Many continue to struggle to digest the presidential election and to comprehend that we are only one month into this administration’s term. While it is easiest to throw our hands up in disgust and despair, political inaction will inevitably lead to normalization of Trump’s wildly unqualified administration.
One step we can take to avoid normalizing Trumps actions and rhetoric is clarify patriotic principles that guide us. A first draft follows:
- We believe in the power of unity and union, whether between individuals in the interest of liberty, equality, and opportunity; between states in the interest of national prosperity, united strength, and mutual benefit; or between nations in the interest of cooperation toward a stronger collective future.
- We make no great claims of perfection, but instead proclaim that freedom and justice require continued progress toward a brighter future, always under our understanding of what is fair and right and righteous in our time and in our children’s time; and we reject the arrogance and cowardice that hollowly maintains that the status quo should be the ceiling of our dreams or that our best future lies behind us, and we throw off the shortsightedness and selfishness that spurns empathy for fellow citizens.
- We commit ourselves to curiosity, learning, and the pursuit of honesty and truth, and to the knowledge that the process of scientific and philosophic discovery requires open minds and exposure to ideas.
- We declare our conviction that great public institutions must exist to achieve great national accomplishments, that these institutions must be accessible to all our citizens, and that the strength of these institutions is vital to the establishment and preservation of the public good.
- We dedicate ourselves to care for our community, which includes classes and identities beyond our own, and which includes our nation’s and world’s lands, water, and air.
- We hold that the prosperity of the few should not preempt others’ opportunities for Life, Liberty or the pursuit of Happiness, nor for dignity, health, and prosperity; and we recognize and embrace the honor and importance in each individual sacrifice necessary for the health and wellbeing of our fellow citizens and of our union.
We undertake the continued progress of these United States with joy and humor, and with the music of America’s history and diversity in our ears. We acknowledge our predecessors in their profound collective accomplishments and personal imperfections, in their humanity and belief in the possibility that lies in our common and united future, in their efforts to continually evolve our country’s vision for its future. We honor the progressive values and audacity upon which these United States were founded and commit ourselves to bending the arc of American history toward justice.