Uphold the Humanity of Every Person

We inhabit a period of great turmoil and suffering, while at the same time immense hope and promise flood around us, making it possible for any person anywhere to potentially make great contributions to the betterment of humankind. That better possibility is entirely dependent upon the guarantee that all people have access to the benefits of education, science, rule of law, and real protection of human rights.

Many question right now how we can best defend these instruments of our protection and empowerment.

In just the month of June 2018 we have seen the President of the United States reject the very “rules-based international order” that his nation built and which secures democracy and human rights, forcibly separate children from parents and send them to internment camps, and then call for an end to due process.

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Trump is destroying conservatism

If you are a conservative American, Donald Trump is your enemy. More than any other figure in American politics, it is Trump who seeks to use conservatives’ own ideas to rob them of what they most value. Trump’s policies directly undermine the Constitution of the United States, personal civil liberties, checks on executive power, the integrity of the family, and religious freedom.

Many conservatives say they support Trump, not because they like his style or his views, but because they believe he will give them hard-line policies on issues that matter to them, such as immigration and abortion. What these conservatives get wrong is largely about integrity: Trump doesn’t even pretend to have any, let alone allow them to keep any of their own. Worse, the hard-line policies they expect Trump to enact are not conservative wins; they are removals of rights and protections of personal liberties.

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SCOTUS finds travel ban legal; judicial review to continue

The US Supreme Court narrowly upheld as Constitutional the 3rd and most limited version of President Trump’s temporary travel ban, but rejected the administration’s claim it will ever be beyond judicial review. 

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling upholding version 3 of the administration’s “travel ban” for citizens of 7 countries, including 5 majority Muslim countries rests entirely on one idea—that the Executive has “broad discretion” in areas of foreign affairs and national security. What the 5 Justices ruling with the majority appear to have ignored is that the Constitution affords no powers to the President or to the Executive that are not explicitly granted in Constitutionally compliant law.

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Family Separation & Highway Checkpoints Threaten Your Freedom

The Fourth Amendment reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Warrantless searches are unlawful, always, everywhere.

The Fifth Amendment reads, in part:

nor shall any person… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Detention of any person without due process is an attack on every American’s personal sovereignty.

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Return the Children

Statement from the Geoversiv Foundation on the US administration’s ongoing process of forced family separation and child internment — Issued June 23, 2018

No society can be free, prosperous and secure, while power is used to terrorize, dehumanize, or detain vulnerable people on pretext or prejudice.

The Bill of Rights — one of the most necessary and transformational documents in world history — makes it unlawful for any agent of power in the United States to so mistreat the humanity of any person.

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Democracy is an Engine of Economic Value

No society can win by denying basic human rights.

We are subsumed in a vast web of evolving technological capability, some of which does not necessarily make us free. We are living through a paradox of organized human empowerment, in which the power to access information is greatly expanding across the world, and yet faith in democratic institutions, which depend on informed citizen participation, is faltering.

Over the last 2 years, we have heard many experts suggest authoritarian tendencies are on the rise, because they are somehow better suited to dealing with complex nonlinear threats. A recent report even said: “China has the authoritarian ability to experiment at scale, steal our tech secrets and mobilize capital that no democracy can match.”

The moment requires we say this bluntly:

Authoritarians fear consultation, because if you ask those who will be affected by your choices what they most want, they will say they want your choices to empower them and others like them, without generating harm or unfairness. If you don’t include people in the process, that is virtually impossible to achieve. Authoritarian systems are designed to fail; that is why they don’t want to face criticism from those affected.

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We Must Empower Each Other to Lead

This Presidents’ Day, we remember those who have served honorably to build and to defend government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We commemorate the service of:

  • General Washington who with his infantry camped through a dangerous winter at Valley Forge, to stage the most improbable victory against the most powerful empire in world history.
  • Abraham Lincoln, who recognized that a free country cannot allow any of its people to be deprived of freedom.
  • Franklin Roosevelt, who when his nation faced total deprivation remained steady, spoke frankly to the people, offered a New Deal, and who later marshaled the nation and its allies to overthrow fascist dictatorship.
  • Ronald Reagan’s demand to the Soviet Premier: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
  • Barack Obama, and the many ways large and small by which he worked for the dignity of the nation and its people.

And, we recognize the service of all those who serve us every day, at every level, regardless of who holds the nation’s highest office.

We must also remember that central to our nation’s civic life is the moral obligation to work constructively to oppose, outflank and overcome illegitimate forces that seek to undermine the integrity of our democracy.

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