Molineaux is President/CEO of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund, is a 501(c)(3) organization that houses The Fulcrum. David L. Nevins is chairman of the board.
We are very excited and honored to become the new co-publishers of The Fulcrum. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to build upon the successes of the first two years of publication.
We are confident that The Fulcrum will continue to explain how citizens can become involved and why our democracy depends on citizen engagement. We must harness the tension of our differences in order to strengthen the bond between us. For more than two years, The Fulcrum has played an important role in doing so. We envision growing the existing digital platform to be more interactive, engaging, and innovative — in order to empower Americans of all stripes in our movement.
To reach this goal, you will notice an expansion of content available on The Fulcrum over the next few months. We will build on the founding mission that focused primarily on political reform, and reach more people on topics that demonstrate democracy is connected to our day-to-day lives.
New mission: The Fulcrum is a platform where insiders and outsiders to politics are informed, meet, talk, and act to repair our democracy and make it live and work in our everyday lives.
We will continue to publish news about political reform topics, but also share stories that inspire and connect daily concerns to reform efforts. As we share stories, we make the important news interesting to new readers. The forthcoming Citizen Connect website, which will be connected to The Fulcrum, will allow people to move from news to action with a click of their mouse.
We have unwavering confidence in America's future, while recognizing the profound challenges we face. It is the affection for our great nation and faith in the power of regular American citizens to make a difference that will drive The Fulcrum's success. If we can authentically reach and welcome people from diverse perspectives, geography, generations, and backgrounds, as a nation, we will succeed. We are committed, through The Fulcrum, to help citizens learn, engage, and find their path forward that reflects their values and priorities for the sake of a more perfect union.
The Fulcrum will continue to be guided by the high journalistic standards that have been a hallmark of The Fulcrum from the outset. Each article, story, video, and podcast will be categorized as News, Analysis, Opinion, or a Common Ground Corner, so you know the type of content you are receiving.
Initially, much of the new content will be provided by Bridge Alliance's more than 90 member organizations, each of which is working to strengthen democracy.
The members in the alliance are the political and social infrastructure to catalyze this movement towards healthy self-governance, so we can re-envision democracy itself.
From the outset of our nation, the critical role that a free press must have in maintaining democracy was forthright in the mind of our founders. As flawed men, they nevertheless envisioned a future we can live into.
No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions. — Thomas Jefferson
We invite you to subscribe to our daily email for the latest news, stories, and solutions to our most vexing problem: fixing democracy itself.
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Molineaux is president of the Bridge Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 civic engagement and democracy reform groups. (Disclosure: The Bridge Alliance Education Fund is a funder of The Fulcrum.)
While many of my friends — across the political spectrum and in varying corners of our current politics — agitate, calculate, dominate and become irate, I claim kinship with them all. I see our broken hearts, our disappointment, our pain and suffering. I see our pride, our gumption and innovation. I share our collective feeling of anxiety mixed with dread for what may be next. And still, I carry hope.
We are a raucous American family. While we talk about divorce in terms of civil unrest and civil war, like a good marriage counselor I am asking: What are we fighting for? And what are we protecting against?
I carry the hope for our nation by advocating in favor of so many of our democratic values. That we citizens are bound to one another. And that no one is above the law. That our elected officials are public servants. And that the public should be protected by a system of checks and balances that prevents the unmitigated pursuit of power for its own sake. That power in the United States government must always be in service to the people. And that goes for all the people, not a privileged few. Finally, our bond grows stronger as a nation when we trust one another and share mutual association.
I carry the hope for our nation along with all those others working to protect against the forces of division — and to protect against the intolerance of those who wish to memorialize their power and advantage over others. I work to protect against rigidity of thought that obstructs, and against advancement so rapid we lose our tradition and sense of American identity. (These are the failures globally that did not allow us to prevent the Second World War.)
The Constitution was a reaction to the tyranny of and absolute power granted to a single man. The framers wanted power for themselves, separate from King George III. This is fact, as is their dismissal of non-white people and women as subservient — and enslaved to the framers' expression of liberty. They were the underdogs in a power-hungry world. The David against the Goliath of English colonization.
Despots hold absolute power. It is a term reserved for those who exercise their power in a cruel or oppressive way. Today we face the possibility of a despotic ruler in the United States for the first time in our lives and perhaps the first time in American history.
For a nation that has promised "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," we have fallen short and that is the source of our agitation, cogitation and irritation. It is also the source of our broken hearts, ruptured relationships and disappointment in our chance at a better life.
Freedom is the promise of our now-amended Constitution to every person. And freedom is now experienced by more people around the world than at any time in history. As humans, we long for freedom but freedom comes with a price tag. We have to protect it, tolerate others and compromise to avoid the sort of despotic rule that provides privilege to some while punishing others.
If we look to a leader in the United States to punish others, we have already lost freedom. And as history proves, despots will grab the power -- without any intention of its return to the people. If you have given your support to a leader who states that opponents are enemies and should be punished, you have given your power away by no longer supporting democratic values. You have chosen a leader who prioritizes power over democracy.
I carry the hope for our nation by remaining a free person, open-hearted and open-minded about our collective future. Will you join me?
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Molineaux is the co-founder and executive director of Bridge Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 civic reform groups. (Disclosure: The Bridge Alliance Education Fund is a funder of The Fulcrum.)
This is a call to people who love our country more than they hate their political opponents. It is our duty and our honor to put country before party.
Voting in the usual manner this November will likely be difficult because of the coronavirus. As a result, many people are voicing concerns about the integrity of the presidential election. There is a huge amount of spin and swirl about vote-by-mail, voter fraud, voter intimidation, disinformation and other tactics that are designed either to sway voters to vote (or not vote) or to cast doubt on the election outcome.
We must do everything in our power to ensure the reality and perception of a fair election.
As we have been lulled into complacency as consumers of politics, we have allowed the marketers to divide us. This divide harms us, our communities and our country. We need to be engaged and active citizens who demand more. Let's start with working to create a credible election process trusted by all.
Each one of us can opt out of the "war" between the presidential candidates and pledge our sacred honor to be the eyes, ears and conscience of our election process this fall. Our election officials need assistance in the form of election workers — some paid but largely volunteers. By becoming a good-faith election worker, you can help build trust in our election process and in each other. We can commit to each other that we will trust and verify the election.
Here are two ways you can do your part to build a safe election.
There will be a dramatic expansion of absentee voting and voting by mail this fall. Over the summer, local elected officials will plan how to process these ballots in a way that's healthy and safe. We can be the volunteers who assist election officials in mailing absentee applications, safely and accurately processing ballots, ensuring compliance with state law, and matching names and signatures with the voter roll.
This will create the system of checks and balances within our local elections offices to ensure the security and integrity of every vote and ensure that every legitimate vote is counted.
And in jurisdictions where people will still vote in person, we can encourage people who are less at risk to become poll workers, in Covid-19-safe polling locations.
Who can volunteer, observe and work in elections offices and polling places varies by state. You can find yours here with directions of how to start.
Nothing is more urgent. The integrity of our democracy is dependent on how well the voting process is administered this fall. We can ensure the integrity of the election if we do it together in a nonpartisan and/or bipartisan effort to ensure optimal vote-by-mail and safe voting at the polls this November. The best way to ensure the election is credible is to roll up your sleeves and help out.
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