United, We Stand
“We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense… “
— Barack Hussein Obama, January 20, 2009
We do need each other.
Our American system is one of perpetual competition. We are a competitive people and we like to test ourselves against our best self, as well as friends and neighbors. Competition is good: however, competition is not the ends of who we are as individuals or as a people. When we put our best selves out there, we all win. When we lead and compete with ideas, we take bold steps and continue our press forward as a state and nation.
We inherited a legacy that continues to unfold. Our state, our nation, and the republican institutions that bind us require that we not only participate in our civic institutions, but that we continuously inform how they adapt to how we see ourselves, both in the moment and in the future, and how we seek to influence the world around us.
Respectable people can disagree and diversity of background, thought, and experience not only add to our patchwork heritage, but they also help us close in on better plans and approaches to leading and governing. We can only go forward, if we go together. Our political system assumes that we make our political choices based upon rational self interest informed by a free press and an environment where free speech flourishes and ideas are openly shared, tested, and proved or disproved.
Our responsibility in preserving our system, which is underpinned by our Constitution and the rule of law crafted under its framework, require that we use evidence and reason to engage in discourse, debate, discussion, and even loyal dissension. Our discourse, debate, and dissent should always be robust; but it should also always reflect the reverence we have for our system of government and the institutions we have built and continuously shaped since our founding.
Reason must inform our passions if we are to keep our inheritance in the interest of protecting our posterity. The preservation of human dignity, fair treatment and equal representation under the rule of law, and democratic inclusiveness and dutiful participation are the crux of what our founders fought for in the Revolutionary War, reaffirmed during the Civil War, are what our greatest generation defended abroad during World War II, and they are the foundation for the progress we have made for the last 70 years. We are a nation of laws – not of men.
Our example is a powerful one, not only to the global community, but also to our posterity.