FDR's Advice for the Democrats ... And His Amazing Prediction

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The election over, Democrats wondered what to do. The Republicans had won back-to-back victories in presidential elections and appeared well along the way toward becoming the majority party. Democratic leaders were disconsolate, wondering what they could do to recover the White House. The year? 1924, not 2004.

Delaware attorney Willard Saulsbury was one of those wondering what the Democrats could do. On November 8, just four days after the election that kept Calvin Coolidge in the White House despite the many scandals involving the Teapot Dome investigation, Saulsbury wrote to his friend Franklin Roosevelt to commiserate about the Democrats' unfavorable position."I do not know that we would have had any chance to have anybody President at this time," he wrote glumly.

This was FDR's response, which included an amazing prediction concerning the course the economy would take:

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John Edward Philips - 3/8/2006

You've never heard of the business cycle? By this time the idea that good times are followed by hard times was pretty common, although the "new economy" types, in the 1920s as much as in the 1990s thought the business cycle had been repealed.

What's remarkable is that there was the same corruption among Republicans, their same stranglehold on the press and the same indifference of most Americans.

Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

In the 60s my father, a life-long Democrat & observer of human affairs but no more deeply involved in politics than to be elected mayor of a small town, told me in the late 50s that "The blicans lead us into depressions; the Democrats get us into wars." Not so as a generalization?