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.
Most of us are probably familiar with Norman Rockwell's famous Thanksgiving painting. But few realize that it traces its inspiration to an address that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made to Congress on January 6, 1941.
On a brilliant, bright sunny day in New York City, in the shadow of the United Nations building that Roosevelt worked so hard to create, I was moved by FDR's four freedoms. Four values which set good apart from evil.
Regardless of what Tuesday's debate results herald in its instantaneous wake, all Americans and those who admire us should take stock the morning after to recall the essential principles that have animated our nation's abiding purpose as the four freedoms at last summarize with lapidary precision.
We can't afford not to promote economic and social rights when constitutional courts, schools, and ordinary people protesting on the streets around the world are beginning to understand and apply them.