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Chicago, November 8, 2002
We’ve had a few days to lick our wounds now, so let’s get over that and get cracking. One of the things the right wing does very successfully is to take a licking and come back kicking. We can learn from that. We have to.
When I became politically active two years ago, for the first time in my life at the age of 56, my significant other of (at that time) 23 years took me to task. “Who are you,” he asked, “to second-guess the Democratic leadership? They’ve been doing this all their lives. They know what they’re doing.” On the morning of Tuesday, November 6, 2002, when he got out of bed, I reminded him, oh so gently ;-) of what he had said. Because in the campaign leading up to the election held the day before, the Democratic Party leadership failed us, its core constituencies, utterly and totally and completely.
This is not the first time I’ve been right and the experts have been wrong about something. In fact, it happens pretty often. And you know what, I’m tired of being a Cassandra. I’m tired of saying, “I told you so.” Very tired of it.
So I’m telling you right now, and this time I want you to listen to me. Here’s what we must do. These are not things it would be nice to do maybe sometime in the future IF we get the resources or WHEN things go our way. These are things we must do and we must do now.
1. We must develop our own message and be proud to deliver it.
Mike Malloy, on his show yesterday (you can listen via the Internet at i.e.america radio), kept saying over and over again that he is a “liberal.” Not a progressive but a LIBERAL. It’s what we are, and the word has only become a pejorative because we let that happen. One of these days I’d like to see some signs at a protest rally that say “I’m liberal, and I’m proud!” Look up the word in the dictionary or in a thesaurus, and you will be proud to call yourself liberal.
Here’s the PoliticalStrikes.com rendition of what the word means:
I’m working with friends who have access to people who are going to fund a research organization that will help us develop our message on various issues and get that message out to ordinary folks as well as people in the media and in government. I will be working with this organization, and one of my goals will be to help develop a cadre of people trained to go on talk shows and break through the rhetorical tricks used by right wingers to defuse and diffuse our message.
Another goal will be to develop antidotes for the poison pills that conservatives use to marginalize and demoralize us, and the lies they tell about us and about our issues. We learned in the presidential campaign of 2000, as BuzzFlash.com put it, that a charge unanswered is a charge that sticks.
You can help by spreading the message to friends, family, and co-workers. Don’t let right-wing bullies put you down or shut you up. Don’t let them control your behavior by calling you hysterical or hateful or unpatriotic or any of the other epithets they use to keep you from saying what you believe. We must make much more use of the phrase, “HOW DARE YOU?” When right-wingers put us down by assuming and implying that we are shiftless bums and godless freaks, if not the spawn of Satan himself, we must lash back. They are bullies, and you can’t fight bullies with reason. You can’t fight them by being Mr. Nice Guy. So no more Mr. Nice Guy.
2. We must develop channels to deliver our message.
The same friends I’m working with on the research organization are developing a network for “underserved audiences,” meaning the 272 million people who do not listen to Rush Limbaugh or any of his clones. My friends have one radio talk show host under contract at the moment, and are very close to placing him on a major radio network.
You can help by listening to talk shows and watching television programs that reflect our point of view. Thank the stations and the networks that are brave enough to put on those shows. Get broadband Internet access and listen to unconservative talk shows on the Internet. There are many fine hosts available at the Unconservative Listening page of MakeThemAccountable.com. Continue to visit and support financially the websites that tell you what the corporate media will not. Support Democrats.com and BuzzFlash.com and Citizens for Legitimate Government and MoveOn.org and VoterMarch.org and many of the other fine websites that “tell it like it is,” as we used to say in the Sixties.
3. We must fund organizations and publications that support our point of view.
I’ve asked and asked and asked you to support Buy Back Our Government, but very few people have signed up. If you’re not sure what the organization stands for, go to the website and read up. It’s going to be an important vehicle for funding our causes.
Sign up. Now. If you can’t afford $10 per month to save democracy, then maybe democracy isn’t worth saving.
4. We must continue our activist projects.
Who is this jerk Frost, from Texas, who wants to be minority leader of the House, to say that Tuesday’s election means the DEMOCRATS MUST MOVE MORE TO THE RIGHT???!!!! Join the efforts of MoveOn.org and Democrats.com to mount a call-in and fax-in campaign to elect Nancy Pelosi instead. The Democratic Party needs to move away from its faux Republican stances on taxes and global, never-ending war. It needs to move toward helping ordinary people live dignified and comfortable lives.
We can make a difference. There wouldn’t have been nearly as many votes against giving George Bush carte blanche in Iraq if we hadn’t mounted a campaign against it.
Quick work, friends:
Pelosi Secures Democrat Leadership
Fri, Nov 08, 2002
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California secured victory in the race for House Democratic leader on Friday when her only formal rival conceded defeat and offered an endorsement.
Pelosi, 62, a liberal who represents San Francisco in Congress, will become the first woman to lead either party in either House of Congress when she is formally elected next week to replace Rep. Richard Gephardt...
5. We must, each of us individually, and all of us collectively, do what we can to get the message out.
I do sincerely hope that all of you will join me in this effort. Remember, the incredible hugeness and beauty of the Grand Canyon was formed by drops of water. Lots and lots of drops of water. Be a drop of water. For the cause.
All that’s at stake is decency, goodness, honor, liberty. A few things like that.