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Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:07 AM

Obama’s Second Term Could Mark the Return Of The Four Freedoms [View all]


Obama’s Second Term Could Mark the Return Of The Four Freedoms
November 22nd, 2012 10:45 am David Woolner

As part of our series “A Rooseveltian Second-Term Agenda,” a call to return to a foreign policy based on FDR’s vision of shared peace and prosperity.

Even though we come from different places, we share common dreams: to choose our leaders; to live together in peace; to get an education and make a good living; to love our families and our communities. That’s why freedom is not an abstract idea; freedom is the very thing that makes human progress possible—not just at the ballot box, but in our daily lives.

One of our greatest presidents in the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, understood this truth. He defined America’s cause as more than the right to cast a ballot. He understood democracy was not just voting. He called upon the world to embrace four fundamental freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. These four freedoms reinforce one another, and you cannot fully realize one without realizing them all.—Barack H. Obama, University of Yangon, November 19, 2012

In his historic visit to Burma, also referred to as Myanmar, President Obama spoke at length about the journey Burma is taking from dictatorship to democracy, a transition he said has the potential to inspire people the world over as “a test of whether a country can transition to a better place.”

President Obama made it clear that his journey to Burma—the first by an American president—was inspired in part by his own desire to encourage the people and government of Burma to press ahead with their democratic reforms so that the “flickers of progress” that the world has seen will not be extinguished. The president’s visit was also notable for his repeated insistence that America was a “Pacific nation,” whose “future was bound to those nations and peoples to our West.” But perhaps the most significant aspect of his speech was his decision to frame his remarks around a concept first articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt at one of the darkest moments of the Second World War—the need to build a world founded on four fundamental human freedoms.


His eloquent speech in Burma may indicate that he has decided to pursue a more progressive foreign policy agenda in his second term, one based on the recognition that the best means to keep America safe in the long term is to ensure that the hopes and aspirations of people the world over to enjoy freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear stand not, as Roosevelt said, as some “vision of a distant millennium,” but as “a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation.”

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babylonsister Nov 2012 OP
peacebird Nov 2012 #1
dotymed Nov 2012 #2
LukeFL Nov 2012 #16
dotymed Nov 2012 #20
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #3
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craigmatic Nov 2012 #14
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ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #17
Eyes of the World Nov 2012 #18
donheld Nov 2012 #19
dotymed Nov 2012 #21