Biden Is Still No FDR

by Conrad Black

One of the many irritations generated by the Biden regime is the cumulatively pervasive insinuation that it in any serious way replicates the administration and even the person of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This is a very ambitious historical fraud based on constant minor references to Roosevelt’s presidency, all tending to create the false impression without actually stating it, that there is a real similarity to be made between the times and the individuals involved. It is a fraud enabled by the fact that, as FDR died 77 years ago, very few people actually remember him. 

The general study of American history has collapsed into politically correct fables of white self-hate, and the national political media are historically ignorant and for the most part rabidly Democratic. Joe Biden could address the nation in a Superman costume and Joy Behar would consider it becoming, Wolf Blitzer and the others at CNN would praise it as costume energization, and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell would compare it favorably to the gold braid-festooned hat of five-star General Douglas MacArthur.

Never was this imposture of a Roosevelt-Biden similarity more painful than at the address to a joint session of Congress on April 28. The watchword and battle cry of the first Roosevelt term was from his imperishable first inaugural, next to Lincoln’s and even more than Kennedy’s, the most famous in the country’s history: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This was an inspired insight and later in the same speech he said that our problems, “thank God, concern only material things.” And towards the end of his address Roosevelt said: 

I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures the stricken nation in the midst of the stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption. . . .

For the trust reposed in me, I will return the courage and the devotion that fit the time; I can do no less. We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty by old and young alike . . . .

The people of the United States have not failed. In their need, they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift, I take it.

Nothing short of outright gibberish could have been at more stark contrast in tone or circumstances to that ringing call which announced a massive program of national reform and relief to a huge crowd gathered at the Capitol than Joe Biden’s tightly masked, carefully socially distanced appearance before a corporal’s guard of legislators. Biden exuded fear and defamation of his unnamed predecessor, to whose efforts the nation and the world owed the swift development of the vaccines that are banishing the public health crisis that, along with electoral skullduggery, elected Biden in the first place.    

Biden declared on April 28 that when he was inaugurated three months before, it was as president of a “nation in crisis . . . (that) stared into the abyss of insurrection and autocracy . . . the country had done nothing in immigration in 30 years,” (except his predecessor’s elimination of 90 percent of illegal immigration), and that his unnamed oppressive predecessor had added “$2 trillion to the deficit to create from ‘trickle-down’ economics 650 billionaires who cheat on their taxes.” 


The United States had full employment a year ago at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Dow Jones Industrial average has risen 80 percent in four years. Trump had reduced the income taxes of 80 percent of American taxpayers and all tax-paying corporations. When President Roosevelt took the oath on March 4, 1933, the unemployment rate was approximately 30 percent and there was no direct federal relief for them; 46 states had closed their banks and the other two had sharply reduced permissible withdrawals, and all stock and commodity exchanges had been closed sine die. The financial system and national morale of the United States had collapsed. The Dow had declined by 90 percent in the previous three years.

Biden’s admiration for Roosevelt is well-deserved but he in no way resembles him. Apart from his three subsequent successful presidential campaigns, FDR ran for the Democratic nomination only once and won by a wide margin. Joe Biden ran twice without getting above two percent in the polls and the third time came fifth in New Hampshire prior to being installed as presidential candidate by the party establishment. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt, unlike Joe Biden, never plagiarized anything from anyone, did not make exaggerated claims for his academic career, was admired for decades for his mellifluous and artistic oratory—not derided as “a human gaffe machine”— and as someone who surmounted the severe handicap of polio, led the nation out of the Great Depression, and with Winston Churchill, led the Western Allies to the brink of victory in the greatest and the justest war in history. 

In his first 100 days (104 in fact), Roosevelt almost instantly reconstructed and revived the banking system, created conservation and workfare programs that absorbed more than half the unemployed, stabilized farm prices and harvests at survivable levels, established the Tennessee Valley Authority that brought electricity and flood and drought control to the rural areas of seven southern states, reformed securities legislation, modified the status of gold as a backing for the currency, established a national employment system, refinanced delinquent home and farm mortgages, guaranteed bank deposits, ended Prohibition, passed the Glass-Steagall Banking Act, and adopted the complicated and ambitious National Industrial Recovery Act. Joe Biden gained the adoption of a COVID relief measure of which only 10 percent was related to the pandemic. Comparisons are often odious but this one is simply an outrage.

Roosevelt was universally recognized as a man of courage, though not above a political ruse when conditions called for one. There is something profoundly annoying in the efforts of Biden and his myth-makers to gather stealthily and by increments the renown of Roosevelt, who is universally recognized as, with Washington and Lincoln, among the greatest of American presidents. In his address last week, the only point at which Biden quoted Roosevelt was “We all do our part.” I think I may have read every recorded speech that FDR gave and I don’t recall that; he certainly said things like that many times but he said them much more eloquently.

There appears to be little chance that Joe Biden will get close to the esteem in which FDR has been held, but there may be a slight chance that by this constant media-assisted campaign of reputational hitch-hiking, he will drag FDR in the minds of the unknowing down somewhat from the high point in the nation’s esteem where he belongs.

First published in American Greatness.


2 Responses

  1. “Joe Biden could address the nation in a Superman costume and Joy Behar would consider it becoming, Wolf Blitzer and the others at CNN would praise it as costume energization, and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell would compare it favorably to the gold braid-festooned hat of five-star General Douglas MacArthur.”

    Possibly, but I’d personally find it much easier to picture that if it was The Donald with Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson, and Conrad Black’s old three-legged mule.

  2. I just can’t stand to watch him. He’s phoniness personified and reminds me of the cartoon “Max Headroom”
    The only thing that gives me some level of satisfaction about this administration is that Kamala Harris has been consigned to the usual role of the VP and that is one of a powerless ornament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

Order here or wherever books are sold.

The perfect gift for the history lover in your life. Order on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold

Order at Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold. 

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Send this to a friend