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Democrats are invoking FDR in their Green New Deal. It’s historically misleading.

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12.02.2019

The ringing words of a congressional resolution by Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) summon Americans to “a new national, social, industrial and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal.”

The Green New Deal’s goal: a zero-carbon economy within 10 years, enabling the United States to lead a global attack on climate change while providing “unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States.”

It’s a stirring vision, this Green New Deal. It tugs effectively at mystic chords of memory, as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) showed by quickly echoing the resolution’s themes in a stump speech: “When the planet has been in peril in the past, who came forward to save Earth from the scourge of Nazis and totalitarian regimes?” he asked an audience in Iowa on Friday. “We came forward.”

Politically powerful as the invocation of America’s great collective deeds under Franklin D. Roosevelt might be, however, it is historically misleading — deeply so.

Yes, “we all pulled together” (as the saying went) in the nearly four years between Pearl Harbor and V-J Day. The U.S. population overwhelmingly supported the war. It also accepted, or submitted to, extraordinary federal command and control. Mobilization required coercion. Without it, the war might have been........

© Washington Post