To the Editor:
Sounds like Progressives and Neo-Liberals are still trying to live the fallacious utopian dream.
In 1926, Franklin Roosevelt stated the following in his Wither Bound Address:
“In the methods of our governing … we have come to accept, or at least to discuss without fear, problems and methods formerly mentioned only by wild-eyed visionaries ... .
“Probably on any given problem of modern life, if a count or classification could be made, the out-and-out conservatives would be found to be in a distant minority. Yet the majority would be so divided over the means by which to gain their ends that they could not present sufficient unity to obtain action. This has been the history of progress ...
“Measured by years, the actual control of human affairs is in the hands of conservatives for longer periods than in those of liberals or radicals. When the latter do come into power, they translate the constantly working leaven of progress into law or custom or use, but rarely obtain enough time in control to make further economic or social experiments.
“None of us, therefore, need feel surprise that the government of our own country, for instance, is conservative by far the greater part of the time. Our national danger is, however, not that it may for four years or eight years become liberal or even radical, but that it may suffer from too long a period of the do-nothing or reactionary standards.
“Certainly, it would appear on the surface that a natural advantage lies with those among us who dislike seeing change. It is so much more easy to accept what we are told than to think things out for ourselves. It takes courage, too, to disagree with our everyday companions; the obvious path is simpler to follow than one of our own making.”
Essentially, Roosevelt repositioned the utopians as enlightened, modern, futuristic, and, conversely, presented the advocates of civil society and constitutionalism as obstructing individual and societal progress.
“Roosevelt also insisted that although most Americans supported the utopian counterrevolution, divisions among the utopians and obstructions thwarted its full realization by an intransigent conservative minority” (Levin, pg. 183). This lead to the Socialist New Deal and to his 1944 State of the Union speech, delivered near the end of his presidency, in which he proposes his Second Bill of Rights.
Wake up, America!