President Franklin’s Four Freedoms: In Dire Jeopardy

Ian Mitroff
3 min readMay 26


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Jamelle Bouie has written one of the most powerful Op-Eds I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading[i]. It’s one of the most masterful accounts of the differences between Democrats and Republicans. Not only are they far apart, but they’re essentially unbridgeable.

Bouie’s piece centers around Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms and how they’ve been so thoroughly trashed by Republicans.

The Freedoms are:

1. Freedom of Speech and Expression;

2. Freedom of Everyone to Worship God in Their Own Way;

3. Freedom from Want;

4. Freedom from Fear.

In the hands of Republicans, they’ve become:

1. The Freedom to Control Women’s Bodies and to Repress Anyone Who Does Not Conform to Traditional Gender Roles;

2. The Freedom to Exploit, Weaken Labor, and Take Advantage of Workers as They Please;

3. The Freedom to Censor That Which Threatens the Ideologies of the Ruling Class;

4. The Freedom to Menace thereby Carrying Weapons Wherever One Pleases, Openly Brandish Them in Public, to Threaten Other People, and Worst of all, to Sanction Violence.

As Bouie notes, President Franklin’s Four Freedoms were the essential Building Blocks of a Humane Society, one where people of all Creeds could live peacefully and thereby flourish. The Republican’s are those of a Rigid, Hierarchical Society in which one either dominates or is dominated.

Understandably, what Bouie doesn’t do is to list the Four Freedoms that Republicans accuse Democrats of promoting:

1. The Freedom to Murder Without Fear of Punishment by Allowing Women to Kill Unborn Persons;

2. The Freedom to Prevent People from Defending Themselves by Denying Them Their Second Amendment Constitutional Rights;

3. The Freedom to Indoctrinate Young People with Salacious Ideas;

4. The Freedom to Alter One’s Gender Without Fear of Retribution.

If these are in short their fundamental Beliefs, then each sees the other as a dire Threat to their very existence and way of life.

We are more dependent than ever on Moderates who can come together and forge new sets of Freedom, ideally reaffirm President Franklin’s.

[i] Jamelle Bouie, ”The Four Freedoms According to Republicans,” The New York Times, Sunday, May 21, 2023, PP SR 3.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His most recent are: Techlash: The Future of the Socially Responsible Tech Organization, Springer, New York, 2020. The Psychodynamics of Enlightened Leadership; Coping with Chaos, Co-authored with Ralph H. Kilmann, Springer, New York, 2021. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid 19, Springer, New York, 2022.

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Ian Mitroff