THE BLOG
10/05/2007 03:58 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Born in the U.S.A.

In an upcoming 60 Minutes Bruce Springsteen will advance a profound debate about the true nature of Americanism.

It is time for progressives to light up the sky with patriotism, to rewrite the rules of our current debates, to rekindle that timeless spirit that has made America America for more than 200 years.

From the internet to the arts, from the houses of Congress to the houses of worship, from the movie theaters to the concert halls, from the community organizers to the corporate boardrooms, from the studios of progressive radio to the grassroots of the real America, we should seize the high ground of American patriotism, American values, American ideals, our American history, the American spirit and the American future.

Let freedom ring.

We stand at an extraordinary moment in the history of our nation. Things have been done in the name of America that dishonor the trust of the real America. Beyond the vision of a tired Washington, beneath the radar of a self-indulgent media, our people are in revolt as they were in the days before the Liberty Bell first rang.

On the issues that matter the most almost 70 percent of Americans agree with us.

On the issues that challenge the globe, we are the authentic voice of the free world.

Even Republicans have abandoned the ship of George W. Bush and what he has done to our nation: more than 60 percent of Republicans want their party to stand for something that is dramatically different than what is being done to our country today.

Enough of him. Enough of that. One era is ending, a new era is beginning. It is our mission and our moment to define that era, to lift our country, and to remind ourselves of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.

Our faith and values are derived from the Sermon on the Mount and the words of healing and hope where we feed the hungry, clothe the needy, comfort the hurting, and lift the poor.

Our spirit is derived from the Bill of Rights, the greatest document of freedom and justice in the history of humanity.

Our patriotism is rooted in the Constitution and the truth that in our land, the law is the king, and the king is not the law.

Our Americanism is centered in the Declaration that promised the new nation and the whole world that certain rights are endowed by our Creator and inalienable, to be defended against attacks by tyrants, dictators, kings, or any other despot, for any reason, at any time.

Our sense of community is embodied by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Pledge of Allegiance and the notion that we are a country of many races, diverse peoples, and countless backgrounds who stand for the principle of equal justice and the idea that we are one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice, for all.

We the people who are the legatees of Jefferson and Lincoln, are the legatees as well of the Marines who stormed Iwo Jima, the soldiers who landed at Normandy, Doolittle's band that took the fight to Tokyo when Americans were rising from the fires of Pearl Harbor, and a President who lifted himself from a wheelchair and said we have nothing to fear but fear, that we are in this together.

We do not wage war with shopping, slanders, tax cuts and lies.

We avoid war when we can, win war when we must, and whether we support or oppose the plans that take our nation to war, we are the voice of those serve, we are the champion of the wounded troops, the disabled vets, the homeless heroes, the men and women who wear the uniform, bear the burden, pay the price, give their lives, lose their limbs, and fight for us.

Let us banish forever from the lexicon of America phrases such as scandals of wounded troops, preventable deaths of American heroes, torture memos and metaphors about mushroom clouds designed to create fear and terror in our good, great and brave nation.

Let freedom ring.

As Thomas Paine wrote in his time, it is within our power to remake the world, if we mobilize the armies of the progressive internet, the progressive airwaves, the progressive media, the progressive grassroots, the progressive arts, the progressive journals, the progressive stars of screen and song and theater and sports, the progressives of faith and progressives of hope, the progressives who dream, the progressives who work, the progressives who pray, the progressives who know that we are the heart and soul and spirit of Americanism in its highest and truest form.

We are the heirs of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, the Sermon on the Mount and the Battle of Midway, the soldiers who give their lives for freedom and the civil rights heroes who gave their lives in the segregated South to bring hope and light to future generations.

What is more American than Springsteen singing "Chimes of Freedom" at a concert for Amnesty International?

Who is not proud that an American is honored around the world for championing the cause of saving the earth from blindness, pollution and greed?

What is more patriotic than George Clooney making a film against McCarthyism in America and raising his voice to banish forever the genocide that still poisons the world?

What is more noble than JAG officers wearing the uniform of every branch of the military services, defying those of lesser Americanism who would destroy their careers, as they join human rights advocates, civil libertarians and civilized people everywhere rising against torture that violates the cardinal values of America and the two hundred year tradition of American military history championed by our greatest leader who crossed the Delaware at the head of the Continental Army?

It is time for progressives to mobilize, organize and fully understand that we speak for the aspirations of the vast majority of Americans and the vast majority of citizens throughout the world who believe in democracy, justice and freedom.

We should end the defensiveness and the depression of the present, and begin a new boldness and confidence based on the power of our numbers, the truth of our ideas, and the reality that a dark era is coming to an end and a new era will soon be born again in the country that is forever young.

We should champion a great America of progressive patriotism, and we will begin a new era of patriotic renewal, rejuvenation and reform for the great spirit that was "Born In The U.S.A."