Summary: Hoover and Roosevelt can do a lot for us, the current generation, as we continue to deal with the new public policy debate they inaugurated in the 1930s. Seventy-five years later, we are still wrestling with what government should do and which level and which branch should do it. Why did Hoover see the New Deal as a “challenge to liberty” and the American system of limited federal government and robust individual responsibility? He warned that FDR was fundamentally altering the system. Why did FDR, by contrast, see the New Deal as the opportunity to establish “freedom from fear” and save democratic capitalism from destruction? This lecture explores the two different and competing narratives of what it means to be an American.
Gordon Lloyd is Professor of Public Policy in the graduate School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. He has written and lectured extensively on the moral and intellectual foundations of political economy, particularly with respect to the fate of classical liberalism. He has edited three books on the American Founding and, with the assistance of the Ashbrook Center, he has launched two comprehensive websites on the creation and adoption of American Constitution.