After 11 years under the Republican "Contract on America, " it is time to examine what it is we want from our government, and compare that to what we 've gotten. The biggest problem with the "Contract on America " is that it did not come from us, the people. It was a promise made TO us that has turned out to be false. It is time that we, the people, tell our elected representatives exactly what we expect our government 's principles and policies to be.
In his State of the Union address to Congress on January 11, 1944, Franklin Roosevelt said:
The one supreme objective for the future, which we discussed for each Nation individually, and for all the United Nations, can be summed up in one word: Security. And that means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors. It also means economic security, social security, moral security-in a family of Nations.
The best interests of each Nation, large and small, demand that all freedom-loving Nations shall join together in a just and durable system of peace. In the present world situation ...unquestioned military control over disturbers of the peace is as necessary among Nations as it is among citizens in a community. And an equally basic essential to peace is a decent standard of living for all individual men and women and children in all Nations. Freedom from fear is eternally linked with freedom from want.
FDR went on to say:
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.
As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however --as our industrial economy has expanded --these political rights proved inadequate to assure equality in the pursuit of happiness.
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.
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 for security and prosperity can be established for all --regardless of station, race, or creed.
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;- Advertisement -
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 and abroad;