I’m currently enjoying No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. It’s a nice, light read about those who lived in the White House during the Roosevelt administration and how they affected the president and public policy. The anecdotes I’m learning from the book are numerous, but one in particular struck me, especially in its comparison to our political climate today.
During World War II, in order to ensure the supply of cotton needed for more than 64 million flannel shirts and other supplies needed for the Army, President Roosevelt introduced regulations that rationed certain consumer goods and dictated what manufacturers could produce for the private sector. Men could wear short sleeved shirts and cuffless pants. Women were mandated to take several inches off their skirts and one piece bathing suits were no longer permitted – the bikini was invented. It wasn’t until the government tried to take away the girdle did the American public become outraged. In fact, I’m sure most American men really liked the new changes in female attire.
This leads to the discussion of how America has changed. We complain about our national debt and the cost of war, but aren’t willing to sacrifice anything for it. We’re spoiled brats. Don’t take away my iPod, iPhone, Computer, much less tell me what I can wear. Some even complain if the president wants to TALK to their kids via televised speeches. The reaction to this type of regulation might lead to armed rebellion these days.
Do conservatives, those that complain about taxes the most and are willing to sacrifice the least for the greater good, understand how ridiculous they look when you look at the big picture of American history? They want the federal government to protect them by throwing all of our resources at the wars, but at the same time want lower taxes and don’t want to give up or contribute anything. Now, liberals for sure wouldn’t want to give anything up, either – but they’ll at least listen to the reasoning behind a higher tax or new regulation or rule.
I’m kind of thinking out loud here, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Legal, Societal, Trivial..all of them.