Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), often referred to by the initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the Democratic Party, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II, which ended shortly after he died in office. He is rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but has also been subject to substantial criticism.
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To explain why we become attached to our birthplaces, we pretend that we are trees and speak of "roots." Look under your feet. You will not find gnarled growths sprouting through the soles. Roots, I sometimes think, are a conservative myth, designed to keep us in our places.
Conservatives have historically seen people falling through the cracks in society and said, That's the way things work, survival of the fittest. Liberals see people falling through the cracks and say, We've got to do something about those people falling through the cracks, so we need a strong government that can provide programs and assist those people. Populists say there shouldn't be any cracks; let's fix them.
The culture has moved to the point where I find myself in the far left without having gone there. I still feel like I'm putting up my father's old Indiana farmer's values. I think I'm a conservative. I don't think these guys that call themselves "conservatives" really are; these guys are high rollers and plungers and bet-the-farm-on-slender-odds guys; they ain't conservatives. I think a conservative is somebody who cares about conserving the planet and the air and the water and the sky and the sun. It is something mean to say that mankind has fucked up the sunshine.