Telling A Better Story: The Plan
We don’t have a plan.
If you have followed what goes on in Congress—or lived and worked there as I have—you have most likely said this yourself or heard it said more times than you can count. And not only do we not have a plan, we largely fight our own allies, whittling our own band of supporters down to a very small number, telling ourselves we’re the “faithful few” who are going to “stand strong”.
To put it bluntly, I think the reason the Right, for example, has no coherent unifying plan for where to lead the country is that we’re largely still hung up on problems that aren’t the real problem, and guides who aren’t offering a clear, compelling call to action. Sure, there’s the Conservative agenda, and neo-Conservative agenda and the Republican agenda and the Libertarian agenda and the Establishment agenda and little calls to action in there—but we still think the problem is each other, and so the plan for how to govern well will never include each other.
And while people do want Congressmen to lead, they also want them to be hung up on all these little agendas, living small stories about how we’re going to go “back to America’s founding” which is a fairly ambiguous idea. We need something to shake us out of our own fear and dysfunction.
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. (I John 4:7-11, The Message)
The vision of LIBERATUS—recently refined—is healing through freedom. We believe that these ideas from the Great Story in I John lead us to a deeper freedom, which we define as the creative pursuit of Truth and Beauty. Out of this, our mission, or plan, is to pursue Truth and Beauty creatively through an online journal, and to invite others into the pursuit. So you can join us, by applying to write for The Journal with our community of writers, or by donating to our vision, or just by following us as this journey continues and the plot thickens.
We need healing because love rooted in hope placed in a Kingdom greater than America is not our starting point in our politics, but it could be. True love has given us a plan, and it can change the way we govern.
If we are motivated by a deep understanding of love and freedom, I think we can find nuggets of truth tucked away in human experience everywhere, pieces of Truth that help shape our perspective. People who disagree with us aren’t devoid of a grasp on reality, even if we think we have a stronger perspective—which brings us back to the practical need for a unifying plan.
If you believe, for example, that Americans should enjoy significantly more liberty than they do now—then it is time to write up that plan and actually build a large coalition to get there. To come back to America’s founding—or rather apply the principles of liberty to our work today as our founders began to do—it actually will be critical to understand the Constitution and why it was written, not because it is our hope but because we can probably find Truth that will help us govern well, and we need to be able to explain it well as we engage and debate. But as we debate, and as we build the coalition, we can benefit from the perspective of more people, because the more perspective we have, the more Truth we will know, even if we have to be prudent in discerning Truth in any situation or life experience. (And on that note, evil is indeed real; true love isn’t blind to it, it recognizes its existence fully.)
The vision for LIBERATUS was born in part out of a trip I took to Wyoming last August. When you stand at the edge of a massive open pit coal mine like Black Thunder, as I did then, with colleagues from the opposite side of the ideological spectrum, suddenly it seems obvious that they are your neighbors. As you stand there, far away from the spin and dysfunction of Washington, the questions become simple. How much electricity can we get out of this coal? What are the benefits? What are the dangers? How can we dig the coal out? How will we fill it all back in? How long will it take for the grass to take root again and the antelope to come back and the land to be reclaimed? What about our emissions at the coal plant? Can we capture the CO2 and sell it on the market?
All of these are questions we discussed on that trip, and all of them have answers.
We don’t have to turn the conversation into a freak show of annihilating each other; we can stand shoulder to shoulder at the edge of the mine and just talk it through, pursuing the honest truth in it all.
We need a unifying plan of specific policy proposals rooted not in fear of what we will lose, and not so we can triumph over the Left (or vice versa) but because we have placed our hope in another Kingdom. This new hope takes away our fear of pursuing a bold policy agenda, explaining the truth of it to any who will listen, our hearts healed by the powerful Truth, LIBERATUS—we are set free.