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The "America First" Pledge

I am envious of Grover Norquist. First, he's named after a Sesame Street character, and how cool is that? Second, he controls the votes of hundreds of legislators and through them has his fingers on the throat of America. And all because of a simple pledge he concocted in the '80s.

The idea of tying politician's hands by getting them to sign pledges is an appealing one, as the growing number of pledges attests. So I want to create my own pledge and get politicians to sign it as well. Here's what I’m considering:

The "America First" Pledge I,______________, pledge to my constituents and the American people that I will:

1. put the welfare of the United States and her citizens ahead of partisan bickering, political gerrymandering, and personal gain;

2. value empirically verifiable facts over political propaganda, rational discourse over politically expedient demagoguery, sound science over cultural bias, and well-documented facts over well-spun lies; and

3. uphold these two promises even at the cost of my status within my party, my party's status within the nation, and my own reelection.

Signature: _________________________

Date: _________________________

Witness: _________________________

Witness: _________________________

If you like this pledge, or want to tweak it to make it better (but not longer), let me know. And if you have any idea how to promote this pledge to make it as ubiquitous as Mr. Norquist’s, please share your wisdom in the comments below.

Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. In the print version of our magazine, he has an advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addressing reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art. Rabbi Rami hosts our podcast, “Essential Conversations.”

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