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“You said Huey [Long] was the second most dangerous person, didn’t you?” he [Rex Tugwell] asked Roosevelt. “Did I hear it the way you said it?”

Roosevelt had been waiting for the question. He smiled. “You heard it all right,” he answered. “I meant it. Huey is only second. The first is Doug MacArthur . You saw how he strutted down Pennsylvania Avenue. You saw that picture of him in the Times after the troops chased all those vets out with tear gas and burned their shelters. Did you ever see anyone more self-satisfied? There’s a potential Mussolini for you. Right here at home. The head man in the army. That’s a perfect position if things get disorderly enough and good citizens work up enough anxiety.” Roosevelt explained that he knew MacArthur from the World War. “You’ve never heard him talk, but I have. He has the most portentous style of anyone I know. He talks in a voice that might come from an oracle’s cave. He never doubts and never argues or suggests; he makes pronouncements. What he thinks is final. Besides, he’s intelligent, a brilliant soldier like his father before him. He got to be a brigadier in France.” Now he saw his opportunity in America. “If all this talk comes to anything—about government going to pieces and not being able to stop the spreading disorder—Doug MacArthur is the man. In his way, he’s as much a demagogue as Huey. He has as much ego, too. He thinks he’s infallible—if he’s always right, all people need to do is to take orders. And if some don’t like it, he’ll take care of them in his own way.”

Traitor to His Class, Brand

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