I have never been a fan of Franklin Roosevelt. His presidency, in my view, made America a worse  place  than it would have been had the chief occupant of the White House in the 1930s  been someone more in the mold of Grover Cleveland  or Calvin Coolidge . What I know of F.D.R. as a person  is also unflattering. He was a venal opportunist, and sometimes cruel .
Yet earlier today, as I walked alongside a lake in northern Virginia, one of the most famous of F.D.R.’s many well-turned phrases sprung to mind as I watched people, several of whom were wearing masks and young enough to be my children, spring away from me as if I were a werewolf.
“Omigosh, F.D.R. was correct after all,” I thought, “and perfectly so, at least on one narrow but important point: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'”