The extraordinary challenges confronting the American people mark a turning point and an unambiguous test of America’s place in history.
For more than two hundred years the United States has stood before the world as a beacon of hope, a source of creative imagination and ingenuity, and as a singular model of political freedom, social diversity, and economic vitality.
In the cauldron of crisis it is easy to forget the unparalleled historic meaning of the United States, and the role it has played and will continue to play in the progress of an ever-advancing civilization.
Yet, our confidence in the future is shaken by abandoned responsibility and collapsing institutions. Our economic well-being and social coherence as a nation have been weakened, and the generosity of spirit for which Americans have long been known has faded.
As we begin a new year, I am stepping away from recent topics to revisit the central theme of this blog and forthcoming book.
Most of my posts are adapted from a working manuscript. They usually appear on alternating Fridays here at http://www.freedomstruth.net – and at facebook.com/freedomstruth. You will find a project description on this page, an introduction to the book, and drafts of several chapters.
My question is this: Is there a diverse and loyal core of American citizens who possess the will and the vision to refine our shared identity as a nation at this great turning point?
The turning point I speak of is not political. It is social and economic, defined by crises and brought on by lack of foresight and the abandonment of moral responsibility over many years.
I believe this is a critical moment; a time to consider our identity as a people.
Are we prepared to stand firm amidst chaotic disruptions and rise above our differences to seek a common understanding and vision – an “American idea”?
My message is brief. It will be short on analytical detail and will avoid blame. There is more than enough blame to go around and we all know about it.
Rather, it will focus on the essentials of mind and attitude, of moral character, and of our relationships with one another that will be required to go forward – to turn despair into courage and failure into honor and self-respect.
The book will acknowledge certain past mistakes and failures of responsibility. We will briefly consider the manner in which we have gradually abandoned control over our lives, making ourselves vulnerable to the present circumstances.
However, it will do so not to fix blame, but for the purpose of understanding the steps required to build a stable future we can all accept and believe in.
We all yearn for a less partisan and more civil national discourse. Let us accept that diverse views are needed, however divergent they may be, if we are to identify effective solutions. Practical problem-solving best occurs with input from varied perspectives.
In the present dangerously fragile context, priority must go to ensuring the safety and well-being of our families and communities. This will depend on trustworthiness and teamwork despite our differences.
There can be no freedom without trust. And, we cannot begin to build trust or address the larger issues in our future without first securing stable local forums in which to dialog, strategize and collaborate.
Is this really possible? Yes, but only with great patience, a commitment to justice, and an effort to envision the end in the beginning.
The United States has gained its vitality from our diversity and the creative engagement found in the clash of differing opinions.
I will not ask you to alter your views, but to listen, understand, and debate. Our differences must not be permitted to subvert the unity of purpose that defines us as a nation.
At a time of extraordinary existential threat we are confronted with a stark choice.
Will we seek the ideal made possible by the United States Constitution? Will we defend and protect two hundred years of commitment, hard work, and sacrifice by generations of Americans who have given their lives to this unprecedented vision?
Or, will we give way to the emotions of uncompromising partisanship – and allow a great trust to pass away?
Dear readers, you can support this project by suggesting that your friends and associates take a look. Constructive feedback is much appreciated. Please expect the next post on or about January 12.