"I would submit that we can protect and preserve the open space of democracy by carrying a healthy sense of indignation within us that will shatter the complacency that has seeped into our society in the name of all we have lost — knowing there is still so much to be saved.

"What does the open space of democracy look like?

"In the open space of democracy there is room for descent.

"In the open space of democracy there is room for differences.

"In the open space of democracy, the health of the environment is seen as the wealth of our communities. We remember that our character has been shaped by the diversity of America's landscapes and it is precisely that character that will protect it. Cooperation is valued more than competition; prosperity becomes the caretaker of poverty. The humanities are not peripheral, but the very art of what it means to be human.

"In the open space of democracy, beauty is not optional, but essential to our survival as a species. And technology is not rendered at the expense of life, but developed out of a reverence for life. . . .

"In the future, brave men and women will write a Declaration of Interdependence that will be read and honored alongside the Declaration of Independence: proof of our evolution, revolution of our own growth and understanding.

"The open space of democracy provides justice for all living things — plants, animals, rocks, and rivers, as well as human beings. It is a landscape that encourages diversity and discourages conformity.

"Democracy can also be messy and chaotic. It requires patience and persistence.

"In the open space of democracy, every vote counts and every vote is counted. . . .

"When minds close, democracy begins to close. Fear creeps in; silence overtakes speech. Rhetoric masquerades as thought. Dogma is dressed up like an idea. And we are told what to do, not asked what we think. Security is guaranteed. The lie begins to carry more power than the truth until the words of our own founding fathers are forgotten and the images of television replace history.

"An open democracy inspires wisdom and the dignity of choice. A closed society inspires terror and the tyranny of belief. We are no longer citizens. We are media-engineered clones wondering who we are and why we feel alone. Lethargy trumps participation. We fall prey to the cynicism of our own resignation.

"When democracy disappears, we are asked to accept the way things are.”