Peter’s correct that the fear that a future Supreme Court making FDR’s Second Bill of Rights a real part of our Constitution isn’t terribly relevant right now. Commenter djf is right that it’s still possible, but I think what Peter has in mind is that any future Court liberal enough to follow the likes of Cass Sunstein on that matter will have already done worse damage on the culture war front, perhaps even civil-peace-endangering damage.
It of course remains the case that all Americans should be very worried about the Court. If the Dems of today’s mold get to pick the future justices from now until, say, 2024, which given the last election is apparently a real possibility, then the U.S.A. will… …well, you fill in the blank.
And of course, FDR matters in all times, and I linked to Sid Milkis’s FDR talk mainly because I wanted to share the Christopher Newport University conference goods here.
But I will confess that FDR’s Bill has been on my mind lately, even if not for the reasons Peter thinks. I am about to post an essay here that is not primarily about FDR, which in passing will suggest why that speech does matter for us nearly 70 years later. The most dangerous part of that speech—the 1944 State of the Union Address–was not the list of rights itself, which said all should have a …right to a useful and remunerative job… a …right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing… and a right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment… all of them proper goals for good democratic government that I would have no qualms with if they were expressed as such, and not as rights. No, the most dangerous part is where FDR says:
We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights…
I will explain why this is so dangerous, and why So-to-Speakism has become the standard constitutional stance and rhetoric of the Democratic Party, on all issues, economic or not. I will argue that until we again have Democrat Party Leaders who are Forthright Supporters of the Constitution, the republic is in peril. This is not a matter of my feeling that most Democrat Leaders, let alone their followers, are “evil,” as Peter suggested I felt, but of my thinking they are self-deceivingly, and therefore largely blindly, leading us all into a situation that could provoke civil dissolution.