Where’s FDR when you need him?
I was glued to History Channel last weekend, as it broadcast back-to-back documentaries on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the first covering how Roosevelt led America out of the Great Depression, the second with how he led us through World War II. Roosevelt is on my list of those I hope to meet in Heaven—I’m still hopeful I’ll be able to slip through the backdoor (or an open window)—because I think he’s our country’s greatest president. With all due respect to Abraham Lincoln, who had to deal with the divisive Civil War, Roosevelt was faced with two watershed events, either of which could have brought America to its knees.
Ironically, a conversation I had with Chuck Dowd , deputy chief in charge of communications for the New York City Police Department, the day before the documentaries were broadcast made me think about Roosevelt. Dowd told me that there are indications that the incoming presidential administration might approach the proposed 700 MHz broadband network for first responders as a public-works project. Of course, Roosevelt was the architect of the massive public-works initiative dubbed the Works Progress Administration, which put millions of people to work during the Great Depression building roads, dams and bridges. But he also was the first to envision the interstate highway system, appointing a committee in 1942 to study the feasibility of such an undertaking.
Here’s hoping that there’s someone in the Obama administration capable of demonstrating Roosevelt-like vision concerning a network that undeniably would be a boon to first responder communications.