Americans today face a critical moment in time, arguably as profound as any in our history. Freedom of opportunity, social justice, and the preservation of our ability to seek personal goals are all at stake. The character of the nation appears to be in question. Our sense of identity as a people has been shaken.
We are experiencing the present adversity as an American crisis, and it is. But it is taking place in the context of a great turning point in the human story, a period of time when an unprecedented number of monumental crises are converging across the globe. Our own crisis is inextricably intertwined with the affairs of the world.
Never has there been a greater need for the stability of the American vision.
I have proposed a simple, yet demanding course of constructive action that can lead toward agreement concerning shared values and principles. If we have the will, it can also provide a platform for seeking a shared vision of the future, and drafting a strategy for getting ourselves there.
This will be extremely difficult for Americans to carry off. But, I do not believe we have a choice. Without a willingness to engage with one another in this a way, I do not expect this nation to survive as a democratic republic.
We must find our way with both grit and grace, navigating through complex, interacting crises. We face a transition that can be expected to dominate the course of the 21st century.
The outcome will depend on our character as a people, and our understanding of the fundamental structural change in social, economic, and environmental realities that will confront us each step of the way.
Necessity presents us with stark, uncomfortable choices. We can give free reign to anger and disillusionment, allowing ourselves to be dragged down to a demoralized helplessness. Or we can determine to stand firmly together as a people, rising above our differences to meet the challenges that confront us.
Are we prepared to preserve core values, even as we forge a genuinely American response to the evolving conditions of an unexpected and unprecedented series of crises?
Will we have the vision, courage, and fortitude to commit ourselves to principled means and constructive action?
I will not offer a political philosophy, nor will I speak of ultimate goals. Fundamental values and a shared purpose must be determined by the American people. Rather, I will propose the means for doing this.
Both this blog and the forthcoming book identify principles I consider necessary for undertaking this endeavor, and suggest the qualities of character, attitude, and responsibility that can bring us through a profound turning point in our national experience.
I ask that we turn away from the dishonesty and deceit of partisan politics to address the needs and problems in our local communities.
A practical approach is offered that transcends religious, philosophical, and partisan views. It leverages the strength of local communities willing to foster genuine unity while capitalizing on their diversity.
I leave the ultimate vision of the future to you: the American people.
In addressing the epic challenges confronting us in the coming years, it will be necessary to manage our relationships and responsibilities with honesty and integrity. These virtues must be sought determinedly and without faltering, however dark the prospect.
I ask Americans to rise above our differences in the conviction that however immense the tests we face, however the world changes around us, however diverse our personal circumstances, this nation must not be permitted to abandon its founding vision and ultimate purpose.
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