Michael J. Kerrigan

 

David Huer is a Canadian friend and the original of his review can be found at city moon.org.

I’ve been enjoying Michael Kerrigan’s book. After years of service in the US capital, Michael makes the restoration of civic virtue central to his life mission.

He has unlocked the challenge that all nations aspire to unlock, or claim to aspire thus. This is an inspiring book of examples for teachers of all nations; because it is the loss of civic virtue of each nation that ultimately damages our ability to have dialogue and conversation within each nation and its factions, and across each nation and alliance.

Dialogue moves us forward, and respect for each other – more than respect for rules – is key. What would Michael Kerrigan have us do? He asks us to ask How can civic virtue help us find our way back?

Do we have this anymore? It is hard to tell. It can be a challenge here in Canada. And when I look at America, it is hard to tell also. America ideologically shouts to itself that it is special, the world’s policeman, the Leader of the Free World. That we outside America should aspire to be carbon copies of the City on the Hill.

But that is not what other Nations want. Every nation is equally exceptional (and not). No nation is Utterly So, and America may have to get at the root of this poisonous Imperial Priviledge ideology to return to the rich good earth of civic virtuousness that made the Idea of America a torch in the darkness.

The idea that makes the noun the beacon.

Paul Stork has commented that “adversity becomes the renewable, never-ending fuel cell of moral fortitude, which I’ve come to realize both undergirds and defines a good person and a worthy life.” And Michael notes that “Lincoln saw that religious reflection {including secular-humanist reflection} among our citizens could lead to humility, self-criticism, care for fellow citizens, and renewal of civic ties.”

In the first years of the new millennium, perhaps America is struggling to define what is a worthy national life really ought to be? Perhaps Michael is saying that restoring good character must be a personal desire to be a national one. And that all of us across the world [people AND nations] need inspiring role models –  lives of grit, inspiration, innovation, and reflective compassion – if we are to find our way forward.

When I was a boy in small-town Canada, a dog-eared hand-me-down book of role models – such as George Washington Carver – inspired me forward. But those sorts of books disappeared. Michael Kerrigan has started bringing them back. This is a gift to the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Without Character Our Liberty Is In Trouble

 

Mark Levin in Rediscovering Americanism concluded with a call to action.

 

Nonetheless, those of us whose eyes are open, whatever our numbers, have a moral obligation to try to rouse our fellow citizens to take a sober and critical look at the decaying societal conditions, from which truthful conclusions can be drawn and perhaps improvements made. I understand the daunting task, given the powerful tide against which we must swim and the condemnations and mockeries from those who fear such inquiries and wish to escape them. Yet there is neither virtue nor benefit in denial or self-censorship.

 

Hillsdale College is one institution today that has responded to the moral obligation Levin seeks.

 

Freedom. One nation in all human history was built on that bedrock- ours. A republic of the people, by the people, and for the people. Self-government requires freedom. Just as freedom requires an individual willingness to self-govern. Freedom has made America exceptional… but it can only last as long as you and I seek the Good, as expressed by the laws of nature and nature’s God. It can only last if you and I choose to act as people of character. Forging character has been the pursuit of Hillsdale College since 1844. https://www.hillsdale.edu/freedom

 

In Restoring Character in America, I called for a renewal in our civic ties by asking the captains of academe, teachers, coaches, parents and interested citizen volunteers to join together in character building and character education in our country. Those listening to these calls to bolster character education in our youth will help stem a further decline in civic virtue and help to preserve our nation as envisioned by our founders.

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Restoring Character in AmericaRestoring Character in America identifies the decline in character in our country, but then gives the reader hope for the future by showcasing leaders whose careers are successfully turning around this trend in our schools, communities, businesses, and the military.

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