The American people elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944. His New Deal redefined the role of Washington in the lives of citizens. From taxes to social services to foreign policy, ordinary Americans became more aware of national politics. Although Roosevelt may have only marginally mitigated the Depression, “FDR” became a beloved figure, expressing a notable sympathy for the everyday troubles of the people. The psychological lift he gave may have been more important than the success or failure of his policies. The president lent to the era both stability and a positive feeling for experiments. In 1941, after the United States went to war with Japan and, again, with Germany, Roosevelt added to his stature as a soldier of freedom. He made a new reputation for Democrats as the party of a hopeful internationalism, after Wilson had lost this reputation. The Democrats became associated not just with Washington’s responsibility for running the economy but also with a global diplomacy.
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