Wednesday, July 7, 2010

American Openness

In the U.S. we value truth.  Truth figures prominently in our Declaration of Independence.  In the first amendment of our Constitution, we provide for the freedom of the press.  While many government actions have been kept quiet, we value the "right to know." 

Our spirit of openness seeks to shine light on even the dark episodes of our own history.  We don't ignore our history of slavery, but but recognize it as an institution of gross immorality.  We can evaluate our leaders of the past, without having to whitewash their images for propaganda purposes.  We can request the publication of documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

And we demand that government business be conducted in the open.  Except for matters of national security, we don't like secrets.  The secrecy of this year's health care debate among our legislators struck a nerve with Americans. 

We value openness.  We want to know how our government is working.  After all, we are governing ourselves.  We are the government.  We do need for our citizens to be informed.  That requires freedom of speech and freedom of the press.  We can ask anything.  I'm naturally curious, so I like asking questions.