A Full-Throated Freedom Sounds So Far Out of Reach in the U.S.



In his 1944 State of the Union Speech, President Roosevelt proposed a 2nd Bill of Rights—one that would complement and sustain the original Bill of Rights.

To my eyes his suggestion is wild beyond imagination when contrasted with the tepid platforms of even most avowedly progressive politicians. Those platforms are perhaps correctly tailored to be anything but courageous in all but a couple of relevant dimensions. After all, our electorate is sharply divided, and one can always rationalize voicing demotic pap on the grounds that losing candidates do not shape policy.

FDR’s proposal recognizes that the negative freedoms in the first Bill of Rights flower only when conjoined to positive capabilities to participate in and comprehend civic life.

And if anyone doubts the radical nature in our political setting of the 2nd Bill of Rights, simply scan the venom spit by the Heritage Foundation as it warns against the dangers of the kind of caring behavior reflected in Roosevelt’s abominations.

Will I live long enough to hear such words of brotherhood and sisterhood from another American President?

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