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January 6, 1941
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivers a speech which is now remembered as The Four Freedoms Speech. His goal? To involve the United States in World War II.
The Four Freedoms
1. Freedom of speech, which is protected by the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, has been a fundamental right of all American citizens since the thirteen colonies broke away from British domination and established a new country: the United States of America.
2. Freedom of worship, which is also protected by the First Amendment, found its precedent in our Puritan forefathers, who left Europe for the New World in search of religious tolerance and liberty of conscience.
3. Freedom from want, which is the most controversial component of his speech, proposes that economic opportunity, employment, social security, and adequate healthcare are fundamental human rights. Although these conditions are not guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the battle over what constitutes a basic human right rages on, seventy-three years later. Roosevelt proposed these concepts as an incentive to fight against Hitler’s aggression in Europe, arguing that all people across the world are entitled to these basic human needs. President Obama and members of the Democratic Party use these arguments as an excuse to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens while ignoring the fundamental rights of American-born citizens. Republicans traditionally view the social safety net set up by FDR as government overreach and a burden on taxpayers. Right or wrong depends on personal opinion.
4. Freedom from fear, which is also not guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, embraces the idea that all people are entitled to live in peace, free from the threat of outside aggression. Expanding this concept further, people would be entitled to live in peace without the threat of violence from internal sources, such as criminals, drug lords, terrorists, police, the military, family members, employers, and psychotic individuals.
How well has the United States fulfilled Roosevelt’s dream? Is it even practical? Can we really, as one nation, bring peace, prosperity, and equality to the whole world? Or is this obligation dragging us down as a nation?
Where do you stand in the public debate?
November 14, 2014
Copyright 2014 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.