Introduction to the Steps: “There’s More than One Way to Fight for Your Country!” In the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln honored the soldiers who had died for the Union. He said that they gave “the last full measure of devotion.” Their sacrifice helped to maintain and preserve the United States of America. We are asking you to give “the NEXT full measure of devotion.” These are the actions that continue the preservation and maintenance of this nation.
They include learning or reviewing the political basics; regular quality news intake, learning or reviewing critical thinking skills, and regular informed voting and some advocacy on issues of importance to you. They also include eventually passing on support to at least a couple friends, so that this grows into a nonpartisan voter empowerment movement that spreads across the country.
These 14 steps will take effort. We believe they’re necessary for people to come up to speed politically. You may have done most of them, or perhaps none of them. It may take you two hours or 20 hours to go through them. In any case, we don’t believe in half-measures or partial solutions to America’s political problems. We don’t believe that our political needs can be met with a poorly-educated, uninvolved electorate.
Please make the effort. Please give the NEXT full measure of devotion.
[Note: We recommend that you really go through all the steps. But if you want a simplified approach, you can start with the PTTN Member Agreement, and then find whatever resources you need from the website to do all parts of the agreement. By the way, you can adjust the agreement as you see fit. Some people may think more activity is needed, some less — but this was our best estimate of how much is enough.]
Read the “Why Care?” webpage.
That page explains some of the payoffs for doing the small amount of work needed to become politically proficient.
If it helps, think of your participation as being part of a battle to help renew the electorate. Your mission is to become proficient yourself, and practice good political habits. After that, we’d like you to invite and support at least two people to follow your example. This leads to chain reactions of voter empowerment that can spread across the country.
This webpage walks potential participants through the rest of the web site, step-by-step. Read the rest of the steps now to get an idea of what you’ll be doing. Keep coming back to this page, to find out what to do next.
Read the webpage, Why Believe Politics Can Change? This page will probably increase your confidence and optimism for this approach.
Get ongoing personal support.
We believe that most people won’t make it all the way through these steps without someone to encourage and support them. That’s why we strongly recommend that you have someone support you. Here are five options for support. Pick the one that works for you:
a) If someone you know invited you to participate and offered their support, they are probably the logical support person for you.
b) If no one personally offered their support, you can invite one person to learn with you. It may be a friend or family member. You can work through the materials together. If you invite them, it will count toward the minimum of two people that you need to invite for this strategy to chain react. Unless you’re almost certain this particular person will join you, you might read the Tips for Inviting Others page next.
c) Just invite someone to be your support person. They don’t need to go through the steps or learn anything themselves. They just need to check in with you on a regular basis. Once or twice a week is recommended. We call this being a support “Buddy” and here’s a page of Buddy tips for you and your Buddy to read. It helps if your Buddy is also working on some goal. It can be any goal or project. If they’re working on something they care about, then you support each other.
d) You can get some phone or email support from a PTTN volunteer. Just check the appropriate box or boxes at the top of your Member Agreement when you send it in (as part of Step 12 below.) They will ask you for a little information about your needs, so they can give you personally-tailored support. [This option depends on availability of volunteers versus demand.]
e) Invite a small group of people to learn with you. If you go to college, invite some classmates. If you go to a place of worship, invite some people from there. Perhaps you know two or three people from work who have some interest in politics. What’s nice about inviting a small group is that you have automatically completed your requirement to help spread this movement.
Read the PTTN Member Agreement to find out what members are expected to do. (Later, you’ll be asked to send a copy to us with your membership dues.)
We ask a lot, but if you think about it, these are things you’d want every voter to do. Even if you’re not old enough to vote, you can still do most of the steps. You can still do advocacy and have an impact on your country and world. We salute everyone who intends to become an effective citizen.
If you still aren’t fully committed to this, you might want to read our Strategies for creating an informed, caring and active American electorate. Some of the 50 strategies might help you realize that there’s an evolving game plan, and also plenty of vision and innovation behind PTTN. Check it out!
If you’re short on time, you can probably benefit from two time-management materials that we’ve created, as well as links to three more good resources on the Internet. Otherwise, skip this step.
These resources can help you find the time you need to come up to speed politically. If you need some support to really apply these time management resources, combine this step with the next one.
Want Management (PDF) You can’t control time! You can, however, control your wants and get clear on your needs. This four-page article and exercise is practically a condensed book on time-management!
