FDR on World War II

Now, U-turns don’t come much more spectacular than the worldwide carnage of the Second World War. When Roosevelt came to office in 1933, he was staunchly against America’s intervention in European affairs. And while Hitler took power in the same year and started the events that would culminate in war, Roosevelt maintained America’s isolationist policies, using the Atlantic gap as a reason not to to join the “stop-Hitler bloc” of France and Britain. Even as late as 1940, when FDR was seeking re-election, he vowed to keep the USA out of the war, saying to army recruits “you boys are not going to be sent into any foreign war”. Of course, this was before the attack on Pearl Harbor. As soon as that happened, anti-war sentiment in the US disappeared and FDR responded to the general feeling by declaring war on Japan, phoning Winston Churchill to say “We are all in the same boat now”. A noble and not unpopular flip-flop, but a contradiction nonetheless.

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Top 10 Political Flip-flops
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