Debunked: "In politics, nothing happens by accident" - FDR

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The claimed quote is:

This is a FAKE QUOTE. According to Wikiquote:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt#Misattributed

Even that is a corruption, as the original is "we are planning it that way".

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=14963

Additional research by Loren Collins tracks the origin of the misquote down to a 1971 book Non Dare Call it Conspiracy.

http://www.lorencollins.net/blog/?p=39

It seem like the original quote from the speech (about the economic recovery) was frequently shortened for several decades into the 50's and 60's to "we planned it that way", and often used against FDR. Indeed Frank Knox, who ran against FDR as Vice Presidential candidate, used the phrase "We planned it that way" as the ironic title of a 1938 pamphlet attaching FDR.



And in 1938, Maurice Spector wrote:

Which attempts to link FDR's New Deal to communism, which of course was the major source of conspiracy theories later in the 1950, and hence probably explains how the quote ended up eventually corrupted and inserted in the conspiracy quote canon.

So that phrase "we planned it that way" was famously associated with FDR. But the claimed quote that "In politics, nothing happens by accident" is a gross corruption. In fact FDR was making the opposite point by pointing out how unusual it was for something to go well as the result of a plan. He really saying "look at me! I planned something and it worked! Amazing!"
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It's fun to search the Presidential archives to see quotes that MIGHT someday get used by the conspiracy community:

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/#search

Like this one:

He's just talking about Hitler. But of course the "New World" is something that people would seize on. Actually "New World", just refers to the US. With Europe being the "Old World".

Historical context is very important. Of course you never get that in a quote.
 

Nephre

New Member
Yeah, this isn't really debunking. Multiple sources "misattribute" this quote to FDR, but you simply point to a Wiki page as "evidence." Please. You need to prove that FDR didn't say it (in light of literally 100 references to the contrary) to prove that he did not say it.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
You need to prove that FDR didn't say it (in light of literally 100 references to the contrary) to prove that he did not say it.
This is a debunking site. If you can debunk the title by citing a source for when he said it, that would be great.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
Yeah, this isn't really debunking. Multiple sources "misattribute" this quote to FDR, but you simply point to a Wiki page as "evidence." Please. You need to prove that FDR didn't say it (in light of literally 100 references to the contrary) to prove that he did not say it.
There was more than 1 site quoted in the debunk - and it does't matter how many sites quote it incorrectly - especially if they are all taking it from 1 erroneous original - repetition is not evidence.

proving he didn't say it is argument from ignorance - a logical fallacy - see https://www.logicalfallacies.info/presumption/arguing-from-ignorance/
 
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