advertisement 1
advertisement
SEARCH:
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014                                                 SUBSCRIBE TO OUR RSS FEEDrss feed

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: An Obituary

Published by on May 17, 2010

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: An Obituary thumbnail

by H.L. Mencken

April 13, 1945

THE BALTIMORE Sun editorial on Roosevelt this morning begins: “Franklin D. Roosevelt was a great man.” There are heavy black dashes above and below it. The argument, in brief, is that all his skullduggeries and imbecilities were wiped out when “he took an inert and profoundly isolationist people and brought them to support a necessary war on a scale never before imagined.” In other words, his greatest fraud was his greatest glory, and sufficient excuse for all his other frauds. It is astonishing how far the Sun has gone in this nonsense. When the English fetched Patterson and John Owens they certainly did an all-out job. I know of no paper in the United States, not even the New York Herald Tribune, that croons for them more assiduously.

Roosevelt’s unparallelled luck held out to the end. He died an easy death, and he did so just in time to escape burying his own dead horse. This business now falls to Truman, a third-rate Middle Western politician on the order of Harding. He is fundamentally against the New Deal wizards, and he will probably make an earnest effort to turn them out of power, but I have some doubt that he will succeed. They have dug in deeply and they may be expected to fight to the bitter end, for once they are out they will be nothing and they know it. The case of La Eleanor is not without its humors. Only yesterday she was the most influential female ever recorded in American history, but tomorrow she will begin to fade, and by this time next year she may be wholly out of the picture. I wonder how many newspapers will go on printing her “My Day.” Probably not many.

It seems to me to be very likely that Roosevelt will take a high place in American popular history — maybe even alongside Washington and Lincoln. It will be to the interest of all his heirs and assigns to whoop him up, and they will probably succeed in swamping his critics. If the war drags on it is possible, of course, that there may be a reaction against him, and there may be another and worse after war is over at last, but the chances, I think, run the other way. He had every quality that morons esteem in their heroes. Thus a demigod seems to be in the making, and in a little while we may see a grandiose memorial under way in Washington, comparable to those to Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. In it, I suppose, Eleanor will have a niche, but probably not a conspicuous one. The majority of Americans, I believe, distrust and dislike her, and all her glories have been only reflections from Franklin.

The Baltimore Hearst paper, the News-Post, handled the great news with typical cynicism. Hearst is one of the most violent enemies of Roosevelt, and all his papers have been reviling the New Deal, and even propagating doubts about the war. But the whole first page of the News-Post is given over this afternoon to a large portrait of Roosevelt flanked by two flags in color and headed “Nation Mourns.” The editorial page is filled with an editorial saying, among other things, “The work and name of Franklin Delano Roosevelt will live on, not only today or tomorrow, but in all the annals of recorded time.” This, as I have noted, is probably a fact, but it is certainly not a fact that tickles Hearst. He is, however, an expert in mob psychology, and does not expect much. The Sun is in a far less rational position. It certifies to Roosevelt’s greatness in all seriousness.

April 15

All the saloons and major restaurants of Baltimore were closed last night as a mark of respect to the dead Roosevelt, whose body passed through the city at midnight. It was silly, but it gave a lot of Dogberries a chance to annoy their betters, and so it was ordained. As a result, the Saturday Night Club missed its usual post-music beer-party for the first time in forty years. All during Prohibition the club found accommodations in the homes of its members, but last night no member was prepared, so the usual programme had to be abandoned. August and I came home, had a couple of high-balls, and then went to bed.

