Alexander's Column

The FDR Model for Buying Presidential Elections

Redistributing Wealth and Entitlements for Votes

By Mark Alexander · Sep. 27, 2012
“A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” –Samuel Adams (1779)

In the conservative and business media, there is much perplexity and vexation over the inverse relationship between Barack Hussein Obama’s rising job approval ratings and our nation’s failing economic status. Yes, Leftmedia “Pollaganda” skewed political polls used as propaganda to prop up Obama, are a factor. But what mystifies some are the more reliable ratings which indicate Obama is increasing his lead over Romney.

Typifying that confusion is this missive from The Wall Street Journal: “The paradox of this presidential campaign is that the worse the economic news gets, the more Barack Obama seems to climb in the polls. The lousy unemployment numbers in May, June, July and August corresponded with a slight rise in Mr. Obama’s approval rating. Ditto with the abysmal poverty numbers released two weeks ago.”

It would follow then, that the latest economic data this week – median household income declining $4,520 (8.2 percent) since Obama took office, U.S. economic growth (GDP) declining to a meager 1.3 percent, and orders for durable goods (big-ticket items) declining by 13 percent last month, may actually increase Obama’s lead over the Romney-Ryan ticket.

However, given a little insight into human nature, there is nothing contradictory about Obama’s polling and the economic decline. The only thing that perplexes me about these popularity metrics is why anyone would be perplexed.


A majority of the voters who decide presidential elections – those in the murky middle between Republicans and Democrats – are experiencing significant distress about the future of their livelihoods. Thus, they are gravitating toward the more convincing promise of safety and security. In the context of the current presidential campaign, however defiant of logic, the “undecided” are being lured by the greatest of lies – that socialist statism will protect them.

Some erudite analysts suggest that the upcoming election will mirror the 1980 contest between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. However, unlike the Carter v. Reagan paradigm of the last great recession, when Ronald Reagan devoted his campaign to restoring the grassroots optimism necessary for reversing the crisis of confidence miring our economy in the mud, Romney is facing a much more menacing foe – an ideological socialist who is operating on the FDR paradigm.

In 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, more than 20 percent of the workforce was idle. At that time, Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched a campaign against Republican Herbert Hoover that was built on the populist socialism themes that had spread like a blight over Eastern Europe. The key elements of that paradigm were classist disparity and wealth redistribution – precisely the themes Obama used during the precipitous economic decline of 2008 to defeat John McCain.

FDR, in his defense of Democratic Socialism, offered this dubious classist assertion: “Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.” Of course, Roosevelt was paraphrasing the doctrine of Karl Marx, whose maxim declared, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

FDR was able to implement far more of his statist New Deal solutions in his first four years than Obama – who has faced stiff opposition from the House of Representatives since Republicans retook the majority in 2010. But Obama, like FDR, is a master propagandist, and his populist socialist appeals resonate beyond the cadres of his state-dependent cult.

Some might argue that FDR had more fertile ground in which to plant his socialist seeds of dissension, but the fact is that real unemployment today is closing in on that of the Great Depression – 19 percent rather than the current 8.1 percent figure trotted out by Obama’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latter figure, which is much less alarming, simply ignores the millions of Americans who’ve given up looking for work and are thus no longer counted in the workforce, and millions more who are underemployed.

Fact is, everyone in America knows someone who has been adversely affected by our economic decline, and most Americans, regardless of political identification, are concerned about their ability to support themselves and their families. In such times of widespread economic distress, the innate tendency to gravitate toward perceived safety, toward even the fantasy of “Hope and Change” in order to move “Forward,” is very strong.

As Patrick Henry observed at the dawn of our nation, “It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth – and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts.”

Moreover, Obama has a propaganda tool FDR could not even imagine – the mass-Leftmedia conduit into the psyche of the American people, which he uses to dupe the ignorant into trading their votes for socialist entitlements from redistributed wealth.

FDR, in his second presidential campaign, had amassed a powerful coalition of Leftist protagonists that included leaders of urban political machines and unions, the intelligentsia and glitterati, and religious and ethnic minorities. His opponent was a Republican governor who had, in his tenure, embraced some of FDR’s statist policies, but who objected to the adverse impact those policies had on private enterprise, and the resulting accumulation of national debt and inherent government waste.

Does anything in that campaign contest sound familiar?

FDR won a historic landslide victory in 1936 – receiving almost 61 percent of the vote, and went on to win unprecedented third and fourth presidential terms. While the economic efficacy of his New Deal policies did little to restore the economy (the build up for World War II ended the Great Depression), the populist political efficacy of his socialist doctrines proved very effective during a time of pronounced economic decline.

So what is Mitt Romney to do?

