I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president - with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR, and Lincoln - just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we've got a lot more work to do. And we're gonna keep on at it.
From Jefferson to Jackson to Lincoln to FDR to Reagan, every great president inspires enormous affection and enormous hostility. We'll all be much saner, I think, if we remember that history is full of surprises and things that seemed absolutely certain one day are often unimaginable the next.
With the sole exception of President Bill Clinton, whose 'bridge to the 21st century' evoked the vision and optimism of other great Democratic presidents of the 20th century, such as FDR and John F. Kennedy, pessimism about America's economic future has been the hallmark of modern progressivism.
Bernard L. Schwartz
When Franklin D. Roosevelt launched Social Security in 1935, he did not present it as expressing the mutual obligation of citizens to one another... Rather than offer a communal rationale, FDR argued that such rights were essential to "true individual freedom, " adding, "necessitous men are not free men.
Michael J. Sandel
When the Chief Justice read me the oath, ' he [FDR] later told an adviser, 'and came to the words "support the Constitution of the United States" I felt like saying: "Yes, but it's the Constitution as I understand it, flexible enough to meet any new problem of democracy-not the kind of Constitution your Court has raised up as a barrier to progress and democracy.
Washingtonians love the "So-and-so is spinning in his grave" cliche. Someone is always speculating about how some great dead American would be scandalized over some crime against How It Used to Be. The Founding Fathers are always spinning in their graves over something, as is Ronald Reagan, or FDR. Edward R. Murrow is a perennial grave spinner in the news business (though in fact, Murrow was cremated).
One thing that does seem to me to be fairly consistent is that presidents who restrict civil liberties, even in wartime, are usually judged harshly for it. So most people agree that one of the worst stains on the reputation of FDR, who is widely considered a great president, is the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Likewise, Lincoln is judged harshly for the suspension of habeas corpus.
Arabs and other Muslims generally agreed that Saddam Hussein might be a bloody tyrant, but, paralleling FDR's thinking, "he is our bloody tyrant." In their view, the invasion was a family affair to be settled within the family and those who intervened in the name of some grand theory of international justice were doing so to protect their own selfish interests and to maintain Arab subordination to the west.
Samuel P. Huntington
About forty percent of the people vote Democrat. About forty percent vote Republican. Of those eighty percent, most wouldn't change their votes if Adolf Hitler was running against Abe Lincoln - or against FDR. . . . That leaves twenty percent of the people who swing back one way or another . . . the true independents. . . . That twenty percent controls the destiny of the country.
For a long time I felt that FDR had developed many thoughts and ideas that were his own to benefit this country, the United States. But, he didn't. Most of his thoughts, his political ammunition, as it were, were carefully manufactured for him in advance by the Council on Foreign Relations - One World Money group. Brilliantly, with great gusto, like a fine piece of artillery, he exploded that prepared "ammunition" in the middle of an unsuspecting target, the American people, and thus paid off and returned his internationalist political support.
Curtis Bean Dall
[D]rawing up 'secret war plans' for a possible attack on Iraq wasn't irrational. The low-level war against Saddam was 12 years old, with no end in sight. American and British pilots were getting shot at, sanctions weren't working, and Bush was getting warnings that Saddam had all those terrible weapons and would use them against America. Bush would have been a fool not to draw up plans. Gee, wait till the critics find out that FDR, without ever informing the media, was plotting to fight Japan and Germany before Pearl Harbor.
My personal assessment is that Dr. King is the greatest American we have ever produced. I can argue for Lincoln, I can argue for FDR, but for my money, King is the greatest American we have ever produced. His only weapon was love. He transforms a nation, transforms the world with one weapon and that of course being again the weapon of love. So that for me, King is the quintessential example of everything that I could ever want to be in my lifetime.
The thing that drew me to Lafayette as a subject - that he was that rare object of agreement in the ironically named United States - kept me coming back to why that made him unique. Namely, that we the people never agreed on much of anything. Other than a bipartisan consensus on barbecue and Meryl Streep, plus that time in 1942 when everyone from Bing Crosby to Oregonian school children heeded FDR's call to scrounge up rubber for the war effort, disunity is the through line in the national plot - not necessarily as a failing, but as a free people's privilege. And thanks to Lafayette and his cohorts in Washington's army, plus the king of France and his navy, not to mention the founding dreamers who clearly did not think through what happens every time one citizen's pursuit of happiness infuriates his neighbor, getting on each other's nerves is our right.
Naive people tend to generalize people as-good, bad, kind, or evil based on their actions. However, even the smartest person in the world is not the wisest or the most spiritual, in all matters. We are all flawed. Maybe, you didn't know a few of these things about Einstein, but it puts the notion of perfection to rest. Perfection doesn't exist in anyone. Nor, does a person's mistakes make them less valuable to the world. 1. He divorced the mother of his children, which caused Mileva, his wife, to have a break down and be hospitalized. 2.He was a ladies man and was known to have had several affairs; infidelity was listed as a reason for his divorce. 3.He married his cousin. 4.He had an estranged relationship with his son. 5. He had his first child out of wedlock. 6. He urged the FDR to build the Atom bomb, which killed thousands of people. 7. He was Jewish, yet he made many arguments for the possibility of God. Yet, hypocritically he did not believe in the Jewish God or Christianity. He stated, 'I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
Shannon L. Alder
The car was on the FDR drive now and, turning her head, she glanced out at the bleak brown buildings of the projects that stretched for blocks along the drive. Something inside her sank at the sight of all that sameness, and she suddenly felt defeated. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. In the past year, she'd started experiencing these moments of desperate emptiness, as if nothing really mattered, nothing was ever going to change, there was nothing new; and she could see her life stretching before her-one endless long day after the next, in which every day was essentially the same. Meanwhile, time was marching on, and all that was happening to her was that she was getting older and smaller, and one day she would be no bigger than a dot, and then she would simply disappear. Poof! Like a small leaf burned up under a magnifying glass in the sun. These feelings were shocking to her, because she'd never experienced world-weariness before. She'd never had time. All her life, she'd been striving and striving to become this thing that was herself-the entity that was Nico O'Neilly. And then, one morning, time had caught up with her and she had woken up and realized that she was there. She had arrived at her destination, and she had everything she'd worked so hard for: a stunning career, a loving (well, sort of) husband, whom she respected, and a beautiful eleven-year-old daughter whom she adored. She should have been thrilled. But instead, she felt tired. Like all those things belonged to someone else.