Corporations and the rich have always been threats to democracy

From an FDR 1936 campaign speech in Madison Square Garden:

“For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.

I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.”

From Teddy Roosevelt:

MALEFACTORS OF GREAT WEALTH.” Too much cannot be said against the men of
wealth who sacrifice everything to getting wealth. There is not in the world
a more ignoble character than the mere money-getting American, insensible to
every duty, regardless of every principle, bent only on amassing a fortune,
and putting his fortune only to the basest uses —whether these uses be to
speculate in stocks and wreck railroads himself, or to allow his son to lead
a life of foolish and expensive idleness and gross debauchery, or to
purchase some scoundrel of high social position, foreign or native, for his
daughter. Such a man is only the more dangerous if he occasionally does some
deed like founding a college or endowing a church, which makes those good
people who are also foolish forget his real iniquity. These men are equally
careless of the working men, whom they oppress, andof the State, whose
existence they imperil. There arenot very many of them, but there is a very
great number of men who approach more or less closely to the type, and, just
in so far as they do so approach, they are curses to the country. (Forum,
February 1895.) Mem. Ed. XV, 10; Nat. Ed. XIII, 9.

thedetermination of the government (in which, gentlemen, it will not waver)
to punish certain malefactors of great wealth, has been responsible for
something of the trouble; at least to the extent of having caused these men
to combine to bring about as much financial stress as possible, in order to
discredit the policy of the government and thereby secure a reversal of that
policy, so that they may enjoy unmolested the fruits of their own
evil-doing. . . . I regard this contest as one to determine who shall rule
this free country—the people through their governmental agents, or a few
ruthless and domineering men whose wealth makes them peculiarly formidable
because they hide behind the breastworks of corporate organization. (At
Pilgrim Memorial Monument, Provincetown, Mass., August 20, 1907.) Mem. Ed.
XVIII, 99; Nat. Ed. XVI, 84


About James Crist

How do we stop America's decline? The country is in trouble and we can all feel it. Where did we go wrong? How do we fix it? We now have an auction-based government, for sale to the highest bidder. Politicians have become nothing more than corporate whores and pawns for the rich. If we want our representatives to represent us, let them get their campaign money from us, their constituents. We have to amend the constitution to get the big money out of politics.
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