The Spirit of the Times

Animated Gif of President Trump shoving his way through a group of men
Corruption is arrogant.

Corruption is arrogant.

It presumes we are weak.

It presumes our apathy.

Corruption insinuates itself into every day life.

if we do nothing corruption breaks our spirit and makes us slaves.

 

Animated gif of Trump saying Get him the Hell Out of here found on GIPHY
Get him the Hell Out of here

 

 

2.

When I speak of the spirit of the times, I speak of the collective vision
of the people.

In this picture, for instance, found at the internet archives:


Freedom of Worship

Norman Rockwell captured the vision of Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms.

As I understand the history of World War Two, the average person thought he or she was fighting to keep a way of life based on respect for independent thought, free speech,  tolerance for religious differences, basic economic security, and freedom from war.

In his January 1941 State of the Union Address President Franklin D. Roosevelt enumerated four essential freedoms for which we as a Nation stand and for which we will fight.

“The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings, which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.”

In 1941 the United States went to war with the evil called fascism.

The Allies rallied around human rights:

Before The Idea of Government was Demonized

The Fascists focused on fear and global dominance.

Antisemitic propaganda

Many of us would not have been born had the fascists won that war.

3.

What is faith?

In the cynical version of history Roosevelt lied about his four freedoms; cynics point to the racism, and the homophobia of that generation, and they are right.

The people who followed a president into a war to protect essential
human rights were flawed.

But they paid their taxes and voted to spent their money to build a
working democracy.

They had vision and hope.

Hope and a working democracy gave birth to the civil rights Movement, to
the gay rights movement, to feminism and the mid 20th Century explosion of art and ideas that lead to the internet and social media.

What is a working democracy?

A working Democracy is one in which we as a Nation talk to each other and use reason; it is one in which the people and their leaders live by and respect the rule of law.

A working democracy is one in which we have faith in our ability to make
the right choices and faith in our ability to eventually do what is just, what
is right and what is good, regardless of the cost.

Good and evil are the choices we make as a people.

Will we allow a corrupt tyrant to usurp our government and our
freedoms  or will we demand the removal of his puppet and those
who work to protect him.

The choice is ours

(c) Rob Goldstein 2014-2017 All Rights Reserved

 
First written and posted in 2014 as ‘Broken’.

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The Struggle for Human Rights

You won’t find perfection in the United States but you will find the freedoms and tools to work with your government to strive for it.

That’s our history.

People from every nation in the World built the United States.

Below are excerpts from a speech by Eleanor Roosevelt to the United Nations on the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

Her differences with the former Soviet Union are especially interesting
in light of Russia’s recent attack on the U.S. election.

“The Soviet amendment to article 20 is obviously a very restrictive statement of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. It sets up standards which would enable any state practically to deny all freedom of opinion and expression without violating the article. It introduces the terms “democratic view,” “democratic systems,” “democratic state,” and “fascism,” which we know all too well from debates in this Assembly over the past two years on warmongering and related subjects are liable to the most flagrant abuse and diverse interpretations.”

“We in the United States have come to realize it means freedom to choose one’s job, to work or not to work as one desires … people have a right to demand that their government will not allow them to starve because as individuals they cannot find work … and this is a decision … which came as a result of the great depression in which many people were out of work, but we would not consider in the United States that we had gained any freedom if we were compelled to follow a dictatorial assignment to work where and when we were told.”

“The final expression of the opinion of the people with us is through free and honest elections, with valid choices on basic issues and candidates. The secret ballot is essential to free elections … I have heard my husband say many times that a people need never lose their freedom if they kept their right to a secret ballot … Basic decisions of our society are made through the expressed will of the people. That is why when we see these liberties threatened, instead of falling apart, our nation becomes unified and our democracies come together as a unified group in spite of our varied backgrounds and many racial strains.

In a recent speech in Canada, Gladstone Murray said:

The central fact is that man is fundamentally a moral being, that the light we have is imperfect does not matter so long as we are always trying to improve it … we are equal in sharing the moral freedom that distinguishes us as men. Man’s status makes each individual an end in himself. No man is by nature simply the servant of the state or of another man … the ideal and fact of freedom — and not technology — are the true distinguishing marks of our civilization.

This Declaration is based upon the spiritual fact that man must have freedom in which to develop his full stature and through common effort to raise the level of human dignity. We have much to do to fully achieve and to assure the rights set forth in this Declaration. But having them put before us with the moral backing of 58 nations will be a great step forward.”

Excerpts from, Eleanor Roosevelt, The Struggle for Human Rights – Sept. 28, 1948

Public domain photo of Eleanorr Roosevelt hoding a Spanish Language copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
This is how Eleanor Roosevelt fought bullies

 

The ‘Bird of Human Rights’ (c) Rob Goldstein All Rights Reserved

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The Innocent

America?

Who are you

now?

Your

Ghettos as

Cruel as

The Warsaw-

Your murders

More sanitized

Than

Mass graves-

Less focused

Than

Kristallnacht

More subtle than

Gas–

A little AIDS here

A little crack there–

They’re crazy!

Not human!

They’re takers!

Not us

Like the killer

Who joins

The

Search for his

Victims

And fakes

Shock

When the

Bodies

Are found —

Death is Life

Greed is God-

America?

Who will have

The courage

To march

You

Through your

Crimes?

 

A Child Under Arrest in the Warsaw Ghetto
A Child Under Arrest in the Warsaw Ghetto

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2017 All Rights Reserved

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