The George W. Bush Presidential Center’s new special exhibit highlights democratic truths that shouldn’t be forgotten.
Chris Walsh, Director of Freedom and Democracy at the Bush Institute, wrote in the Dallas Morning News that democracy “provides the space – with steps forward, backward, and sideways – for us to strive toward a more perfect union.” He examines democracy through the lens of the Bush Center’s Freedom Matters exhibit, which uses rare artifacts and historical documents, interactive activities, and personal perspectives to examine the concept of freedom: where it comes from, what it means, what free societies look like, and the role of the individual in protecting and spreading freedom around the world.
“Freedom, or our ability to make choices about our own lives, is foundational to democracies. So we must appreciate freedom to understand why democracy is a good thing.
“Leaders, philosophers, and great societies have long wrestled with the idea of freedom. Many conclude that liberty is a natural or God-given right reflecting our inherent dignity as humans. Some argue that it comes from social contracts between people and governments. Others believe it is a combination of those factors. But in nearly all cases, individual liberty is tempered by some sense of virtue, citizen obligation, or the rule of law.
“Freedom Matters, the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s newest exhibit, continues this exploration of liberty by highlighting the importance of freedom in building democratic societies, how the work of freedom advocates has changed the lives of millions, and what we can all learn from the study of history.
“The exhibit demonstrates that Americans, and all people who value freedom, need a system that will protect and nurture liberty. Democracy is the best way to do that. This thread is woven throughout the exhibit.”