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Democracy Will Perish if Democrats Do Not Try “Going Big,” According to History

Fascism awoke and began to engulf societies all across the globe. It was evident after ten years that this was one of history’s worst ideas.

However, the unpalatable reality is that many, many people were enthralled by fascism’s charm during its heyday — and not just in the countries that would go on to become Axis powers during World War II.

Nonetheless, the US did not become fascist. Why? Dorothy Thompson, a journalist for Harper’s Magazine in 1941, wrote a disturbing story titled “Who Goes Nazi?”

Thompson noted, “Nazism has nothing to do with race and nationality,” based on her time in Europe (she was the first American reporter banned from Nazi Germany). It appeals to a particular mentality.” Furthermore, large sections of the American population, according to Thompson, had this mentality.

From a distance of nearly a century, the reason the United States was able to avoid fascism appears obvious.

It’s not that we’re friendlier or better than other countries because of our sterling nature.

Simply put, we were fortunate. For the country, history’s prolate spheroid-shaped football bounced in the right direction. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal were a big component of that luck.

We overlooked that the New Deal was an incredible human achievement that could be extended or destroyed, not a natural mountain range.

Roosevelt was the ideal president for the job at the ideal time. The New Deal revealed that democracy could provide unmistakable benefits to desperate people, both material and emotional, and therefore took away much of the psychological poison that fascism relies on.

Then something awful happened over the next 30 years: America forgot about it all. We didn’t realise how fortunate we had been.

We overlooked that the New Deal was an incredible human achievement that could be extended or destroyed, not a natural mountain range.


“Going Big: FDR’s Legacy, Biden’s New Deal, and the Struggle to Save Democracy,” by Robert Kuttner, effectively demonstrates this.

“I am a kid of the New Deal,” adds Kuttner, born in 1943. My parents used a government-backed mortgage to buy their first home.

The VA covered great medical care for my father when he was diagnosed with cancer. My mother was able to keep our home when he died because of my father’s veteran’s benefits and her Social Security widow’s income.”

“My generation grew up thinking of the Roosevelt revolution-era system as normal,” he says. This ostensibly everlasting social contract, on the other hand, was extraordinary.

Above all, it was precarious, relying as much on luck and circumstance as it did on long-term structural change.”

For his entire life, Kuttner has fought for the New Deal and its fierce opponents. He began his career as an assistant to journalist I.F. Stone, then worked as a congressional investigator, general manager of Pacifica’s WBAI Radio in New York City, and a regular newspaper columnist.

Most notably, he co-founded two enduring institutions: the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, and The American Prospect, one of the most ardently liberal publications in the United States.

Kuttner has spent much of this time trying to persuade the Democratic Party to care about its history and stop working with the right-wing of the United States to undermine the New Deal’s extended universe.

However, Kuttner makes a frightening case in “Going Big” that the stakes are now much higher.

“Joe Biden’s presidency will either be a historic pivot back to New Deal economics and forward to energised democracy, or a heartbreaking interregnum between two bouts of deepening American fascism,” the book’s first words declare. “America’s Last Chance,” the final chapter, is titled.

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“Going Big,” tells the story of how we arrived at this point, beginning with Roosevelt and ending in January of this year when it was published. It’s chock-full of odd and little-known facts, like the fact that candidates needed two-thirds of the delegates’ votes to win the Democratic Party nomination in 1932.

The conservative white Democratic powerbrokers of the South pushed for this rule to give them a say in who led the party, and their ideological descendants are now Republicans.

According to Kuttner, “Roosevelt came within an eyelash of being denied the nomination” as a result of this; he only squeaked by allying with the extremely unpopular Southerners.

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