In a piece via UPI, Martin Sieff explores some of the more egregious examples of the media bias this year.
But for me he kind of ruined the whole effort with this paragraph:
In the long sweep of U.S. political history, the worst dirt that has been thrown at either of the presidential candidates pales compared with……..the false claims by Republicans in the 1944 campaign that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was senile. FDR by that point was indeed a dying man, though he did not know it, but he was mentally as sharp as ever.
For starters, the Democrats said the same thing about Ronald Reagan in 1984 but apparently Sieff doesn’t consider that to be “dirty” enough to be mentioned.
Furthermore Sieff is wrong on two counts. FDR almost certainly did know he was dying. He may not have known precisely how sick he was (does anyone ever?) but he knew he was quickly running out of time. His actions over the last months of his life indicate clearly that he knew he had little time in which to finish his program.
While his doctors apparently never directly told him “You will die soon Mr. President” they did monitor him almost constantly and made it clear that he should severely limit his activities. By 1944 his health problems included hypertension, arteriosclerosis, hypertensive heart disease, and cardiac failure.
Certainly by the Fall of 1944 FDR was not the same man mentally that he had been even just a year or two before. While he was still capable of summoning his strength and showing flashes of earlier years, he had become mentally and physically exhausted. Just over five months after his re-election to a fourth term, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was dead.