Civility and Our Democratic Institutions

Reinforcing Our Institutions

Securing democratic values, encouraging civic participation, and strengthening American institutions.

“Our identity as a Nation – unlike many other nations – is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. Being an American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility.” – President George W. Bush

Many have lost confidence in the institutions that form the backbone of our democracy. This sharp decline in trust for cultural, political, religious, educational, and other institutions has raised doubt about the democratic system’s ability to deliver a better life for the American people. This has contributed to the polarization of our Nation.

The American capacity for self-renewal and regeneration is one of the wonders of history. But self-renewal does not happen by itself. It requires concentrated effort. We believe we should:

  • Harden our defenses: 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.
  • 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.
  • Restore trust in democratic institutions: Restoring faith in American democracy requires trust in our institutions.

Civic Renewal