Source:Amazon– Bill Moyers interviewed Harvey J. Kaye, about his book about President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
“In January 1941, less than a year before Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of the Union address made it clear that a fight was inevitable, a fight to preserve, protect and defend four essential freedoms: freedom of speech and religion and freedom from want and fear. Historian Harvey J. Kaye, author of the new book, The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great, talks with Bill Moyers about FDR’s speech and how it was the cornerstone for the kind of progressive society Roosevelt hoped for but did not live to see at war’s end. Today, the Four Freedoms have been diminished and defiled by a society that gives money and power the strongest voice. Kaye says, “Look what we’ve done and look what we’re allowing to happen now. This cannot be the America that I imagined and most of my fellow Americans imagined.” The broadcast concludes with a Bill Moyers essay remembering his father’s reaction to FDR’s death, 69 years ago this week.
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“Easter Sunday, 2o2o, marked the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death. He was just weeks into his fourth term in office when he passed away on April 12, 1945 at the age of 63. Bill Moyers was 11 years-old at the time and remembers that day well; it was the only time he had seen his father with tears in his eyes. “It was never apparent that FDR’s New Deal materially made a difference in my father’s life but this I know, and I know it for certain, he believed that President Roosevelt was on his side, fighting for common people like him…he knew that fellow in the White House was his friend and champion.”
It is not uncommon, during this time of pandemic and an economic crisis that may well surpass The Great Depression, to hear people say “We need another FDR.” If you believe America desperately needs a great surge of democracy in the face of fierce opposition from reactionary and corporate forces, then remembering and reviving the spirit of President Franklin D. Roosevelt is in order.
FDR’s 1941 State of the Union address made it clear that a fight was inevitable, a fight to preserve, protect and defend four essential freedoms: freedom from fear and want and freedom of speech and religion.
In 2014, Bill spoke with historian Harvey J. Kaye, author of, The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great, about how FDR’s speech was a rallying cry to build the kind of progressive society that Roosevelt hoped for but did not live to see at war’s end. His most recent book is FDR on Democracy: The Greatest Speeches and Writings of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In his conversation with Bill Moyers, Kaye says the president was able to mobilize Americans who created “the strongest and most prosperous country in human history.” How did they do it? By working toward the Four Freedoms and making America “freer, more equal and more democratic.”
He believes Americans have not forgotten the Four Freedoms as goals, but have “forgotten what it takes to realize them, that we must defend, sustain and secure democracy by enhancing it. That’s what Roosevelt knew. That’s what Jefferson knew. And no one seems to remember that today. That’s what we have to remind people of.”
From Bill Moyers
“If you believe we desperately need a great surge of democracy in the face of fierce opposition from reactionary and corporate forces, then remembering the spirit of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died 69 years ago this week, is in order. Historian Harvey J. Kaye talks about how FDR was able to mobilize Americans to create “the strongest and most prosperous country in human history.”
Source:Bill Moyers– President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat, New York) 1933-45
From Moyers & Company
For the sake of full-disclosure, I must say it’s the President Franklin Roosevelt during his first two terms, is the FDR that I like and respect. The Progressive Democrat who inherited the Great Depression and simply wanted to get America out of it and create a public safety net for Americans who need it when times are tough for them and to deal with another economic downturn. As well as expanding more freedom to more Americans. Not creating a government so big that Americans wouldn’t need the freedom to take care for themselves, because government will do that for them.
FDR from 1933-41 was a Center-Left, mainstream, pragmatic, Progressive Democrat. Which is really what progressivism is about, as much as most Americans don’t actually understand that. It’s the FDR of the 3rd term from let’s say 1942 until he died in early 1945, that moved left and became more like a Henry Wallace Democratic Socialist
The 3rd term President FDR is where you get the Economic Bill of Rights speech that would’ve given America a Western European welfare state. Instead of the social insurance system that we have for people who actually need it, but a universal welfare state for everyone regardless of income. Which is what you get from his Four Freedoms