We the People Must Seize this Moment. Our Democracy Depends on It.
What is America? From its beginning it has always been a painful paradox, a country founded on violent dehumanization but proclaiming the highest ideals of human kinship. As generations have before us, today millions join together to make it what it must become.
We seek a revolution of values and a radical restructuring of our society. We seek nothing less than the American Revolution’s ideal of We the People—created equal, imbued with dignity, governing ourselves for all of us, sharing a broad prosperity.
This hope and fight is now. Trumpism betrays America, provoking everyday folks to fear demonized versions of their fellows while the real threat comes from billionaires and corporations pursuing profits heedless of hurt to people and the planet.
We know that building a true democracy will not be easy. Corporate greed, empire building, bigotry of all kinds, lies and propaganda, selfishness and materialism, all contribute to a toxic political environment ruled by anger and ignorance.
But a beautiful, revolutionary spirit spreads across America again. This spirit fired up the generations before us as they built heroic movements that achieved the impossible and helped the world reimagine and redefine what an inclusive, egalitarian democracy can and should be.
Our time is now. We are greater than their fear. We honor the dignity and equality of people of all faiths, races, ethnicities, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations. We protect each other, embrace non-violence, joyfully engage our differences, build shared prosperity, and care for the earth.
Emphatically rejecting the centrism that says “wait” while it soothes the rich and comforts the powerful, the fierce urgency of our ideals call us to immediate action in many ways. We become a movement of movements, building on the revolutionary spirit found among people of all sorts to raise up freedom, equality, and justice in the lives of each and every one of us.
Our democracy does not belong to the corporations or the wealthy few. It does not belong to any branch of government, any political party, or any president. It belongs to us, We the People. We seek nothing less than America. What is America to you and how will you give it birth?
This guest blog is by Ian Haney López, the John H. Boalt Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, director of the Racial Politics Project at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, and a Senior Fellow at Demos.