It is hard to deal in politics in any way and ignore the elephant in the room today: The Hillary Clinton campaign officially kicks into another gear with a speech at Roosevelt Island in New York City this morning. The crowd is expected to be huge. Compared to the crowd of 1 that Rick Santorum brought into an appearance at Hamlin, Iowa the other day anything over 10 will be huge. Note also that the person at the Santorum stop had to be there since she was the county chair.
We wish Clinton well on her quest. It is exciting to see a woman in such a commanding position in presidential politics. However we remain neutral, Democrats have put forth 3 very formidable candidates in Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley. Any one of them would be so much better than any one of the 20 candidates or so who are running on the Republican side.
The selection of Roosevelt Island as the location for this kickoff rally is loaded with significance. First there is the simple link with perhaps the greatest president of recent vintage in FDR. Second, Roosevelt Island was so named after FDR’s Four Freedoms speech which still defines the goals of the Democratic Party just as much as the New Deal does. Thus she links her campaign with the core of Democratic Party history.
Mrs. Clinton will deliver the speech at Four Freedoms Park, a memorial with a grassy tree-lined mall, named after the four tenets that Roosevelt presented in his 1941 State of the Union address: freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and fear.
She has defined her campaign as taking on “four fights,” including strengthening the economy, helping families and communities, getting unaccountable money out of politics and protecting the country from foreign threats.
Here is the short version of FDR’s 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.
FDR went on to add in that speech:
For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:
– Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
– Jobs for those who can work.
– Security for those who need it.
– The ending of special privilege for the few.
– The preservation of civil liberties for all.
– The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.
Many subjects connected with our social economy call for immediate improvement.
– We should bring more citizens under the coverage of old-age pensions and unemployment insurance.
– We should widen the opportunities for adequate medical care.
– We should plan a better system by which persons deserving or needing gainful employment may obtain it.
I have called for personal sacrifice. I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that call.
Rumor has it that Hillary will then attend a house party in Sioux City tonight.
So the race is on. For America’s sake, may the very best Democrat win.