What qualities do Barack Obama and Franklin Roosevelt share that make them targets for such hate?
There is an undercurrent in American politics that goes way back—this xenophobic fear of the other. In Roosevelt's day, that fear of the other was communism or Jews. There was this whole cottage industry that was trying to prove Roosevelt was Jewish and that he was part of an international Jewish conspiracy to take over America. Right now we're anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim; back then it was anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish. Whenever that comes to the surface, it seems to usher in these kinds of movements. Whenever there is a fear that somebody is leading us astray and away from capitalism and more into socialism, there is the eruption, it seems, of this kind of reactionary response.