FDR: Speech at Madison Square Garden, 31 October 1936: " (The Republicans) are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred."


Senator Wagner, Governor Lehman, ladies and gentlemen:

On the eve of a national election, it is well for us to stop for a
moment and analyze calmly and without prejudice the effect on our
Nation of a victory by either of the major political parties.

The problem of the electorate is far deeper, far more vital than the
continuance in the Presidency of any individual. For the greater issue
goes beyond units of humanity?it goes to humanity itself.

In 1932 the issue was the restoration of American democracy; and the
American people were in a mood to win. They did win. In 1936 the issue
is the preservation of their victory. Again they are in a mood to win.
Again they will win.

More than four years ago in accepting the Democratic nomination in
Chicago, I said: "Give me your help not to win votes alone, but to win
in this crusade to restore America to its own people."

The banners of that crusade still fly in the van of a Nation that is
on the march.

It is needless to repeat the details of the program which this
Administration has been hammering out on the anvils of experience. No
amount of misrepresentation or statistical contortion can conceal or
blur or smear that record. Neither the attacks of unscrupulous enemies
nor the exaggerations of over-zealous friends will serve to mislead
the American people.

What was our hope in 1932? Above all other things the American people
wanted peace. They wanted peace of mind instead of gnawing fear.

First, they sought escape from the personal terror which had stalked
them for three years. They wanted the peace that comes from security
in their homes: safety for their savings, permanence in their jobs, a
fair profit from their enterprise.

Next, they wanted peace in the community, the peace that springs from
the ability to meet the needs of community life: schools, playgrounds,
parks, sanitation, highways?those things which are expected of solvent
local government. They sought escape from disintegration and
bankruptcy in local and state affairs.

They also sought peace within the Nation: protection of their
currency, fairer wages, the ending of long hours of toil, the
abolition of child labor, the elimination of wild-cat speculation, the
safety of their children from kidnappers.

And, finally, they sought peace with other Nations?peace in a world of
unrest. The Nation knows that I hate war, and I know that the Nation
hates war.

I submit to you a record of peace; and on that record a well-founded
expectation for future peace?peace for the individual, peace for the
community, peace for the Nation, and peace with the world.

Tonight I call the roll?the roll of honor of those who stood with us
in 1932 and still stand with us today.

Written on it are the names of millions who never had a chance?men at
starvation wages, women in sweatshops, children at looms.

Written on it are the names of those who despaired, young men and
young women for whom opportunity had become a will-o'-the-wisp.

Written on it are the names of farmers whose acres yielded only
bitterness, business men whose books were portents of disaster, home
owners who were faced with eviction, frugal citizens whose savings
were insecure.

Written there in large letters are the names of countless other
Americans of all parties and all faiths, Americans who had eyes to see
and hearts to understand, whose consciences were burdened because too
many of their fellows were burdened, who looked on these things four
years ago and said, "This can be changed. We will change it."

We still lead that army in 1936. They stood with us then because in
1932 they believed. They stand with us today because in 1936 they
know. And with them stand millions of new recruits who have come to

Their hopes have become our record.

We have not come this far without a struggle and I assure you we
cannot go further without a struggle.

For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing,
see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government
but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden
calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the
ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of
mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive
today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that
Government is best which is most indifferent.

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.

The American people know from a four-year record that today there is
only one entrance to the White House?by the front door. Since March 4,
1933, there has been only one pass-key to the White House. I have
carried that key in my pocket. It is there tonight. So long as I am
President, it will remain in my pocket.

Those who used to have pass-keys are not happy. Some of them are
desperate. Only desperate men with their backs to the wall would
descend so far below the level of decent citizenship as to foster the
current pay-envelope campaign against America's working people. Only
reckless men, heedless of consequences, would risk the disruption of
the hope for a new peace between worker and employer by returning to
the tactics of the labor spy.

Here is an amazing paradox! The very employers and politicians and
publishers who talk most loudly of class antagonism and the
destruction of the American system now undermine that system by this
attempt to coerce the votes of the wage earners of this country. It is
the 1936 version of the old threat to close down the factory or the
office if a particular candidate does not win. It is an old strategy
of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for

Every message in a pay envelope, even if it is the truth, is a command
to vote according to the will of the employer. But this propaganda is
worse?it is deceit.

They tell the worker his wage will be reduced by a contribution to
some vague form of old-age insurance. They carefully conceal from him
the fact that for every dollar of premium he pays for that insurance,
the employer pays another dollar. That omission is deceit.

They carefully conceal from him the fact that under the federal law,
he receives another insurance policy to help him if he loses his job,
and that the premium of that policy is paid 100 percent by the
employer and not one cent by the worker. They do not tell him that the
insurance policy that is bought for him is far more favorable to him
than any policy that any private insurance company could afford to
issue. That omission is deceit.

They imply to him that he pays all the cost of both forms of
insurance. They carefully conceal from him the fact that for every
dollar put up by him his employer puts up three dollars three for one.
And that omission is deceit.