Roosevelt, if he had lived, would probably have been unbeatable, despite the inevitable reaction against the war. He was so expert a demagogue that it would have been easy for him to divert the popular discontent to some other object. He could have been beaten only by a demagogue even worse than he was himself, and his opponents showed no sign of being able to flush out such a marvel. The best they could produce was such timorous compromisers as Willkie and Dewey, who were as impotent before Roosevelt as sheep before Behemoth. When the call was for a headlong attack they backed and filled. It thus became impossible, at the close of their campaigns, to distinguish them from mild New Dealers — in other words, inferior Roosevelts. He was always a mile ahead of them, finding new victims to loot and new followers to reward, flouting common sense and boldly denying its existence, demonstrating by his anti-logic that two and two made five, promising larger and larger slices of the moon. His career will greatly engage historians, if any good ones ever appear in America, but it will be of even more interest to psychologists. He was the first American to penetrate to the real depths of vulgar stupidity. He never made the mistake of overestimating the intelligence of the American mob. He was its unparallelled professor.

Related Articles:

Readers' Comments





Current day month ye@r *

  • hotbed of anti-semitism
  • US News »

    By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt Do Boston

    April 26, 2013

    By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt Do Boston thumbnail

    by Keith Johnson WAS SLAIN Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamarlin Tsarnaev (pictured) coerced, blackmailed or manipulated by Mossad agents posing as FBI agents? Mark Glenn and the crew over at The Ugly Truth have produced a series of radio broadcasts making a compelling argument that he was: TUT Broadcast April 20, 2013 The Victory Hour […]

    Africa, History »

    ‘The Choice of Achilles’: John Alan Coey Against the New World Order

    January 3, 2013

    ‘The Choice of Achilles’: John Alan Coey Against the New World Order thumbnail

    by T.R. Bennington AS EVER, BUT ESPECIALLY in our present state of civilizational malaise, there is a need for figures with the power to inspire — men who in less confused and cynical times would have been unabashedly described as heroic. One such figure is Corporal John Alan Coey, a young soldier who has perhaps […]

    Social Sciences »

    The Happiness Hypothesis

    May 8, 2011

    The Happiness Hypothesis thumbnail

    Of Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis, and Historical Narratives by A. Helian JONATHAN HAIDT IS ONE OF THE MOST coherent thinkers in the social sciences today. A Professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, he specializes in the study of morality and emotion, and how they vary across cultures. He describes himself as an […]

  • Reader’s Comments

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Pages

  • Login / Register / RSS

  • Vintage Mencken »

    Mencken’s Translation of The Antichrist

    June 9, 2013

    Mencken’s Translation of The Antichrist thumbnail

    The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche on “democracy,” “equality,” Judaism, and Christianity: translated by H.L. Mencken THIS BOOK BELONGS to the most rare of men. Perhaps not one of them is yet alive. It is possible that they may be among those who understand my “Zarathustra”: how could I confound myself with those who are now sprouting […]

    Opinion »

    The Irrepressible Mencken

    June 13, 2013

    The Irrepressible Mencken thumbnail

    by Paul E. Gottfried RECENTLY I’ve been thinking about someone whose name is attached to an organization I’m currently president of, H.L. Mencken (1880-1956). For years I’ve tried to understand why the Baltimore Sage has been branded, mostly recently in The Weekly Standard (see here and here) and in a voluminous biography by Terry Teachout, […]

    Arts, Film, Literature »

    Pauline Kael: One Against the Herd

    May 6, 2012

    Pauline Kael: One Against the Herd thumbnail

    Selected Writings of Pauline Kael; Library of America, 2011 Pauline Kael: Alone in the Dark; Brian Kellow, Viking Adult, 2011 by Ron Capshaw FOR CONSERVATIVES, PAULINE KAEL IS notorious for her much-quoted comment about her astonishment that Nixon won the 1972 election since “everyone I know voted for McGovern.” Despite this prime example of the liberal […]

  • Names and Topics



  • FEATURED ARTICLES

    Opinion »

    The Irrepressible Mencken

    June 13, 2013

    The Irrepressible Mencken thumbnail

    by Paul E. Gottfried RECENTLY I’ve been thinking about someone whose name is attached to an organization I’m currently president of, H.L. Mencken (1880-1956). For years I’ve tried to understand why the Baltimore Sage has been branded, mostly recently in The Weekly Standard (see here and here) and in a voluminous biography by Terry Teachout, […]

    Fiction »

