What Roosevelt Thought: The Social and Political Ideas of Franklin D. Roosevelt

By Thomas H. Greer | Go to book overview

6
The Great Game of Politics

IT IS A COMMON AMERICAN NOTION that government is a good and necessary thing, but that politics is a sorry business. Roosevelt was aware of this widespread opinion and sought continually to refute it. Far from apologizing for his choice of a career, he insisted that politicians were indispensable to the American way of life. Danger to the republic arose not from the practice of politics, but from the reluctance of able men to seek office. Politics was the instrument for achieving government, and neither one could be of higher grade than the politicians themselves.1


The Party System

As politicians give life to constitutions, party organizations provide a mechanism for the democratic process. "It is well to remember," he wrote in 1932, "that without some form of political organization, little can be accomplished. Theodore Roosevelt, for example, believed in organization and used its support, even though it had a poor record in many of its previous actions. He got results for his state and nation which could have been accomplished in no other way."2 The need for parties, he explained, arose with the beginning of our national government-as soon as it became clear that there were two divergent views

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What Roosevelt Thought: The Social and Political Ideas of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Preface - Roosevelt: A Practical Philosopher ix
  • Contents xiii
  • 1 - Vision of the Abundant Life 3
  • 2 - Unto Unto Caesar What is Caesar's 26
  • 3 - Government and the Economy 45
  • 4 - A More Perfect Union: The American Constitutional System 75
  • 5 - The People's Choice: The Presidency 88
  • 6 - The Great Game of Politics 114
  • 7 - Truth and Citizenship 142
  • 8 - The Good Neighbor 158
  • 9 - Strategy for Survival 183
  • 10 - Roosevelt: Radical or Conservative? 206
  • Notes and Bibliography 215
  • Notes 217
  • Bibliographical Note 229
  • Index 235
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