The Necessity Train

In light of the disaster that has already been heaped upon the country in the first month of President Obama, I thought it appropriate to revisit FDR. Why? Because FDR provides the template for what liberals believe and pursue - that the natural extension of the vision of our founders is Castro's Cuba. Consider his State of the Union address from 1944.
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
Like Obama, FDR believed that America should be about more than oppotunity - he believed that the founders left something out - or, at least, the time had come for something new to be added - that the government should guarantee outcomes for its citizens.
As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
The notion of equality that our constitution lays out wasn't based, of course, on outcomes, it was based on the desire to have a nation built on the desires of citizens rather than the wants of rulers.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
Individuals need to left alone to pursue their daily goals - no matter how silly, self-destructive and greedy, or noble, brilliant and loving. Life is about the personal journey to self-awareness, and the mistakes we make provide the discoveries one needs to become better at living. Necessity is the fuel that drives the train of freedom.
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.
But FDR wanted a second Bill of Rights that would essentially eliminate the first set of rights.
Among these are: The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation; The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living; The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad; The right of every family to a decent home; The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment; The right to a good education.
The irony is that liberals have total control over education. The cornerstone gift the average Joe needs to acquire economic freedom is a good education, but liberals have forgotten all about good education and instead have retooled the schools for social indoctrination - creating the need for the invention of other rights.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
Understanding liberals, and the sense of mission and nobility that they feel as they seek to undo America, springs from the credibility these un-American notions were given by someone of FDR's stature. These ideas were not new to him in 1944 - he made similar remarks in a speech 8 years earlier.
An old English judge once said: "Necessitous men are not free men." Liberty requires opportunity to make a living - a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.
Wealth must be created before it can be shared. Necessity fuels the drive and creativity that generates wealth. That is what has created America's remarkable economic power. Does a nation living on the dole create wealth, or does it suck the spigot dry? If I am responsible for my neighbor's mortgage, than I am no longer working in pursuit of my own happiness. If GM is forced to pay workers what they want rather than what the market justifies, then we get car companies like GM. If I am forced to pay for your health care when you don't work, then how much money will I have left to pursue my own happiness? I'll be too busy working in pursuit of yours.