Recent Citizenship Commentaries

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What Do We Truly Value?
Thirteen mass shootings since last Friday, and while victims’ families grieve, we all continue to hear and read the same words and see the lack of meaningful actions from lawmakers: “thoughts and prayers”; moral outrage commentaries (this being one of them); bipartisan talks; and proposed water-downed bipartisan bills. According to a CBS/YouGov national poll: 81 percent of Americans favor background...
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June 7, 2022
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From Hürtgen Forest to Snowflakes
In honor of Memorial Day, last Friday I began by describing the longest battle American forces faced in the the Hürtgen Forest during World War II. I wrote how my father, Private James Lichtman, survived an 88mm German canon attack, and a minefield as he crawled to an aid station to receive medical attention for his frozen feet. This is...
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May 30, 2022
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We Are Americans
Character is a word that’s rarely used today; rarer still is finding leaders who demonstrate character. But there are a few. Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, against their party’s wishes, chose to participate in an investigation into the causes of the January 6, 2020 insurrection. It takes character and courage to choose principle over politics. Where would we be...
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May 13, 2022
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An Expectation of Citizenship
Washington Post columnist, E.J. Dionne Jr., and Miles Rapoport, a senior fellow at the Ash Center of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a former Connecticut secretary of state, have proposed a solution to election voting long overdue. Their new book, 100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting, makes a clear and compelling argument. “Under this system, every U.S.  » Read...
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April 5, 2022
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America’s Confidence Problem
In a national address to the country, Jimmy Carter described how he “invited to Camp David people from almost every segment of our society — business and labor, teachers and preachers, governors, mayors, and private citizens. And then I left Camp David to listen to other Americans, men and women like you. I got a lot of personal advice: “I...
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March 22, 2022
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Something We All Need
In it’s February 28th edition, TIME magazine highlighted “19 Kids Changing the World.” On the cover, Kid of the Year, eleven-year-old Orion Jean, “Ambassador for Kindness.” Academy Award-winning actor and special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees recently interviewed Jean. Here are some highlights from the conversation. “When the pandemic began,” Orion began, “I saw a lot of...
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March 1, 2022
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What Matters Most
With an looming invasion in Ukraine, mandate protests, near-total dysfunction in Washington, it’s nice to know that there are volunteers who are willing to be there when needed. This story is likely one of thousands repeated every day that demonstrate the power of citizenship . . . even in tough times. As reported by Steve Hartman for CBS News. “When...
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February 15, 2022
The Walking Dead
“Common sense is not that common.”—Voltaire Embed from Getty Images Yup, it’s official, the Republican Party is dead! The party of Lincoln, Reagan, Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, and God Love ’em, John McCain, is dead from the neck up. On Friday, the Republican National Committee censured (formerly condemned) Republican Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney who “chose to join Nancy...
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February 8, 2022
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The Way Forward, Conclusion: Where We Need to Be
Moral courage is a rare commodity, rarer still today. Those who stand up—frequently alone—to shine a light on corruption, deceit, and discrimination at the risk of their reputations and livelihoods are worthy of admiration. Republican representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, football coach Brian Flores—all have gone it alone in standing against reprehensible behavior,...
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February 4, 2022
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Worth Remembering
“You see George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?”— Clarence the angel, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s a Wonderful Life has become a staple during the holiday season, (except for those addicted to the Hallmark Channel). George Bailey is a good and decent man with family...
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November 24, 2021