February 13, 2010

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(Huey P. Long - coined the phrase "every man a king" - didn't work out)

Continuing our survey of famous political figures of the past you may never have actually heard, but heard about - Huey P. Long, the former Governor and then controversial Senator from Louisiana, dubbed "The King Fish" was a former supporter of The New Deal, later did a complete 180 and became bitterly against it and everything FDR stood for.

His populist idea was "share the wealth" and his outspoken criticisms of FDR and the New Deal, calling it a combination of Stalinism, Hitlerism with a dash of Italian Fascism, despite his own program being characterized as socialistic.

Huey Long: “Ladies and gentlemen, whether you do or do not believe in the divine rule of the scriptures or in the precepts of the founders of this country, or in the history of philosophy of all nations, if you will believe the four tables of arithmetic; those of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, you will agree with me that the wealth of this land must be immediately redistributed among our 125 million people, if America is to be saved as a country.”

Long did a series of radio talks in 1935 in the months prior to his assassination in September of that year. This talk, entitled "St. Vitus Dance Government" is typical of the verbal assaults Long did on the FDR Administration. The people of Louisiana loved him for the most part - but he wasn't without his enemies.

Proof of that came soon enough.

Here is Huey Long from May 2, 1935.

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