Liberal Franklin D. Roosevelt vs. Conservative Herbert C. Hoover

1534 Words7 Pages
President Franklin D. Roosevelt is commonly thought of as a liberal and President Herbert C. Hoover as a conservative. To what extent are these characterizations valid?
President Franklin D. Roosevelt is commonly identified as a liberal and President Herbert C. Hoover as a conservative. The validity of these characterizations, however, is conditional upon the definition of these labels. If one adopts the most conventional contemporary definitions of the terms “liberal” and “conversative,” then the characterizations of Roosevelt as a liberal and Hoover as a conservative are valid, but the definitions of liberal and conservative vary and change over time and place.
At the beginning of the Great Depression, the meaning of the term
…show more content…
Rather than governmental identification of social problems and their solutions, conservations rely upon the market mechanics of supply and demand and the individual incentive of profit. Because government is exponentially larger today than it was before the Great Depression, conservatives today often critique the status quo and are resistant to further governmental expansion.
Because of the different meanings associated with the terms liberal and conservative, neither President Hoover nor President Roosevelt can strictly be characterized as one term or another. Today, President Herbert Hoover would likely be characterized as a conservative. He believed in less government participation in the people’s daily life. In his 1928 election speech, Hoover stated that “Every step of bureaucratizing of the business of our country poisons the very roots of liberalism.” As government gets bigger, more offices, agencies, and rules are needed to allow the government to run its affairs. This bureaucracy, he said, would necessarily take away the American people's freedom to rule themselves. He renounced the new liberalism because it set bounds to the liberties of the people. He want
Get Access