I would first like to thank everyone, personally, for your participation in this movement. I had a chance to speak briefly at the last meeting about the fulfillment that I have received, just by knowing that there are other people in my community who care as deeply about our founding Principles as I do. This has been a cathartic moment in my life, to know that I am not alone in my beliefs and values. And for that, I am indebted to all of you.
Now I would like to pay-it-forward to others, so they to can find that we do, in fact, Surround Them. However, one thing that I'm having a hard time with is succinctly describing what, and more importantly, WHO we are.
To that vein, I think it would be very beneficial for us to develop a mission statement. I want to start this post to get everyone's ideas, and then we can distill it down into something concise and engaging. This is something that I hope we can put up for vote by our next meeting.
First off, please understand that I like the way this is going, and I like what I see so far. I'm going to have to be a stickler, though, since I think this is a really important thing to get right...
I truly believe that since words mean things, we need to know exactly what we are saying when we use them, so I've added some thoughts on that below.
I'd still like to see it whittled down quite a bit. Brevity is the soul of wit!
As to the technical issues with the meaning of the words... while "assure" and "ensure" have some overlap, "ensure" is the correct word to use in that context.
"Together, as individuals" contradicts itself. A collective acts as a single entity, otherwise it is not a collective. If you want to retain this phrasing, you will need to use a transistive verb, such as, "together from individuals" or something like that. Personally, I don't see the need to mention that we are individuals at all. It just doesn't add anything. In my opinion, words are like spices in a recipe. If it doesn't add anything, leave it out.
I still believe that we are not all "equals", which implies equal outcomes—that's a tenet of the left. We are not all equal, in fact, we are mostly different, but we have equal opportunity, and that's why America was founded. Obama wants everybody to be equals, excepting, of course, himself and his polit bureau.
"Patriotic Americans" is self-agrandizing. It can certainly be inferred from the context, so I don't see the need for it. In poetry, the great mistake is to label something as "beautiful". Rather, the thing should be described in such a way that the reader then thinks, "that's beautiful!". A reader of this mission statement should say, "Wow, what a group of patriots!". We shouldn't have to claim that status on our own, or the statement has failed.
Punctuation will need to be sorted out in the final revisions.
"Protect and defend ... the glory of our Republic" Has several problems. First, "The" is the correct article (the Republic, not our Republic) since it is its own institution. It may be beholden to the people, but it is not owned by the people, otherwise it could not be a republic...but you needn't take my word for it. It's that way in the Pledge of Allegiance, too. Simply stated, a republic cannot be owned by its representatives, or it ceases to be what it is. Second, how can one protect glory, which is an abstraction, defined by an individual's own perspective? Glory cannot be protected, it can only be observed. Also, wishing to ensure glory is tantamount to vanity. I am not here for glory.
Last, I wonder why the specific mention of "fiscal responsibility", when so many other things are left to the imagination.
OK . . two more versions. Others please chime in. I will stick with my "together, as individual" phrase because to me it shows we are united not as a group but as individuals who have a common interest in becoming one for a certain purpose. I looked up assure, ensure and it then gave be insure all as synonyms . . . I am thinking insure is maybe the best choice but I am open exploring the meaning and how they fit in our statement.
Also, everyone . . .please let me know which version you are lean toward . . it is harder to work on two then one . . .but I will continue if the feelings are divided.
I also reconize there are more commas being used then in normal writings, but I wanted to add pauses to add "weight" to all of the wordings, so they were deliberately inserted.
Lead by The Constitution of the United States of America, inspired by the 9/12 Project, We The People, together, as individuals, through peaceful organization, unite as Americans first, with equal and inalienable rights and voice, to forever protect and defend, our freedoms and The Republic. We hold Government accountable to We The People, insuring fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, respecting and honoring the vision of the Founding Fathers, The Bill of Rights and the rights of all for equal opportunities. Bound by common values and principles, we vow to forever preserve, the land of the free and the home of the brave!►
Guided by the founding principles of our great Republic, inspired by the 9/12 Project, We The People, together, as individuals, through peaceful organization, unite as Americans first, with equal and inalienable rights and voice, to forever protect and defend, our liberties and our freedoms. We hold Government accountable to We The People, insuring fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, respecting and honoring The Constitution of the United States of America, The Bill of Rights and the rights of all individuals for equal opportunities. Bound by common values and principles, we vow to forever preserve, the land of the free and the home of the brave!►
I would like a little more input from others . . . I am not completely satisfied . . . partly because I think it evolved a little bit (not much) off the target. After this week's meeting I would like to start an "objectives" (or some other wording) blog/ forum to hone in on some of our specific issues and/or goals followed by (in the following week) something that points us in a direction as to how to achieve our goals.
