What's Old Is New: The country needs & demands bold, persistent experimentation

The excerpt below from FDR from nearly 80 years ago is as relevant today as when he spoke the words in 1932. It also highlights the ineptitude of the majority of politicians occupying Congress today, a group whose primary objectives apparently are avoiding risk and blaming the opposite party for all that ails the country.

America need true leaders, leaders with the courage to explore new alternatives to both new and persistent problems. Unfortunately the U.S. Congress has been reduced to a collection of human geiger counters; short-term public opinion panderers determined not to make a mistake that might cost them the next election. We need better. We should demand better.


"The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.

We need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need to correct, by drastic means if necessary, the faults in our economic system from which we now suffer. We need the courage of the young.

Yours is not the task of making your way in the world, but the task of remaking the world which you will find before you. May every one of us be granted the courage, the faith and the vision to give the best that is in us to that remaking!"

~ FDR / Oglethorpe University Commencement Address (in its entirety) / May 22, 1932