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  FATHER COUGHLIN, HUEY LONG, & UPTON SINCLAIR; VOICES FOR THE DISAFFECTED IN 1930s AMERICA

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FATHER COUGHLIN

However, despite Father Coughlin's support of FDR and the New Deal in 1933 QuickTimeAudio , Coughlin went on the air with a broadcast in the same year that indicated his veering away from that support in favor of a more populist idea of long-term wealth distribution for everyone. Coughlin was willing to give the New Deal a chance, "Perhaps we will be able to accomplish all this under the banner of the old-time democracy. And on the other hand, perhaps we will be glad to continue, for an indefinite period under the new democracy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt type" (Driving 88). However, he went on to say:

At any rate, you and I are both agreed that the height of yesterday's democracy is the depth of today's misery.

Democracy, if it will endure, must be purged. Never again can we elect spoilers and profiteers under the name of a Harding. Never again can a wave of puerile emotion, democratic emotion, if you will, give us prohibition under the guise of law and order; prohibition, the adulterous mother of ten thousand acts of lawlessness and disorder.

Yesterday's democracy gave us the financial jazz of Wall Street and the rag-time philosophy that we could sell foreign nations without buying from them.

Its hero was the bootlegger, and its master, the racketeer!

Its high priests were the dishonest press. Its god was the idol of gold. And its victims were the voters -- the farmers, the laborer, the soldier, the industrialist, the professional man, the army of the exploited and the regiment of the jobless!

(Driving 88)

Coughlin on the AirThis veering away from the New Deal came to an apex on March 4, 1934, when Father Coughlin broadcast a summary of the New Deal in his view, and he conceded that the New Deal had been generally successful, but the second year of the new Deal would have one critical issue: fair distribution of production and available credit for everyone, not just the rich. He highlighted his answer to the problem of distribution of wealth in six ways:



1. The nationalization and revaluation of all gold.

2. The restoration of silver coinage and the nationalization of all silver.

3. The establishment of a government bank to control currency and credit.

4. The complete nationalization of all credit.

5. Legislation to extend credit not  only for production but for consumption.

6. The total elimination of national government bonds.

(Tull 53-54)


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