January 27, 2010


(Herbert Hoover - no doubt turning somersaults)

The name Herbert Hoover has been invoked in a lot of conversation and blogs the past few days with reference to our current President. But how many have actually heard him speak?

Not a whole lot I suspect. Hoover was out of office before the days of the broadcast Press conference, the weekly address, the televised speech.

So I thought it would be a good idea to play his acceptance speech at the 1932 Republican Convention - the whole address, no excerpts, no soundbites. It's a little over an hour (but with the snappy C&L embed player, you can download it just fine), so you can hear it for yourself.

Herbert Hoover: “Oft times the tendency of democracy in the presence of national danger is to strike blindly and listen to demagogues and to slogans all of which destroy and do not save. We have refused to be stampeded into such courses. Oft times democracy elsewhere in the world has been unable to move fast enough to save itself in emergencies. There have been disheartening delays and failures in legislation and private action which have added to the losses of our people. Yet this democracy of ours has proved its ability to act.”

Okay, Hoover was not one of the electrifying speakers of his day. He was, as was often quoted "a plain speaker" - loosely translated; dull. But you get an idea of where he stood politically and he covers some of the same topics we're looking at today.

History is not as painful as it seems. Just not paying attention to it is.

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