The Five Values
Chris Bowers takes a stab at coming up with Ten Words that describe his political beliefs. I'd like to reduce it even further to what I call the Five Values:
Tolerance, Freedom, Opportunity, Mobility, Democracy
(All with an implied "more" before each one).
(1) Tolerance. I prefer this word to the more common "Diversity" because the latter implies a program of active promotion of diversity (i.e., "forcing" people to interact with people they don't normally interact with), whereas "Tolerance" simply means that we want a society that is open to diverse opinions and ways of living while not making people feel guilty if they would prefer to just hang out with people more like themselves.
(2) Freedom. A rather broad value, but at its core is the idea that people should be encouraged in the expression of their individual Freedom. We don't want a society where people feel inhibited from expressing their opinions about the important topics of the day or from acting on those opinions in order to affect positive change.
(3) Opportunity. The people's opportunity to fulfill their dreams and aspirations should be maximized. It is a tragedy, for the person and for society, when a person cannot achieve success simply because they are never given the opportunity to succeed.
(4) Mobility. Related to Opportunity, but this deals more with increasing the opportunities people have to make their lives better. The opportunities people have to raise their status in life.
(5) Democracy. Specifically, Liberal Democracy, which is founded on the idea that the people are the sovereign and, as such, all governing philosophies should ultimately defer to the will of the people. Our representatives hold our proxy, but they are never our rulers.
Naturally, all five of these values come into conflict with each other. Maximizing Tolerance does not mean eliminating people's Freedom to associate or not associate with whomever they please. Maximizing Freedom does not mean letting people's personal desires forever block the Opportunity of others to get what they want. And so on.
It is in the balancing act between these values that our society can achieve greatness (if a good balance is found) or failure (if it is not).
I could write pages and pages on these. Just consider this a rough outline for now.