“…For progressives, a crucial guiding principle in regard to public policy is to secure the common good while protecting individual liberty to the fullest extent possible. The progressive understanding of the “common good” is based on the conviction that not only is each individual endowed with human dignity, purpose, and worth, but also that human society as a whole should reflect these characteristics. Therefore, human beings together should strive to realize social relations based on these universal values…” excerpt from The Progressive Conscience in Action by Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, Center for American Progress, April 6, 2009
Obama Returns to His Moral Vision: Democrats Read Carefully! by George Lakoff, GeorgeLakoff.com, April 17, 2011 - Cognitive linguist and expert on messaging analyzes Obama’s spech on vision and values – The policy topic happened to be the budget, but he called it “The Country We Believe In” for a reason. The real topic was how the progressive moral system defines the democratic ideals America was founded on, and how those ideals apply to specific issues. Obama’s moral vision, which he applied to the budget, is more general: it applies to every issue. All politics is moral. Political leaders put forth proposals on the assumption that their proposals are the right things to do, not the wrong things to do. But progressives and radical conservatives have very different ideas of right and wrong. The basic idea is this: Democracy is based on empathy, that is, on citizens caring about each other and acting on that care, taking responsibility not just for themselves but for their families, communities, and their nation. The role of government is to carry out this principle in two ways: protection and empowerment.
…people are longing for a vision of the common good that includes everyone…a vision drawn from the heart of our religious traditions that allows us to make our faith public but not narrowly partisan. That requires a political engagement that emphasizes issues and people above personalities and partisanship…The prerequisite for solving the deepest problems this country and the world now face is a commitment to a very ancient idea whose time has urgently come: the common good.… The Prerequisite of the Common Good by Jim Wallis
…We have to think deeper, to think as a human family… Empathy is the invisible social glue that allows a complex individuated society to remain integrated…The Empathic Civilization by Jeremy Rifkin
Whichever religious tradition I study, I find at the heart of it is the idea of feeling with the other, experiencing with the other, compassion. And every single one of the major world religions has developed its own version of the Golden Rule. Don’t do to others what you would not like them to do to you…. The Power of Compassion — Karen Armstrong
Optimism We Can Believe In by Frank Cooper III, Huffington Post, December 29, 2008 - As news about the global economy worsens, each day seems to bring a gloomier long-term forecast. So why did a 2000-person survey that we conducted just a few weeks ago find that Americans are, overall, hopeful about the future? The answer may well have to do with an optimism that is intrinsic to the American character, one that has shaped our history, especially over the past few decades…Our recent survey discovered that despite the recession and the impact it is already having on jobs and long-term prospects, the Millennial generation (18-to-28-year-olds) may be the most optimistic. ..We all need a little optimism right now and in our shared future…It’s reassuring to know that the vanguard of the culture — this particular generation — stands so strongly for optimism.