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Louis Thomas McFadden

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Louis Thomas McFadden was a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania who served from 1915 to 1935. He was a far-right populist who is often remembered for two things:

  • Creating the McFadden Act, which limited federal branch banks to the city in which the main branch operates.

Nuttiness[edit]

Prior to being voted out of office he was a staunch opponent to the Federal Reserve because he believed that Jewish banking interests were controlling the Fed.[1] He even said the Fed (and presumably the Jews) had purposely caused the Great Depression. Apparently he also believed the Roosevelt Administration was controlled by Jews and he irritated Roosevelt when McFadden didn't want Henry Morgenthau Jr., a Jew, being appointed Secretary of the Treasury.[2]

Because that's not enough he also accused Wall Street of funding the Russian Revolution.

He also did his best to befriend Nazis, with McFadden repeatedly praising Adolf Hitler and in turn the pro-Nazi tabloid Der Stuermer praised McFadden.[3] McFadden also tried to buddy up with fascist William Dudley Pelley,[4] leader of the Silver Shirt Society.

Republicans eventually denounced McFadden as "crazy"[5] and he lost his seat in 1935 despite running as an incumbent in a heavily Republican district. He briefly tried to run for president on the platform of keeping Jews out of the Republican Party but eventually stopped due to lack of support.

Death and conspiracy theories[edit]

McFadden (finally) died of heart complications in 1936 but he has become something of a hero to some anti-Semites on the internet. Of course, some anti-Semites think he was poisoned, as do some libertarians who think he was killed for speaking out against the Fed.[6] The more libertarian types tend to gloss over his anti-Semitism. McFadden's legacy lives through his helping of getting the ball rolling on the "Jews control the Fed" conspiracy theory. Interestingly his vehement anti-Semitism and Third Positionist economics also makes him one of the few American politicians you could justifiably call a strong Nazi-sympathizer.

References[edit]