Why does Father Coughlin insist on the idea that "We don't have to be Communists, nor do we have to be bureaucrats."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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To a large extent, Father Coughlin is attempting to carve out a political niche by defining the Status Quo of President Roosevelt in undesirable terms.  It is through being able to cast President Roosevelt's ideas in specific ways that Father Coughlin is able to construct a setting whereby individuals can see and view the President's New Deal policies in a different and unfavorable light.  Through his invocation of Communism and bureaucracy, Father Coughlin is suggesting that New Deal policies move the nation one step closer to a Communist form of government, something similar to a Stalinist apparatus where the encroaching and totalizing force of government crowds out individual identity and the basic essence of American democracy.  In Father Coughlin's mind, the New Deal, with its penchant for embracing bankers and a "Wall Street" mentality, was something that moved America away from the democratic sensibilities that Father Coughlin advocates and into something more resembling the Soviet style of governance.  In suggesting notbeing either "Communists" or "bureaucrats," Father Coughlin is able to paint the New Deal legislation as both elements.


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