Perhaps the most challenging choice we face as a nation in November or whenever will be to decide what kind of a country we want to be – – what will define us as a people. Politicians may recalibrate their positions about ‘core’ values and pose alternative views about everything from health care to defense to the environment. But in the end when partisan gibberish is swept away, the expressed values that remain will serve as a definitive barometer of our better selves and our future conduct.

Sadly as Bill Moyers has said, “our democracy has gone off the rails.” Many of the virtuous goals to which our founders ascribed have deteriorated into waves of influence-peddling and mind-numbing partisanship. Angry rhetoric has taken the place of meaningful discourse so that it makes perfect sense that the Republican base sidesteps issues and decides instead that making Obama “a one-term president” is the ultimate goal and however that end may be achieved is the way to proceed. This objective is often fleshed out by denying or ignoring the obvious fault lines in our political configuration.

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