To what recent policy is the Father Coughlin speech reacting?

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

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The speech seems to be directed at the establishment of power to the Federal Reserve Bank, as well as the impending midterm Congressional elections.  Father Coughlin is at a point where his vitriol towards President Roosevelt is highly evident.  In making his anti- FDR points, the Father points to the loss of Congressional and Executive power in printing money and how President Roosevelt has failed to "get rid of the money lenders in the temple."  The speech is directed at the movement of the New Deal towards what is perceived to be bankers and those who are seeking to take advantage of the United States.  Father Coughlin points out that the Soviet Union is the benefactor of the large debt being developed as a result of the New Deal.  The concluding note of "America for the Americans," helps to bring out what Coughlin believes is the movement of America to some notion of foreign ownership and control.  The overall policy shift, in Father Coughlin's mind, is the belief that President Roosevelt has moved the nation closer to being a tool or an extension of Wall Street.  His populist message, often created by establishing an "us" or "them" mentality, is the result of this perceived policy shift.

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