Posted by Masakim on January 20, 2002
In Reply to: Found phrase - history division posted by ESC on January 20, 2002
were watching "My Man Godfrey" last night -- "one of the 1930s' delightful,
classic screwball comedies" with William Powell and Carole Lombard. The phrase
"forgotten man," for one down-on-his-luck, was used. It was the theme of an FDR
: The Forgotten Man
: Franklin D. Roosevelt
: Radio Address, Albany, N. Y April 7, 1932
: ".These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid."
The future President was not the man
who coind the phrase [forgotten man], nor was Professor Raymond Moley, though
he picked it up and inserted it in that initial speech. A sociologist at Yale
University, William Graham Sumner, first used the phrase in an article written
in 1883. Far from intending it to describe the destitute, Sumner had in mind the
sturdy middle-class citizen who bears society's greatest loads: "Such is the Forgotten
Man ... he is not in any way a hero (like a popular orator); nor a problem (like
tramps and outcasts); nor an object of sentiment (like the poor and weak); nor
a burden (like paupers and loafers) ... therefore, he is forgotten. All the burdens
fall on him ..."
From _Safire's Political Dictionary_ by William Safire
The forgotten man works and votes -- generally he prays -- but his chief business
in li fe is to pay.... Who and where is the forgotten man in this case, who will
have to pay for it all?
--William Graham Sumner, _The Forgotten Man_, 1885