This, We Believe #3:
Improving the safety, health, and well-being of our people is the first order of free society. It is also the first order and purpose of our representative democratic government.
For a free people, security or safety, — whether public safety, social security, or national security — is rarely a matter of “more makes better”; it is a question of balance. Beyond a certain point, more weapons do not make us more secure, any more than more calories make us more healthy.
But, in a free society, the balance required for maintaining security or improving safety also requires constant adaptation.In other words, as nature achieves stability through diversity and constant adaptation, so do civil societies.
Within the clear plain language of the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution is found the powerful idea of an ever more inclusive and expansive nation. It is a succinct and venerated mission statement. The striving for balance, security, and generational well-being are its essence. But the journey is not without its pitfalls and perils.
Slavery, genocide, and violence have been intertwined with our story from its start; their legacy afflicts all of us still. The false stories of imperialism, materialism, and white-nationalism have plagued us to some degree in every generation. And yet, in every generation, we have overcome. We have put down the insurrections of division. We have risen above moments of fear and hate. We have returned the balance beam of creating a more perfect Union.
The true and lasting story of our country is the pursuit of greater safety, health and well-being for all.
Universal healthcare. International Defense Alliances. Treaties to protect our global commons — the air, land, and waters of this planet; and cyberspace of our collective intelligence. Human Rights. Rule of Law. Debt free college. Building an economy that works for all people, not just a few. Fair elections. Maintaining a strong, modern, and resilient military. Adapting our weapons and defense systems for the new security challenges of our times like Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and Information Warfare. Combating climate change and the collapse of nation-states.
These endeavors are not pursued in isolation. They are each a vital and necessary part of the larger mission. They are connected, not separate. But their formulations require constant adaptation and change in the face of new challenges, threats, and realities in every new day.
There is no Constitutional right which frees us from the responsibility of facing a changing future, a changing economy, a changing threat landscape. So, if what we want are greater safety and greater well-being, then together we must take a balanced array of new actions to achieve the “blessings of liberty — for ourselves and our posterity.”
This, We Believe.