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Legislatively Speaking
Legislatively Speaking: The Four Freedoms

By Noel Miller, CT State Grange Legislative Director

  MAY 1, 2023 --

In his Jan. 6, 1941 State of the Union address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the “Four Freedoms Speech.”

“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. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.”

Norman Rockwell created illustrations for the Four Freedoms to help visualize the four freedoms which President Roosevelt envisioned.

We are at a time and place where we all need to reflect on these freedoms, and discuss amongst ourselves the meanings and visions of the freedoms and how we can incorporate them into this time of our Country.

President Roosevelt designed the New Deal during the Great Depression. During World War II he drafted the Second New Deal which was a roadmap to rebuild the United States with programs that were part of the Marshall Program which rebuilt Germany and Japan after the war ended. He just died in office before it could be presented to Congress and President Truman was not brought into the loop. Too bad because if the Second New Deal was enacted it may have been the Second Reconstruction of America similar to that after the Civil War, during which the Grange was founded.

We are witnessing a troubled nation with greed and corruption in the daily news. Criminal cases will soon be in the courthouses across the nation. I had a boss that used to tell me “give a person enough rope and they will hang themselves, some people have longer ropes though.” Later we had to revise with “and some people have bungee cords instead of rope.” “Justice for all”, which we recite in the Pledge of Allegiance, is needed because no one is above the law.

Norman Rockwell was a member of Stockbridge Grange #295, in case you didn’t know.

April showers bring May flowers, What did the Mayflowers bring? Pilgrims!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mothers out there.



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