"Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made. In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed. Among these are the right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation."Terrifying, right? Well, it gets worse. The socialisms keep coming:
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation. The right of farmers who raise and sell their products at a return which will give them and their families a decent living. The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition. The right of every family to a decent home. The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.Protection against monopolies, the protection of recreations, homes, fair business practices, healthcare, and education. These are the things we're supposed to be afraid of? Glenn Beck talks about government as if it were some horrible Lovecraftian god, bent on the annihilation of humanity as a whole. I've heard him acknowledge before that government is a useful tool of the people (he compared it to fire), but I don't think he believes it.
Of the major institutions that shape our lives, we (the people) have the most control over government. We don't get to elect CEO's. We don't get to produce Madonna's next album. We do get to vote for our representatives, and they are rightly concerned with what we think.
Government isn't like fire. If it's properly managed, it's more like a fluorescent light bulb. Strict adherence to the perceived values of the founders is a narrow kind of thinking; They had a king stepping on their neck when they wrote the first bill of rights. They weren't exactly thinking about the internet age when they first put quill to parchment. The founders had more basic rights to consider.
The founders were brilliant in laying out the rights that they did lay out, but they could never have dreamed of how far our country has come since then, how educated it's citizens have become, and what a high standard of living we've achieved. We've entered an age (and a wealth) where we can secure a higher level of happiness, health, and enrichment for all of our citizens, with no cost to the freedoms secured by our founding documents. Ours is a country of visionaries.
The stuff FDR is talking about here is that kind of forward thinking that should inspire us to thought and action. Thanks to Glenn Beck for bringing this talk to my attention, and for demonstrating the poverty of his own worldview against the daring vision of one of this country's greatest progressives.