We have embraced all of these here in America — maybe not all at the same time, and not all at the same volume, or as consistently. Nevertheless, it’s a good practice to have a set of guiding principles even bitter rivals can agree on. This set of ideals is one of the most universal, cross-cultural, cross-temporal sets of ethical standards and moral principles. Folks find it hard to argue with these when directly and persistently pressed — though some still do!
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that the following list of American values be worthy of our collective pursuit. We ought to be able to hold each other accountable to a set of standards of behavior — if we are as civilized as we say we are. Are we the pinnacle of humanity, practically perfect in every way? Or are we yesterday’s fish?
- Courage — be bold and try new things. Take risks; be brave. Be prepared to take knocks.
- Justice — fairness
- Humanity — of, by, and for The People (The Stoics: Cosmopolitanism)
- Moderation — eschewing extremism
- Wisdom — Careful deliberation and deep thinking; critical advice and strategic vision.
- Transcendance — the idea that we should appreciate our humble place in the vast universe