I have been taking a much closer look at notable documents written around the time of the American Revolution, like Common Sense and The Federalist Papers. At the same time, I’ve been exploring the books, articles, people, and institutions that have contributed to my own political education, and therefore my own political philosophy and identity.
My most recent batch of reading and research has made me wonder: If I were to write my own political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet today, what would it look like? And who would I want to read it?
What about you? If you were to write your own political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet today, what would it say? And who would you want to read it?
This week I’m offering a writing prompt that I will complete myself and share in a separate post later on. Subscribe to see what I share. And feel free to write your own and share it too.
Writing Prompt: Write your own political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet.
Here are some questions I’ll be answering as I complete this writing prompt.
- What is your current political philosophy?
- What has contributed to your current political education and or philosophy? [For some insight into how I’ve answered this question so far: What has contributed to your political education and identity? And Understanding Political Identities. And other Questions. ]
- Why do you believe in this political philosophy?
- If you were to recite this political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet in front of a group of people, where would you be and whose faces would you likely see in your audience?
- What might people who disagree with your political philosophy say? Would you be interested in persuading them? Would you be able to address any contradictions or gaps within your political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet?
- Would you feel comfortable reciting your political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet to your grandmother or mother? To your children or grandchildren?
- Would someone from a different generation than you be able to understand your political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet as well as someone from your own generation?
- What notable or well-known individuals would you want to read and engage with your political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet?
- What call to action will be included in your political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet?
- What is the main purpose of your political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet? To inspire, to educate, to incite, to encourage, to unite…? Would you follow the call to action in your own political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet if someone else were reciting it to you?
Today it’s easy to share political views and comments on social media and blogs without considering who we’re actually talking to or attempting to reach in the real world.
Political views and opinions are often hastily shared in social media comments full of typos, sent off into the void of cyberspace so that disgruntled trolls can respond with rude or irrelevant comments. At least, that’s how it seems most of the time. So, some people who have meaningful things to say check out and refrain from engaging in conversations online, even when they truly care about the world they’re living in and have something valuable to say. Why? If you’re reading this, chances are that you know why.
More often than not, there’s not much critical thinking or self-reflection involved when people share their political opinions and beliefs with others online. They seem more consumed with being the first to say something that they think is witty, or something that they think has the “gotcha” factor. And honestly, these tactics are becoming predictable and boring, and offer no genuine value to important conversations about politics that need to be occurring right now. And they certainly don’t offer sincere and respectful debate and discussion of differing views which are seldom, if ever, encouraged anymore.
But asking questions like those above, and carefully weighing one’s own political philosophy via a written political manifesto, treatise, or pamphlet could be a step in a better more meaningful direction.
Stay tuned for my completed writing prompt. And feel free to share your completed writing prompt too.
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