It’s Worth Looking Again At Why The New York Times Turned Against FDR


I was curious as to whether the New York Times had ever endorsed a Republican for President, and indeed they have, Eisenhower (twice!), and many others in the early 20th century.  But perhaps most interesting is the tone and tenor with which the Old grey Lady came out against FDR in 1940, after supporting him the first two go-rounds.

The New York Times endorsed Wendell Willkie over FDR, writing “we believe that the fiscal policies of Mr. Roosevelt have failed disastrously.”

The detail of the endorsement is revealing:

“We believe that while Mr. Roosevelt has helped enormously to awaken the social conscience of this country, and that while he deserves lasting credit for this leadership, Mr. Roosevelt has also put his own reforms in peril.  He has put them in peril by ignoring or by failing to understand the fundamental problem of increased production; by encouraging great numbers of Americans to believe that it is possible to grow richer by working less and producing less; by fostering the idea that there exists somewhere a great fund of wealth which has only to be divided more equitably in order to make everybody prosperous; by permitting important members of his Administration to preach the doctrines of class jealousy and class hatred.”

Would but the present denizens of Times Square take note.

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