Time-Management Concepts (PDF) 20 tips on two pages.
Mayo Clinic A list of eleven time-management tips. (Part of a section on Stress Management.)
Time Management Guide.Com About a dozen articles. A few ads, unfortunately.
30 Time-Management Tips. Go here, and look for the HANDOUTS section. Then look for “Time Management Tips,” the third link. It’s a Word file.
You’ll want to know that we are nonpartisan and that we’ll keep your information private.
If you would like email reminders to do your weekly political news intake, or monthly advocacy, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know. Tell us the frequency and days of the week you’d like for news intake, and also for advocacy. You might request more times than you need, so that if you are busy at one point in the week (or month), you can get a second reminder. Later, we plan to automatic this system.
Start to build good news-intake and advocacy habits.
To improve your news intake habits, start by reading our page Choosing Good Information Sources.
To learn how to do basic critical thinking on the news you take in, read Thinking about Issues.
For a good framework for streamlining your political action, read our page about FITA-KEY. The ‘FITA’ concept is especially useful for people who don’t enjoy politics.
To learn much more about how to do advocacy, read Advocacy and Strategic Action. The page starts with a section about how to do easy, simple advocacy and then offers an advanced section for people who are committed to an issue.
When a primary or general election nears, we suggest you plan a Party and Study event with 2-4 friends for the weekend before the election. “Party and Study” means to simply invite friends for some light snacks and refreshments and to use the website or other websites to study the candidates and issues for the upcoming election. Even a one-hour informal get-together can dramatically improve the quality of people’s voting. Since you have a general idea of your friends’ politics, you should be comfortable discussing issues and candidates. A bonus of Party and Study is that it can be a step towards inviting a friend to full participation in PTTN.
If you need an additional framework to help you plan your news intake or advocacy, use copies of the Dream & Goal Sheet. Keep up with your news intake and do your monthly advocacy, so that you’ll continue to build these good habits.
Unless you know very little about politics, we suggest that you begin to take the online quizzes. If you are struggling with a quiz, for instance, about Congress and the Legislative branch, you can stop and study the related chapter in the online course. But if you already know most or all of the answers, you can learn directly from the quiz. Go to the quizzes page for further instructions.
When you get an incorrect answer on a quiz, keep guessing until you get the correct answer. If you keep repeating the politics quizzes until you get them all correct, you will learn the essential information.
If you don’t know much about a certain subject in politics or critical thinking, you can probably find it in one of the two online courses. One covers the basics of politics, and the other presents critical thinking skills for politics.
Once you pass the quizzes, congratulations! That was a huge step! If most Americans do what you did, there would be solid hope for America’s future.
Make your membership contribution and send a copy of your PTTN Member Agreement.
The dues are only $25 a year, for all the services we offer. If you can’t pay all at once, pay in installments. Dues helps up to fund improvements to the website and program.
Once you have come up to speed politically, and once you’ve practiced your new habits for several weeks, we’d like you to prepare yourself to invite and support at least two others to begin the Proof Through the Night learning process.
Here are three reasons for doing this right away:
1. You still have a lot of momentum and enthusiasm from your success at passing the test.
2. The sooner the chain reaction spreads, the sooner a healthy and more efficient America will produce benefits for its citizens—and be a beacon of hope and a model for the rest of the world.
3. Building the habits of regular news intake and regular monthly advocacy are not easy. If you invite other people to join, there will be more pressure on you to to follow through because you’ll want to be a good example to them. Also, once they gain proficiency, you and those you invite can support each other.
Now, make the invitation and begin to support at least two other people.
Do this as soon as possible. If we are to reach our ten-year goal to renew the electorate, people will need to invite and support at least two people within eight months. In other words, from the day you hear about PTTN we suggest you spend up to three months to learn and use the process; then one month to invite and introduce two others to the program; then about four months to support them, then four months of supporting them to support the people they invited. This may sound like a lot, but most of the effort is in the first four months.
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Now that you’ve experienced Proof Through the Night, and now that you’ve invited and supported two people, you have every reason to believe that the chain reaction of political empowerment will grow and spread across the country.
Thank you for fighting for your country!
Just continue with your regular news intake, your advocacy and your voting. You are welcome to keep inviting and supporting others, but that’s not necessary for this movement to grow. If you’ve subscribe to posts on the website (at the bottom of the grey right-hand column), you’ll get updates on this real-life drama, and learn each time PTTN doubles in size!