Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Marching Orders 

It's coming to be that time when personal decisions have to be made about how to best spend our finite funds and energy for the cause, time to give ourselves our own marching orders.

My posts have been fewer recently, in part because of computer problems, apparently kharmic in nature, but also because I've been doing some on the ground organizing.

My own new marching orders will center on the blog and providing information and encouragement to readers; I plan to do some posts that will be essentially compact talking points for use by anyone who knows anyone who could do with some persuading to vote, and to choose Kerry and a Democratic congress.

Bill Scher at Liberal Oasis has a great example of what I'm talking about. The key to being an effective informal advocate is to have done some thinking about what kind information voters you know are most in need of, and have some of it ready at hand, both for purpose of discussion, email follow-ups, or printed out on a single page. That was part of what I was doing, preparing training materials for use by grass roots election workers who will be getting out the vote in their own African-American and Latino neighborhoods, the emphasis being on creating real enthusiasm for voting based on issues before election day

My belief that speaking up on a daily basis whenever an opportunity presents itself, with family, with friends, with colleagues, at the laundramat, standing in line at a supermarket, can make a real difference is based on years of experience that I can trace all the way back to my teenaged years, when the North Carolina student sit-ins at lunch counters inspired me to organize some of my friends, aided by our parents, to start an informational picket line in front of Woolworths, which was a ubiquitous chain of five-and-dimes, in whose southern stores African-Americans could shop, but not sit at a counter and order so much as a cup of coffee. We not only generated thousands of protest letters vowing not to shop at the chain until Woolworth's southern policy was changed, other picket lines were spun off in front of other Woolworths. (see also, RDF's lovely post below on the subject of going after the slacker vote

Herewith, some suggestions for putting funds and energy to work.

Cursor is having a pledge drive; yes it comes at an awkward time with so many important campaigns to contribute to, but Cursor needs the funds to continue its own invaluable work, providing a one stop liberal/left information center, and don't forget their work on media transparency, or the recent invaluable addition to the site, "Derelection, 2004" keyed to campaign coverage.
The site has raised more than half of what it needs to keep going through next January; if enough of us take the time to contribute as little as twenty-five bucks, even as little as five or ten bucks, an invaluable resource stays in business.

"DRIVING VOTES" is a dandy website that makes it easy to get organized to register voters in those battleground states. (courtesy of Steve Monohan)
Registering voters in swing states is the single most effective way to defeat Bush. Driving Votes provides you with everything you need to register voters in swing states. Get your friends together for a road trip for democracy.

Registration deadlines are coming up! Take a trip before thedeadline, and then stay tuned to find out how you can help Driving Votes make sure that on November 2nd, everybody votes.
This is one of the best organizational sites I've seen; lots of practical information. Some of you may live close enough to one of the swing states to make it a day trip, or a weekend one. But even if you can't, take a look at the site, and then consider giving it a bit of your financial support.

Isebrand.com, is a terrific site for an up-to-date take on relevant-to-the-election news stories, and in general, the site has an activist bent. In particular, take the Isenbrand e-pamphlets; short, pointed, documented and suitable for email tranmission to friends and family, each pamphlet supplies quick talking points on a single subject. Useful in themselves, they also serve as a sample of how to be your own walking media center.Also, recently received at the Corrente building, an email from Scott Isenbrand that spoke to the issue of Kerry's record as a public servant, which the media, echoing the Bush campaign, has treated as if it is something Kerry is trying to hide from the public. I can't find a link for it on the site, but it is too good not to share, so I'm reproducing it here.

John Kerry's Record as a public servant
*John Kerry put 100,000 new cops on America’s streets, and was credited by President Clinton for his efforts.
*John Kerry put behind bars "one of Massachusetts’ most notorious gangsters, the number two organized crime figure in New England."
*John Kerry wrote The New War years before 9/11 happened. It is an in-depth study of America's national security in the 21st Century.
*John Kerry is the ranking Democrat on the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee.
*John Kerry is a leading expert on North Korea.
*John Kerry wrote the first bill in American history reducing acid rain.
*John Kerry repeatedly led the charge in protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling.
*John Kerry passed legislation that shut down money laundering activities of terrorists and drug traffickers.
*John Kerry orchestrated the settlement with tobacco companies ending marketing to children and teenagers.
*John Kerry fought against Newt Gingrich’s anti-labor and anti-environmental regulatory reform.
*John Kerry fought to raise the minimum wage.
*John Kerry worked to shut down wasteful corporate subsidies.
*John Kerry has served 19 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
*John Kerry was chairman of the Senate’s Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs and with John McCain negotiated an agreement with Vietnam to provide a full accounting for POW/MIAs.
John Kerry’s military record: http://www.johnkerry.com/about/john_kerry/service_timeline.html
President Clinton Praised Kerry for Putting 100,000 COPS on the Street – “When we tried to get past six years of talking tough on crime but nothing happening, rhetoric and rhetoric and rhetoric and no action, to put 100,000 police on the street, to ban deadly assault weapons to pass the Brady bill, the other side, [the Republicans] led the fight against it. But John Kerry helped us pass the toughest, smartest, best crime bill this country has seen in many a day, and the crime rate has gone down for four years in a row. John Kerry was on the right side of history.” [Public Papers of the President: Fall River, MA; 8/28/96]
U.S. Senator Zell Miller, Democratic Party of Georgia Jefferson Jackson Dinner 2001.
"My job tonight is an easy one: to present to you one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders--and a good friend. In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington. Early in his Senate career in 1986, John signed on to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Bill, and he fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so. John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment."
Even Dr. Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader Says Kerry’s Global AIDS Legislation is a “Huge Step Forward”: “’The Kerry-Frist bill is a huge step forward,” said [current Majority Leader Bill] Frist. “It further validates U.S. leadership in the global effort to end devastation many countries face in the fight against HIV/AIDS’.” [Office of Senator Frist, press release 7/12/02]

Most importantly - don't get discouraged. The SCLM is clearly in the tank for Bush; they can't seem to help themselves. The conventional wisdom is that Bush is solidly ahead, and constant skepticism that there is really anything Kerry can do to catch up. Don't listen. The polls this year are all over the place. There are indications that Democratic efforts to register voters in battleground states have been more successful than anticipated. Even among those voters who are leaning toward Bush, there are real doubts about the direction of the country. Even in several polls where Bush leads Kerry overall, a large majority, over eighty percent, in fact, do not want Bush's next four years to resemble his first four years. And don't take that as an indication that Senator Kerry has been a "bad" candidate,else why hasn't he been able to capatalize on that desire for change. We have yet to see precisely what kind of a candidate he has turned out to be. And if you don't believe me, remember these marching comments from the estimable Digby; they're the best prophylactic against despair I can think of for all who hope to live a Bush-free next four years; you'll find them here, and here, and here and here, which will take you, with almost perfect symmetry, right back to Liberal Oasis. Go see, you'll be glad you did.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


copyright 2003-2010

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?