    Needed: A New Sexual Morality

    June 13, 2013

    Needed: A New Sexual Morality thumbnail

    Arman asks: Do we need a new code of sexual morality? by H. Millard IN OUR BELIEF SYSTEM for ourselves alone, our thinking on morality is based on the belief that each of us as White individuals must multiply and expand our particular DNA Code to its maximum during our lifetimes. In what follows, you […]

    Vintage Mencken »

    Mencken’s Translation of The Antichrist

    June 9, 2013

    Mencken’s Translation of The Antichrist thumbnail

    The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche on “democracy,” “equality,” Judaism, and Christianity: translated by H.L. Mencken THIS BOOK BELONGS to the most rare of men. Perhaps not one of them is yet alive. It is possible that they may be among those who understand my “Zarathustra”: how could I confound myself with those who are now sprouting […]

    History »

    100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty

    April 26, 2013

    100 Reasons Leo Frank Is Guilty thumbnail

    Proving That Anti-Semitism Had Nothing to Do With His Conviction — and Proving That His Defenders Have Used Frauds and Hoaxes for 100 Years by Bradford L. Huie exclusive to The American Mercury MARY PHAGAN was just thirteen years old. She was a sweatshop laborer for Atlanta, Georgia’s National Pencil Company. Exactly 100 years ago […]

    US News »

    By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt Do Boston

    April 26, 2013

    By Way of Deception, Thou Shalt Do Boston thumbnail

    by Keith Johnson WAS SLAIN Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamarlin Tsarnaev (pictured) coerced, blackmailed or manipulated by Mossad agents posing as FBI agents? Mark Glenn and the crew over at The Ugly Truth have produced a series of radio broadcasts making a compelling argument that he was: TUT Broadcast April 20, 2013 The Victory Hour […]

    Classic Essays »

    H.L. Mencken, America’s Wittiest Defender of Liberty

    April 26, 2013

    H.L. Mencken, America’s Wittiest Defender of Liberty thumbnail

    by Jim Powell DURING THE FIRST HALF of the twentieth century, H.L. Mencken (pictured) was the most outspoken defender of liberty in America. He spent thousands of dollars challenging restrictions on freedom of the press. He boldly denounced President Woodrow Wilson for whipping up patriotic fervor to enter World War I, which cost his job as […]

    Vintage Mencken »

    The Malevolent Jobholder

    April 26, 2013

    The Malevolent Jobholder thumbnail

    by H.L. Mencken (pictured) IN THE IMMORAL monarchies of the continent of Europe, now happily abolished by God’s will, there was, in the old days of sin, an intelligent and effective way of dealing with delinquent officials. Not only were they subject, when taken in downright corruption, to the ordinary processes of the criminal laws; in […]

    Africa, History »

    ‘The Choice of Achilles’: John Alan Coey Against the New World Order

    January 3, 2013

    ‘The Choice of Achilles’: John Alan Coey Against the New World Order thumbnail

    by T.R. Bennington AS EVER, BUT ESPECIALLY in our present state of civilizational malaise, there is a need for figures with the power to inspire — men who in less confused and cynical times would have been unabashedly described as heroic. One such figure is Corporal John Alan Coey, a young soldier who has perhaps […]

    Fiction »

    The Real Zombie Apocalypse

    January 3, 2013

    The Real Zombie Apocalypse thumbnail

    by H. Millard RACE MEANS SUBSPECIES. A subspecies is a group of organisms that has diverged from the species and which is on its way to being a separate species, usually no longer capable of bearing offspring with the old species. We Whites are a subspecies. We are on our way to becoming a separate […]

    Fiction »

    The Eagle and the Cockroach

    January 3, 2013

    The Eagle and the Cockroach thumbnail

    by H. Millard THE EAGLE swooped down and said to the Cockroach, “You are a despicable creature and you are hated by humans. You live everywhere, you eat anything, and you breed like crazy. “I, on the other hand, am loved by humans. I am so noble and beautiful that many humans use me as […]