In framing the U.S. Constitution, the Founding Fathers underscored the importance of America's voting system, which they believed to be critical to a strong democracy. Today, we still have work to do to make the most out of our nation's voting system.
Arguably, by intervening in Syria's civil war, President Obama is ignoring Washington's advice and repeating the mistakes of the Bush administration in aggressively invading foreign countries that pose little threat to the direct security of American citizens.
There is almost nothing to which a person aspires that can be gained without compromise. The American people do not need to be made afraid of contrariness, or impassioned dissent, or of cooperation. That is a fear that will surely scuttle our democracy from within.
We will be better off as a country the more equal we are and the more opportunity we provide for the best and brightest to rise to the top, regardless of the economic station people are born into. Unfortunately, we've gotten away from this conviction over the last few decades.
Coincidently, in the 60's, we were told of a new brewing trouble and the freedom bell was rung again. A new enemy had arisen, this time, the political philosophy of communism. The word "enemy," interestingly, comes from Latin and means "not friend."
Sometimes, upholding the Constitution and protecting the country it set out to establish might involve acts that appear to violate bits and pieces of it. We should talk about transparency, oversight, and striking a balance between liberty and security.
Thomas Jefferson would no doubt have delighted in trying out my Mac and been eager to set up for himself a personal email address, illustrative and concise, in the same way he crafted his own epitaph, text bytes first carved into stone.
Going over the depressing news about the Supreme Court's slash and dash of the Voting Rights Act, I began to lament further about the Emergency Management appointments in Michigan. Suddenly, I became even more energized to work harder to build the movement to Washington.
Those demonstrations in Egypt and Brazil, and the Arab Spring uprisings that came before them, remind me once again that our government can be better if we're willing, together, to put in some effort. To speak up. To demand change. To attend a meeting now and then.
Founding Fathers, you got it together by making a few compromises. How's it working for you now? The bargaining chips you played then -- slaves, women, Native Americans -- are still being played today.
Can we -- Americans of the twenty-first century -- secure those Enlightenment ideals of self-government for ourselves? It is fitting that we pause now, during this "Prelude to Independence," and rededicate ourselves to this nation's humanities heritage.
Outliers who get elected are also usually the most electorally vulnerable in that they invariably represent states and Congressional districts inhospitable to their party's ideology. The Republican Party, once the liberal party is now the conservative Party.
Can we realistically expect a shift in this value system over the next few years? Is a materialistic and competitive society like the United States' on the verge of significant change? Do we even want to change?
Americans today debate possible new interventions, withdrawals, disputes over what does and does not constitute a "red line," and other applications of power abroad in light of enormous geopolitical changes and challenges. Let the debate consider the long history of cautious realism.