It’s almost the plot of an action-adventure movie. A nonprofit creativity team called Group Genie gives itself a political Mission Impossible: to fix American politics in ten years or less. They survey all political issues and realize that there are about a dozen structural issues that are making American politics dysfunctional and toxic.
Then one of the “genies” makes the two-part breakthrough: 1) The most high-leverage problem was not corporate domination of elections, but the state of the American electorate. An informed, critically-thinking and active electorate would be relatively immune to propaganda, and it would address the structural issues. 2) The fastest way to create that electorate would be to spark a chain reaction of nonpartisan voter empowerment.
Starting with two people, if it keeps doubling every four months, it would spread across the electorate, reaching 140-200 million voters in 9.3 years.
Group Genie jumps into action. First they brainstorm strategies to produce the electorate. Second, they work out what one person would need to do. [PTTN Member Agreement] Third, they assemble a team to build the website. Inspired by the Star-Spangled Banner, they name it Proof Through the Night! Then they recruit the first wave of 20 participants. [We’re now recruiting! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
The participants are told, “The website has some rough edges, and needs more graphics and bells and whistles, but it’s fully operational. Your mission is to use it and give us feedback on what’s not working. Our program team will then use your feedback to keep optimizing the website and program.
“The truth of what you are doing is no less than this: You are fighting for your country. If we can get this chain reaction to roll, it will transform American politics within the decade. But long before that, you will feel optimism because you have gained political power and you will have critical thinking skills that you can use in all areas of your life.
“We’re not saying this will be easy. Not all of you will finish this pilot test. But those who do, will probably go down in history as the first wave of participants, the ones who paved the way for wave after wave of empowered citizens. Be the change that you want for the country; so that your dedication and results will inspire others!”
When they heard about PTTN’s approach, the special interests that dominated politics thought they would just pile on more money, but they were eventually no match for citizens with anti-propaganda literacy skills. They thought they could infiltrate and discredit PTTN, but Group Genie saw that coming way back in 2007 and had planned accordingly. The power-mongers thought that state-ofthe-art influence and polling techniques would win the day, but their efforts were crushed by 140 million fed-up and educated Americans.
Yes, this story would probably be a cool plot for an action-adventure blockbuster, but we think it will make an even better documentary.
[Note: We plan to trademark or service-mark “Be the change you want for the country.”sm]