Seventy-five years ago today the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and other sites in Hawaii. If Obama was president at the time he probably would have hit the links the next day, but thankfully FDR was the President.
The day after the Japanese attack on Hawaii, FDR spoke before a joint session of congress. His speech was broadcast across America.
There is much to criticize about the Presidency of FDR, but on December 8, 1941 he was brilliant.
FDR did not mention gun control. Nor did he bring up global warming. He did not rationalize that the Japanese bombers did not represent all Japanese people in the world. He did not mention negotiation. He did not mention the need for stricter regulations for the residents of Hawaii.
Unlike Obama’s speeches about terrorism, FDR named America’s enemy: Japan. And FDR calmed Americans’ fears. He instilled in them the confidence and hope they as citizens needed from their leader. Still reeling from the Great Depression, now shaken by the largest attack on American soil, America needed to be reminded of the exceptionalism of the United States of America, something Obama began is presidency by denying and apologizing.
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