America stands at a crossroads. Income inequality, climate change, politics, and so on combine to form one of the greatest challenges in our history. And yet, while I believe we have an opportunity to make progress, I also know that such progress will never happen until Americans come together into a very big circle and talk about it.
This is critical. For real social change to occur, the entire nation must somehow assemble in a gigantic circle and discuss the issues that matter most.
The only question is, how to do it? I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have all the answers. To start, where can we find a big enough venue for the circle? How can we ensure that everyone speaks loud enough to hear each other? Is it better for everyone in the circle to sit or stand? Should the circle include all 314 million Americans or only those of voting age? Will convicts be allowed in? What about those who are deaf or only speak Spanish?
America needs to be sitting in a big circle today. America needs to be sitting in it yesterday.
I do know this much, though: We’ll need a lot of space, enough that everyone can have a direct line of sight to whoever’s speaking. We’ll need infrastructure: waypoints stocked with food and water, systems for healing the sick members of the circle and disciplining those who refuse to participate, jackets in case part of the circle has to go through the Rocky Mountains, and T-shirts with American flags on them to build morale and to make the circle look more patriotic.
Of course, I have yet to address the biggest elephant in the room: Where will President Obama be, relative to the circle? Some might assume he should be directly in the center, but it is incumbent upon us as citizens to consider other options, such as having him run around the outside of the circle or fly from place to place in a helicopter. Actually, this could be one of the very first topics we discuss in the giant circle.
Make no mistake: America doesn’t need to be sitting in this big circle sometime next year. America needs to be sitting in a big circle today. America needs to be sitting in it yesterday.
We hold the future in our hands, so let’s not back down now, not while we have all the momentum of history on our side.
I’ll see you in the big circle.