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Hello. This is a cross-post from earhtfamilyalpha. It is prose poetry, or speech poetry, if you will. Please think of it as another way of imagining a new type of leadership after so many years of cognitive dissonance.

The FDR quote is from his undelivered Jefferson Day Address, written the day before he died.

If you make the link over to earthfamilyalpha, there is a video embed tribute to FDR featuring a recording of his famous commentary on "fear itself," which the Democrats might do well to re-play at every available opportunity.

If you have never visited earhtfamilyalpha, then I commend you to the regular posters there, including the founder OZ, a trans-nationalist energy sage, and the poet and publisher, Susan Bright.

Speech poem after the jump.

The New Social Contract

We need a common social contract that informs all other contracts. A contract that can be recognized by children, presidents, corporations, common wisdom, local custom and international law.

The contract must be so basic that it can be understood by anyone over the age of three. The contract must encourage every human being, group and institution to respect one's self, others and place on earth at all times to the best of their abilities.

There are many barriers to such a universal contract. All over the world, there are individuals who, probably both by nature and by nurture, are compelled by selfishness and greed. Many leaders, big and small, all over the world, fit into that category, using their power only to obtain wealth and power for themselves.

The minds of many are ravaged by addictive disease, and others by severe psychiatric illness. Much of the world's population is illiterate or poorly educated. Xenophobia, or fear of strangers, is a common human trait. Intolerance of all types abounds.

Although we have traveled with these stubborn conudrums of human nature and society since the beginning of recorded history, we can no longer survive without acknowledging that they are herding us to the abyss.

Just that.

Like an alcoholic taking the famous first step to recovery, we must admit that the problem is ourselves. If we don't admit that, talk about it, think about it, promote it, research it, understand it and overcome it, then we are doomed.

We will never be able to solve all the complex issues surrounding violence and waste, unless we first solve the universal problem of disrespect that keeps us from solving anything else. Respect is the central issue that defines all others. We cannot wait any longer to recognize this.

To quote one of the great Presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "Today we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships -- the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace."

Originally posted to respectisthehub on Sun Jun 10, 2007 at 10:01 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As always, thanks for stopping by. nt (3+ / 0-)

    Formerly doing business as http://www.dailykos.com/user/respectisthecentralissue

    by respectisthehub on Sun Jun 10, 2007 at 10:01:51 PM PDT

  •  Ah, FDR (3+ / 0-)

    Ironic that the greatest progressive American president was a scion of the same sort of wealth and privilege that produced the likes of George W. Bush.  If nothing else, that fact alone gives me hope that there could be another like him.

    FDR, that is, not Bush.

    "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

    by Jon Stafford on Sun Jun 10, 2007 at 10:12:07 PM PDT

  •  Sorry I read it; A bunch of platitudes (0+ / 0-)

    If that was all he could say about building a more just world and dealing with poverty than I am less impressed than ever with him.

    This speech is about 50% justifying the war and 50% vague illusions to preventing war. Every president has uttered these nostrums while supporting Contra terrorism, overthow of Mosadech, military coups in Brazil, death squads and military massacres in Guatemala.

    It doesn't even come close to JFK or Bobby Kennedy for vision.

    •  FDR no visionary. (0+ / 0-)

      It doesn't even come close to JFK or Bobby Kennedy for vision.

      While Roosevelt did have some great insights, he was famously impatient with theory; he wasn't able to say, "If we expect A, we should also expect B, C, and D; we should be ready to do E and F; and we should work to avoid G, H, and I."

      He knew the Depression was coming 5 years before it struck. He knew he was the frontrunner 3 years before he took office. Yet, when he did enter the White House, he wasn't ready.

      Al Smith did the math, and figured that the economy would require an additional $12 billion in new spending (I've performed the same calculation and arrived at $14 B, but that's monday morning quarterbacking--I had the 1933 GNP and Smith only had an estimate). FDR thought that there weren't $12 billion worth of projects that were worth doing, but never bothered to look. The total federal budget never spent more then $8 billion until the War broke out in Europe and provided the impetus for preparedness spending.

      As for the writing itself, I think it was a draft. I'd want to know how many days FDR would have had before delivering it, and how many revisions he would have made in that time.

      To Gore: If you want to find the cure for cancer, go ahead! But don't ever think that this would change the things that get said about you. -Bob Somersby

      by Judge Moonbox on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:13:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "We must cultivate the science (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        New Deal democrat, Judge Moonbox

        human relationships."

        FDR was sitting on the atomic bomb, but he did not delude himself that fear of nuclear destruction alone would bring about peace. He knew that we were going to have to research and learn how "to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace," just as we researched and learned how to build the bomb. In my opinion, that was, and still is, visionary.

        Formerly doing business as http://www.dailykos.com/user/respectisthecentralissue

        by respectisthehub on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 09:05:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bull**** (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        judasdisney

        He knew the Depression was coming 5 years before it struck. He knew he was the frontrunner 3 years before he took office.

        And yet you say he was no visionary!

        Al Smith did the math, and figured that the economy would require an additional $12 billion in new spending

        If that is the case, then why did Smith join forces with the Duponts and other conservative business interests in 1934 to form the American Liberty League which opposed deficit spending and the New Deal in general?

        Thank God for the genius of the Roosevelts!

        George W. Bush - the Percy Wetmore of presidents.

        by rmx2630 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 01:49:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Both wrong for the spitefest. (0+ / 0-)

          Al Smith did the math, and figured that the economy would require an additional $12 billion in new spending

          If that is the case, then why did Smith join forces with the Duponts and other conservative business interests in 1934 to form the American Liberty League which opposed deficit spending and the New Deal in general?

          Why did Smith join the Conservatives? In a word, spite. When FDR became Governor of New York, he saw that he had two choises if he was to be frontrunner in the first post-Crash election: he could try to keep Smith happy, or he could try to isolate Smith. FDR should have figured that since Smith represented a generation who tried to clean up the machines from within, those he'd need to turn to in denying the big city voters to Smith would be crooks. The case of Mayor Jimmy Walker practically blew up in his face, if Walker hadn't resigned 2 months before the 32 election, FDR would probably still have won, but he would have had far fewer supporters in Congress to pass the tough measures he'd need.

          The Smith-Roosevelt feud was bad behavior on both their parts. On the unforgivability scale, you can't even see it next to the Japanese-American internment without a microscope.

          Thank God for the genius of the Roosevelts!

          In 1929, the Gross National Product was $101.6 billion (nominal). In 1933, that had shrunk to $51 B. That means that an additional $50B would be needed to bring the economy back to where it was. The multiplier, a standard economic assumption, is 3.5, meaning every dollar injected into the system will be spent 3.5 times. To get that $50 B, you need $14.28 billion in new federal spending. The entire New Deal budget never exceeded $8 billion annually. (I suspect that even that $14 B would have been inadequate; it assumes the economy was healthy in 1929, when in fact many markets were nearing saturation while poverty was endemic in the South, in thoe rural areas without adequate transportation even up North, and in many inner cities.) Like I said, Al Smith did the math.

          To Gore: If you want to find the cure for cancer, go ahead! But don't ever think that this would change the things that get said about you. -Bob Somersby

          by Judge Moonbox on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 07:52:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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