Finding Virtue's Place: Examining America's Civic Life

By S. Lance Denning | Go to book overview

mane situations, across this country. In fact, civic life is the Jeffersonian recognition that average, everyday people have the ability to govern their communities and express their heartfelt interests. However, citizen action often represents a last defense against losing all faith to the ills of crime, drugs, unemployment, "redlining," corporate whims, and poverty. Instead of proactively granting citizens control of their communities and their individual lives, often public policies hinder citizens' abilities. The covenant of citizen government is most often compromised by those institutions we accept to act on our behalf to fulfill this covenant. Government retains a questionable and contentious role these days, at some times as a mechanism for aid and other times as an enabler of social disaster. But while government receives the blame in shallow campaign promises and in even more shallow political rhetoric, deeper inequalities structure business, government, and society to crippling, anti-democratic injustices.

To return to the question of a possible hindrance to a Jeffersonian practical politics from the discrepancies between different types of civic behavior, we are left with an equivocal answer. The promise is that citizens do act in significant numbers to assist their neighbors, to safeguard and monitor their communities, and to build a sense of solidarity and mutual concern that epitomizes Jefferson's views. Also, we should emphasize that citizens act at times in dire situations with monumental obstacles and with little support and money. Civic virtue, then, runs the gamut from coping with the worst consequences of American society to building upon successful starts from other generations and providing safer, more viable futures for following generations. In contrast, the compromise inherent in today's civic activity is that the future varies in its promise depending upon the community where citizens live. Citizens show they have the desire and the initiative to work at the local level, a trait political research reveals is missing for national issues. The question remains whether citizens will have the opportunities to develop their interests and to apply their democratic skills to any future politics. Jefferson offers a manageable guide. Today's civic displays offer essential practice, and often in the face of long odds. Those odds, though, are increasing and demand ever more an analysis of America's democratic contract.


NOTES
1
The Tragically Hip, "Save the Planet", Phantom Power, Sire Records, 1998.
2
Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 6 September 1789, The Portable Thomas Jefferson, ed. Merrill D. Peterson ( New York: Viking Penguin, 1975), 449.
3
William A. Galston and Peter Levine, "America's Civic Condition: A Glanceat the Evidence",

-129-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Finding Virtue's Place: Examining America's Civic Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1 - Our Civic Ideal and Today's Debate 1
  • Notes 24
  • 2 - The Sham of Civic Virtue 27
  • Notes 50
  • 3 - Equality and Civic Health 53
  • Notes 77
  • 4 - Confronting Complexity 81
  • Notes 105
  • 5 - At the Confluence of Theory and Practice 107
  • Notes 129
  • 6 - Changing Our Balance 131
  • Notes 155
  • Selected Bibliography 157
  • Index 163
  • About the Author *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 165

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.