Can you recall a time when, in our public discourse, we have lamented the manipulation of truth? For many, truth has become synonymous with opinion when supporting a point of view. Unfortunately, “alternative facts” cannot point us to toward rational decision making.
The good news is, a Pro-Truth movement is gaining attention with thoughtful citizens, regardless of their political point of view. Truth is a value that has the power to include diverse populations and provide an opportunity for collaboration. That is the future we imagine.
We discussed your being an organizer for the Pro-Truth Pledge. Doing so involves recruiting and coordinating others to ensure the outcomes of the Pro-Truth Pledge are met, namely that:
- The PTP is promoted to the public, getting more and more people to sign
- There is effective lobbying of public figures, especially politicians, to get them to sign
- There is effective monitoring of public figures who signed the pledge:
- evaluation of any potential pledge violations
- behind-the-scenes efforts to get public figures to revise problematic statements
- if not, then public pressure on them to revise problematic statements.
Details are in the Pro-Truth Pledge FAQ, which are on the homepage of ProTruthPledge.org, and should give you everything you need to be an advocate – talking points about reasons why people should promote and sign it, why it would be effective, etc. Here is a link to a Google Drive folder with various flyers, sign-up sheets, instructions for a sign-up binder, and other marketing materials for the Pro-Truth Pledge, and here is a link to a video with a speech about the Pro-Truth Pledge that you can adapt into a presentation.
So, let’s get started! Your first task would be to recruit other people to get involved whom you would coordinate. Use the directions in this folder to create a Pro-Truth Pledge sign-up binder and start looking for local activities in your area that might be good place to recruit people. We strongly encourage you to purchase and wear PTP-themed merchandise when you do PTP activities, and recommend that others in your locale purchase them as well, to be easily recognizable and promote the pledge through your clothing. This would include reason-oriented group meetings, political rallies, etc. Also, look for opportunities to speak, both at the events mentioned above and at other venues such as clubs, etc. When you go to these meetings or give such speeches, ask people to sign the pledge. Use these instructions and the materials in this Google Drive folder for creating a PTP sign-up binder, which is very convenient to use when gathering signatures for the PTP in-person, and here is a link to a video with PTP-specific training on doing in-person signature gathering. After people sign the pledge, arrange to have them entered into the website by scanning or taking a photograph of the sign-up sheet and emailing it to: info [at] intentionalinsights [dot] org. Also, you can consider spreading the pledge through locally-oriented social media venues.
No doubt, there will be those who share our enthusiasm and indicate they want to help with the pledge, besides just signing it. Talk to them about the ways they can participate.
- For people who engage in coordinating, include them on a PTP coordination committee that you would lead. Share the work (and satisfaction).
- Promoting pledge to broad public
- Lobbying public figures to take pledge
- Monitoring public figures.
- For those who prefer to promote, lobby and monitor, the coordinating committee can provide direction.
Check with your contact in the PTP Central Coordinating Committee occasionally to see who signed up for the pledge in your area, and they will get you that information from the website, so that you can reach out to those folks and start getting them involved. Once you find out someone signed up and indicated they want to help as part of signing up, send them an email following this draft template, adapting it to your own needs. Make a reminder for yourself to follow up with them in a week after you sent the original email, using FollowUpThen (simply add [email protected] in your BCC field). To help coordinate other folks, we strongly recommend that you use these directions to set up a Google Group, which is essentially a fancy email list, for your local area dedicated to PTP-oriented activities. You can create a Google Docs folder with various documents relevant to your group, such as lists of volunteers, various events where you want to gather signatures, various public figures in your local area you want to target, and so on – here is an example of one such Google Docs folder for the Central Ohio PTP group. We also strongly recommend that you offer to meet with people individually to help get them oriented, either in-person or online, and once you have more than a couple of people actively involved, set up a regular meeting once a month dedicated to advancing the PTP in your locale.
Once your local group gets large enough, you can also set up a local PTP Facebook group. Our experience is that of those who say they want to help, around 10-20 percent will actually become actively involved in meetings and signature-gathering, but others will spread the PTP through their social networks, do research, lobby politicians, donate, and so on, and it’s really important to try to do at least one face-to-face meeting – virtual or videoconference – to get them involved with this project. Also, don’t worry about being overwhelmed with meetings as a result of sending out emails. Our experience is that only about 50 percent of people will end up meeting with you, and it will take many months for some to do so, so you have plenty of time to space it out.
Thank you for taking a stand to promote responsible speech that will ultimately lead to rational decisions around which we all can unite.