The Democratic agenda is unfinished. One reason is that the GOP is explicitly against the Second Bill of Rights.
To your average right winger, we don't have any rights to any of those things. Even if we earned them or pay for them. Buried in their fearful amygdala is a compulsion to hierarchy, a fear that one person's gain threatens the privilege of another. To the "conservative" mind -- only those with hierarchy have such rights. The rest of us need to know our place.
We have to disabuse them of those notions!
Based on the past 80 years of disappointments it is clear that we still need that "Second Bill of Rights" that FDR Talked about. We've fought to implement it, but have been stymied at every turn, to a degree that some claimed our own leaders seemed to have abandoned the project. And as a result the deplorable right wing has decided to attack the very notions the Second Bill of Rights sought to establish. The effort to repeal ACA, disestablish minimum wages, de-regulate employers and cut access to health care are all based on a very explicit assertion that we the people have no rights to:
Second Bill of Rights is More Important than Ever
But the reality is that the sentiments in the Second Bill of rights are more important than ever. This last election shows that we need to clarify, refine and codify them. We need to put them into one or more amendments.
Codifying Voting Rights and Natural Personhood
We also need to expand on Roosevelt's list to address things that weren't an issue in his day.
- We need to restate that all natural born or naturalized persons have an automatic right to vote in the place where they reside,
- We need to reaffirm the right of due process in administrative as well as judicial cases. And the right of private citizens to bring issues to the courts and challenge injustice.
- We need to establish that the rights of artificial persons are within the context of the general welfare and that private separate privilege is not a right.
- We need to reestablish the integrated constitution of our government and the right of local people to self determination.
- We need to establish direct voting of the President of the United States.
- And Finally We need to include clear definitions and terminology to make it difficult for future generations to parse those concepts.
And then get them through the State Legislatures and into law!
In previous blog entries I've talked about the difficulty of privileging these basic rights as they are "positive rights" or requirments of commmonwealth government and "pursuit of happiness" and not things that can simply be prohibited and those who violate the prohibitions punished. But we can make them happen. And we need a real Second Bill of Rights to address issues many of us didn't even know we needed to address during FDR's time.
We need to Make a Plan Stan
Another famous quote from FDR:
- Four Freedoms and Six Basic Rights
Sources, Definitions and Further Readings
- Progress and Poverty Book I, Chapter 2 The Meaning of the Terms