December 1941: A different reaction to wartime

The GOP, out of the White House, rallied around the president and the nation.

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President Donald Trump has likened the national crisis over the coronavirus to wartime. And he is right.

We have not seen a governmental or social effort like this for generations. America has not seen a threat like this for generations. When it did, perhaps the last time in December of 1941, the reaction of some U.S. political players was far different than we see today.

Then, Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House in the first year of his third term. The GOP was in the minority in both Houses of Congress. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, did the Republicans immediately begin to criticize the White House? No. There were 162 Republicans in the House. The Declaration of War was passed in the House 388-1. Was there a congressional committee investigation, run by Democrats even though their man was in the White House, over Pearl Harbor? Oh yes. After the war was over.

There was an immediate suspicion in military and Intelligence circles that FDR wanted into the war, knowing it would supercharge the American economy and dramatically increase the U.S. world leadership role. As such, some thought he had ignored Naval Intelligence warnings about a Japanese fleet headed west and seemingly lost in the Pacific.

That fleet finally appeared, and attacked Pearl Harbor. Did the press put those suspicions on their front pages? Did radio shows put Roosevelt administration officials through the ringer, comparing them to the Japanese? No. The nation, the press, the GOP, all came together and fought the quite visible enemy.

Such mature reasoned actions, such raw loyalty to America, such love of country and people, is in sharp contrast to today’s opposition Democratic Party and the media. They harass and attack the president, the country, and the national effort against this enemy.

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The Democrats and their press handmaidens put politics over patriotism, ideology over lives, their ego over the best interests of America. But it wasn’t always like this. We have changed. In this way for the much worse.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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