Remembering Who We Are – Can We See What Unites Us?


About the author: David is executive director and founder of CEOs for Liberty, a private membership-only group for CEOs, business owners, and executives with a mission to enhance and protect American business exceptionalism. David founded CFL in 2011 given his concer ... [read 's FULL BIO]

As we move closer to one of the most challenging and ideologically important elections in American history — one vote deciding if we want to continue our clear direction towards a “progressive” (socialist, neo-Marxist, collectivist) America, and the other vote moving towards recovering and rebuilding American exceptionalism and liberty — we will all be barraged with emotional, passionate, and zealous pleas from the media, friends, relatives, and loved ones on each side of this ideological divide.

This will not be an easy time for America. It has not been an easy time since September 11th, 2001. At that time, we became more fearful. We became more suspect of the world around us. We felt a pain we had never experienced before in our lifetimes. We felt vulnerable — as a people.

It has not been easy since 2008, when the payment came due for our reckless manipulation and regulation of our financial markets and monetary policy, when the backlash of cronyism unleashed its fury upon the markets, and trillions of dollars of wealth was lost across America. From losing our homes, our jobs, our businesses, and our life savings, to most damaging… our hopes for our future. All told, since 2001, we have experienced a great deal of loss and pain as a nation.

Recently, as we passed the 11th anniversary of that fateful day in 2001, old fears and tears resurfaced with our remembrance of that day, the fresh violence in the Middle East, and the hatred of American values — liberty and religious freedom. Since that day, over 11 years ago, we have all struggled to re-define ourselves, our country, and our vision.

And as we struggle to recover and rebuild from these losses and to define our future for generations to come, I believe it is critical we also each work to find our common ground. What is the common bond that connects us in tragedy? What is the common denominator that causes us to run to each others’ side in disaster? What is the common ground that truly defines the majority of our fellow American’s DNA?

To find this answer, we must not only study history but we must also understand the unique value that IS America. As Americans, we are a people born out of unique gifts in all of human history — liberty and freedom — each with our own unique views, passions, and beliefs. Yet, our ability to define our individuality and uniqueness is a product of the gift of liberty and it should not be our undoing. Rather, it should be our uniting value.

Sadly, we have not had strong enough leadership in Washington in our recent history able to rally us to focus upon our true, common denominator… those unique values that truly unite us as a Nation, at the core. And, worse, if we only focus on our differences, we may forget what we have in common and end up losing the ability to keep either our uniqueness or our shared values.

To this end — and I believe this is where we find solutions to our challenges — we each need to each look within ourselves and at our history to find what we truly have in common. We need not listen to me, the media, or to the barrage of articles, posts, and comments we see and hear in the real and virtual worlds in which we live. We each need to look very deeply within our own hearts and minds to define what we know is truly America. We need to think about what our great-grandparents, grand-parents, and parents worked so hard to sustain and hand on to us, and what we should be able to hand on, improved, for generations to come.

Unfortunately, there are many snake oil salespeople on all sides of the ideological and political spectrum. Some, are in it for the fame. Some, in it to arrogantly superimpose their belief systems on others. Yet there are also those who are authentically and passionately concerned for our future, for what we are losing, and for what we have to gain if we can unite around what is most important. There are those who truly desire to make a difference and help improve both that which we were given by our founders, as well as, what we have been able to build together over the last 236 years.

When those of us who are authentically seeking answers, ask and seek objective answers to the questions “Who are we, really?”, “What principles, practices, and values from our founding, have been most important in enabling our exceptional success?”, and “What do we have in common that has enabled our greatness, and will enable our greatness into the future?”… I believe we find that the most important common denominator is… Liberty.

If in searching your heart at this important point in American history, you agree with me, then I believe the real question we all need to think about now is, “If we believe the most important common denominator of our greatness, what really unites us at the core, and makes us unique, is the fact that we have been raised in a country with more liberty and freedom than others, then what do we need to do to recover liberty lost and sustain it to hand on to our children and grand-children?”

And then we should also ask ourselves before each election, “Will this legislation, proposition, or candidate I am about to vote for, move us towards more liberty and the recovery of liberty lost, or move us towards less liberty, and even possibly towards tyranny?”

I truly believe if we each search our hearts and realize we have been given the greatest gift in the history of the world — the protection of our God-granted individual liberty and ability to pursue our own vision and dreams without interference from others or the State — we will find this common ground upon which we can all unite to recover and rebuild America for a shining future for generations to come.

Will you join me and save our American birthright? Save liberty. Abolish tyranny.

(C) David M Chaney – CEOs for Liberty.org / facebook.com/CEOsforLiberty and facebook.com/WhyWeBuildIt 2012 (Do not reprint without express written permission. Share on social networks with attribution. Contact: [email protected])

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  • Great article David Chaney! Thanks so much!

    • You’re very welcome, Jan. Wish I could contribute more! I hope over time we’re able to get more of your Facebook page followers to also share the same robust commentary they do on Facebook, here. Great discussions there. Keep up the great work and look forward to sharing with your readers.