This week marks the 154th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Today, I’ve reimagined it as if FDR came back to see, realize, and repent of the damage his socialist/fascist policies have wreaked on America in the past 85 years. I envision FDR’s Gettysburg Address as his heartfelt apology, and it would go something like this:
Fourscore and five years ago, our fathers and I brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in socialism and dedicated to the proposition that government can solve any problem.
Since rejecting our Founders’ wisdom, now we are engaged in a great civil controversy, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure when none in history ever has.
Now we are met on the great battlefield of the mind, experience, and history. We are met to decide whether to dedicate ourselves to individual liberty and collective freedom, or to substitute an almighty state for God, thus dedicating a final resting place for the ideals of our Founders. We must ask whether it is altogether fitting and proper that men who have never run a business or met a payroll should command the economy, that academics whose theories never worked in practice should implement totalitarian policies against human nature, and that individuals should be stripped of all opportunity, initiative, defense, and personal wealth at the whim of the state.
But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow these goals. No nation in history has ever successfully accomplished them. Obama doubled down on all we did, producing zero economic growth, unemployment matching that of the Depression, lost the respect for America worldwide, and fostering moral degeneracy and financial dependency on government at a scale never seen before.
The brave socialists, living and dead, who struggled from the New Deal, to the USSR, to Nazi Germany, to Red China, to Venezuela, only managed to murder 140 million of their own people and make the survivors miserable.
The world should forever note and long remember the abject failure of the experiment of government distribution of wealth, health, safety, and the general welfare, and realize that bureaucrats are not gods nor is their wisdom superior to that of the free individual. Only economic and personal freedom under carefully limited government can do the best for the most, and provide the utmost opportunity for all.
It is for us, the living, to learn from history and reject all forms of collectivism: Progressivism, Liberalism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and Nazism; and rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work of reinstating the interrupted freedom given to us in our Constitution, which patriots so nobly advanced until the usurpation of 1932. It is rather for us to be here rededicated to God as our Sovereign, and to the text and the original meaning and intent of our Declaration and Constitution, for which our Founders pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor”, and for which they gave here their last full measure of devotion.
That we here highly resolve that they shall not have died in vain. That we further highly resolve that we will never again ignore the clear lessons of history and experience showing that collectivism in all its forms is doomed to failure and to enslave men. That this nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from this earth.
And let me close, my fellow Americans, by reminding you that we have nothing to fear but the well-intentioned and the evil men who conspire to use the state to take our liberty. My sincerest apologies for what I set in motion. May God forgive me. May your generation be wiser than mine. Farewell.
Image: Public domain; Excerpted from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FDRfiresidechat2.jpg