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The Spirit of Liberty: A Call-To-Action
It is the right of every generation to assess and debate how well the United States is living up to its promises of democracy, take steps to close the gap between our aspirations and our reality, and galvanize renewed confidence in our democracy. Only then can the United States work toward a more perfect democratic system at home and lead other countries toward democracy.
The George W. Bush Institute is launching a new effort to affirm American values of freedom and free markets, strengthen the institutions that secure these values at home, and help create a new consensus that spreads these values abroad. In a bipartisan call-to-action paper, Bush Institute fellows Tom Melia and Pete Wehner outline areas of action by government and the private sector, by institutions and individuals, to celebrate, protect, and extend the spirit of liberty at home and in the world.
- Harden our Defenses. Both the general public and those overseeing our political process need to be more alert to and resilient in the face of growing attacks from external enemies on American democracy.
- Project American Leadership. We need to reinvigorate confidence in the public that our national interests are best served by American policies that bolster the global world order, which in turn enhance prosperity, ensure security, and advance the protection of universal human rights.
- Strengthen the American Citizen. We must nurture a broadly shared appreciation of the importance of active citizenship, which means improving the ability and inclination of Americans to assume responsibility for what they find around them–in their communities, in the nation, and in the world.
- Restore Trust in Democratic Institutions. We have experienced a nearly across-the board loss of faith in public and private institutions over the last several decades, including government, Congress and the Supreme Court, organized religion and public schools, the media, big business and organized labor. There’s no question that restoring faith in American democracy requires restoring faith in our democratic institutions.
To learn more about these call-to-actions and to hear President Bush’s remarks about them, please visit www.bushcenter.org/spiritofliberty
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