Your Vision For America by Monique Ruffin

Originally published on Huffington Post Voices in 2012, this inspiring article by author, activist, life coach and mother Monique Ruffin is a timeless message, if not even more relevant today.

Now that the party conventions are behind us, the campaigns for president will go into overdrive. We’ll be inundated with Super PAC-funded ads that distort the candidates’ records, offer platitudes instead of information, and do their best to appeal to our instincts rather than our intellects. We’ll watch the candidates debate, and if we’re exceptionally clear-headed, we’ll have our own ideas about these debates before we find ourselves believing what the pundits tell us about them.

While the last presidential election was a critical turning point for our nation, I believe that the one coming up may be the most important election of our time. The platforms of the candidate couldn’t be more extreme, offering two distinctive paths, and the past four years have been a sad example of politics over purpose. We have reached a divide within the road and we are being asked what path we will choose. One path offers policies that empower women, include the LGBT community as full citizens, and rebuilds the economy by asking everyone to do their fair share. The other path includes voter suppression, tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, and ending health care reform. But as we consider which path to follow, we must remember that we needn’t just accept having the president’s vision for our nation bestowed upon us. As citizens, we wield political power, and it is as important to know our own vision for this nation as it for us to know the president’s. As we become more aware, our participation is more valuable.

In my book, Open Your American Heart: From Personal Responsibility to Collective Accountability, I offer readers a clear blueprint for uncovering their vision for their lives and the life of this nation. It’s time we begin living our lives with the understanding that what we do for ourselves is intrinsically connected to the progress of other citizens and this nation. Many of us are so bogged down with daily living that we rarely take the time to consider our importance to the whole. Just as we play important and significant roles in our families, the lives of our friends, and within our communities, so are we connected to and impacting the greater community that is the United States. Your vision for yourself and for our nation is vital to the well-being of each of us. What you do individually — your successes, struggles, and choices — matters.

I have a vision that America will become a nation that offers equal rights to the LGBT community. It matters to me that all citizens are granted the same constitutional freedoms. I also have a vision that women all over this nation would be able to make decisions about their bodies without being restricted by the state. Lastly, I have a vision for our nation where elected officials are beholden to the people who elect them and not to special interests. None of my visions will likely be fulfilled overnight, but it is my responsibility to become the citizen I need to be in order to facilitate change. I cannot wait on politicians to do the job alone. My participation matters as does yours.

With this in mind, take a moment and consider what your vision for this nation is. Ask yourself about each of the main issues that the candidates are discussing. Many people believe that the economy is the most pressing concern for Americans — what is your vision for the economy? Yes, job creation would be the most obvious answer, but what do you believe are the best methods to go about creating those jobs? Do you see more jobs flowing from expanded corporate power? Do you see more jobs flowing from an economy where government and business are working together? What is your vision for our educational system? Do you see a system that is accessible to all young people, regardless of their family’s income or citizenship? What do you vision, not just for your children, but for all of the children in America? What is your vision for the future of energy? Do you see a country becoming more reliant on its own energy resources? Do you think that renewable energy sources are being pursued with enough vigor?

When your vision becomes clear the next step would be to decide what candidate’s vision is more closely aligned to your own in order to make your choice. Finally, and perhaps more importantly, ask yourself, “What I am willing to become to fulfill this vision?”


Follow Monique's writing on Huffington Post.

Follow Monique Ruffin on social media:

Make a comment, share an idea, get involved!

Vision for America is a citizen platform for voices and solutions, a community-created vision for our nation. Get involved and share your vision and ideas for our nation's future. Learn more at

Latest site updates:

Green New Deal

GREEN NEW DEAL: A vision for America to address both economic inequality and climate change.

Sunrise Movement

For the first time in our lives, we have a fighting chance to stop climate change.

Justice Democrats

Let's rebuild a Democratic Party that fights for a clear progressive vision.

Save bees!

One in every three bites of food we eat depends on bees and other pollinators.

Our Revolution

Campaigns end. Revolutions endure.


350 is the most important number in the world. It's the safe line for our global climate and a start line for a global movement.

The Sanders Institute

Sanders Institute: A vital democracy requires an informed electorate, civil discourse and bold ideas.



