FDR broadcasts his first fireside chat on March 12, 1933 | Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Part XLIV of the “EDEN America” Series
As we said several times in this column, Joe Biden won the presidency despite being “that old” (according to his political enemies). He was victorious because most of the voters wanted their POTUS to be the “Biden of Old.” Then we opined that the President ought to be a “Bold Biden.” And now we predict that history shall kindly call him also “Biden, the Brave.” And “Biden, the Strong.” And ultimately, presidential historians may use all the three qualities in a one-sentence description of the Biden presidency. But …
“Fortune favors the bold” is the most common translation of a Latin proverb, Fortis fortuna adiuva. “Fortune favors the brave” and “Fortune favors the strong” are other translations cooked up by other English writers who wanted to pretend to know Latin better.
Reference books say that Terence, a Roman playwright, first used the proverb. He used it in his comedy play called “Phormio.” Actually, Phormio is Greek in origin. He was an Athenian general and admiral before and during the Peloponnesian War. Later on, the quote itself was made famous by the United States Navy, as it became the motto of famous U.S. warships.
The slogan has been used historically by people in the military in the Anglo-Saxon world. Some European families and clans still carry the proverb in their coats of arms.
If Mr. Biden will not become bold, brave, and a strong leader, history may be unkind to him. Perhaps his administration may be called by pundits and historians as “a comedy of errors.” Readers may please pay attention to that Fortis fortuna adiuva was first used in a comedy play. Egad, will a modern Terence also become the playwright of an American 21st-century version of a Greek tragedy?
“If Mr. Biden will not become bold, brave, and a strong leader, history may be unkind to him. Perhaps his administration may be called by pundits and historians as “a comedy of errors.”
Last Wednesday’s column said that the raging inflation torments the American economy (and the world). But it unwittingly presents a unique opportunity for President Biden. It is a once-in-a-tenure chance of a president to challenge the U.S. oil “cartel boldly.” And initiate fundamental structural reforms in the energy industry. Yes, an OPEC-like cartel has been price gouging consumers and companies for ages, aside from committing other nefarious business practices against the public and the environment.
“We choose to go to the Moon,” John F. Kennedy said on September 12, 1962. “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
President Biden remembers the words of President Kennedy fully. Will Mr. Biden be as bold, brave, and strong as Mr. Kennedy? How? Because even then, as President Obama’s vice president, he dubbed his clarion call against America’s second deadliest disease as the “Cancer Moonshot.”
This column urged Mr. Biden, as president-elect, to emulate then-President William McKinley and his chosen first civil governor-general for the Philippines, William Howard Taft, to lay the groundwork in constructing 50 replicas of America’s first overseas “medical center.” It was built in Manila, Philippines, in the early 1900s. It may be the boldest, bravest, and strongest response to the current (and future) pandemics, among other visionary aims and goals. Will Mr. Biden be as bold, brave, and strong as Mr. McKinley and Mr. Taft (who also became a POTUS in 1909)?
Perhaps President Biden can start his suggested war against the Big-Oil “cartel” by emulating President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR).
“Declaring a proverbial but legal war (and emerging victorious) against Big Oil will not be as difficult as winning the hearts and minds of the Filipino people that waged war against the United States when their archipelago became America’s first colony after the Spanish-American War in 1899.”
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) delivered his first fireside chat on the Emergency Banking Act eight days after taking office. The fireside chats were a series of evening radio addresses given by the 32nd President of the United States between 1933 and 1944. The 30 fireside chats rallied the American people in winning their battles against economic depression and a banking crisis. The chats united people to support the “New Deal” program and end the greenback crisis of a situation. The people also gladly went for other bread-and-butter, if not back-to-basics, government-led programs. FDR paved the way for the Allied Powers to win World War II to cap it all.
Declaring a proverbial but legal war (and emerging victorious) against Big Oil will not be as difficult as winning the hearts and minds of the Filipino people that waged war against the United States when their archipelago became America’s first colony after the Spanish-American War in 1899. Nor will it be as challenging to send Americans to the Moon amid a Cold War. Or the tasks that FDR faced and triumphed after uniting the American people.
And FDR had only the radio as his medium. Now, modern communications at your disposal, Mr. Biden, would be the wildest dreams that Presidents McKinley, Taft, FDR, and Kennedy could have had in their time — if they were seers. Or American versions of Nostradamus.
The question again is, “Quo Vadis, President Biden?”
Perhaps Americans may like to start hearing and viewing the first Biden version of FDR’s fireside chats on Saturday, March 12, 2022, Saturday …?