But they are guilty of more than deceit. When they imply that the
reserves thus created against both these policies will be stolen by
some future Congress, diverted to some wholly foreign purpose, they
attack the integrity and honor of American Government itself. Those
who suggest that, are already aliens to the spirit of American
democracy. Let them emigrate and try their lot under some foreign flag
in which they have more confidence.

The fraudulent nature of this attempt is well shown by the record of
votes on the passage of the Social Security Act. In addition to an
overwhelming majority of Democrats in both Houses, seventy-seven
Republican Representatives voted for it and only eighteen against it
and fifteen Republican Senators voted for it and only five against it.
Where does this last-minute drive of the Republican leadership leave
these Republican Representatives and Senators who helped enact this

I am sure the vast majority of law-abiding businessmen who are not
parties to this propaganda fully appreciate the extent of the threat
to honest business contained in this coercion.

I have expressed indignation at this form of campaigning and I am
confident that the overwhelming majority of employers, workers and the
general public share that indignation and will show it at the polls on
Tuesday next.

Aside from this phase of it, I prefer to remember this campaign not as
bitter but only as hard-fought. There should be no bitterness or hate
where the sole thought is the welfare of the United States of America.
No man can occupy the office of President without realizing that he is
President of all the people.

It is because I have sought to think in terms of the whole Nation that
I am confident that today, just as four years ago, the people want
more than promises.

Our vision for the future contains more than promises.

This is our answer to those who, silent about their own plans, ask us
to state our objectives.

Of course we will continue to seek to improve working conditions for
the workers of America?to reduce hours over-long, to increase wages
that spell starvation, to end the labor of children, to wipe out
sweatshops. Of course we will continue every effort to end monopoly in
business, to support collective bargaining, to stop unfair
competition, to abolish dishonorable trade practices. For all these we
have only just begun to fight.

Of course we will continue to work for cheaper electricity in the
homes and on the farms of America, for better and cheaper
transportation, for low interest rates, for sounder home financing,
for better banking, for the regulation of security issues, for
reciprocal trade among nations, for the wiping out of slums. For all
these we have only just begun to fight.

Of course we will continue our efforts in behalf of the farmers of
America. With their continued cooperation we will do all in our power
to end the piling up of huge surpluses which spelled ruinous prices
for their crops. We will persist in successful action for better land
use, for reforestation, for the conservation of water all the way from
its source to the sea, for drought and flood control, for better
marketing facilities for farm commodities, for a definite reduction of
farm tenancy, for encouragement of farmer cooperatives, for crop
insurance and a stable food supply. For all these we have only just
begun to fight.

Of course we will provide useful work for the needy unemployed; we
prefer useful work to the pauperism of a dole.

Here and now I want to make myself clear about those who disparage
their fellow citizens on the relief rolls. They say that those on
relief are not merely jobless?that they are worthless. Their solution
for the relief problem is to end relief?to purge the rolls by
starvation. To use the language of the stock broker, our needy
unemployed would be cared for when, as, and if some fairy godmother
should happen on the scene.

You and I will continue to refuse to accept that estimate of our
unemployed fellow Americans. Your Government is still on the same side
of the street with the Good Samaritan and not with those who pass by
on the other side.

Again?what of our objectives?

Of course we will continue our efforts for young men and women so that
they may obtain an education and an opportunity to put it to use. Of
course we will continue our help for the crippled, for the blind, for
the mothers, our insurance for the unemployed, our security for the
aged. Of course we will continue to protect the consumer against
unnecessary price spreads, against the costs that are added by
monopoly and speculation. We will continue our successful efforts to
increase his purchasing power and to keep it constant.

For these things, too, and for a multitude of others like them, we
have only just begun to fight.

All this?all these objectives?spell peace at home. All our actions,
all our ideals, spell also peace with other nations.

Today there is war and rumor of war. We want none of it. But while we
guard our shores against threats of war, we will continue to remove
the causes of unrest and antagonism at home which might make our
people easier victims to those for whom foreign war is profitable. You
know well that those who stand to profit by war are not on our side in
this campaign.

"Peace on earth, good will toward men"?democracy must cling to that
message. For it is my deep conviction that democracy cannot live
without that true religion which gives a nation a sense of justice and
of moral purpose. Above our political forums, above our market places
stand the altars of our faith?altars on which burn the fires of
devotion that maintain all that is best in us and all that is best in
our Nation.

We have need of that devotion today. It is that which makes it
possible for government to persuade those who are mentally prepared to
fight each other to go on instead, to work for and to sacrifice for
each other. That is why we need to say with the Prophet: "What doth
the Lord require of thee?but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk
humbly with thy God." That is why the recovery we seek, the recovery
we are winning, is more than economic. In it are included justice and
love and humility, not for ourselves as individuals alone, but for our

That is the road to peace.

The material posted here may or may not be factual.

The author is following the example set by
Senator Jon Kyl (R, AZ) who was caught citing
false statistics, after which his staff stated
that his comments were "not intended to be factual."