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Judis & FDR



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From a reader:

Dear Jonah,

In the Nov. 19 issue of The New Republic, Judis, in a piece entitled “America The Liberal,” writes in the second-to-last paragraph that,

This is a country … founded on Lockean liberalism. But, as Roosevelt discovered when he was elected, a national crisis creates popular willingness to entertain dramatic initiatives.

This is a popular trope now, as is the litanies of “Let’s count the ways Obama is like FDR”, etc. But I haven’t until now seen it espoused so plainly and baldly. Judis doesn’t quite say that in the absence of “real” crises, fake ones must be created for the purposes of creating that “popular willingness,” but implicit in his (and others’) comparison of Obama to FDR, is an acknowledgement of the desire for crisis.

Your faithful reader,



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