I was listening to a talk radio station recently and heard a commentator mention Franklin Roosevelt's inaugural addresses. I easily found them using the internet and have read with great interest the second and fourth addresses. The second is most interesting as FDR attempted to justify the role of government in life stating that the actions of his administration were validation for government expansion, a more centrally controlled economy, the need for controlling Wall Street greed, etc. Of course, I was struck by the eerie similarities to the rhetoric we are hearing today out the radical left wing ideologues that are currently ruling this country. As disturbing as the second inaugural might be, the fourth is even more interesting.
Roosevelt, in January of 1945, was a dying man. His fourth inaugural, conducted at the crest of Allied victories in the World War, was subdued and not a national event. The words of the address should have been broadcast for all the world to hear. As a conservative, I find the words in this short, pointed address disturbing. Two lines are particularly troubling. FDR talks about seeking perfection. This term is progressive speak for egalitarian distribution of wealth where equal outcomes are more important than equal opportunity. Later in the speech, Roosevelt pronounces that the Constitution of 1787 was not perfect, nor was it (in 1945) perfect. However, FDR thought that the Constitution was a sound foundation upon which to build. I fear that progressives took his words to mean that the Constitution is a relative document that is far too restrictive than permissive. You Think??
Finally, FDR commented on the need for the United States to recognize that for enduring peace to occur, we must all become citizens of the world. Certainly, the world is shrinking, and may even be flat at Friedman asserts, but not all nations are equal, not all people are equal and not all ideas are equal. By diminishing the exceptionality of the United States, progressives seek to "equalize" the status of all nations. This is not possible. The United States is exceptional in all ways as are the people of this great nation. Other nations are not equal to America and never will be as long as good men act to preserve that exceptionality.
It's not hard to understand from where the progressives get their doctrine. Unfortunately, all they have is doctrine. Progressives lack principles, a moral center and courage. Their lack of courage is manifested in their fear of religion, individual accountability and merit. Look around, and one can see that progressives have no goal other than to see the elimination of all resistance to their ideology, and their ideology is based on investing power in an elite class that will decide the outcomes of everyone's lives. Does this sound familiar? It should. This elite-prolitariat approach to social and economic structuring has already been tried--more than a couple of times--and that system has never worked. Free men and women, acting on their free will, contributing to the society, and taking responsibility for their actions, is a far better approach to a full, rich American life. American Exceptionalism begins and ends with the exceptionalism of each and every individual American.
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