Quite a brilliant piece.

I like this: "Our elected officials are little more than fungible, frenetic, superannuated, special-interest sock puppets."

And this: "Polls reveal that many partisans are entirely misinformed about the views of those across the political divide. We’re not only divided; we’re cowering at the shadows of phantoms of our fevered, manipulated imaginations.”

This literally brought tears to my eyes because the writing is so beautiful:

"Our nationalism is something more. It’s a gift we did not earn. It entails obligations we cannot avoid. It’s first-person plural. It encompasses past-, present-, and future-tenses. It’s an evolving, negotiated narrative. It’s the foundation for a shared identity that fills the gaps and reconciles our ideals and realities of liberty and equality."

I would be lying if I said I felt any kind of optimism at the moment. I don't see how we survive with what forces we have that have overtaken our government. You lay it out brilliantly -- this idea that rich people are now more powerful than our government. I don't see leaders like that either, those three, that's for sure. But I do see war. They came out of war. I guess that will be the thing that finally breaks everything down to start anew.

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James, I apologize for taking so long to respond to this "cri de coeur" that so eloquently summarizes many American's feelings about the current state of our political culture. With your permission, I would like to link to it on my New Nationalism website so my followers can read it as well.

I could not agree more with you that we are at a hinge of history and your summary of the previous foundings sets forth why we should still be optimistic. Even in the darkest times, America always finds a way to renew itself by building on its core values of liberty and equal opportunity. History suggests the leaders of the Fourth Founding will be found at the edges of our current political leadership. Lincoln served only one undistinguished term in the House and was a failed Senate candidate when he won the presidency in 1860. Theodore Roosevelt served only one term as governor of New York before he was nominated for Vice President. Dwight Eisenhower had no political experience when he became President in 1952. These three leaders, however, had one thing in common. In their own ways, they were the most famous men of their time because of accomplishments outside of political office. This is why I believe a leader of their vision and stature must come not from within the current political leadership, but from outside of it.

In the meantime, I agree we need to find a way to identify, organize and support such a transformation. Your piece may very well be the preamble to a new Declaration of Independence for such a new revolutionary founding. Thank you for taking the time to prepare it.

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