelchair to guide the nation through the most complicated geopolitical problems the world had ever faced. One of these problems was the very delicate situation with regards to the alliance with the USSR, a most treacherous (but necessary) ally.

Compare that with Obama’s inability to maintain civil relations even with Britain.

Under Roosevelt, the assassination of an American ambassador, such as in Benghazi, would not have happened at all. But had something of that nature occurred, the military response would have been swift and decisive. We would never have had to question where Roosevelt was while besieged Americans desperately pleaded for help. He would have been squarely in command. The Secretary of State would never have been allowed to escape responsibility with the words what difference does it make? She would have been publicly scorned and driven into obscurity.

By contrast with Roosevelt, the Obama administration is inept, corrupt, and shockingly opposed to the traditions of our nation’s founding documents.

While it is difficult for me to admit that Roosevelt was one of our greatest presidents, I would welcome a man with one tenth his virtues to replace the atrocity that now befouls the Oval Office. We survived World War 2 and fended off Hitler and Hirohito, only to find that we have elected an evil, would-be dictator inside our own government.

Would that the present day American were one tenth as wise as the Greatest Generation.

Robert Arvay is a Contributing Writer to The Patriot’s Notepad


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