“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed effort to convert retreat into advance.” - FDR

Franklin D. Roosevelt became president March 4,1933 during the greatest economic disaster in America’s history.  Roosevelt’s opening lines of his 20 minute-long inaugural address about “fear” are well known.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed effort to convert retreat into advance.”


Other parts of that speech not as widely quoted should be read and studied. Roosevelt placed blame for the economic collapse on the greed and shortsightedness of bankers and businessmen and said of the recovery:

“The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.”


Roosevelt began a number of programs such as the WPA and CCC creating jobs for the unemployed and established “social value” programs such as Social Security to provide old age benefits which programs turned people’s “fear” into HOPE and is known as the “New Deal.”


Instead of WORKING WITH ROOSEVELT to bring people “hope”  Republicans offered “fear” and a “No Deal” policy for every Roosevelt New Deal proposal.



Republicans preached “fear” of Social Security in 1935 with statements like these:

 “The lash of the dictator will be felt, and 25 million free American citizens will for the first time submit themselves to a fingerprint test.  Republican Congressman Daniel Reed


Republican Presidential candidate Alf Landon claimed “Social Security is a cruel hoax.”


Roosevelt’s Social Security for more than 75 years has improved the quality of life for millions of Americans and IN 2014 SOCIAL SECURITY IS THE MAIN SOURCE OF INCOME FOR MORE THAN HALF OF THE 60 MILLION WHO RECEIVE THOSE BENEFITS.


Republicans for more than 75 years have continued their campaign of “fear” against Social Security and want to cut Social Security benefits to give the richest 1% a lower tax rate.


Rick Perry the Republican Governor of Texas and former Presidential Candidate has continued the Republican  “fear” and “No Deal” on Social Security in this language: “Social Security operates the way Bernie Madoff ran his scam. Functionally both are what are termed Ponzi schemes…..Madoff was sent to die in prison, but government can raise taxes to cover up the scam.”





Former Republican President Ronald Reagan voiced  Republicans “fear” and “No Deal” to Medicare in this language.

“Medicare will be followed by other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have know it in this country.  If you and I don’t oppose Medicare one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”


Republicans “fear” and “No Deal” on Medicare for 46 million American seniors  according to Republican Congresswoman Marsh Blackburn of Tennessee “What we have to do is wean everybody off Medicare and Social Security.”


Paul Ryan Chairman of the Republican House Budget Committee prepared the Republican budget called “Path To Prosperity” for 2011 which would replace Medicare with vouchers.  235 House Republicans and 40 GOP Senators voted for the Ryan budget  and would  replace your Medicare with a voucher system.



In an effort to provide 50 million Americans with health care President Obama employed

MIT  Professor Jonathan Gruber to draft a health care plan. Professor Gruber authored the Massachusetts Health Care Act of 2006 for  Republican Governor Mitt Romney which provides health insurance for 98.1% of the adults and 99.8 % of the children in Massachusetts whose premiums are on average18% to 20% lower and without a tax increase.


Professor Gruber modeled Democrat President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 after Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan. NOT ONE SINGLE REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN VOTED FOR THE LAW.  Mitt Romney the Republicans choice for president in 2012 promised HIS FIRST ACT AS PRESIDENT WOULD BE TO REPEAL the law. The Republican controlled House has voted 52 times to repeal the law since 2011 at a cost of more than $72.5 million to the taxpayers.


Republicans have spread “fear” of and said “No Deal” to the Affordable Health Care Act

just as they did against Social Security, Medicare and all Democrat policies of “Hope” for the past 75 years.  From the hundreds of Republican  “fear” statements  about the law the following are my choice for most “malicious.”


“Let’s repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.  Let’s not do that.”  Michele Bachmann

“This law is going to destroy America and everything in America, and we need to stop it.  Paul Broun

“Obamacare is the most dangerous piece of legislation ever passed in Congress.” John Fleming  

“Democrats bragging about the number of sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of “train rides” for Jews in the 40s.”  Stacey Campfield



(Paul Rawlings of Heber Springs contributes his “progressive” viewpoint each week to the The Sun-Times.  He writes a blog at www.pauls-musings.blogspot.com)