Friday, October 29, 2010

Mary Katharine Ham: Political Ads About Scared (or Scary) Old People

So, the usual Moment of Whimsy isn't enough when Election Day approaches. We need an effective palate cleanser.

We hear a lot about how the President's agenda for a national recovery is similar to that of FDR. We hear it as if it's a good thing. But it depends on whom you ask. My parents grew up in the Depression. The way my dad remembers it, Herbert Hoover wanted to pass certain programs after the stock market crashed in '29, but he was a Republican, and a Democratic-controlled Congress wouldn't have it. So he failed. Then FDR came along, proposed many of the same things, got what he wanted, and thus became the national savior (and the originator of deficit spending). I didn't have to read some alleged conservative wingnut's retrospective from Regnery Publishing. I heard it as a boy from someone who was there. ("The New Deal didn't get us out of the Depression; it was the War.")

So, judge for yourself whether or not Grandma and Grandpa should be afraid. My folks aren't that worried. Probably because, while we thought they were being cheap when we were growing up, they were merely saving for the winter. There's a lesson there for us all, don't you think?

Or don't you?

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