Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his fourth and final inaugural address in 1945, the last year of World War II. He encouraged the nation to keep its ethical commitments, to continue to strive for perfection, and to despise the fear of failure. What do you think about Roosevelt's view of commitment?

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Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a speech typical of presidents, in that the flowery, inspiring prose did not reflect that actual actions of the person giving the speech. In Roosevelt's final inaugural address, he encourages the country to continue to strive for moral perfection and for ethical principles domestically and with...

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Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a speech typical of presidents, in that the flowery, inspiring prose did not reflect that actual actions of the person giving the speech. In Roosevelt's final inaugural address, he encourages the country to continue to strive for moral perfection and for ethical principles domestically and with foreign relations. In my opinion, this directly contradicts the actual actions of the United States since its founding and during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. While Roosevelt was president, black folks throughout the south were tortured and executed by racist vigilante mobs by the thousands. Roosevelt turned away thousands of Jewish refugees who were absolutely desperate to escape certain death at the hands of Nazis. These refugees were forced to sail back to their extermination. During Roosevelt's term, the infamous and incredibly racist and unethical Tuskegee Syphilis experiments were ongoing. Roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced into concentration camps due to Roosevelt's orders. Roosevelt's view of commitment and the words he said in his speech have no actual meaning when the direct actions of the United States and his presidency contradict them.

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President Franklin D. Roosevelt showed how strongly he believed in the concept of commitment in his final inaugural address. He indicated that the country should remain active and involved in world affairs after the war ended. He didn’t want the country to retreat from the world stage as it did after the end of World War I. President Roosevelt believed that living in isolation while the country was at peace was not a good idea. The United States must act as a friend toward other countries, and honoring the commitments made to other countries would be one way to do this. This, in turn, would help the United States sustain lasting friendships with other countries. The United States would benefit if other countries well also doing well. Throughout his presidency, he warned against the fear of failing. President Roosevelt believed we shouldn't avoid helping others or avoid doing the right thing just because we might fail while trying to do so.

President Roosevelt also felt that the country might make mistakes, but if a country's intentions were right, it was acceptable to make mistakes as long as something was learned from them. President Roosevelt believed that while nothing was perfect, the country should try to attain perfection.

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I think Roosevelt was telling Americans to hold on to their values.  We believed in protecting human rights no matter what the consequences were.  In World War II, our faith was tested.  It was a horrible war, but for a good cause.

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I think that FDR is telling the American people that as a country and as individuals we must remain committed to making the world a safe place for all people. He refers to living as men not as ostriches, I think with this statement he is telling us we can not live our lives with our head buried in the sand and ignore injustices around us, we must remain committed to helping those that need help.

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Roosevelt has identified one thing that has always made the United States of America stand out from other countries. We fight for those who cannot fight by themselves. We stand up for the underdogs. This benefits us as well, and as Roosevelt put it "To have a friend, you have to be one."

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This is a little vague... maybe you can comment on answers you get to tell us if we are giving you what you need.

To me, FDR is saying that commitment consists of following through on what we have started.  He is saying that we have to keep working for good.  We have to strive to be perfect even if we can't actually achieve it.

That idea strikes me as a sound one.  I believe that people should always try to do the best they possibly can, even if they will never achieve their goals.  The same should be true of countries.

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