The Simplest way to promote Democracy is to vote for Freedom

Mary Lee Johnson
6 min readOct 20, 2022


Vote for the Four Freedoms!

As a reminder, here are The Four Freedoms that FDR laid out:

· Freedom from Want: From Hunger & poverty

· Freedom of Worship: From the country’s founding, this has been a core belief

· Freedom of Speech: Another core tenant of our Democracy

· Freedom from Fear: As President Roosevelt said, we have nothing to fear but Fear itself when we live in freedom!

It’s been said the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Thus, the idea that there is a correlation between the notion that most Democrats are running on in this election season-that the Democracy itself is in peril-should be tied to another real and present danger to the Republic.

It is this: The idea that our freedoms are in peril. Our Civil Rights, regarding the right to autonomy over our own bodies, and our Civil Liberties regarding how we choose to have families, and other matters of independence, are being threatened every day. At one time, these rights were championed by all Americans.

The issue is simple, but it’s been clouded by polling data and GOP strategies that tell you not to believe what you see and hear. The real enemy, they will tell you, is the Democratic Party trying to bring inflationary spending and economic calamity to the USA because… Well, because that is what they have always said and it has always worked. The ‘Tax & Spend” message and “Socialist” trope have always worked like a charm.

The Fascistic Nature of the new Republican led party of “Trumpy Bear” is one where the enemy is AntiFa. The Antifa moniker, by the way, stands for Anti-Fascist. So, as they say, I guess that means that all of us who cherish liberty are Antifa’s Children these days!

The right-wing has decided that it’s not enough to just try to defeat the other side through the dark money which buys elections. Instead, they are working very hard to upend the idea of Democratic elections and the voting process.

The idea of projecting themselves into their own version of reality, “Alternative reality’ and facts as coined by Kellyanne “Trumpy” Conway, have been floated for a while. They have expressed concern over the idea of rigged elections, which translates to the notion that if the other side wins, they are rigged.

Thus, we are at the point in the plot where we need to rewrite the script. Instead of a traditional closing argument, the argument for the last weeks leading up to the midterm Elections is this: We are fighting for our rights. That means we are fighting against Election Deniers. (By the way, three-quarters of the GOP on the Ballot are said to be Election Deniers!)

But that also means, we are fighting for our Civil Rights. We are fighting to restore integrity to the entire process of voting in this country. That includes those who have been denied the freedom to vote, the freedom to choose their own outcomes regarding pregnancy, and the freedom to live in a democracy where your vote counts!

The simple message is this. Abortion rights and voting rights are not an either/or proposition. It is all tied together and is one and the same. We are fighting for our freedoms. These are the same four freedoms that FDR touted to another generation long ago.

Freedom is on the ballot now. Inflation is just a small portion of the economic messaging that is on the ballot. We are all part of an American Dream that has long been denied to those who were left out. That includes people of color who were denied access to loans and mortgages, and that includes women who have been paid less than men.

That includes the Ruling Class of Dark Money-Corporate Overlords who have bought their way to power in Washington for decades. And yes, that has included both Democrats and Republicans, but that argument is for another day. This argument is about the survival of the Republic. If the Republic is to stand, we need to choose Freedoms.

We can remind people of the Four Freedoms that FDR often spoke of during the Great Depression. We can argue that we did not cause the Pandemic or the war in Ukraine or the supply-chain crisis, but there are solutions that can help ease up the economic burdens in the long-term. Passing the Inflation Reduction Act was only the beginning…

And those who helped over a decade ago when Obamacare was passed are still the ones who are helping the little guy and the middle class. What have the Republicans done? They lowered taxes for the wealthiest one-percent and they proposed eliminating Obamacare.

They are now working to complete the plan by trying to reduce the benefits provided through the social safety net. Socialism is defined in this country as Social Security and Medicare.

We all pay into the system of Social Security and that is a kind of socialism that we all agree has worked for three-quarters of a century. What do the Republicans propose?

They would like to end the guaranteed benefit of entitlements. These are the programs of which we are entitled to by virtue of paying into these government-run programs for our entire adult working lives. What they will do is to reduce benefits, continue military spending, and keep feeding money to the wealthiest as they answer to lobbyists and their Corporate Overlords. That is what the other side will do for the average working American.

Furthermore, they will continue to gerrymander districts and rig and steal elections in order to suppress the vote and eventually destroy our democracy. This is un-American and contrary to all the Founding Fathers wrote about. The other night, one of the Repubs stood on a debate stage proudly displaying a pocket Constitution. It was as much of a ‘prop,’ as pointed out by his opponent, as the fake badge displayed by football legend Herschel Walker. Let’s stop following the bright shiny objects that are props and concentrate on freedom instead.

The Four Freedoms are ones that we fought for in both World Wars. We fought for freedom and for the idea that all men and women were created equal during & then long after the Civil War. We fought in other wars that were part of the notion of American Exceptionalism. Reagan spoke of ‘the Shining City on the Hill’ and JFK implored fellow Americans to do more for the country by asking what you may do to serve the country.

And now we are at a crossroads. The Four Freedoms are still a tangible thing. The dream shall never die for many who still see America as exceptional. But the one way to prove this is to vote for the Four Freedoms. The vote is simple. It is not about the economic conditions or the inflationary numbers. It is about freedom.

Vote wisely and vote well and think of those who sacrificed so much for the Four Freedoms we still enjoy today.

Here’s a final reminder of the four freedoms of FDR and what is at stake in this election:

· Freedom from Want: You will lose this freedom if Republicans decide to roll back Social Security & Medicare

· Freedom of Worship: You will lose this freedom if the alt-right Christian Nationalists continue with their suppression of religious freedoms and intolerance of Jewish Americans, of immigrants, of Muslims, and of any one deemed to be ‘the other.’

· Freedom of Speech: Fascism suppresses the freedom to speak if you do not happen to believe as the Fascistic Far-Right in this country do. For example, my elected State Attorney for Hillsborough County, Andrew Warren, was dismissed from his elected position by the fascistic governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, because he spoke out in a letter in support of a woman’s right to choose. That was his offense. Freedom of Speech is under assault in this country.

· Freedom from Fear: The fear that we will be assaulted at the polls is a very real fear. In Florida, Ron DeSantis has assembled a squad comprised of modern-day Brownshirts to help patrol the polling stations he deems to be problematic. If we are afraid to vote, then we will live in a country where democracy is no longer available for those people of color or those who don’t happen to agree with the Fascist in charge.



Mary Lee Johnson

Author of five books, & blogger at 6 Degrees Writer…