Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Freedom Now

Looks like I've started a little movement here. Check out the pictures over at the Tally Ho. Next up: Duke Ellington on the one!

Meanwhile - I hear a lot that a big problem the Democratic Party faces at the polls is that nobody knows what it stands for anymore. Largely this is a problem of communication, rather than purpose. The mainstream press has decided that the public is more interested in hearing about scandals and horse races than about principles. Whether because they are good at marketing or just plain simple-minded, the right has been able to package it's ideas in simple terms that can penetrate the din (Government Bad! War Good!). But on the assumption there most people out there are able to rise above the "Fire Bad, Tree Pretty" level of political discourse, here's something more substantial:

“In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

“The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.

“The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.

“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.”
- FDR, January 1941

To that I would add the freedom of full participation in society for women and all minorities, racial, sexual, or otherwise. And, of course, freedom from undue government intervention in one's private life, from having the government inspect what books you check out from the library, from being detained without trial, charge, or legal representation as an "enemy combatant" in your own country, etc.

Freedom. Liberty or Death. The Rule of Law, Not of Men. Is that clear enough or dowe have to paint a pretty picture? For now I guess we're stuck with "Jobs Good. Ashcroft Bad."
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