This is the Afterword from my Book, Discovering Possibility: A Common Sense Conservative Manifesto.
Individuals Being the Change They Want to See in the World
While I believe the restoration of America is not possible without a dramatic deconstruction of institutions, fueled by a serious outcomes evaluation of all programs and across the board spending cuts, I do not believe making such changes is itself the key to restoring a better America. America will be restored when the preponderance of individuals begins to live with honor and integrity. We have become a society that functions on denial, greed, hypocrisy, conspicuous consumption, cynicism, and destructive entitlement. Many of us live in a constant state of psychological denial where we compartmentalize our immoral decisions in order to justify them. When more people begin to live an honorable life the culture will change and institutional health will follow.
The deconstruction and rebuilding of institutions and services that make up the government-corporate oligarchy and a return to personal integrity will stimulate a revival of the civil society, which is the bedrock of America. When the civil society begins to rein again it will be because we have rediscovered freedom, personal responsibility, neighborliness, and thrift. And it will serve as a bulwark against the tyranny of the authoritarian impulse as it always has. The civil society will again supplant the Progressive onslaught that seeks control of our citizens and our communities in order to empower central governments and enrich those that benefit from that enterprise. These will be happy days in America like we have not seen since the aftermath of World War II.
The tragic sober inevitability is many people will not be able to make the transformation that will be needed to return to a life of integrity and honor. Many people have never lived such a life. In the short run there will be an increase in acting out and lawlessness as people begin to realize the gig is up and the gravy train is over. This is scary. But it is going to happen. We need to prepare our families and our communities.
The restoration of America is a spiritual journey that begins and ends with individual people doing the right thing most of the time because they want to be good people. While it is convenient for us to blame our politicians or corporations or certain segments of society for the deterioration of our country, in actuality the enemy is in the mirror. We are the politicians, the corporations and “those people” and we made our own bed. Sure, there are powerful forces and political movements that have amassed or exploited their power for illegitimate or nefarious ends. But all change begins with us and we have the power to change the American culture by sowing those seeds of personal change far and wide. As Mohatma Gandhi said, we need to be the change we want to see in the world.
We begin the deconstruction, re-moralization, and restoration of America today. We Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers really made a mess of things and now we have a moral responsibility to clean it up before we turn the reins over to the Millennials.
If we do the hard work now, this next greatest generation will rediscover the beauty of America and give her to the world in the way our Founders intended. They have the right combination of courage, compassion, optimism, practicality, and realism to accomplish what the previous greatest generation did during World War II, to save humanity from its own narcissistic and controlling instincts. There is no guarantee they will be successful, but I have the faith of a proud father that these Millennials can do it – if we do our part first and give them a chance to be great.