Bernie Sanders often speaks favorably of FDR, comparing himself with the late president and speaking in glowing terms of FDR’s “freedoms,” which Sanders apparently wants to revive. What are these “freedoms”?

In his State of the Union speech in 1944, Roosevelt laid out his vision of America, and specifically, a vision of a country that guaranteed certain freedoms that, he said, would be a fulfillment of the Founders’ dreams. These “freedoms,” which the President called the “Second Bill of Rights” are:

  • “The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad
  • The right of every family to a decent home
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment
  • The right to a good education”

Sanders insists he is not a Socialist, but a Democratic Socialist, a distinction which he has been, so far, unable or unwilling to define.

A “right” is properly defined as a benefit to which one is unquestionably entitled, regardless of any effort expended – or not expended – in pursuit of that benefit.

But adults realize that these “rights” do not appear magically out of thin air. Food, shelter, clothing, health care, education and retirement savings must come, not from a Fairy Godmother, but from the labor of someone. Government has no resources to spend unless it takes it from people who are working to produce it.

Socialists like Sanders, and his unthinking, politically naïve followers (and Progressives everywhere) are convinced that their magnanimity and moral purity can overcome any troublesome problems, like paying for all this stuff. “Tax the rich.”

So, all these “free” benefits are paid for by someone else. If John is legally entitled to something that must, by law, be paid for by Jane, that is, by definition, not a right, but indentured servitude. Can I use the word, slavery?

But notice those lovely, compassionate adjectives that modify these “rights”: useful, adequate, decent, good. That’s the beauty of socialism/progressivism: The inevitable failure of these programs to live up to the promises, can be blamed on sinister forces that prevented them from being more useful, adequate, decent and good. Raise taxes again; that’ll fix it.

Imagine a $200,000-a-year progressive bureaucrat writing the official government definition of a “decent home,” or a “good education.” What could possibly go wrong?

As Margaret Thatcher said, “Sooner or later you’re going to run out of other people’s money.”

The prevailing thought in Washington is that it is the legitimate use of government to solve people’s problems and to smooth life’s road, to protect careless citizens from the consequences of their bad choices. Both parties buy into this mind-set. The Democrats want immediate submission; the Republicans are willing to wait a few years.

-The Voice of Raisin




  1. Phil Moody

    It has been said that as soon as Sanders is sworn in he will have the Dept of Agriculture begin to plant the trees that bear all the money that is needed to fund his programs. Maybe with even more BS he can grow enough money to cut taxes…

    Bernie never learned how to earn a buck until he was 40y/o, his first wife left him after she grew tired of living in poverty in a dirt floor shack. He had a child out of wedlock (consider the era), then entered congress $60K in debt. It is now reported that he is a millionaire. He needs to take the advice from our current politicians to line his pockets. If he knew something more about corruption and fraud he would have even more cash.

  2. Phil Moody

    Very well written.

  3. Andrei

    Question: is this article suggesting that if Sanders gets elected (which I doubt) his plan is to eventually become one of history’s greatest mass murderers? I must have missed the point, because if it’s that I’d be willing to bet a dollar it doesn’t happen. I’d also reasonably suggest that Goodman is beyond paranoid.

    • Andy, my friend. I am assuming that you are not in favor of a Sanders presidency. I assume that you are as alarmed – perhaps as amused – as I by his popularity among younger voters. So, I further assume that your comments are not in defense of Sanders, but an assertion that Goodman has overstated his case. In that vein, allow me to comment on your latest.
      I don’t believe Goodman is suggesting that a Sanders presidency would be despotic. But he is saying that the kind of government that Sanders is proposing – a social equalizer, an arbiter of who has and hasn’t a “fair share” of the national resources, a monitor of public debate, a censor of “improper” language, a punisher of “exploitive” corporations, a jailer of “speculators,” a destroyer of class distinctions – is the kind of government that leads to despotism in the long run. Sanders employs exactly the same rhetoric of class warfare that is used by all Marxists. The American style of freedom would be impossible under the kind of government that Sanders prefers.
      Read Sanders’ writing, examine his political choices, listen to his speeches. He is a proud Marxist, though it is not, at the moment, politically prudent to say so out loud. He has spoken fondly of the Castro brothers and the Russian government, he has metaphorically tongue-kissed Hugo Chavez, and he has done so proudly and publicly.
      Sanders seems to have no understanding of, or appreciation for free markets. He is a full-throated proselytizer of a Marxian redistributionist government, which he advocates in nearly every stump speech. His political opponents are not wrong, they are maliciously wrong, prostitutes of the Wall St. titans. Well, he has that in common with all Progressives.
      Do I think Sanders wants to be another Mao? No. But he is typical of leftist idealists who are unable to escape their morally superior self-image and see the reality of what their naïve Marxist ideology has led to in every place it has been tried.

      As an aside: This may be the year when America either implodes or barely escapes at the last possible moment. The vicious divisiveness of people like Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, and (well, you know the cast), and the demand by hitherto voiceless conservatives for push-back, has brought us to this bizarre moment in history with the two oddest and scariest presidential contenders well ahead in the polls. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
      I know you are less concerned than I, but I don’t see much to be cheery about.
      Thanks for your comments; I always appreciate hearing your take on things.


  4. Phil Moody

    Andy, with Peter I agree that Sanders is not a mortal risk. Still, I have at least 1K reasons to be left alone. I doubt that we will enter the “blades of grass” theory as warned by a gentle Japanese Admiral, or the celebration of another 1812, but I’ll pack a nice lunch. The pivot point of this election is too sharp to be noticed by 99.999999% of the population.