Roosevelt Under Attack

Wealthy Republicans had long denounced FDR as "a traitor to his class," someone who had betrayed the interests of the welathy. His popularity allowed him to shrug these attacks off, or even to benefit from them. But by 1936 he had come increasingly under attack by those who denounced the New Deal for not going far enough.

Huey Long, governor of Louisiana, proposed using a tax on personal wealth to make "Every Man A King. (But no one wears a crown.)" Robert Penn Warren used him as a model for the political demagogue in All The King's Men.

Father Charles Coughlin, the "radio priest," began giving sermons over the air in 1929. At first he praised the New Deal, then increasingly began denouncing FDR as the tool of international banking interests and a communist, a pairing that makes little sense. He had millions of followers at his peak in 1936.

Dr. Frances Townsend and his followers, the "townsendites," pushed some form of social guarantee, a pension for every American citizen. Townsend's agaitation led to the establishment of Social Security

Labor Unions pushed particularly hard in the late 1930s, empowered by the NRA, the Wagner Act, and the President's need for labor votes.