We pledge to recognize the varied interests, values, and concerns of all Americans. We recognize that each of us has grown up in different places, at different times, and that those differences impact the way each of us thinks and acts. Consequently, even as we ask that you keep an open mind, we can’t realistically expect that everyone will be able to keep an open mind on every issue. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. If you can’t keep an open mind on an issue, then we respect that decision as well.
We pledge to be as evenhanded, objective, clear, and reasonable as possible in the process of gathering facts and making conclusions. We will not carry water for any political class or position, nor will we allow ourselves to be used for political, economic, social, or religious disinformation. We pledge to simplify when possible, but we will not dumb down complex problems. Because an opinion is contrasted by another opinion does not presume that both are equally valid. In seeking the truth, we ask that everyone set aside his or her ego as much as is humanly possible and realize that none of us will be right about everything. Most importantly, WE MEANS ME.
We pledge to be who we are, as we expect you to be who you are. All of us are unique. Your value is not in what you have, what you know, who you know, or what you have done. Money, fame, and power are vanities that are here today and gone tomorrow. Character which demonstrates common cause, inner purpose, and compassion to others, is what will bring meaningful contentment to life.
We pledge to treat everyone as we would like to be treated, realizing we will fail at times.
We pledge to look for the silver lining as we knowingly look at the challenges. It is very easy to fall into pessimism and cynicism when one is faced with extreme challenges. We can’t be naïve about what we face, but neither can we give up. As John Kennedy said about landing on the moon, “We don’t go to the moon because it’s easy, but rather because it is hard.”
Fear and anger are fruits that prevent us from properly understanding reality. They make us susceptible to the manipulation of others and they keep us in a constant state of unease that makes for a miserable existence. A little righteous indignation at times is appropriate. But used too much, it becomes self-righteous indignation, which makes us less approachable, and further reinforces the fear and the anger. The antidote to that anger is finding inner peace.
John Lennon wrote those words in his song Beautiful Boy. We realize you are busy living your life. With bills to pay, children to raise, friends and family to take care of, you simply don’t have the time to study every possible nuance of every issue. It is our goal to quantify our level of confidence in our positions by explaining the majority and minority views on a given issue. We may be caught up in the tides of historic change, but we understand someone still has to take out the garbage.
We pledge to be as consistent as we can be. But some issues will challenge more than one of our beliefs or values and put those in opposition to each other. When this occurs we all will have to rely on our own sense of what is true or what takes precedence. Also, since we aren’t perfect, we will no doubt be inconsistent at times without realizing it.
We pledge to use or abuse; beg, borrow, or steal; any idea, song, concept, program, policy, book, quote, that enables us to convey on an intellectual and emotional level what we intend to communicate. We do not claim to have anything original in what we offer and welcome any changes or additions that enhance our message.
We pledge to not take ourselves too seriously as we ask you to do the same. We will laugh at ourselves, as we laugh at the powers that be. One day, when enough people realize that the “Emperors” have no clothes on, then the game will be over. Humor is not only one of the simple pleasures of life; it is one of the most powerful tools to vanquish the powerful. The powerful don’t care if they are hated or feared. They do care if they are disrespected or ignored. Laughter tears down the edifice of power because it demonstrates that the war for the hearts and minds of the people has been lost.