Quotation by Franklin D. Roosevelt

The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand idly by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), U.S. president. from commencement address, May 23, 1932, at Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georga; ed. Samuel I. Rosenman, The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 13 vols., New York (1938-1950). Nathan Miller, F.D.R.: An Intimate History, p. 263, Doubleday & Co.(1983).

Though the speech was basically written by the journalist E.K. Lindley, it expressed FDR's pragmatic approach to national problems which was to characterize the New Deal. Roosevelt was a pragmatist by inclination rather than having read or followed the works of the philosopher Will James. FDR, like his distant cousin Theodore Roosevelt, believed that if one did not try to alleviate national disaster from the top, the change would well up from the bottom.
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