Strengthening our democracy

Presidential Centers Affirm that "Democracy Holds Us Together"

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.

Dear Friends,

The George W. Bush Presidential Center is joined by fellow presidential centers and foundations to reaffirm our commitment to the democratic values on which this country was founded.

As we constantly strive toward a more perfect union, it is important to recognize inherent human dignity, foster conditions for liberty, advance equality, and promote the general welfare of the United States.  When united by our founding ideals, Americans should reaffirm the importance of democratic values, civic responsibility, civility, and a pluralistic society.

We hope you will join us in this effort by reading and reflecting upon the statement, sharing it with your networks, and practicing the good citizenship that our democracy requires.

David J. Kramer
Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute 


A statement from 13 presidential centers

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.

Obama Foundation

George W. Bush Presidential Center

Clinton Foundation

George & Barbara Bush Foundation

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

The Carter Center

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation

Richard Nixon Foundation

LBJ Foundation

John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

Truman Library Institute

Roosevelt Institute

Hoover Presidential Foundation


In the News:

Experts

Read David J. Kramer's biography.
David Kramer photo
David J. Kramer

Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute and Vice President George W. Bush Presidential Center

Read Eva Chiang's biography.
Eva Chiang

Former Managing Director, Leadership and Programming George W. Bush Institute

Read Chris Walsh's biography.
Chris Walsh

Director, Global Policy George W. Bush Institute

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