Letters to the editor

January 14, 2004

FDR attack is unwarranted

To the editor:

The Mallard Fillmore cartoons appearing in The Herald-Mail recently have made me angry. Yesterday he incorrectly and maliciously attacked FDR for being some kind of evil welfare promoter, and today he attacks FDR for being a dupe of Stalin.

Both of these attacks come in the context of the discussion about replacing FDR's likeness on the dime with that of Ronald Reagan. I must assume he likes the idea.

Well, for sure FDR was far from perfect. His attempt to pack the Supreme Court is a good example of a mistake. But I hate the attempt to revise history without regard to fact and I protest the corruption of truth. Let me site a few examples to make my point.


FDR was elected because of the greatest economic disaster ever to befall the United States. It was called the Great Depression and was significantly caused by the economic policies of several previous Republican administrations. His programs were not welfare but today would be called "workfare."

He put millions of Americans to work when there were no private-sector jobs. Many of the public works projects his administration completed are still visible and used today. In this area, Deep Creek Lake and the downtown Hagerstown post office building are great examples.

In fact, the mural in the post office is a good example of WPA mural art.

Though he was interested in creating jobs for our people, he was not interested in creating a large permanent government work force. The proof of this is the fact that his legislation that created the various works agencies all had sunset provisions.

When the mandates of the agencies ran out, the unemployment rate increased significantly causing FDR to reinstitute the programs. Our economy was a disaster. Millions were out of work and his programs kept Americans fed and productive with dignity.

As far as FDR's relations with Stalin go, let's also look at the facts. The U.S. and the USSR were allies against the Nazis.

The USSR needed help because it lacked the supplies necessary to give a good fight. We needed the Soviet Union to fight and bleed the Germans until we could organize for an attack.

We gave them supplies and they fought and 20 million died. Stalin was one of the most evil people in history. There is no doubt about that. But not all of the evil was known then.

And more importantly, the overriding need to defeat Hitler necessitated supporting Stalin. It is true that FDR had an overconfident belief that he could deal with Stalin. He thought that he could make deals that Stalin would live up to and was proven wrong.

Also, toward the last days of his life FDR made some bad decisions with regard to the USSR. But he was very ill and dying.

The overwhelming evidence is that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a great president of the United States and one who was perfect for his time.

Oh, and about his likeness on the dime, investigate his involvement in the establishment of the March Of Dimes and his fight against polio. You will see why he rightly belongs there forever.

Leon Seidman

League a great experience

To the editor:

I would like to publicly thank and recognize the Washington County Recreation Middle School Girls Basketball League, John Whitman and his staff.

The league is extremely organized, the officiating is excellent and the girls love playing on the "big" court at Hagerstown Community College.

I am the coach for the Smithsburg Girls "B" division team and have seen nothing but positive play and sportsmanship from all the players, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators.

The league is providing these girls with a positive experience to work on their team and individual skills. Again, thank you to the Washington County Recreation Department on a fantastic job!

Also, I would like to thank C.S.L. for providing the opportunity for our traveling team to participate in this league.

Chris Bolton

Preaching freedom in words only

To the editor:

I appreciated the letter to the editor of Dec. 23, by Jere Snider of Waynesboro concerning "The dark side of Islam." He is presenting a picture of Islam as it truly is and I cannot improve on that, but would add the following, which seals the matter in my mind.

In the more than 50 countries that Islam controls, all of North Africa, most of the Middle East and much of Asia, Christians, Jews and other nonbelievers in Islam are horribly persecuted, tortured and often put in prison and killed if they will not convert to Islam.

On the other hand, many Muslim immigrants come to the United States, Canada and Western Europe where they have the freedom to establish mosques and propagate their religion without hindrances. They say to us in America, "We teach tolerance," "Islam does not believe in killing," "Islam does not believe in terrorism of any kind," "in fact the word 'Islam' means peace."

These statements are anything but the truth and they know that. There is absolutely no democracy in Islam. Am I to believe that if someday Islam controls the United States, as it wishes to do, that things would be any different here?

Jim Teeter
Waynesboro, Pa.

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