What does it mean to be free from want or fear?


…If Roosevelt were delivering his Four Freedoms speech today, “he probably would have come up with more than four basic freedoms… That being said, the world as we know it and the needs of humans as we know them still can fit into his four freedoms… Maybe the simplicity of the four freedoms is something to bring us back to looking at what the core rights are and how to focus on ensuring those core rights are fulfilled.”

 

Read more on the U.S. State Department’s “Share America” site:

What does it mean to be free from want or fear?


Yes, people really are turning away from democracy


By (Washington Post Op-Ed, December 8 2016)

…Public attitudes toward democracy, we show, have soured over time. Citizens, especially millennials, have less faith in the democratic system. They are more likely to express hostile views of democracy. And they vote for anti-establishment parties and candidates that disregard long-standing democratic norms in ever greater numbers…

READ MORE HERE

Click here for information on the FDR Foundation’s “In Defense of Democracy” Program.

 


Pearl Harbor and the End of Isolationism


Seventy-five years ago this morning, the United States was firmly isolationist. Widely disillusioned by the aftermath of the “War to End All Wars,” the American public turned its attention inward after WWI, first preoccupied with the financial glitter and gains of the Roaring 20s, then plunged into social introspection and cross-examination by the Great Depression. In 1941, America was deeply divided as to whether to rescue Europe again, however dire the situation there. Only the huge shock of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941 —  “a date which will live in infamy” — jolted the nation from its isolationist stance.

 
Since that fateful day, the international landscape has been entirely reshaped, largely as a result of the hard-fought efforts by Roosevelt to create a new post-war world order: one that would link the world in an interconnected web of economic, political and social cooperation and prevent us from slipping back into the slumbers of isolationism. From FDR’s Fourth Inaugural Address:

 
“Today, in this year of war, 1945, we have learned lessons – at a fearful cost – and we shall profit by them. We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other Nations, far away… We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community. We have learned the simple truth, as Emerson said, that, ‘The only way to have a friend is to be one.’”

 
And, in fact, the world we live in today is largely that of Roosevelt’s vision. But as of today, the 75th anniversary of the trigger for the North Atlantic Alliance, cracks have appeared and deepened in the shining façade. Public mistrust of trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership — on both sides of the Atlantic — threaten to derail economic cooperation. Reluctance among some Americans to maintain NATO in light of sometimes lackadaisical European allies portends trouble for the military alliance, illiberal ideologies and anti-immigration populism are on the rise, and the related resurgence of isolationism in the United States menaces U.S. foreign relations.

 
Does America, and the West broadly, have the will to to maintain the post war order over the next 75 years? Or will something new, or old, replace it?


Inequality: Canada vs USA


Interested in comparisons between Canada and the USA? Worried about inequality? Thinking of moving? Then don’t miss tonight’s lecture and reception at Adams House!

COMPARING INEQUALITY IN CANADA AND THE US
Tonight, Monday, November 21, 5-7 p.m in the Upper Common Room

Join Canadian students from across Harvard as we hear from Professor Krishna Pendakur, Harvard’s William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Professor Pendakur, who is visiting from Simon Fraser University, specializes in inequality economics. He will provide attendees with a comparative analysis of inequality in the United States and Canada, followed by reception to meet fellow Canadians and our friends across Harvard University. Wine and cheese will be served.

Talk and Reception hosted by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Canada Program and Canadian Students’ Associations of Harvard University

The event is public and open for all. Please RSVP on Facebook:

http://programs.wcfia.harvard.edu/canada_program/event/canada-program-special-event-1?delta=0



The Democrats Screwed Up


13bruni-superjumboBy Frank Bruni

The New York Times

We geniuses in the news media spent only the last month telling you how Donald Trump was losing this election. We spent the last year telling you how the Republican Party was unraveling.

And here we are, with the Democrats in tatters. You might want to think twice about our Oscar and Super Bowl predictions.

Despite all the discussion of demographic forces that doomed the G.O.P., it will soon control the presidency as well as both chambers of Congress and two of every three governor’s offices. And that’s not just a function of James Comey, Julian Assange and misogyny. Democrats who believe so are dangerously mistaken.

Other factors conspired in the party’s debacle. One in particular haunts me. From the presidential race on down, Democrats adopted a strategy of inclusiveness that excluded a hefty share of Americans and consigned many to a “basket of deplorables” who aren’t all deplorable. Some are hurt. Some are confused. READ MORE HERE