Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

Freedom From vs. Freedom To

September 21st, 2010

By restraining government powers the U.S. Constitution protects “Freedom To” for its citizens. It doesn’t define those freedoms, it just restrains the forces that, if allowed, can and will limit or destroy “Freedom To”. We should understand “freedom to” as anything an individual wants to do do that is not explicitly illegal.

President Franklin Roosevelt fameously perverted the concept of freedom by defining “freedom From Want” and “freedom from fear”, presuming that it is the government’s responsibility to supply these “freedoms”. Quoting Roosevelt:

The third is freedom from want–which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.

What Roosevelt implies is that political and diplomatic activities should provide “freedom from want”, while world disarmament would result in “freedom from fear.” That sounds like the Hillary/Obama agenda of a nanny world government and disarmament as a prevention for war.

Over time, however, the term “freedom from” has come to mean freedom from worry, from financial struggle, from hunger, from criticism, and from anything else that embarrasses, inconveniences or annoys people. All of this “freedom” is, of course, to be provided through legislation, regulation and taxation.

In today’s context the political left under the leadership of President Obama sells Freedom From’s by the ton. Freedom from worrying about health care, freedom from worry about college expenses, freedom from getting ripped off by the financial system, freedom from bank failures, freedom from big business rapacity, freedom from jokes or wisecracks about being black, homosexual, female, disabled, crazy, lazy, or weird. The uses of “Freedom From” are endless if you’re a big government type.

All of this “Freedom From” is usually attributed to its use in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s January 6, 1941 speech which was ostensibly intended to rally America in its preparations for war and the cause of providing material aid to the Allies already fighting World War II. Then about half way though the speech he shifts to sewing doubt about the loyalty of some citizens thus: “We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to feather their own nests.” Oh, those evil capitalists may be at it again.

And later in the speech:

A free nation has the right to expect full cooperation from all groups. A free nation has the right to look to the leaders of business, of labor, and of agriculture to take the lead in stimulating effort, not among other groups but within their own groups.

The best way of dealing with the few slackers or trouble makers in our midst is, first, to shame them by patriotic example, and, if that fails, to use the sovereignty of Government to save Government.

(emphasis added)
What? He appears to fear that the citizens might wreck his Government. “Using the sovereignty of Government to save Government”? Is that Roosevelt’s purpose of going to war? The above paragraph tells more than it says about the leftist mindset.

Then it was time to shift to the social issues.

For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
Jobs for those who can work.
Security for those who need it.
The ending of special privilege for the few.
The preservation of civil liberties for all.

The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

Sounds a lot like our current president to me. Damn the constitution. The government can do anything I want it to do. If the government could just get a hold of everything we’d have: equality, jobs, security, end to “special privileges”, and preservation of civil liberties. All stated in terms of collective needs, “all the people” not “every person.”

A paragraph later he calls for more government social-economic programs to provide:

Many subjects connected with our social economy call for immediate improvement.
As examples:

We should bring more citizens under the coverage of old-age pensions and unemployment insurance.

We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.

We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or needing gainful employment may obtain it.

Sounds more and more like the Reid, Pelosi, Obama agenda all the time. But, of course, they’ll tell you theirs is a modern, 21st century version.

But common to this day’s leftist agenda, it costs a lot of money. They have a crisis not to waste, preparation for World War II. So:

A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes. In my Budget Message I shall recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation than we are paying today. No person should try, or be allowed, to get rich out of this program; and the principle of tax payments in accordance with ability to pay should be constantly before our eyes to guide our legislation.

If the Congress maintains these principles, the voters, putting patriotism ahead of pocketbooks, will give you their applause.

Notably, Roosevelt recommended that the country borrow less and tax more as a result of the crisis. But then he wastes no time casting aspersions on the evil capitalists who would probably cheat and might make money from his wartime program. And to top it off, in true Marxist form he says tax payments should be based on “ability to pay.”
Paraphrasing Carl Marx’s Communist Manifesto: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

If all this sounds remarkably like the Obama regime today, it’s not a coincidence. These are people who have no ideas of their own beyond clever ways to undermine America’s hated capitalist system, redistribute wealth, use a crisis to pass a radical socialist agenda, regulate individualism out of existence, and make government the be-all and end-all of life in these United States. It’s the old, worn-out, discredited by experience, the 1930’s to 1940’s Socialist New Deal.

The scary part of it is that they might succeed in finishing the destruction of American individualism and enterprise, a task started by earlier “progressives” and largely implemented by their own hero Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The most valuable “Freedom To” that we still have is the freedom to vote and lobby for reduction of government. The “Freedom From” that we most need now is Freedom From the Obama Regime.

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