We have read your “Declaration of Independence” with great interest. Certainly, it represents a considerable undertaking, and many of your statements do merit serious consideration. Unfortunately, the declaration as a whole fails to meet recently adopted specifications for proposals to the Crown, so we must return the document to you for further refinement. The questions that follow might assist you in your process of revision.
In your opening paragraph you use the phrase “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.” What are the laws? In what way are they the criteria on which you base your central arguments? Please document with citations from the recent literature.
In the same paragraph you refer to the “Opinions of Mankind.” Whose polling data are you using? Without specific evidence, it seems to us, the “Opinions of Mankind” are little more than that.
You hold certain truths to be “self-evident.” Could you please elaborate? If they are as evident as you claim, then it should not be difficult for you to locate the appropriate statistics.
“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” seem to be the goals of your proposal. These are not measurable goals. If you were to say that “among these is the ability to sustain an average life expectancy in 6 of the 13 colonies of at least 55 years, and to raise the average income of the colonists by 10 percent in the next 10 years,” these would be measurable goals. Please clarify your goal statements so that observable, unbiased results can be verified by an independent, disinterested evaluator.
You state that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.” Have you weighed this assertion against all the alternatives? Or is it predicated solely on the base instincts of adolescent populations, which frequently experience immature motivations of rebellion against the authority of their parent organizations?
Your description of the existing situation is quite extensive. Such a long list of grievances should precede the statement of goals, not follow it.
Your strategy for achieving your goals is not developed at all. You state that the colonies ought to be “Free and Independent States.” Who or what must change to achieve this objective? In what way must they change? How long will it take? What will constitute evidence that such change has indeed occurred?
More specifically, who among the signatories will be responsible for implementing your strategy? Who will constitute the advisory committee to represent the interests of the client population? Please submit an organizational chart listing the titles, roles, and functions of the personnel to be utilized and include copies of their vitae in an appropriately designated and separately bound appendix.
At the risk of belaboring the obvious, it is my duty to you to point out that you have failed to include an evaluation design, and you have not included a line item budget. We have been requiring both of these since Queen Anne's reign, and I confess I am surprised by their absence from your proposal, since any qualified consultant who specializes in preparing this type of proposal would certainly have apprised you of the essential nature of these two features.
Finally, what impact will your program have? Your failure to include any assessment of this inspires little confidence in the long-range prospects of your undertaking.
I do nevertheless wish to compliment you on your charming writing style and your gift for prose. Such talent is rare among colonists, and it seems to me that your academic inclinations are ill-suited to political endeavors. I urge you to reconsider how your talents might best be used. Should you, however, persist in submitting a revised proposal, I hope this critique will assist you in preparing a declaration that may receive serious consideration from the Crown.
With our very best wishes for continued success in your endeavors, I remain,
Very truly yours,
Rita M. Deyoe-Chiullan is Associate Professor of Elementary Education, East Texas State University, Metroplex Center, 2600 Motley Dr., Suite 100, Mesquite, TX 75150.