It is apparent to the nation that there is a moral crisis affecting us all.
We agree that we disagree on just about every issue facing the nation. It wasn’t always this way. The turn of the 20th century was marked by various groups proclaiming their own set of ideals. We had the Bull Moose party, the Populists, the Progressives, the suffragettes, the Labor movement, etc. The turn of the 21st century seems to be more of a two-party polarization, which is obviously Democrats vs. Republicans, Left vs. Right, “Conservatives” vs. “Liberals.” We need to re-examine our ideals, and form a guiding set of principles that unite us as the people of the United States of America. We need a physical document, just like the Founding Constitution, signed by our Current Fathers (and Mothers) of America. We need people from both sides coming together to draft this much-needed proclamation. Chuck Schumer. Donald Trump. Janet Yellen (Federal Reserve), Bill and Melinda Gates. Wayne LaPierre (NRA). Noam Chomsky. Peter Salovey (president of Yale). You get the idea.
Though I feel this needs to be determined by a diverse group of national leaders, I am going to put forth my own set. I encourage other people to draft theirs and share.
1. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.
This needs to be the first principle. We need to acknowledge that the U.S. Constitution will always hold our primary principles. Though certain ideals change (e.g. the right for all races and sexes to vote), this document will be the supreme law of the land. The welfare of all people is our priority. It is our duty to strive toward justice and fairness.
2. Jazz and blues music is integral to American culture. It is an artistic embodiment of freedom. It must be preserved and revered. Public funds are necessary for this preservation.
As Dave Brubeck stated, “Jazz stands for freedom.” This is America’s music. We must not let it die. It is up to both us as a people, and our government, to make sure its legacy lives on.
3. The right to bear arms is a serious priority for all citizens that are law-abiding.
We do not ban guns. We do not begin policy with a distrust for the populace. The second amendment was written for a reason. The people must be empowered, in both knowledge and force. With that being said, if you commit a felony, you are surrendering certain rights. If you do not have the mental capacity, you are still a valued human being, but the Welfare of all is our priority (as stated in the constitution preamble).
4. Freedom of speech, religion, petition, assembly, and press is non-negotiable. Along with this principle, it is up to each entity to practice respect, righteousness, and responsibility. This is helped achieved by government through government investments in education, research, and scientific development.
It is government’s duty to promote the general Welfare, as stated in principle 1. Science and education is vital to our society. We put a man on the moon, and we will empower the people with knowledge.
5. The English language is the official language of the United States.
The federal constitution and related documents were composed in English, and English proficiency is required to serve office. This does not mean that other languages are not accepted and accommodated. Secondary languages must be accommodated whenever possible. But we must all agree that our country has a heritage and identity that was founded with the English language.
6. All races, sexes, ages, genders, and creeds are entitled to equal rights, publicly and privately.
All law-abiding citizens must have their right to vote secured. We are not “separate but equal” in any way. We are together and equal. Just as African-Americans are entitled to the same dining car as Caucasians, Hispanics and Arabs are to be treated equally to all. Legislation guaranteeing the rights of all needs to be passed whenever possible.