FDR a model for future leaders

Madelyn Schorr

In 2008, a housing crash caused an economic recession that affected millions of people. Big banks got bailouts instead of being punished for mishandling money. Every day we see someone denouncing climate change, even though scientists say it is real and we must make changes now to combat its disastrous effects. Red states are trying their hardest to repeal the Affordable Care Act even though it is working and providing heath care to millions of people who wouldn’t have access otherwise. Congressmen are working to reduce or completely eliminate New Deal programs that continue to 
help Americans.

Later in his speech, Roosevelt claimed these old enemy forces are united against him and “they are unanimous in their hate for me – and I welcome their hatred.” Instead of throwing shade back at his critics, Roosevelt pushed forward and built programs and policies that proved his opponents wrong. He was set on creating new systems that would work for people instead of destroying his enemies.

Right now, America is at a crossroads. With party polarization at an all-time high and gridlock becoming a new norm for Congress, we must look at our system and take a stand against the status quo. We should look to Roosevelt’s groundbreaking progressive policies and build a new civic infrastructure that works with the current times. We need to look to local governments and cities for innovative policies that can be replicated nationally and look to our colleges and universities to invest in the areas around them. Young people need to be seen as a constant intellectual constituency instead of lazy, uninformed and apathetic. We have more to offer than our money and bodies 
for canvassing.

Even though the 2016 elections are far away, we must push the candidates, real and potential, to be more constructive and work together to find solutions to the growing list of problems we face in this country. Our new leaders should work across party and generation lines to create a new agenda that reflects the diversity of our country. As we go through this new age we must remember that we are not under the control of our senators, congressmen and government, but they are under our control. We must commit ourselves to raise the bar and build a better society that is reflective of 
Roosevelt’s vision.

Madelyn Schorr is a junior majoring in anthropology and art.