I’m not suggesting that Romney can’t defeat Obama’s socialist propaganda, but in order to win this election, he can’t only rely on the 1980 political paradigm based on the question, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

Romney must exit the role of “diplomat” and assume the part of a warrior. He must articulate the threat to Liberty inherent in Obama’s ideology.

He must devote the remaining weeks of this election not only to the primacy of free enterprise over socialism, but to the greater cause of Liberty over tyranny. Paul Ryan gets it – but he is not at the top of the ticket.

Romney must go on the offensive and take the high ground.

For example, Romney wasted most of last week ducking and covering for his remarks about the fact that a large percentage of Obama’s electoral support is bought with redistributed wealth and entitlements. Romney should have instead noted that the Left was howling because they believe that ALL Americans are dependent on government – which is precisely what Obama himself recently proclaimed in his now-infamous assertion, “You didn’t build that. Somebody else [read: "government”] made that happen.“

Time is not on the side of Liberty. There is little distinction between Marxist Socialism, Nationalist Socialism and Democratic Socialism. Socialism irrevocably results in state tyranny, and another Obama term may prove the end of the Constitutional Republic established by our Founders and supported by generations of Patriots since.

Though our Constitution’s 22nd Amendment, if still applicable in 2016, may exclude Obama from seeking a third and fourth term, he has already laid the foundation in his first term for "fundamentally transforming the United States of America” into the ObamaNation Plantation. He only needs one more term of economic decline to ensure the systemic subjugation of the American people – at least until the next insurrection to restore Liberty.

Obama recently remarked, “The most important lesson I’ve learned is you can’t change Washington from the inside.” Those words may prove more prophetic than he intended.


View all comments


Melvin W. Clayton in Independence, Kansas said:

I just read a letter of June 12, 1816 that Thomas Jefferson wrote to Samuel Kercheval - OH HOW FAR WE HAVE VEERED OFF COURSE!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 1:53 PM

LibertyIsUS in Arlington, VA replied:

Mr. Clayton,

Could you provide the citation for your comment? I would enjoy reading Mr. Jefferson's letter.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Carole Mitchell in Colorado said:

This is the most profound and complete summation of the position of our country and how Obama orchestrated it, and how he is moving toward his goal! Thank you for putting it in print. If only every American could read and understand the "Truth". Wish this could be one of Romney's speeches!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:00 PM

ksswede in Kansas said:

I don't think it will matter that much who is elected as President. Congress is the group that should be focused upon. We are in debt so deem and the public is so dependent on government entitlements that I am afraid that our country is destined to doom.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:02 PM

demsarerats in Oregon replied:

Kss, yes, I am even more convinced of that now.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Marilyn in Missouri said:

"Ronald Reagan devoted his campaign to restoring the grassroots optimism necessary for reversing the crisis of confidence miring our economy in the mud". And that is exactly what Ron Paul would have been able to do in addition to having far better economic, social and foreign affairs policies than Romney or Obama. Ron Paul would have defeated Obama hands down. He would have unified Republicans rather than disenfranchising constitutional conservatives as Romney has done, and he would have picked up the disenfranchised Democrats as well. You know - the ones who still want God in their platform and don't like the killing of babies.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:08 PM

ken in new york replied:

Marilyn, I concur. with regard to Obama and Romney; they are two sides of the same coin. There will be no real change. As patriots most are so caught up in the left/right, liberal/conservative,democrat/republican paradigm, they can't see the forest through the trees.
with regard to party loyalty consider the following:

"the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-rounded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another."
-George Washington's farewell address September 19, 1796

Friday, September 28, 2012 at 5:59 PM

john in Kalamazoo, Michigan said:

we have come to the defining moment in our nations history, our rights are God given and bought with the blood of sacrifice that No one can take away not only is that blood calling out but all those who have gone before us to achieve that dream purchased with such a great price. we will go to the polls, we will go to the streets we will shout out that message clear and loud, No More, We want out Nation back!!!!! it is not the elites to give away or steal, we will speak... You are Fired.!!!! God Bless America.
Proud and Free. we will endure.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Big Sky Jim in Huntley,MT said:

I am truly dismayed at the fact that a second term is a remote possiblilty. That is an indictment on the country as a whole. My greater worry is the electorate that put such evil idiots in office such as Pelosi, Reid, the campainger in chief and so forth. Elections should be an evolution that is honorable-character MATTERS. That is not the case today.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:16 PM

David Thompson in Bellville, TX said:

Obama is a "more menacing foe" than Carter was ONLY because he's been willing to bankrupt the government (and possibly the nation), by borrowing $5 trillion to buy his re-election. He is otherwise totally incompetent, as was Carter.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Angry American in Colorado said:

I for one, dont believe in polls, dont trust anyone running or in public office. I take care of myself..
trust me.. obama will win, he will then declair all guns illegal.. idiots will turn in their weapons, fuel and food prices will skyrocket, unemployment will sky rocket.. bands of thugs will roam the streets taking food and fuel and killing at will. The police will do nothing, the military will do nothing.. if you are not armed and prepared to defend yourself and liberty.. you are history. then you will hear people saying why did I vote for this guy... oh I was so stupid.. and the media will stand by showing how great our dictator-in-chief is.. the great obama.. king of america..

