"I do not believe in communism any more than you do,
but there is nothing wrong with the communists in this country.
Several of the best friends I have are Communists."
by:
Franklin D. Roosevelt
(1882-1945), 32nd US President
Source:
The New York Times, May 6th, 1933
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Reader comments about this quote:
very revealing.. FDR is perhaps our worst president in history.
 -- Brian , Saint Louis     
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    FDR didn't believe in Communism? That's news to me.
     -- Johnson, Gainesville, FL     
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    Screw communism with everyone that knows how! Of course this might mean understanding our present system of democracy for what it really is.
     -- Anonymous     
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    I don't know if FDR was the worst President the U.S. ever had but, he is certainly in the running with Bush and a few others. FDR did more to implement unconstitutional communism in America than did anyone else. He was correct in that the actor needs be separated from the act. In a free representative Republic, as was once the U.S., there are no victimless crimes, crimes of emotions (anger, hate, etc.), or crimes of thought.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I'm amazed at these responses -- are we stuck in the '60s? Surely everyone with a rudimentary knowledge of history knows FDR never said or wrote this. A right-wing Congressman SAID he heard another Congressman say FDR privately told him something LIKE that -- 20 years after FDR died and couldn't defend himself -- in the context of the communist witch hunts of the '60s. Noted fascist John A. Stormer included it, as if it were an actual quote, in his infamous book of lies from that era -- even J. Edgar Hoover said it was ridiculous. And anyone who thinks FDR was "our worst president" needs to do some basic reading on WWII, the Depression, and some of our other presidents, e.g. Grant, Polk, Buchanan, Fillmore, Hoover, and particularly the string of losers we've had over the last 20 years.
     -- Joe, North Caldwell, NJ     
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    Joe, I thank you for providing the one sane reply to this quote. If it hadn't been for Roosevelt fending off the rising fascism in this country as evidenced (one of many) by the reports of Marine General Smedley Butler, we perhaps wouldn't have the privilege of making these replies today. You know your history.
     -- Richard, Fort Worth     
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    Sometimes I think our Canadian friends working this site lose track of what I thought the purpose is/was.
     -- Dougmcr8, Springfield, VA     
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    I believe he did say it. He and Eleanor had many Communists in their circles -- some on staff. Though I do believe they were duped in many ways too. ("Smearing good people like Lauchlin Currie [former administrative assistant to President Roosevelt], Alger Hiss and others is, I think, unforgiveable... Anyone knowing Mr. Currie or Mr. Hiss, who are the two people whom I happen to know fairly well, would not need any denial on their part to know they are not Communists. Their records prove it." -- Eleanor Roosevelt) FDR was the puppet of the Fed -- he was their champion and elected 3 times through their efforts. More was done during FDR's tenure to bring America under the thumb of the Fed than any other president. His policies were socialistic at best. He bankrupted the nation, lost all the lawful money (gold) to the private central bank, the Fed, declared a permanent national emergency (that still hasn't been lifted giving the Executive dictatorial powers that Bush uses even today), merged common law and commercial law into one admiralty/maritime jurisdiction (since trade was no longer a matter of substance but of corporate fiat), not to mention he suckered us into WW2. During his presidency, American people lost their money supply (and control of it), lost the free market, lost their courts, have been sent to die in foreign wars, the very purpose of which was to bankrupt America completely to the Fed and to keep us under constant state of emergency, make us all enemies under the Trading with the Enemy Act, and instituted a host of tax and welfare programs starting America onto a road of unpayable debt. If he wasn't the worst president, he is damn close.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    It sounds like his thoughts. Whether he would have had the lack of intellect to have said for public consumption is questionable. However he did direct Hollywood to make Communist friendly movies. I saw one of them. It was starring Lawrence Olivier. It was about a Russian engineer that was trying to make a better propeller for icebreaker ships. It really made out that Communism was a wonderful thing and that everyone was fascinated to hear how great it was in the workers paradise. Some of the lines could make you puke. The Demi-Paradise (1943) was the film.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    I do not believe in Republican Party but I have many Republican friends. I do not believe in religion but have many religious friends.
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Way to go Robert. Maybe you and FDR are the only class acts on this site. Senators always address their opponents as "My dear friend form the state of ..... and he is my dear friend." They do this regardless of the party, or issue under discussion. The folks who make so much out of labels rather than listening to substance are driving public discussion in this country off a cliff.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    FDR picked a Communist for his running mate (Wallace). In fact, however, FDR had more in common with the Fascists than Communists. A kinder, gentler Fascism; but Fascism nonetheless.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    FDR was the worst president we ever had. Fascists and Communists are both Statists and both are directly opposed to the system set up by the Constitution. There are few and inconsequential differences between Communism and Fascism. FDR possibly destroyed more of the Constitution than any other president.
     -- Ben, Springfield, MO     
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    In 1965 I was assigned to write a paper in a history class on the culpability of the Army and Navy commanders at Pearl Harbor for the attack there. I read (much of) the Congressional report on the subject and was shocked at the evidence showing he did. About 1998 my daughter told me her University of Florida history book stated that most historians today believe FDR knew the attack was coming and withheld the information. I don't know the truth, but if God put a gun to my head and made me guess, I would guess that he did.
     -- Burke, Ormond Beach, Florida, USA     
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     -- Anonymous      
    Thank you, FDR. You rock! I mean, thank you for the sentiment. I'm not a communist, FYI. Just thought I'd clear that up.
     -- Anonymous     
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    Bush wasn't the worst president. He was the worst puppet to the worst president: Darth Dick Cheney. FDR's accurate description of American Naziism is better: "The liberty of democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power." -President Roosevelt, the greatest president since Lincoln
     -- Fred Nietzsche, Albuquerque     
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    Mussolini, father of fascism and idol of Nazis everywhere agreed with FDR's accurate definition of his political philosophy: "Fascism should more properly be called 'corporatism,' since it is the marriage of government and corporate power." --Benito Mussolini, What is Fascism, 1932} - "Fas-cism (fash'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism." The American Heritage Dictionary (1983)
     -- Moosilini, Alaska     
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    The quote is questionable, as it lacks a specific citation. FDR's choice of Wallace wasn't due to his sympathies for Wallace's politics (which he shared to some extent) but rather a calculated move to bring the far left wing of the party on board He of course later dismissed Wallace in favor of Truman when that became the more politically astute choice. But we should keep in mind that the New Deal was greatly influenced by Mussolini's Fascist policies. Before Mussolini allied himself with Hitler and "Fascism" became a synonym for Nazism, it was looked on with great favor by the progressive movement, as it promised an egalitarian state of the sort they favored. The policies of the New Deal were very much based on the same principles as the Fascist movement. The New Deal favored large corporations over small business, price controls and supports, social security, free health care and so forth.
     -- Anonymous, Huntington Woods, MI     
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     -- NC, St.Paul, MN      
    One thing we can look at is FDR's association with Alger Hiss. Remember, it was not Senator Nixon that fingered Hiss as a Communist spy, it was wave after wave of Soviet spies defecting to the United States that pointed the finger at Hiss. During Perestroika the Russian goverment made the statement that if anyone can't find evidence that Hiss was a Soviet spy, than that person just isn't looking.
     -- Tom, Atlanta     
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    'I do not believe in Republican Party but I have many Republican friends. I do not believe in religion but have many religious friends. ' -- RobertSRQ What an ignorant statement. Communism is no how akin to being Republican or not believing in religion and having friend in both. You need to read some history; i.e, between Stalin, Mao, Che, Castro all under communist regimes; these lovely Communists murdered over 70 million people under there brutal regimes. Roosevelt ignored the fact we had communists in all facets of society. He was a socialist, and pushed his socialist agenda just like Obama is doing by ignoring the Constitution. Also, democrats have never believed in a strong defense. It seems to me that they never do stick up for America.
     -- Terry, Torrance, CA     
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    'The folks who make so much out of labels rather than listening to substance are driving public discussion in this country off a cliff.' The Gentleman from AR is right.
     -- Anonymous, Los Angeles, CA     
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    FDR was our GREATEST PRESIDENT. If you are trying to disparage him by his saying "...there is nothing wrong with the communists in this country. Several of the best friends I have are Communists", just remember that he was fighting a war with ALLIES who were Communist... the Russians. He also said, "I do not believe in Communism any more than you do..." but I know that the dead-ender Republicans are out to rewrite history in order to erase the fact that they are actively destroying FDR's New Deal policies in order to turn the middle class into compliant serfs. The Republican Ideology can be broken down to two words: CHEAP LABOR. "... allthough I rubbed my eyes when I read it, we have been told that it was not a Republican depression, but a Democratic depression from which this Nation was saved in 1933 - that this Administration this one today - is responsible for all the suffering and misery that the history books and the American people have always thought had been brought about during the twelve ill-fated years when the Republican party was in power. Now, there is an old and somewhat lugubrious adage which says: "Never speak of rope in the house of a man who has been hanged." In the same way, if I were a Republican leader speaking to a mixed audience, the last word in the whole dictionary that I think I would use is that word "DEPRESSION." - FDR
     -- Tara, NYC     
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    "conversation with Representative Martin Dies at the White House, as reported by Dies.Congressional Record, September 22, 1950, vol. 96, Appendix, p. A6832" I think the quote is dubious at best. There is no proof FDR said it. BUT... FDR, and many other politicians during the 30's, supported policies which went against the American ideal of individual liberty and free markets. The labels that were put on these policies are not as important as the basic fact that they REDUCED individual liberty and free markets...NOT increased individual liberty and free markets. Whether it was social security (which is now bankrupt) or packing the supreme court or imprisoning American citizens because of their race (FDR was a racist...his wife was not...). FDR once admitted he had never studied the subject of economics in his life. So he didn't impose collectivist economic policies out of an evil intent. He did it out of ignorance and trust in the folks around him who WERE clearly statists...collectivist...progressives (there are several excellent books that prove that "progressive" was the American version of early European fascism...before everyone started to hate Hitler and fascism).
     -- jscottu, Indianapolis     
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    I don't quite understand the new age trend or fixation to validate the spawned political mood thats led a witch hunt on a time machine to try and bend the legacies of former and dead presidents as a communist, but to each there own. Regardless of what you make of FDR greatness you can at least credit him for perhaps one of the most pivotal actions for twentieth century America that changed the stage entirely in ways that would have most likely not materialized had he not signed off for an advisory committee on uraneum after the Einstein Szilliard letter. While his response wasn't necessarily enthusiastic and even slow initially, it was the first step by our government that led towards the early development of the bomb. How anyone else might had responded is speculative. I don't see why his legacy, though bloated, would in any way justify him befitting as the worst in history.
     -- Charles Walker, Nacogdoches, Texas     
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    You folks lapping at the slop trough of Socialism need to wake up. Here is what turned the Commerce Clause into the Communist Clause:

    "[The commerce clause was written] in the horse-and-buggy age ... since that time … we have developed an entirely different philosophy. ... We are interdependent, we are tied in together. And the hope has been that we could, through a period of years, interpret the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution in the light of these new things that
    have come to the country. It has been our hope that under the interstate commerce clause we could recognize by legislation and by judicial decision that a harmful practice in one section of the country could be prevented on the theory that it was doing harm to another section of the country. That was why the Congress for a good many years, and most lawyers, have had the thought that in drafting legislation we could depend
    on an interpretation that would enlarge the constitutional meaning of interstate commerce to include not only those matters of direct interstate commerce, but also those matters which indirectly affect interstate commerce."
    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Yep the philosophy is communism and it is BS. One form of Tyranny is the same as another. Just because some one has brainwashed you does not mean that I am to quietly go along.

    "Expanding the Laws of Admiarlty beyond their ancient limits even within the jurisdiction of a county."

    The quote was taken from the Declarations and Resolve compiled by the First Continental Congress 1774. It expresses the expansion of the laws of commerce outside merely regulating commercial interests and applying the laws to common people.

    And the ding dong who thinks FDR did not say such a thing did not read the top of the page under the quote that states the quote came from the New York Times not a hearsay comment from a congressman.

    There are none so blind that as those who will not see.

    I am so thrilled to know that so many scream to the world "Look how stupid I am" because they open heir pie hole and spill the empty words without foundation upon the ears of those of us who inform ourselves. Sam Adams says it best:

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

    You can do what you will with your own being, God gave you the right. But He did not give you the right to drag me along with you. In fact He gave me the right to resist that with every part of my being and every faculty that He endowed me with. And if you want to truly push that, and even demand that others use force to impliment your will upon me, I will arange a meeting between you and God so you can discuss it.
    Such is the nature of a Republic and Funadmental Liberties.
     -- DJ, Fairbanks     
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    Anyone who thinks FDR was a communist socialist or fascist probably reads the Liberty Fund propaganda and listens to Rush Limbaugh. Anyone who believes FDR had prior knowledge of Pearl Harbor and intentially witheld that info to maximize the loss and persuade Americans to enter WW2, is ignorant. The first shots fired at Pearl in hostility were fired by American guns and the first casualities were Japanese. Base Commander Husband Kimmil failed to be "alert to a surprise attack from any direction" and failed to pre-plan against an airborne and sea attack. The blame rests with him alone.
     -- Edmund Bentivengo, San Marcos     
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    By a man's fruits shall ye know him.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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    FDR new very well the enslavement of the individual sovereign as did old Abraham !
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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