Why I Wrote This Book
This opening section on Moral Values serves as a preface. Although readers quite often skip prefaces under the assumption that these parts are insignificant and unrelated to the real substance that lies ahead, I hope this is not the case with this section. Here I explain my motive behind this undertaking–the problems I face as a voting citizen as well as a call to action to refocus our values around a basic principle of democracy: a deep sense of respect toward the dignity of all human beings. We need a new generation of political leaders who are willing to cut across ideologies and guide our nation accordingly.
Just as importantly, this section provides the context in which I define and explain how I use the term Moral Values. As a concept in politics, a fundamental aspect of Moral Values is its inclusive dimension. As opposed to individual morality, it will become obvious to the reader that there is no logically compelling reason for any single ideological group in politics to claim a monopoly on morality. Moral values will be in contention always among social, political, and religious groups, either through the sensible and civilized presentation of facts and reason, through passionate disputes, or through violence and war. Today, an examination of moral issues is critical for citizens who wish to gain an increased understanding of the role of values in American politics.