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Where do young people come down on questions of faith, values, and public life? How do they relate their values to public policy issues including education, economic inequality, and the environment? These questions, critically important for the 2012 election, are at the center of a campus conversation being organized by the Berkley Center and Georgetown University. This blog features an ongoing conversation about these issues between students selected as Millennial Values Fellows through a national competition. You can read and comment on their blogs here.

To learn more about the project, visit the Campus Conversation on Values page.

OTHER POSTS

Millennials on Social Media and Politics

November 15, 2012

Millennials on Social Issues and Diversity

November 12, 2012

Hira Baig (Rice) on Why the Presidential Election Matters to Millennials

November 7, 2012

Millennials on Religion and Interfaith Work

November 7, 2012

Ryan Price (Drake) on E Pluribus Duo

November 6, 2012

Mohammad Usman (DePauw) on Unpredictable Millennials

November 5, 2012

Millennials on Affirmative Action Policy

November 3, 2012

Seth Warner (Vassar) on What Happens as the "God Gap" Widens

November 2, 2012

Josina De Raadt (Dordt) on How Social Media Is Like Wii Bowling

October 31, 2012

Zachary Yentzer (Arizona State) on the Next Greatest Generation

October 29, 2012

Brice Ezell (George Fox) on Post-Racial America? Race, Millennials, and the 2012 Election

October 25, 2012

Tyler Bishop (Vanderbilt) on a Future of Hashtags #whatitmeansforus

October 23, 2012

Brice Ezell (George Fox) on How the People Can Heal a “Divided,” Partisan Nation

October 4, 2012

Hira Baig (Rice) on Religion and American Democracy

October 4, 2012

Tyler Bishop (Vanderbilt) on How It’s All About Relatability: Voter Turnout

October 3, 2012

Josina De Raadt (Dordt) on Mistaking Politics for a Hollywood Blockbuster

October 2, 2012

Mohammad Usman (DePauw) on the Internet Solution

October 1, 2012


>> more

RELATED RESOURCES: EDUCATION

Alia Sisson (University of Dayton) on American Values

Americanvalues

March 19, 2012

Nothing better symbolizes the shared values that unite Americans than “Old Glory” herself. The thirteen stripes are reminiscent of our common history, spanning from the American Revolution, to the Civil Rights movement to today. The fifty stars are coequal, exemplifying the common commitment to states’ rights and representation in government. The Stars and Stripes fly proudly over both the White House and the homes of everyday American citizens. The Star Spangled Banner prevails as a unifying symbol in times of crisis and prosperity.
But the flag is more than just a symbol. Only people who truly love their country would so deeply revere its flag. Americans are among the most patriotic people in the world, and for good reason. For over two centuries, fidelity to the Constitution has perpetuated a “living” democracy, able to adapt to the unique exigencies of each generation.

Most everyone agrees with the principles of freedom of speech, expression, religion, etc. However, interpretation of fundamental rights varies considerably across the political spectrum. These constitutional ambiguities promote dialogue among the people, the courts, the executive and the legislature. The discourse among these bodies facilitates peaceful transfer of power between parties based on popular sovereignty.

Voltaire’s famous sentiment, “I may not agree with what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it,” particularly encompasses American values. Though groups bitterly disagree on topics from abortion to welfare to military intervention, there is a profound commitment to free expression that unites Americans.

I believe that every American has the same basic wants in life: a safe home, food, clean water, a good education for their children and the opportunity to pursue happiness. In short, we all wish to live the good life. The means to achieve these ends are usually what provoke disagreement. Some believe that government’s role is merely to protect the most fundamental individual rights, whereas others see a more meaningful and extensive role for government to advance social objectives.

Despite all of the poisonous rhetoric between parties, the truth is that we share more commonalities than differences. On the macro-scale, Americans believe in “inalienable rights” and the dignity inherent to each human being. This shared commitment to liberty, equality and justice will continue to foster deep bonds among Americans, despite the differences of opinion on how to achieve those goals.

Ben Ashman (Purdue) comments – March 20, 2012

It is true that this unity of national ideals is an oft-cited sentiment by all parties. I struggle, however, to find hard evidence that this is more than just propaganda. There are certainly wonderful things about this country, but is there a nationwide striving for "liberty, equality and justice" that distinguishes us from other countries? Consider how these ideals might be manifested. In class mobility, one of the most important indicators of freedom and opportunity, we are notably behind our peers. Are there examples that support the existence of shared American ideals?