Here is another question . . . at our meeting . . . do we want to have severla versions of our mission statement and allow the group to vote on which they like best? Wa could have severl on a page os dtatements and ask all in attendance to circle the one they like best and vote. The one getting the most votes is our mission statement. What are your thoughts?
I would still like to know what people think about my edit, based on Karen's original version:
"We The People of the 912 Project pledge to defend and protect our Republic and to affirm The Constitution of the United States and The Bill of Rights. We come together in peace to ensure and to protect our inalienable rights, our freedom and to secure the blessings of liberty."
Please understand that this is an edit of Karen's work, not my own thoughts. Personally, I would approach the mission statement from an entirely different mindset, but I recognize that it's got a lot going for it from this perspective, so I'm willing to roll with it.
For the record, I like Doug's last post. More than any other reason, in my opinion, we are in this group to hold government accountable, and that's currently missing from the mission statement. Perhaps it can be inferred, though. I'm not sure.
Regarding the statement, I'd hate to see it voted on in its current form. It could be much, much shorter, which will make it much, much stronger. Specific goals of the group can come later, in different documents, so the mission statement doesn't have to be an all-inclusive legal definition. It should be a bit vague, too, lest it become a twenty page essay.
Our concept isn't rocket science, and we can draw on a large body of precedents and allusions, which works to our advantage. It can be quite short and pithy, yet still say a lot.
Simply put, like-minded individuals and patriots will read into what we write, and they'll get it—we don't need to belabor the point.
Those who oppose the group will also read into it, and they'll label us as they want to...and they'll get it wrong no matter how long the statement is. They simply aren't interested.
Think of it this way. Rush Limbaugh is on the air five days a week for three hours. The left still labels him inappropriately. Is it because they don't understand what he's saying? No. If 20 years isn't enough, they'll never get it. The truth is, they don't want to get it, anymore than they will want to "get" our mission statement.
So...in every way that matters, we're preaching to the choir here, and an economy of words will better define who we are than a string of half-formed ideas.
As for the grammar, I think it needs to be absolutely correct, otherwise it comes off as amateur.
The left, by and large, is an educated group of people, and they will laugh at us if there are mistakes or bloopers in our mission statement. They might do that anyway, but why give them fodder? I know I would pick it apart if things were in the reverse...in fact, I did. I wrote a bi-weekly column on the bad grammar of the left, especially in their signs and important statements. The column was quite popular among supporters of our newspaper, and it evolved into my web site at http://www.grammercop.com It's become a nice sideline for me.
P.S. 'assure', 'insure' and 'ensure' are decidedly NOT synonyms. If you are of that opinion, then I should like to have a lengthier discussion on the subject.
Excellent dialog! Excellent collaboration! Thank you for moving the mission statement process along.
I know some of you are going to groan when you hear me say this, but we need to take time and value the process. I admire each one of you for taking on the work that was done through John's site and through the chat room. Excellent!!! None of what you have done is wasted or in vain. But we need to do this mission statement right. Thank you John and Karen for wanting to intentionally glean ideas from more people. Probably the most valuable statement I heard at the last meeting was "But I don't even know what our goals are!" Absolutely right!!! I am not sure we want to start with goals, but to follow up with John and Karen's comment, we need ideas from members. So, I am just throwing out a suggestion for framing the process for creating the mission statement.
1. At our next meeting and through in website, as people to share their vision of this group. What do members see as being most important about the future of this group?
2. Take those ideas and synthesize them into broader categorical statements. Such as "We believe all decisions made by our government should adhere to the values and principles of our Constitution." These could form our belief statements which would help guide us in our decision making.
3. From these belief statements or broad categorical statements, identify critical words, ideas and actions that globally address the collective vision of our group.
4. Write the mission statement.
5. Vote on the mission statement.
So, that is the process or framework that I'll share and those who want to be part of creating our mission statement can do with it what you want.
Until the mission statement is finished, voted on and implemented, we can use the belief statements as our guide.
I thank you for all that each of you have done!! I also thank you for making it an open and honest dialog. We hear so much about transparency and that is the one thing I do like about this site. Our communication is open, honest and there for everyone to read and feel as if they have equal access to the process. (There I go again!! Sorry!!) We just need to make it a bit more intentional and overt so people can join in the dialog and therefore, clarifying their ideas and also to have more ownership of the final product, what and why we are together.
Thanks, Earl! There are so many in our group like you who have so much expertise and insight! Thank you for your input! I do have a question for you. I am curious about communication with this site. Right now we seem to use this vehicle exclusively to communicate with members and within groups. What are your thoughts and observations? To share your responses, could you please do it through the "send a message" option? That seems to be the most reliable way for me to receive replies.