Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not everyone liked FDR

I should research this some more one day. I still remember vividly the day I was working at the Brooklyn Library and mentioned something about Roosevelt and got corrected -- very sternly -- by one of the old ladies of the town (I truly wish I could remember who!). It was the first time I heard criticism of FDR.

Poem collected from: http://www.ytmag.com/cgi-bin/viewit.cgi?bd=ttalk&th=637268

A stranger stood at the gate of Hell
And the Devil himself had answered the bell
He looked him over from head to toe
And said "My friend, I’d like to know
What you have done in the line of sin
To entitle you to come within?"
Then Franklin D. with his usual guile
Stepped forth and flashed his toothy smile.
"When I took over in ’33,
A nation’s faith was mine", said he
"I promised this and I promised that,
And I calmed them down with a fireside chat.
I spent their money on fishing trips
And I fished from the decks of their battleships.
I gave them jobs on the WPA
Then raised their taxes and took it away.
I raised their wages, then closed their shops,
I killed their pigs and buried their crops.
I double-crossed both young and old
And still the folks my praises told.
I brought back beer and what do you think?
I taxed it so high they couldn’t drink.
I furnished money with good loans
When they missed a payment I took their homes.
When I wanted to punish people, you know,
I put my wife on the radio.
I paid them to let their farms lie still
And imported foodstuffs from Brazil.
And curtailed crops when I felt mean
And shipped in corn from the Argentine.
When they started to worry, stew and fret,
I’d get them to chanting the alphabet.
With the AAA and the NLB
The WPA and the CCC.
With these many units I got their goats
And still I crammed it down their throats
While the taxpayers chewed their fingernails.
When the organizers needed dough
I signed up plants for the CIO.
I ruined their jobs and I ruined their health
And I put the screws on the rich man’s wealth.
And some who couldn’t stand the gaff
Would call me up and how I’d laugh!
When they got too hot on certain things
I’d pack up and head for Warm Springs.
I ruined their country, their homes, and then
Laid the blame on the ‘nine old men’."
Now Franklin talked both long and loud
And the Devil stood with his head bowed.
At last he said "Let’s make it clear,
You’ll have to move, you can’t stay here.
For once you’ve mingled with this mob
I’ll have to hunt myself a job."

No comments: