Important update! (To skip the context and get to the good stuff, look for the ⭐️’s)
Over the past 10 years since I got home from my mission in 2014, I’ve had dozens of people tell me, “I’d like to get more informed and involved with politics, but I don’t know where to start. What advice do you have?”
I tried to write a post on my blog with some advice, but after writing and re-writing that post I realized I’ve never found a good single place to start that I could fully recommend to everybody. Every resource was either too much content for some, or not enough content for others. There simply wasn’t a comprehensive, one-size-fits-all resource that I could send to any person who asked for this advice.
From 2014-2019, I primarily provided people with a massive book list and said, “Here, just read these 20 books and you’ll be ready to ‘get started’ with politics.” Obviously that was too overwhelming for people. Too much reading for the average person and those books were often redundant, overlapping on several key concepts. Some books are so good at summarizing basic principles but aren’t very easy for the average person to apply to their daily lives.
I’ve talked with many of you about my “Basics” course that I’ve been slowly developing since about 2019. I came up with a rough outline pretty quickly but as I worked on developing the content of the lesson with the help of Bryson, Amanda, Lindsay, Carter, and a few other friends, I realized I had no idea how to develop a single course that was basic enough for busy people who just wanted core concepts, but deep enough for people who want to truly master these ideas and teach them in persuasive ways to others.
So I put that project on the shelf.
Over the past couple years, Tanner and I have been discussing the project and I think we’ve come up with the right outline and teaching methods. We also figured out how to define three different groups of people who will take the course:
UNDERSTAND – You’re a good person and you’re ready to become a good citizen. You want to know how to vote well and make sense of the crazy political world we live in. You’ve decided it’s time to step it up and develop your own foundation and framework of principles.
TEACH – Whether you are a high school teacher, a home-schooling mother, or just a cool person who wants to have great Thanksgiving conversations, you want to learn to represent important ideas correctly to relatively friendly, teachable audiences.
PERSUADE – Politics is complicated and issues are nuanced but you are up for the challenge. You intend to “go deep” and understand each side of the issues well enough to articulate and defend your ideas in a compelling, persuasive way to friendly and critical audiences.
Our comprehensive basics course will be called “The Fundamentals.” This course will eventually be sold through the American Center for Civic Training. We intend to eventually provide three different versions of the course, based on these three learner groups. We still need to figure out where to draw the lines between the basic/intermediate/advanced content that will be included in each version. To really know where those lines need to be drawn, we need to practice teaching the lessons. And that’s the reason for this post…
I’m looking for up to 80 people who want to participate in a series of one-on-one civic education trainings based on modules from our future course called “The Fundamentals”. I’ll be doing 8 rounds of trainings with 10 participants each round (one round for each of the 8 modules modules in the course).
I anticipate each cycle of training will be 1 hour/week for 1-2 months, depending on how deep each participant wants to go. The schedule is pretty flexible since I’ll be scheduling calls with each participant directly.
The first round of 10 participants will be taught Unit 1 Module 1, called “Natural Law”.
There is no charge for participating in the beta version of this course, but participants will need a $25/year subscription to our Liberty Library app and access to a small number of books.
In the future, the course will be taught online and to large groups of people. This is the ONLY time we plan to offer personalized one-on-one training on this content. Because the trainings are personalized, every participant will receive a unique experience. Only 10 people per module.
THE FUNDAMENTALS – Full Course Outline
Unit 1 – Our Nature
- Module 1: Natural Law
- Module 2: Human Nature
- Module 3: The Nature of Government
- Module 4: The Founders’ Political Spectrum
Unit 2 – Establishing Liberty
- Module 5: God’s Hand in Establishing Liberty
- Module 6: The Liberty Formula
- Module 7: Attacks on Liberty
- Module 8: A Vision for Our Future
To apply as a participant, click here.