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Roosevelt and Hinckley
Ronda Rich
Until the presidential election of 1988, Daddy, who always cherished his right to vote, had never cast a ballot for a non-Democrat. He was, as was most mountain kin of ours, what folks in the South call “a yellow dog Democrat.” In other words, they would vote for a yellow dog as long as he was a Democrat. It was Franklin D. Roosevelt who inspired these backwoods folks to believe that a powerful man in Washington, D.C., really cared for farmers in Turner’s Corner, near where the Appalachian Trail begins. Those of Daddy’s generation have mostly gone to their graves but with them, they took long-held admiration and loyalty for President Roosevelt. He had saved them from despair and starvation after the Republican presidency of Herbert Hoover had delivered the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s programs like WPA paid men a dollar a day to construct public buildings and roads while also putting to work artists, musicians and writers.