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Society of Statesmen Curriculum

Professor of Oratory
American University


Dr. Joseph Arminio  


Society of Statesmen


The simulated goal of the apprentices (henceforth “Members,” see below) is nothing less than the rescue of the nation as a whole, government and economy.  Towards these ends, federal government expenditures must be restored to historically sustainable levels and federal government policies must enable the revival of vigorous economic growth.  This is not only an arithmetic, budgetary exercise, but also a creative policy exercise, involving foreign policy, which drives defense expenditure, and domestic policies, which affect economic growth.  The Apprenticeship divides into three segments, and totals upwards of 4 or 5 hours.

 SEGMENT ONE—The Briefing

      “Civil Servant” (Dr. Joe Arminio*, Dean of Faculty, Society of Statesmen) briefs “Members” of Congress (students) about …

1)       the baseline of salient public policy since 1776.

2)       the essentials of the federal budget today, that is, five or six major components of the budget, expressed as a share of GDP, such as interest payment on the debt

(courtesy of Congressman Paul Ryan’s Road Map)

3)      the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) projection of these components, out to 2035.

 SEGMENT TWO—“Caucus” Activity

      “Members” coalesce around policy positions.

      “Civil Servant” will do his best to answer any questions during this segment, perhaps via email.

 SEGMENT THREE—Debate and Divide “On The Floor”

      “Members” reassemble.

      “Civil Servant” serves as facts and figures resource during the discussion.

      “The Press” (Doreen Finkle**, CEO, Campus Tea Parties, and Hostess, Campus Tea Parties BlogTalkRadio) probes “Members” when appropriate and serves as a time keeper.

 Where and when does the Apprenticeship take place?

  • The schedule is episodic and the participants determine it.
  • Ten participants in “one” Apprenticeship, is the goal.
  • Ideally, everything is done in person.
  • Typically, the briefing occurs (privately) in an online classroom.  Question period is built in.
  • “Members” can be drawn from a single club or several clubs on campus, or from multiple campuses.
  • Action “On The Floor” can occur in a private setting or via Campus Tea Parties’ national radio platform, Youth for Independent Radio.
  • Campus Tea Parties also has its own television station and thus “Floor” Action could conceivably be shown on television.
  • Any “Member” or “Caucus” has the option of being interviewed on Campus Tea Parties’ Youth for Independent Radio, separate from the formal discussion and debate of the Apprenticeship.  Such an interview could precede a formal discussion and debate, or occur afterwards.

 Will there be more than one Apprenticeship?

  • There may be multiple apprenticeships; some will involve high school students and some will involve college students.
  • Some participants may want to appear in a subsequent Apprenticeship, as well.

 What about the political persuasion of the participants?

  • The Apprenticeship is open to Republicans (including Libertarians), Democrats and Independents; the best Apprenticeship(s) will surely feature a mix of persuasions.
  • An Apprenticeship can be conducted within a single club, e.g., College Democrats on campus.
  • “Civil Servant” represents a 501(c)3, non-partisan education organization.  He will argue neither for nor against particular legislation and policies.  His mission is to convey relevant history and information, not arguments.  (He is a registered Republican, however, and ran for the US House as a Republican. More to the point, he might be described as a “Jeffersonian.”)
  • “The Press” also represents a 501(c)3, non-partisan education organization.

 Will either Society of Statesmen or Campus Tea Parties, endorse or oppose the position(s) of the “Members.”

  • No.

 Will the “Members” endorse or oppose specific legislation?

  • No.  The discussion pertains to policy.

 What are the details of an online briefing?

  • More than likely, ooVoo will be the platform, which can accommodate up to 12 live participants.

 Is foreknowledge of policy required?

  • No.

 Is it possible to receive college (or high school) credit for the Apprenticeship?

  • Yes.  Those who would like credit would make such a request of the relevant Department Chair or Dean.
  • The Apprenticeship can easily be expanded, if necessary, to accommodate requirements for one or more credits.
  • If a participant would like course credit, and if it would be necessary to expand the Apprenticeship as a consequence, then special arrangements would have to be made with the Society, in addition to the relevant Department(s).  Significantly large scholarships are available

 Is there a cost, besides time, to participate in the Apprenticeship, as is?

  • No.***  It is cordially requested, however, that each participant (a) make a donation of any size to the Society of Statesmen and (b) write a testimonial.  (Please mail a check to the Society HQ:  4201 Cathedral Ave, NW, 308 West, Washington, DC 20016.  All donations are tax-deductible.)

 How to register?

  • Please contact the Society via either seminar@sos1776.org or 202.621.7071.  An individual or a club may register.  It is preferred, for administrative purposes, that an individual have his or her own group or club undertake the registration.  Be sure that the phone number, email address and name of the school, of each participating individual is supplied.
  • All information is confidential and shall not be shared with other organizations, unless expressed consent is given.

 *To learn more about Dr. Arminio, please see, “About” Page, at www.sos1776.org.

**To read about Mrs. Doreen Finkle, go to www.campusteaparties.com.

 ***It is assumed that all long-distance communications, including the online briefing, are cost-free.  Phone conferencing is free, for sure.  ooVoo is also free but a superior platform may be used.  It is therefore conceivable that an incidental communications cost may apply.


1 Comment

  1. Profile photo of Caroljeen says:

    great article

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