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Today we celebrate with our readers 240 years of American independence. It’s a time for celebration and reflection especially as we contend with a fractious presidential election campaign season that beckons us to reimagine the nation that was forged after many battles in 1776.
To what extent do those values associated with the “shining city on the hill” still matter? How might those values – cultural, political, socio-economic – be re-interpreted for 21st-century America and its role in the wider world? Most of all, to what extent are “we the people” prepared to reinvigorate the values of participatory democracy that is embodied in so much of the nation’s creation story, symbolism and history? The participatory democracy of which America is rightly proud where all eligible voters are unhindered in exercising their right to vote and in which every vote counts.
After 240 years this and many other fundamental questions beg our attention. Decisions made in the voting booths in November will signal our nation’s future direction and character.