Where Do We Go From Here? A Pathway to Action

Steven Windmueller, Ph. D.

Posted on January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet 5777

Written by Steven Windmueller, Ph. D.

 

Torn American Flag

Donald Trump is our President. A new political culture is unfolding. For some Americans this marks a moment of triumph and high expectations, for others this represents an unsettling time, where feelings of anxiety dominate. We acknowledge we are a divided society, yet we as Americans remain committed to the pursuing the common good as we focus on five core principles of action:

We must affirm truth. The assault on “facts” cannot be allowed to define who we are and what we represent. We may differ over the meaning and intent of these truths, but we are governed by reason, making thoughtful and responsible decisions as a nation and as society.

We must defend and protect civil liberties for all. This represents an inherent American value; hate and prejudice have no place in our political discourse, and the free exercise of speech, assembly and religious expression must be affirmed.

We must repudiate racism, sexism and anti-Semitism. Collectively, we must push back against the politics of hate directed toward any group as a violation of the dignity that we afford to all who claim America as their home.

We need to be committed to hearing and to understanding those who differ with our vision of America. A passionate society is built on empathy. We must pursue connections to our political opponents as we seek to learn about their stories and their dreams for this country, just as we would hope that they would hear our vision for this society. To negatively dismiss or to label “the other” is simply a prescription for promoting an environment filled with discord and separation. We are dedicated to finding “the common ground” turning anger into constructive engagement.

We are invested in the public square and civic engagement. We know that our democracy works best when all are participating as voters, active in the issues that consume our cities, states and this nation. We need to encourage the involvement of all citizens in the tasks of nation building. When Americans step away from the responsibilities of citizenship, then as a nation we are weakened.

These principles affirm our commitment to build and to sustain a caring, responsive American culture of inclusion.


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