Statement calls for a renewed commitment to American democratic values, civic responsibility, and respect for differing viewpoints; urges leaders across the United States to model our nation’s democratic principles
Dallas, Texas – Today, Presidential Foundations and Centers across the United States, for the first time, have issued a joint statement regarding the future of our nation and an urgent call to action for all Americans. The statement is a reminder of our nation’s values – assuring the American people that through civic engagement and respect for our neighbors, we will continue to create a more perfect union.
The joint statement is part of the George W. Bush Institute’s work strengthening our nation’s institutions and reasserting the value of civic participation, principled leadership, and civility.
As organizations ideally positioned to lead on this critical matter, the cosigners offer this statement:
The unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, are principles that bind us together as Americans. They have enabled the United States to strive toward a more perfect union, even when we have not always lived up to those ideals.
As a diverse nation of people with different backgrounds and beliefs, democracy holds us together. We are a country rooted in the rule of law, where the protection of the rights of all people is paramount. At the same time, we live among our fellow citizens, underscoring the importance of compassion, tolerance, pluralism, and respect for others.
We, the undersigned, represent a wide range of views across a breadth of issues. We recognize that these views can exist peaceably side by side when rooted in the principles of democracy. Debate and disagreement are central features in a healthy democracy. Civility and respect in political discourse, whether in an election year or otherwise, are essential.
Americans have a strong interest in supporting democratic movements and respect for human rights around the world because free societies elsewhere contribute to our own security and prosperity here at home. But that interest is undermined when others see our own house in disarray. The world will not wait for us to address our problems, so we must both continue to strive toward a more perfect union and help those abroad looking for U.S. leadership.
Each of us has a role to play and responsibilities to uphold. Our elected officials must lead by example and govern effectively in ways that deliver for the American people. This, in turn, will help to restore trust in public service. The rest of us must engage in civil dialogue; respect democratic institutions and rights; uphold safe, secure, and accessible elections; and contribute to local, state, or national improvement.
By signing this statement, we reaffirm our commitment to the principles of democracy undergirding this great nation, protecting our freedom, and respecting our fellow citizens. When united by these convictions, America is stronger as a country and an inspiration for others.
George W. Bush Presidential Center
George & Barbara Bush Foundation
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute
The Carter Center
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Richard Nixon Foundation
John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
Truman Library Institute
Hoover Presidential Foundation
George W. Bush Presidential Center
Located on the SMU campus in Dallas, Texas, the George W. Bush Presidential Center is a nonpartisan institution advancing the timeless values of freedom, opportunity, accountability, and compassion. The Bush Center comprises the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and the George W. Bush Institute, a solution-oriented policy organization focused on ensuring opportunity for all, strengthening democracy, and advancing free societies through policy solutions and public engagement. The Bush Center also houses the George W. Bush Presidential Library, operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, which provides access to official documents and artifacts from the George W. Bush Administration. Learn more about the Bush Center at bushcenter.org.