Glenn Beck told the history of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and World War II like you may never have heard it before during his Monday television show on TheBlaze TV.
He narrated the events in story form, as images from the times periodically appeared on the screen and moving music played in the background.
Beck began with FDR’s election in 1933, explaining how FDR campaigned on ushering in “a new era of prosperity for America,” ending poverty and re-starting the engine of America.
“The United States was taken off-guard when [war broke out],” Beck said. “Unemployment was still – years after FDR’s election – at 25%. Production was down by a third. One half of the nation’s wealth was wiped out, gone.”
FDR had lashed out at companies providing gunpowder to the troops and others, calling them “merchants of death” and blaming them for the war, Beck said. Our military had shrunk to the 18th largest in the world, “just ahead of Holland.”
“So when the White House learns that Hitler has just invaded Poland…FDR literally said, ‘God help us all,’” Beck recounted.
But as the Nazis grew more and more powerful, FDR continued to spend, creating countless new government programs and policies, Beck said, until soft-spoken Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall asks for three minutes of FDR’s time.
“George Marshall…goes in and delivers the speech of his life,” Beck said. “He says France is collapsing. Britain will be next. And the United States could end up facing Nazi Germany alone on our own shores. And because of what we have done, America doesn’t have the money, or the ability to even make the guns. We don’t have enough planes, we don’t have enough soldiers, we don’t have enough guns, not enough tanks or artillery or machine guns to fight a war with Germany. If five German divisions land anywhere on the coast, Marshall tells the president, they’ll go anywhere they want.”
“Marshall told the president point-blank: it’s time to get serious about arming America for war. If you don’t do something, and do it right now, I don’t know what’s going to happen to our country.”
So after years of tackling problems with more government, Beck said, FDR found the answer in American industry and American ingenuity — “the American engine.”
He told the story of Bill Knudsen of General Motors, who played a critical role in “saving virtually everything there was to save.”
“[Knudsen's] family actually told him, ‘Bill, how can you do this? FDR has demonized you. You can’t go to work for that guy – he doesn’t stand for anything you stand for,’” Beck said.
But Knudsen went to Washington and said he was there to serve the country, and he did it for a dollar a year.
“Under Big Bill’s guidance that the American industry reached a production capability that surprised even the president,” Beck said. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, our economy had steadily improved, unemployment had sharply fallen, and we had far more in our arsenal.
“Ultimately, we out-produced the Axis Powers in numbers previously thought impossible, and we surpassed them in quality…” Beck said. “This was only possible at the very last hour because government got out of private life and industry and deferred to the individual.”
“Our victory in WW2 shows that even in the darkest of times, miracles in this country are still possible — but many times it is the people of this country that is the miracle, and certainly not the government. That year we ignited the beacon of freedom around the world, not because we went into every country and demanded it of them, but because we had led by example,” Beck said. “With our power and our might, we used our freedom to rescue the world, to liberate it from the old menacing threat of tyranny.”
“I would ask that you would tell this story, our story, to your children, so they know what really happened,” Beck concluded. “So they know that our freedom was truly threatened, not just externally by the Nazis, but internally by our own government. Our own government threatened our liberty, and our economy — make sure they know how and why we, the United States of America, ultimately prevailed in the end.”
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