Jim Carrey's vision for America

Art and visionary messages by Jim Carrey.

Jeremy Rifkin

Economist Jeremy Rifkin presents an inspiring vision the future and hopeful narrative for the human race.

Bernie Sander's Vision for America

Bernie Sander's Vision for America


An action plan to kick out lawmakers beholden to the gun lobby.


Hyperloop: a vision and plan in action for America's future.

21st Century Vision for America

A 21st Century Vision for America: Guiding Principles for a Great Nation

Brand New Congress

It's time for a Brand New Congress

Indivisible Guide

We’re not the leaders of this movement: you are.

Fight for 15

1,000s of workers. 100s of cities. 1 movement. $15 and a union.


Join the Movement for a People's Party! The country is beyond ready for a new nationally viable progressive party.


Fighting for a fair future: We’re proud to step up the fight for immigrant rights, affordable health care, and core American values — as NextGen America.

Need to Impeach Donald Trump

Donald Trump has brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice, and taken money from foreign governments. We need to impeach this dangerous president.

Saving Capitalism

Robert Reich examines America’s fragile democracy and its fight for survival; as income and wealth go to the top, more Americans are left behind. Now it’s up to those ordinary Americans to change the rules.

The Green Plate

The road to a better you -- and better nation -- starts on your plate.

Donald Trump's vision for America

Open for Debate: Are we making America great, again? Comment on the President's vision for America.

The benefits of public wildlands, explained

The Nation

The Nation: Why American Democracy Has Descended Into Collective Hysteria

Healthy lands, healthy bodies equals a strong nation. It's time to move beyond meat and towards a sustainable (and tasty!) future.

Protect National Monuments

Introducing An Election Reform Bill To Expand Voter Participation Nationwide by Rep. Don Beyer and Sen. Tammy Duckworth

Protect National Monuments

The Fight Is On to Save Our National Monuments!

Protect Wolves!

Restoring wolves nationwide: a campaign by Center for Biological Diversity

Time for Action

Gov. Jay Inslee: It's time for action on climate change

Reduce plastic waste

Pledge to reduce plastic waste

Vision for America

See more visionary ideas posted on Vision for America!

A 21st Century Vision for America is a document that describes our country as most Americans would want it to be. It envisions an America that cares about people, protects our rights, provides opportunity for all, nurtures its lands and waterways, and serves as a good global citizen. This America serves as a beacon and model to the rest of the world, reminding everyone of what is possible when people of good will come together to do what is right.


NoRA Now
Our Revolution
Democracy Now!
The Sanders Institute
Citizens Take Action
Socialist Alternative
Real Progressives
Bill Moyers & Company
Swing Left
The Free Thought Project
Redacted Tonight
Green Party US
Defenders of Wildlife
The Resistance
Center for Biological Diversity
Mother Jones
Common Dreams
libertarian Party
The American Prospect
Daily Kos
The Progressive
In These Times
The Nation
Brand New Congress
Ron Paul Institute
Counter Punch
The Jimmy Dore Show
PR Watch
Huff Post Voices
Nation of Change
liberty tree foundation
mercy for animals
farm sanctuary
Code Pink
Earth Justice
League of Conservation Voters
People's Defense
Democracy for America
Standup America!
Every voice
People for the American Way
Ultra Violet
Working Families
Lambda Legal
Town Hall Project
NextGen Climate
The Laura Flanders Show
Emerge America
Backbone Campaign
Run For Something
The Nation Institute
the investigative fund
Tom Dispatch
Run For Office
Let America Vote
Justice Democrats
Environment America
Food and Water Action Fund
The Action Network
Vox The Big Idea
Wilderness Society
Yes! Magazine
Progress Media
Education Votes
People's Party
Roots Action
Fight for 15
Global Citizen
The Revelator
Open Democracy
Crowd Justice
Climate Desk
Defend Our Future
Southern Poverity Law Center
Netroots Nation
We Are Survivors Foundation
Sunrise Movement
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Real Justice
The Climate Lemon
Vision for America is providing the above links not as explicit endorsement but for the sake of democracy and hearing all voices.#VisionForAmerica