But unlike President Donald Trump
, who is leaving town before his successor takes the oath of office
, Hoover still showed up the next day
. He rode alongside Roosevelt
, albeit miserably
, down Pennsylvania Avenue to the inaugural ceremony
, a moment captured indelibly in photographs with a joyless Hoover next to an ebullient Roosevelt
. Hoover had called a special session of Congress to allow for the rapid approval of Roosevelt’s Cabinet appointments
. And he allowed for the smooth transfer of power
, even as he felt certain the country would ignite into flaming embers
While most schoolchildren can tell you that Franklin Roosevelt was one of the most popular presidents of all time, elected four times over, that did not mean there was not a loyal opposition.
确实, the leader of the opposition was Hoover himself
. Hoover had come into office in
1929, the first president
(and the last before Donald Trump
) to have never held elective office or served in the military
. He had become a household name in World War I by organizing humanitarian relief to starving Europeans
. An engineer by training
, he used his technocratic skills to orchestrate tremendous voluntary efforts to help people in need from war-torn Europe to 受害人 of the Mississippi flood of
1927. When he ran for office
, 他 promised an end to poverty
, and the country believed him
But then the stock market crash in
1929 and the desperate conditions of depression overcame his engineering skills
. It was not long before the homeless 已建 shantytowns they called Hoovervilles
As he had during the war
, Hoover urged Americans to take up charity once again
. And he urged businesses to retain workers and maintain wages
. He also orchestrated loans to farmers and ailing banks
, 和, by the time he left office
, Hoover even approved of loans to states for relief
But those measures were not enough. America needed more government, just like today. At the time of the 1932 选举, there were some 13 million unemployed, a staggering one in four out of work. In big cities, the numbers were even worse. One in three residents in Chicago were unemployed. Even for those with jobs, their wages plummeted.
Against this backdrop
, Roosevelt won a staggering victory
, 通过 7 百万票
, promising Americans a
.” That would come to include federal relief
, public works
, unemployment insurance
, old-age pensions
, labor protections
, minimum wages
, farm subsidies
, public power
, banking reform
, lower tariffs
, a departure from the gold standard and much more
All of which Roosevelt had mapped out on the campaign trail
. If the details were murky
, 罗斯福 left no doubt that his approach would be a radical departure from Hoover’s conservatism
And Hoover knew it
. 事实上, he did more than anyone else to warn about how radical this departure would be
. In his last major campaign speech
, at Madison Square Garden
, Hoover declared
, “This campaign is
… more than a contest between two parties
. It is a contest between two philosophies of government.
” He warned against
“so-called new deals which would destroy the very foundations of our American system.
To clarify the stakes
, Hoover later claimed that Roosevelt’s approach would lead to tyranny
, the same philosophy that had
“poisoned all Europe
… the fumes of a witch’s cauldron which boiled in Russia.
After his defeat and during the transition
, Hoover unsuccessfully tried to shoehorn Roosevelt into extending his policies
, which would have curtailed the New Deal
. As banks across the nation failed
, which would prompt Roosevelt to use authority to close them
, Hoover refused to act
. Hoover discouraged
, and at times banned
, his officials from meeting with the President-elect
As world events as troubling as the rise of European fascism were unfolding, Hoover seemed more focused on fighting with Roosevelt. 为什么? 因为, presumably, he thought the domestic threat was larger.
As he would later make clear
, Hoover saw his successor as a fascist-like threat
. In his memoirs
, he held Roosevelt and the New Deal responsible for
) to Americans the spectacle of Fascist dictation to business
, and agriculture.
Hoover’s main assertion was not only that Roosevelt was a fascist in his approach to the country’s economy, but also that his very policies would fail and indeed prolong the economic crisis, destroying democracy in the process. That perspective shaped conservative opposition to the New Deal right away.
在他的就职演说中, 罗斯福, 太, left no room for doubt that his would be a different style of leadership
, the previous President having failed the country in its moment of need
. His was a new leadership
“of frankness and vigor
,” a rejection of the
“false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit.
In a promise of a different future
, 罗斯福 说过
, “We do not distrust the future of essential democracy
. The people of the United States have not failed
. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct
, vigorous action
. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership
. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes
. In the spirit of the gift I take it.
All of this was exactly what Hoover feared. And he spent the rest of his life fighting against Roosevelt and the New Deal, at times with bombastic rhetoric.
But this loyal opposition pales in comparison to today. Today we are witnessing something far different; disloyal is putting it too mildly. It is one thing to have profound policy differences and to fight for them through political channels — even with fiery rhetoric; it is quite another to challenge the very institutions of democracy, including and above all else, the peaceful transition of power through popular elections.