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

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HUEY LONG

Long became an U.S. Senator in 1930 and much to the chagrin of his critics, remained Governor of Louisiana so that he could have time to manipulate his supporters into voting for his lackey, Alvin Olin King, to succeed him as governor in 1932. With King under his thumb, Long continued to govern Louisiana in-absentia, just as if he were there. Kingfish StevensDuring this time, Long critics united to return control of state government to the people, but Long controlled opposition by exploiting friends, and more importantly, by deploying the National Guard as his own military force to squelch the opposition. Never bashful, never ashamed, and never remorseful, Long did whatever it took to maintain control and through this control, he willed his ideas upon the state. Not surprisingly, he took on the name Kingfish from the character George "Kingfish" Stevens (played by actor Tim Moore) the smooth-talking schemer character from the Amos & Andy radio show because, he said, "'I'm a small fish here in Washington. But I'm the Kingfish to the folks down in Louisiana'" (Social 1).

Long, also a Democrat, naturally supported FDR in 1932, and felt assured that his own ideas would mesh with those of FDR's. Long wrote in 1933 is reflections on FDR:

But I saw to it that my views were known to Mr. Roosevelt, then Governor of New York and now President of the United States. Early in his candidacy in a speech delivered in Atlanta, Mr. Roosevelt said:

'The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.

Many of those whose primary solicitude is confined to the welfare of what they call capital have failed to read the lessons of the last few years and have been moved less by calm analysis of the needs of the Nation as a whole than by a blind determination to preserve their own special stakes in the economic disorder.

We may build more factories, but the fact remains that we have enough now to supply all our domestic needs and more, if they are used. No; our basic trouble was not an insufficiency of capital; it was an insufficient distribution of buying popover coupled with an over-sufficient speculation in production.'

Soon thereafter on the basis of such declarations, I became convinced that the best chance for a solution of America's difficulties was through the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt as President

(Long 298)

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