September 26, 1936
IT SHOULD NO LONGER be necessary to deny that the Washington government of the past four years bears a Cambridge trademark. In spite of the American Mercury's description of Mr. Roosevelt as a "typical product of his training," the exact opposite seems to be true to those familiar with its ideals and teachings. Harvard's historical battle, from Dunster and Leverett to Lowell and Conant, has been for a free university in a free commonwealth.
If even the fundamental character of Harvard had left its impression on Mr. Roosevelt during his undergraduate days, he would now find it impossible to lead the New Deal. For almost two centuries and a half the leaders of this University fought for one ideal against church and state. They believed that no class in the population had the right to carry out self-seeking designs at the expense of another class. Mr. Roosevelt, with his rabblerousing talk about "economic royalists," with his subtle encroachment upon freedom of thought through his outbursts against those of an opinion different from his own, has little in common with Harvard....
Being the oldest and probably most prominent American university, Harvard has naturally turned out men of every political color. Mr. Roosevelt is a famous graduate, but his character hardly coincides with that of the men who have made his University great. Critics who are trying to find a cause for the New Deal must look for it elsewhere. Mr. Roosevelt is its leader, not because of, but rather in spite of, his early training.
In 1936, the Cambridge-Washington connection was stronger than ever, much to The Crimson's chagrin. It all but disowned President Franklin D. Roosevelt '04, vigorously opposing the New Deal and endorsing Roosevelt's Republican opponent. As the following two editorials indicate, Harvard (which concurred with The Crimson's judgement by a narrow majority) and the bulk of the nation were poles apart politically.