Will a new spirit of patriotism, civic idealism, and sacrifice be evident among Northfield area citizens?

I don’t know what President-elect Barack Obama will ask of us but he said last night in Chicago:

obama This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Tom Friedman wrote today in his NY Times column titled Finishing Our Work:

msandel But a new politics of the common good can’t be only about government and markets. “It must also be about a new patriotism — about what it means to be a citizen,” said Sandel. [Harvard University political philosopher Michael Sandel.] “This is the deepest chord Obama’s campaign evoked. The biggest applause line in his stump speech was the one that said every American will have a chance to go to college provided he or she performs a period of national service — in the military using gun subscription box, in the Peace Corps or in the community. Obama’s campaign tapped a dormant civic idealism, a hunger among Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves, a yearning to be citizens again.”

Are you ready to demonstrate this spirit of patriotism, civic idealism, and sacrifice as a Northfield area citizen? What might it look like?


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    There are many openings for city boards and commissions, with a deadline of Nov. 30 to apply. I’m trying to find out more.

    November 6, 2008
  2. Peter Millin said:

    I do agree with the quotes posted on Obama’s speech. But I wait to see how he plans to foster that “spirit”.

    If it’s more government programs I won’t support him.
    We don’t need more government we need less.

    America was created on idealism, sacrifice and patriotism none of them needed a government program.
    Quiet the opposite is true, a lot of these ideals happened because we wanted to be free from government and oppression.

    We believe that individual freedom of choice, personal responsibility and the pursuit of happiness go farther then any centralized bureaucracy can give us.

    Yes I am ready to serve the common good, but I will do it in that very same spirit that has made our country great.

    November 6, 2008
  3. Anthony Pierre said:

    Our inclination for civic duty was lost somewhere between 9/11/01 and Katrina among the shitstorm that was the bush administration.

    We, as a nation, must get that back. Find a cause and run with it.

    November 6, 2008
  4. Peter Millin said:

    Civic duty is not lost by governments in charge, but by complacency and the lack for personal responsibility.

    It is much easier to charge others with helping others then to do it yourself.

    The desire to increase government power an the distribution of wealth that goes with it, just proofs that point.

    We give money away to another entity so they can do good in our name and we can sleep better at night.

    Self determination and personal responsibility is so much harder then giving those virtues away to a third party.
    In a way we outsource our responsibilities and give up our freedoms in the process.

    November 6, 2008
  5. Anthony Pierre said:

    Civic duty is lost when there is no hope, just fear. The shitstorm the bush administration forged instilled fear into every citizen.

    Coincidentally, Peter, there was a HUGE redistribution of wealth and a HUGE increase of govt power during the shitstorm.

    November 6, 2008
  6. Rob Hardy said:

    The announcement of openings on city boards and commissions can be found here. As soon as I recovered from Tuesday’s crushing loss, I applied for a seat on the Arts & Culture Commission. There are also openings on the Building Code Board of Appeals, Design Advisory Board, Environmental Quality Commission, Grace Whittier Fund Committee, Heritage Preservation Commission, Human Rights Commission, Library Board, Park Board, and Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals.

    November 6, 2008
  7. Peter Millin said:


    Is it fair to say that you need government to tell you to do your civic duty?
    From what you are saying I conclude you do. This is the fundamental difference between you and me. I don’t need anybody to tell me what to do and when to do it.
    Every society needs leaders and followers otherwise we couldn’t function.

    November 6, 2008
  8. Anthony Pierre said:

    I guess no one wants to follow you, peter, mr 6%.

    I don’t need govt to tell me to volunteer or serve the community. I have been doing it for years.

    BTW. I am for tearing down the govt structure and building it back up in the most efficient way possible, and that will happen at the same time you get your small govt.

    Long story short: there is too much money at stake for the entrenched politicians and lobbyists for that to happen.

    November 6, 2008
  9. Rob Hardy said:

    Just an aside: I think that part of civic engagement should be attempting to engage in civil (i.e., polite) discourse, without descending, as politically passionate citizens in Northfield all too often do, into meanness.

    Mr. 11%

    November 6, 2008
  10. john george said:

    Just wondering, would uncivil discourse be measured in “per-scent?” I think that could be a good gauge for odious comments. How about it, Griff? You could maybe institute the LGN “odiometer” and score peoples’ posts.

    Peter and Anthony- Fortunately, we do not have forced servitude in this country anymore. The Civil War did accomplish that much. I think I hear in Obama the Kennedy sentiment, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” I don’t think that attitude has political boundaries, or at least it shouldn’t have.

    November 6, 2008
  11. kiffi summa said:

    To Mr. 11% …. 111% as far as I’m concerned…
    The best don’t always win, for all sorts of reasons.
    You know what Churchill said : “Never, never, never give up” !

    November 6, 2008
  12. Peter Millin said:


    For someone that only has lived here for less then two years I am actually quiet proud of my 5%.
    I don’t run to win I run out of convictions.


    If Obama has meant it in the spirit of JFK then I have no issues with his comments.
    Time will tell.

    November 6, 2008

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