The extraordinary challenges confronting the American people will mark a turning point, and a test of America’s character and 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 freedom, diversity, and vitality.
In the cauldron of crises it is easy to forget the unparalleled historic meaning of the United States, and the role it has played in the progress of an ever-advancing civilization.
Our confidence in the future is shaken by abandoned responsibility and collapsing institutions.
Economic well-being and the social coherence of the nation have been weakened. The generosity of spirit for which Americans have long been known has faded.
This week I will step away from recent topics to revisit the central theme of this blog and forthcoming book.
I ask my fellow Americans to consider the danger in the present crisis – a threat to the survival of the United States as a constitutional republic.
The most basic underlying problems have not been caused by present or past leadership, but by structural change, by a weakened understanding of personal responsibility, and by a lack of constructive thinking.
Political leadership will not save us. Hope lies in the hands of the American people and our readiness to rise to the occasion.
My question to you is this: Will you align yourselves with a loyal core of American citizens, however diverse, who possess the will and the vision to assert our shared identity as a nation?
Small at first, we will grow. This will take time, but increasing numbers will be attracted by the American spirit.
We have entered a great turning point that is neither partisan nor cultural, but rather social, ethical, and economic. It has been brought on by greed, lack of foresight, and the abdication of moral responsibility over a long period of time.
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, I 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.
The challenge will be to turn despair into courage and failure into honor and self-respect.
The book will acknowledge mistakes and the failure of vision and responsibility. I will consider the way we have gradually abandoned control over our lives.
However, I will do so not to fix blame, but for the purpose of understanding the steps required to build a stable future we can respect and believe in.
In the present fragile context, priority must go to ensuring the safety and well-being of our families and communities. This will depend on trustworthiness — and teamwork among our neighbors.
There can be no freedom without trust. And, we cannot begin to build trust or address the future without first securing stable local communities in which to resolve immediate problems, meet local needs, and learn to collaborate.
Is this really possible?
Yes, but only with great patience, a commitment to fairness, and a determination to pursue constructive, life-affirming solutions.
America has gained its vitality from our diversity and the creative engagement found in the clash of differing opinions.
I do not ask you to alter your views, but to listen to others with interest — to understand, influence, and debate.
Our differences must not be permitted to subvert the unity of purpose that defines this nation.
At a time of existential danger we are confronted with a stark choice.
Will we seek the ideal of collaboration made possible by the Constitution? Will we 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 vanish from history?
A note to regular readers: My blog posts are adapted from a forthcoming book. They appear both on this page and at facebook.com/freedomstruth. You will find a project description here (linked above), as well as an introduction to the book and full drafts of several chapters.