The founders of America made a sacred promise to the generations that would follow them: the blessings of justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare, and liberty would endure for posterity.
While it has often been a struggle, their promise has been upheld as a sacred trust since the Constitution was drafted in 1787. But I fear that we are in danger of becoming the generation that breaks the promise.This is not merely because we have failed to successfully deal with the myriad of domestic issues that confront America today: debts and deficits, growing inequality and floundering systems of education, healthcare and environmental protection.
Time to Rally
It is because we have lost the art of working together, of rallying around a common vision for the nation, a vision that upholds the founding principles of freedom, equality and justice for all. Instead, we have prioritized partisan victory and advantage over collaboration and common good.
Partisans on both the right and the left have hardened themselves into ideologically polar opposites with seemingly incongruent motives and end goals. Congresspersons and Senators who dare to work for compromise are attacked verbally and often banished to obscurity.
Too many political leaders–––particularly those on the right––– are uncompromisingly focused on enforcing ideological purity by any means necessary, thus forcing members to leave their posts if they believe in civility, statesmanship and compromise.
Today’s “my way or the highway” debating method has created a new normal, leaving a non-collaborative form of governance at the epicenter of our national crisis. The best gift my generation can give our grandchildren is to rebel against the entrenched ideologues. We need to lead the way back to the future, put partisanship aside and recover the quest for a society that aspires to rebuild that shared vision.
It is time to reignite the founders’ spirit of engaging one another as we launch a mutual search for a 21st-century America that upholds the 18th-century promise.