Last Friday was the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Speech. In his Annual Message to Congress (State of the Union Address) on January 6, 1941. They symbolized America’s hope in the following years to a war-wearied people because they knew they were fighting for freedom. Roosevelt declared those freedoms to be:
- The freedom of speech
- The freedom of worship
- The freedom from want
- The freedom from fear
The Four Freedoms symbolized America’s hope in the following years to a war-wearied people because they knew they were fighting for freedom. His precent remarks on the threat sot our freedoms set the tone, encouraging citizens to unite against threats to our democracy:
 I suppose that every realist knows that the democratic way of life is at this moment being directly assailed in every part of the world–assailed either by arms, or by secret spreading of poisonous propaganda by those who seek to destroy unity and promote discord in nations that are still at peace.
On this past Sunday night, at the Golden Globes, Meryl Streep called on all of us again to be mindful of the changing conditions in our democracy:
…And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modelled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.
Streep’s remarks are a point on a through-line from 1941, into this time, and into the four years ahead. When persons and governments acts as they both detail, we must to act as citizens against those who will curtail our rights, through formal action or explicit fear mongering by person in positions of power.