It is Thanksgiving Day, and I think a lot of us are having the experience of people perking up to what is of real value and giving thanks for people in their lives, even where there have been differences and frictions in the past. In a democratic society, with real freedom of expression, assembly and political engagement, we should all be thankful to anyone who speaks up. Even where we disagree with what is said, we are enriched and empowered by their exercising those basic freedoms.
And where our disagreements seem intractable, we can learn for each other, if not about the world or the wider truths, then about ourselves and our way of relating to the interests, liberties and needs of our fellow citizens. Citizenship is an always-active state of privilege, which invites is to be more and be better and to reach out to those around us and to build consensus. We cannot begrudge our political and intellectual rivals their right to speak, especially if we ourselves do not.
So, on this Thanksgiving Day, we at Independents of Principle want to say to the new majority of independents and to all those who would exercise their citizenship, we value your engagement and we are grateful to share this political system with you. Let’s be respectful of each other’s rights and interests and work together to build a more resilient, more humane, more rational and more truly shared, democracy.
Our communities will thrive as we find better, smarter and more efficient ways to build resilient, sustainable, and democratic practices into their regular everyday functioning. We can look forward to a day when our communities are more capable of facing down the economic and ecological challenges of our age, more conducive to the expansion of a robust and innovative middle class, and better positioned to lead in the process of meaningful policy-making.
All of it matters; everything you are matters. That is your power and your burden, as citizens. Thank you for whatever you do to contribute to this better future, and to make our politics more rational, more liberating and more genuinely democratic.