The president-elect, Barack Obama, revealed his plans for a new "New Deal" last weekend. It is appropriate to remember Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the first deal on Pearl Harbor Day.
Roosevelt's "date which will live in infamy" announcement after Japan's, Dec. 7, 1941, attacks in the Pacific is remembered as one of the most famous political speeches in our country's history. The New Deal and Roosevelt's handling of World War II is legendary. FDR is ranked as one of the most popular presidents ever.
Most overlook or do not know about Executive Order 6102, where Roosevelt declared all privately-held gold property of the government, and Executive Order 9066, which imprisoned Japanese Americans without due process in February 1942. When judges ruled against his policies, FDR replaced them with rubber stampers.
George Santayana reminds us, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." There's no doubt that surrendering the reins of government to one man in 2009 is a mistake, despite how the 21st Century-equivalent of Roosevelt's "Brain Trust" tell us it is necessary.
Check out Richard Olivastros's column, Infamous Day of "East Wind, Rain". It's one more example of how one of our most revered chief executives disregarded constitutional safeguards. FDR was only one man, not a demigod or a king. If presidents are allowed to operate outside the restraints laid out by the U.S. Constitution in times of real or drummed-up emergencies, we're less free thereafter. FDR has been a model for too long. It's time to change back to the Constitution.