by Curtis Roosevelt, Huffington Post
What if the president proposed something big — something that really focused on a broader question, such as the fundamental inequality in America? Well, surely, if he did so, he would be labelled a socialist! Not socialist as defined in the academic sense, or as the rest of the world uses it in its political life, but in the crude way that Republicans have always used it — as a brickbat to throw at their political opposition.
This has all happened before. In the 1936 election, when FDR proposed the “radical” safety net of Social Security, his Republican opponent Gov. Alf Landon painted a portrait, familiar to FDR’s detractors, of the president as a communist and socialist:
Imagine the field opened for federal snooping. Are these 26 million going to be fingerprinted? Are their photographs going to be kept on file in a Washington office? Or are they going to have identification tags put around their necks?
Fortunately, Americans ignored him and gave FDR an overwhelming victory.