The opening paragraphs of our original founding document – the Declaration of Independence – provide a powerful summary of the political ideals of the Enlightenment, expressing the “self-evident Truths” - that we are all born with natural rights to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"; that “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted" among us; and that governments derive their "just powers" from "the consent of the governed".
The Declaration of Independence does not go into the details of how that consent is obtained, but logic dictates that the best manner of obtaining consent would be by means of an election, with the votes of a majority of the governed determining who should govern and how.
The Declaration also says, "Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
The time has come for us to reorganize the form and the powers of our government. It is our right, it is our duty, to do so. This web site is dedicated to that purpose.
We do not have to choose between capitalism and socialism. We do have to agree among ourselves on the proper role of government. The Preamble to our Constitution offers a pretty good summary:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
We’ve all taken "The Pledge of Allegiance" many times: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” As we begin the third decade of the 21st century, the words of the Pledge of Allegiance ring hollow.
The term “republic” is synonymous with “representative democracy” yet the extremely low approval ratings for Congress bear stark testament to the fact that most voters do not feel that we are represented in Congress (or our state legislatures).
Our nation is not “indivisible”. We are most deeply divided by religion and politics. We need to recognize and respect the fact that there are legitimate differences in the ways the "God gives us to see the right." Many among us need to learn to "agree to disagree" (amicably) on political issues.
The divisions among us are most evident in the anger, animosity, and hatred some among us direct at anyone and everyone who dares to disagree with them on any issue. This is a toxic element in our civic affairs. The tsunami of "attack ads" that herald the approach of every election drowns out the calm and rational discussion of important issues that should be the focal point of our elections.
Regarding liberty - President Franklin Roosevelt once shared the observation that "Necessitous men are not free men." We may have ended slavery with the 13th Amendment, but a minimum wage that is but a fraction of a living wage has turned tens of millions of workers into "wage slaves" - some working 50 to 60 hours a week and still struggling to keep a roof over their heads and keep their families fed, leaving them precious little free time (freedom).
"Justice for all"? Not yet. We continue to suffer for the "original sin" of slavery. Racism continues to divide us. Systemic racism has long simmered largely unnoticed by those of us who enjoy "white privilege". Social media has shone a bright light into the dark corners of how unjustly persons of color are routinely treated by the police, the justice system, and other institutions in our society.
This would be a good time to preemptively declare a truce in the uncivil wars taking place all around us and to begin to heal our divisions. Let's agree to disagree about the issues that divide us. Let's replace malice with more charitable words and deeds toward one another. Let's celebrate the shared values and beliefs that have long united us. Let's pledge allegiance to the ideals upon which our nation was founded.