You hear a lot these days about restoring American traditional values in order to make America great again. In most cases the term traditional values has come to mean marriage between a man and a woman, protection of the unborn, reining in Hollywood’s preoccupation with sex and alternative lifestyles, requiring immigrants to embrace our culture and the English language and ending the growing embrace of political correctness.
Now I am not going to end 2015 by engaging in a long-winded analysis of the above, but I do want to stress that the current definition of American traditional is rather narrow and short-sighted. Somehow too many of us have bought into the above definitions of what we stand for and forgotten what this nation has stood for since the early days of its inception.
American traditional values are grounded in the principles and practices of personal freedom, racial and gender equality, tolerance of differences, separation of church and state, the benefits of welcoming foreigners, the importance of generosity for those in need, opportunity for all, fair treatment, just resolution of disputes,and perhaps most importantly, respecting and honoring the voice of the people.
As we enter 2016 and what is certain to be an election that is in large part based on who we are as a nation and how we want to move forward as a people, it is essential that the conversation of candidates and voters be based on the real American traditional values and not concentrate on values and issues that while worthy of debate are not the core of what America is about and hopes to be.