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Kelly Jarboe in Blue Springs, MO said:

There is a lot of truth to your article but the thing that gets me is the sheer ignorance of the Population that choose to buy into it. Comon sence dictates that there is no way to tear down the Wealthy to raise up the less fortunate ones in society, the promise of the Central Government is basically the same as the Lies that were used to force he Native American People into acepting the Handouts by the Government for the Right to take their land and allow them an Island in which to live, if you want to see how well that worked out take a close look at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, then ask yourself is that the way you want your family to live. I think not.
Reject the Obama deal and look to yourselves for a way out his way is total destruction.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:40 PM

UGA67 in Herndon, VA replied:

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

... Abraham Lincoln

Friday, September 28, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Robert in Morris said:

What you say true, however there is not much that be done about it.
Too many things have to go right for Romney, Obama will win like it or not.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Corbin Douthitt in Hurst said:

I can only hope that Romney will show the President for what he is and what he does and let the President lie about who he is to the people. But-- likely his handlers will not let him do so. They are the Old Guard Republicans- and do not really believe that he will win. They are afraid of Conservatives- because the are really Democrats at heart. the Democrats are Socialists. Romney is a wimp. More so than McCain was. the Democrats will run over him with lies innuendo and the MSM will run ahead of him screaming for him. Romney cannot win if he allows the Democrats t o drive the issues and the media to continue to soft sell the President with NO questions about his pre-election promises and economic failures. They refuse to point out his policies that restrict the economy and whine about needing more time. They still blame Bush. If Obie is re-elected, who will they blame the problems on next year? Bush? Really?
I predict a civil war if Obama is re-elected. Especially if there is ANY whiff of voter fraud. The Democrats ALWAYS whine about voter fraud, to deflect THEIR fraudulent practices. It wasn't a Republican that stole the ballot boxes in South Texas that helped elect Lyndon Johnson.. It has never been a Republican that stole races in Chicago.. it has ALWAYS been Democrats that cannot tell the truth and must lie , cheat and steal to win.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Mr. Buck in Indiana said:

"The [unemployment] figure . . . ignores the millions of Americans who've given up looking for work and are thus no longer counted in the workforce, and millions more who are underemployed."
Okay, but while we're talking about the Great Depression, let's compare apples to apples. Back then a large percentage of women were not habitually employed. Now, most women are. So the fact that many of them may have left the workforce doesn't mean that families are worse off than they were in 1932.
To give an example, my grandparents were hit hard by the Crash of '29. He lost his job at the Buick plant, and defaulted on his mortgage. But she had already given up her lucrative teaching job when she got pregnant with their first son in 1926. So her lack of earned income wouldn't have landed her on the unemployment lists back then. In 1988, my wife declined to renew her teaching contract when she became pregnant with her first son; but she was nonetheless advised to apply for unemployment on the grounds that the school she taught at had a policy against re-hiring her anyway, had she attempted to renew her contract as a pregnant woman.
The loss of my grandfather's job had a devastating effect on his family. They left the city and moved to a farm where their pay was the use of a dilapidated hired-hand house, all the milk they could drink, and one hog a year. The family continued to live in poverty until the youngest child was old enough that my grandmother could go back to her lucrative taxpayer-financed career as a schoolteacher. On the other hand, my family has done quite well in the 24 years since my wife left the workforce, and she has no plans to go back. Instead, she has saved our local tax base over half a million dollars by educating our 9 children herself (it will be upwards of a million dollars by the time she is done in 2028).

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Doug Priester in Maumelle, Arkansas said:

The Romney camp is doing an awful job on advertising, attacking, and tossing out one-liner solutions to problems. The marketing and PR for the Republican party should all be fired. They have a winning combination with the Romney Ryan ticket and are letting it slip thru their fingers.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Jim in Dallas, TX said:

Hello Bullet Box! Stock up!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Drugbert in Georgia said:

To quote a Republican President.."There you go again"'s seems to me the "murky " is in the minds of the righteous right, blaming Clinton and now FDR for the mess we are in now. What about the mess Reagan left us in...huge debt, de-regulation that filled the coffers of the carpetbaggers in oil, gas, and communication, an environment under are right in that the Republicans were really Democrats (Southern) who stoled the GOP from under the nose of the noble aristocratic GOP...we need to stop the finger pointing, quit accusing EVERY democrat of being a bleeding socialist liberal and learn that governing requires comprimise to achieve the common goals of America. Bring back American Altruism...the real patriotism!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM