January 15, 2021


Learn it, Live it, Love it: So This Is The New Year Edition

By: Cindy Cerquitella

Well, we’re two weeks into the new year, and already we know it will be one for the history books. Covid-19 vaccines are rolling out, albeit slowly, the Democratic Party will control the House, Senate and Presidency for the first time in a decade, and after the riot at the Capitol last week, the nation is facing a serious reckoning, one we’ll all need to confront in order to chart a path forward. My hometown of Washington, DC is locked down tight in anticipation of the upcoming inauguration and more potential violence. 20,000 National Guard troops are expected to be deployed here, 13 metro stations downtown are closing starting today, and there is a massive perimeter around the National Mall. I will be honest with you, the current state of affairs is heartbreaking. As someone who dearly loves the ideals this country stands for, it hurts to see it tested in this way. But, even if it’s a cliche, it’s in my nature to “keep calm and carry on” and to continue doing the work I know will lead to increased Liberty and Justice for All. And that’s what we’ll be doing at AF as well — getting you ready to face the year ahead, have conversations rooted in principle and focused on solutions, and keeping our joyful spirit alive.

Learn it:

AF officially launched our new membership program on January 1, and we are filling up a calendar with fantastic content. Nearly every Thursday, we’ll be hosting events, some reserved only for members, others open to the public, designed to help you be an engaged and empowered citizen. Next Thursday evening, January 21, we’ll be hosting an interactive workshop designed to help you plot out your year and achieve your personal and professional goals. You’ll leave with a solid plan and friends to help keep you on track throughout the year. Join AF and Meredith Turney on Thursday, January 21 at 7pm. (Tickets are free for exclusive members, and $15 for nonmembers.) Join today!

If you’re hoping to start the year off by getting your finances in order, check out frequent AF contributor Ashley Keimach’s Instagram for great tips, and then be on the lookout for a new monthly feature here on the AF blog from Daniel Huizinga. (Tell us what you want to see here.) Not to be a downer, but unless something massive changes, Social Security may not be available to you when you retire, so start planning for it now.

Live it:

Civil society is a bedrock of a prosperous nation, and it’s important for us all to do our part to keep charitable and nonprofit services running. As you put those financial plans together for the year, don’t forget to include charitable giving. The Novus Society has issued a 3% challenge to help make those contributions easy, take the challenge today!

On top of everything going on in the nation this week, the liberty movement came under scrutiny for its treatment of women by those in leadership and at events. As defenders of liberty and the belief that “all men are created equal,” it is against our values to treat others as less than. In light of this recent conversation, the Ladies of Liberty Alliance have opened up a survey to get a clearer picture of sexual misconduct. If you participate in events within the broader freedom movement, consider sharing your experience here. This isn’t about call out or cancel culture, it’s about treating each other with dignity.

Every day is a good day to read the Constitution, but these days it’s especially useful! Consider signing up for The Constitutional Fellows Program, offered by The American Conservative and the Center for the Study of Statesmanship (CSS) at Catholic University. The application deadline is February 29.

Love it:

AF-Chicago leader Eric Kohn and David French recommended we all watch Ted Lasso on Apple TV months ago, and I finally took them up on it this past weekend. I don’t know if I can think of another show that has been as heartwarming and comforting. We watched every episode last Saturday night, and it gave me a renewed energy to treat people with infinite kindness. Watch it! (but not with kids, there is strong language!)

This week, AF Doublethink alum Helen Andrews released her new book, Boomers: The Men and Women who Promised Freedom and Delivered Disaster. You can hear her tell you more about it on Cspan.

Two other books I’m kicking the year off with, in case you’re interested, Priya Parker’s The Art of Gathering (in anticipation that someday we will be able to gather again!) and Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead.