From The Vaults

Making Plans For A  “Small Group Of Thoughtful Committed Citizens” To Change OH-10

In response to my article outlining my Bock Scale of Republic Robustness (BSRR), Chet Bauch wrote an encouraging reply which started with this comment: “Hi MIKE: Your BSRR is dead nuts on. Problem: realistically people don’t have the time to participate in these activities, with the exception of a few.” This is my reply:

Chet, a small group — “the exception of a few” that you refer to — would make a huge impact if they were united in purpose and determination. The wise words attributed to Margret Mead comes to mind: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” The DaytonOS masthead hasn’t changed in eight years. It includes this question: “How to make a better world?”  Mead gives an answer — become a member of a group of thoughtful committed citizens.

The group of “thoughtful committed citizens” that I’m imagining is: “The Fellowship Of Those Who Dare To Understand (TWDU).”

I like the notion of fellowship, friendship. Polarized partisans can still enjoy friendship and fellowship when they are united by a connector of more importance than politics. A commitment to family or to religion usually takes precedence over politics.  My thought is that TWDU fellowship would be a diverse group representing all points of view. The connector for the diverse members of TWDU would be a commitment to change the world by increasing theirs and the public’s understanding of the world in which they live. Part of each member’s commitment would be to do the work needed to understand each other and each other’s point of view.

My thought is that the initial goal of TWDU should be to change our congressional district, OH-10. If enough citizens in OH-10 could act as group, a deliberative democracy, to bring about a big boost in theirs and the public’s understanding of issues and politics, then OH-10 would be changed. It’s all about motivation. A big goal — if it seems feasible — can be very motivating.  The notion of changing OH-10 would be very motivating to a lot of citizens, particularly if there is shown a positive vision of what such change would look like.

A good question: To change OH-10, what would it take? How many citizens would be required? My conclusion is that 1% would be more than enough, and with the right plan, engaging 1% in a close-knit group is feasible. In OH-10, 1% of registered voters amounts to 5000 citizens — about 10 in each precinct. The idea would be for this group to use the latest technology to act as an online deliberative democracy — deciding the priorities and actions of the group. The notion of networking large numbers of individuals as voting members in a direct democracy would be motivating.

Thanks for your encouragement. Several months ago, I declared that I was putting together a plan and I’ve yet to deliver. It’s been a challenge but I’m still thinking through a five year project — based on generating the motivation and the leadership needed to establish a network of TWDU fellowships throughout OH-10.


2 comments to Making Plans For A  “Small Group Of Thoughtful Committed Citizens” To Change OH-10

  • Chet Bauch

    HI MIKE: You can’t win if you don’t enter the race and try your best. So, again, you’re dead nuts on. I’ll help you if I can.
    Regards, CHET

  • Mike Bock

    Thanks Chet. I appreciate your encouragement.

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