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Quote of the Day: Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “The Presidency is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership”


In his biography of Sen. John Kennedy published during the 1960 presidential campaign, historian James MacGregor Burns portrayed the young candidate as charming and intellectual [qualities that Mr. Nixon lacked] but he worried that Kennedy lacked the character to lead the nation in extraordinary times. Burns recalled that Franklin Roosevelt once described the presidency as “pre-eminently a place of moral leadership. All our great Presidents were leaders of thought at times when certain historic ideas in the life of the nation had to be clarified.”

The quote comes from an article about JFK and Martin Luther King Jr. by Steven Levingston of The Daily Beast dated today, supplied in Microsoft’s news feed– on its face, the article has nothing to do with the 2016 election, but in substance, it can be read as a moral condemnation of the voters whose votes resulted in today’s administration.  One wonders if present-day voters would agree that the presidency is “a place of moral leadership” given the fact that almost half of them voted for someone with no morals whatsoever.  One further wonders how badly JFK would have lost to Richard Nixon if Mr. Nixon had weaponized “fake news.”  One does not doubt at all that Mr. Nixon would have used “fake news” if he had the opportunity.

By sheer coincidence, a study in the same news feed states that “fake news” about Hillary Clinton suppressed votes for her in that election by roughly 2 to 2.3 percent– far more than enough to throw the election against her, which she lost by between 0.2 and 0.7 percent in each of three swing states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.   

Three bits of “fake news” were studied, hidden among 281 true assertions presented in a survey:

1) Clinton was in “very poor health due to a serious illness” (12 percent believed this canard)
2. Pope Francis endorsed Trump (8 percent accepted this absurdity)
3. Clinton approved weapons sales to Islamic jihadists, “including ISIS” (20 percent swallowed this lie)

The piece was titled “Study suggests fake news might have suppressed Clinton vote” and was credited to Aaron Blake – The Washington Post – Tuesday, April 03, 2018.  Sadly, due to a web of interlocking contracts and permissions, M. Blake will not be paid anything for this use of his/her writing talent.

(Photo courtesy of and Tumisu)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kendall Harris permalink
    2021-01-01 7:24 PM

    I strongly agree with the featured Quote of the Day. A U.S. president without a well- developed moral compass is bound to fail in the making of important decisions and in exerting a positive influence that best serves a democracy made up of predominantly moral, caring people. The fact that President Trump has had so many supporters is quite frankly a warning that our democracy itself is not heavily endowed with enough wise, unselfish voters.


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