Five Habits to Heal the Heart of Democracy

by Parker Palmer

American Democracy is a non-stop experiment in the strengths and weaknesses of our political institutions, local communities, and the human heart. The experiment is endless unless we blow up the lab, and the explosives to do the job are found within us. But so, also, is the heart’s alchemy that can turn suffering into compassion, conflict into community, and tension into energy for creativity amid democracy’s demands.

Today we are in the middle of another election cycle. Once again, false claims, half-truths, hateful rhetoric, fear-mongering and demonization of the opposition dominate our civic space, driving out the genuine issue-oriented debate a democracy needs to survive and thrive. We need citizens with chutzpah and humility to occupy our civic space and call American democracy back to health. There is no reason, at least no good reason, why our number cannot be legion.

Read the full essay here…

The Struggle for Our Future

An expanded space for human liberty—free from persecution and degradation—is the measure of whether we, as organized society, are succeeding.

Some take the view that this means no constraint on any person’s liberty can be allowed. The result of this thinking is a strange hybrid radicalism, combining an aversion to all centralizing institutions with a permissive attitude toward powerful private interests that generate harm and cost for more vulnerable people.

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John McCain’s farewell letter

My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.

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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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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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