(April 8) -- "We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people -- whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth -- is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure."-- President Franklin D. Roosevelt, State of the Union address, Jan 11, 1944
This was the president of the United States speaking, not my old communist relatives, or Wobblies, or lefties, or the unions. It was The Man himself, urging the nation to make good on its promises. Men and women are ruled as much by ideas as anything else, and the Roosevelt administration's ideas were powerful cultural and political stimulants.
By addressing the needs of the majority, these ideas achieved a broad-based and deeply rooted foothold in the national psyche.Roosevelt first spoke of the rights that both ends of the political spectrum venerate, rights such as freedom of speech, of the press and of worship. He was not unaware that these rights were not originally enumerated in the United States Constitution but were articulated later, as amendments to the Constitution now referred to as the Bill of Rights. Roosevelt felt that a "Second Bill of Rights" was in order, that political rights were a foundation but to some degree meaningless without economic rights.
Opinion: FDR's Economic Vision Is Still Unfulfilled - AOL News