Sunday, October 23, 2016

Faith in America (Guest Post)

This Blogger's photo of Mount Whitney, California, from Highway U.S. 395
Just returning from a week in Disneyland with the grandkids and then a quick side-trip back again to Jacks Valley, Nevada on an exploration for Pioneer Grandma Elinor's grave (more, later), I was privileged to travel a route I had never known before. It was up US 395 on the east side of the Sierra. I saw Manzanar National Historic Site, Mt. Whitney (above), the Owens River Valley (Boo, L.A.!), Mono Lake, the Walker River, a Japanese, motorcycle gang (some ironic justice there), and lots and lots of dang desert.

Too tired to blog on my own, I share with you a Guest Post with the kind permission of an anonymous friend (not Anon D, whom I also respect, but let's say, "Anonymous W"). I've worked with this person for a few years and we keep finding common friends and common interests.

I give to you, hope for America!

I love America. I have spent 30 years in public service. Governing a large and diverse nation is hard. There are no easy solutions to the challenges we face.
Facing those challenges will require more of political leaders, public servants, and citizens than in the past. Because many of our difficulties are rooted in spiritual, social, and cultural issues, they will not yield to political solutions alone. Individuals and institutions will need to rise up and mend the torn fabric of our society. We will need to love and respect one another. We will need to compromise. We will need an end to brinksmanship and seeking victory at all costs. We will need to stop rewarding the politicians, pundits, and entertainers whose rhetoric divides us. We will need to listen thoughtfully to those who disagree with us. And we will need to forbear, not saying everything we may think in the interest of civil exchange. We will need to trust one another.

Many of us are far too quick to conclude that the election of this or the other candidate will be the end of the republic. (Personally, I find such talk offensive and bordering on sedition.) We should have more faith in America and its institutions. The nation has seen its way through worsen than this. Our institutions and mode of governance are robust but not indestructible. The suggestion that they will shortly crumble is likely more destructive than the election of any individual.
We will need to be smarter. In general, we know too little of civics, political science, and economics. We know so little of our founding documents, we imagine rights that do not exist, we are uncertain of our actual rights, and we ignore civic responsibility. A large number of us believe freedom means no government, when what we need is good government--government that supports a shared vision of a quality society, a national community that provides citizens with safety, hope, opportunity and inspires them to live lives of quality and service.
All this will require us to encourage the best minds and hearts of the rising generation to dedicate themselves to building community and country, to solving the intractable issues before us, to spending some years in public service, foregoing fortune for higher purpose.
We will need to instill in the rising generation qualities of leadership and a desire to contribute.
The American experiment is not done. Rising from our current malaise may yet be one of the republic's finest hours.
[One additional note: I have partisan political preferences. I do my best not to share them here. Please do not mistake any of my posts for an endorsement of any candidate or party.]

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