Without a compelling picture of our preferred future as a nation, there is no social cohesion and calls for sacrifice make no sense.
What does a healthy 21st century America look like?
Leaving aside the "good old days" that never were and utopian sci-fi visions, we must find in our history the deepest values and images that can once again call forth private and public virtue in our citizens. We must learn to live with our deepest differences while we forge consensus on those "first principles" that will unite us.
So far, there is nothing in the current speeches of our Presidential candidates that move us past the cultural, ideological and political divisions that render us morally vacuous and weaken our ability to command world respect in the war on terror.
America can not be a colonizing/occupying power in hostile lands.
At the same time, thinking we can negotiate with terrorists is self-destructive.
We can not talk about equal opportunity without equal sacrifice. Education is not only about skills, it must promote responsibility.
A free market and just socieity are linked by morality in the heads and hearts of the citizens. To the Left I say, "Please read ALL of Adam Smith again." To the Right, I challenge, "Where is the compassionate use of your accumulated wealth?"
Caring for the environment is NOT a religion, but the moral and practical responsibility of all of us. Did you know that the apparently eco-friendly fluorescent bulbs are full of mercury and not recyclable? Alternative energy sources and fuels are great, but European insistence that the USA adhere to UN standards is utterly hypocritical since a large portion their energy in nuclear!
Lest the Right misread the previous paragraph, I challenge them to consider the sustainability of their current enterprises. Are you thinking of the generations to come or your current stock prices?
How do I see a bright future for America in the 21st century? Consider working with me to see a nation
- With safe borders and opportunity for all who are here legally.
- With budgets in the black and accountability for every dollar spent by representatives of the people.
- With health care for all through private-public partnerships
- With citizens committed to the virtues of humility, integrity and mutual respect, allowing for debate about all topics while respecting the democratic process.
- With religious freedom where people of all faiths or none live harmoniously, but not enslaved to politically correct shibboleths or the intellectual totalitarianism of Right or Left.
- With economic and environmental policies that stimulate entrepreneurial solutions, shared sacrifice and real scientific debates. No dissenters should be cut off from their freedom of expression. If a meterologist disagrees about global warming, he or she should not be exiled but challenged. Fear is not a sustainable foundation for progress.
This is just a start. I am very concerned about the neo-paganism in Hollywood. I am equally troubled by the vacuous "prosperity" preaching on TV. Let's roll up our sleeves, sharpen our pencils and leave this nation better for our children.