Skip to content

Latest Stories

Top Stories

Family values and societal results

Family values and societal results
Jennifer A. Smith/Getty Images

Molineaux is co-publisher of The Fulcrum and president/CEO of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund.

I attended a personal growth training program many years ago, and one maxim that stuck with me was this: “If you want to know what you are committed to, look at your results. Your results show what you are committed to.”

In the context of personal growth, this was intended to propel people into taking responsibility for their own lives and stop making excuses for why they hadn’t succeeded. I still use this maxim to look at my own life, especially when I’m unhappy or discontented about something. I have discovered that I’m more committed to eating what I want than to eating healthy, for instance. This allows me to clearly see my choices for what they are. I can satisfy that immediate desire for something sweet or I can choose carrots for my long-term health. I choose sweets most often.

I see this playing out in society. We have grown accustomed to instantaneous satisfaction via Amazon deliveries, Facebook likes, on-demand entertainment and the like. Algorithms deliver what we want, when we want it. Sometimes, before we even know we want it. And all of this is great for convenience and commerce. It is less optimal for human interaction, where our friends and family don’t deliver that dopamine hit on demand. Society doesn’t exist for our convenience. When humans are involved, it’s complicated. Collectively as “civil society,” what are we committed to?

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

Collectively, we seem to be committed to some unhealthy behaviors. For instance:

  • We “purity test” our relationships, where everyone is either 100% with us, or against us.
  • We want to be admired and respected by people we don’t know on social media.
  • We are willing to use the government to dictate behavior to people with whom we disagree.
  • We use single-issues in deciding who will represent us in the complexity of governing.

We may have a few healthy behaviors, too, like:

  • We stop to help each other, especially in disasters and emergencies.
  • We reach out to call a friend or neighbor we haven’t seen in a while.
  • We read or watch news that we disagree with, to expand our knowledge.
  • We prioritize relationships over politics.

Democracy is our process of deciding how to live together in our society - of governing ourselves through disagreements. It’s messy and good citizenship requires us to be committed to the process, rather than getting our way. Today’s American society seems to have veered away from the values of democracy; of being one American family first, with many individual differences.

Healthy families know how to fight. They know how to have fun with each other. And ultimately, they have each other’s backs. As a society, we would have better results with these types of family values.

Let us commit to one another – to a nation that uplifts every citizen with equal opportunity and provides equal treatment under the law. These are results I’m committed to.

Read More

Kamala Harris waiving as she exits an airplane

Kamala Harris waiving as she exits an airplane

Anadolu/Getty Images

GOP attacks against Kamala Harris were already bad – they are about to get worse

Farnsworth is a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington

Public opinion polls suggest that U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is doing slightly better than Joe Biden was against Donald Trump, but Republican attacks against her are only now ramping up.

Keep ReadingShow less
Candace Asher

Singer/songwriter Candace Asher

Presenting 'This Country Tis of Thee'

As we approach another presidential election, less than 120 days away, uncivil, dysfunctional behaviors continue to divide the nation. Each side blaming the other is never going to unite us.

As the rancor and divide between Americans increases, we need to stop focusing on our differences. The Fulcrum underscores the imperative that we find the common bonds of our humanity — those can, do and must bind us together.

There are many examples in the American Songbook that brought folks together in previous times of great strife and discord, including “Imagine,” “Heal the World,” “Love Can Build a Bridge,” “The Great Divide” and, of course, “We Are the World.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has put us on a path to ruin, writes Jamison.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Preventing the decline and fall of the American republic

Jamison is a retired attorney.

The Supreme Court has jettisoned the time-honored principle that no one is above the law. In its recent ruling in Trump v. United States, the court determined that a president of the United States who solicits and receives from a wealthy indicted financier a bribe of $500 million in return for a pardon cannot be criminally prosecuted for bribery. The pardon power, command of the armed forces, and apparently “overseeing international diplomacy” are, according to the court, “core” powers of the president which can be exercised in violation of the criminal laws without fear of criminal liability.

This is a fire alarm ringing in the night. Here’s why.

Keep ReadingShow less