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View Diary: Where Are The Activists? I'm Only Getting Petition-Signing Emails (86 comments)

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  •  Not 'counselling despair', naming the 'stuck spot' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Ray Pensador, willyr

    I didn't read you as 'counseling despair', MB, and I apologize if I gave that impression.  What you are doing (imo) is 'naming the stuck spot'.  (And I see that between you comment and mine, an 'issue' has inserted itself, just to remind both of us of issues-thinking's ubiquitous persistence.  Cute.)

    'If you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you've always gotten' -- a bit of wisdom from the originators of NeuroLinguistic Programming, back in the day.  NLP originated as a way of doing therapeutic intervention, and when a client/patient got to the point of repeating the 'stuck spot' verbiage, was to ask:  'What can you do differently?'  This is the question that I see Ray asking in his work.

    In NLP therapy, the response to 'What can you do differently?' is brainstorming.  So I'm going to toss out a couple of broad, not-thought-out-yet ideas.  And I'm going to focus on

    The missing element in all those years? Critical mass.
    I'm going to begin with a broad claim:  That many, many Americans, regardless of their political orientation, want Good Governance.  I'm going to posit (as a thought experiment) that 70% of Americans share similar basic notions of what Good Governance is.  

    I'm deriving this loose 70% from the fact that, in general, the Coalition of the Far Right Wing Positions comes out to between 2-%-30% in polls (unless an issue is being highly publicized, when those number sometimes go up to the 40's).  Ovefr and over again through the years, I have seen well-supported front-page reporting here on various issues, in which support for the Not-Far-Right position reaches into the 70% (often 62%-73%, with lows among the 40's).

    Why, look:  a Critical Mass.  Sharing  concepts of Good Governance at a rate of 50%-70% of All Americans, not just leftists.  Planks.  (Suggested Initial Action Step:  Survey dKos sites for this reporting for last two presidential cycles, including two-year elections and 'issues moments' like background checks.  Compile results into preliminary platform.)

    Another broad concept, and one which would make the above suggestion into an effective tool, is to build tools that would empower citizens to work toward turning these broadly-held Ideas of Good Governance into political realities.  Going into ideas about this tool-building  now would make this already-long comment way too long, and I'k like to think them through more.  But one thing would be absolutely essential, once a suggested preliminary platform has been derived from The 70% Ideas of Good Governance:

    We, as The People, must insist that the Democratic party must commit to not just a 50-state strategy, but to a 435-district strategy (if that's the right number; 437?).  The Democratic party must commit to a Good Governance platform, derived from the Will of The People (as expressed in valid polls).  The Democratic party must also commit to raising up 'Good Governance' candidates in every single congressional district, yea, even unto the god-forgotten wastes of IN-09.  And the Democratic party must commit to raising up Good Governance candidates for each and every district in every state.

    Why states?  Because ALEC.  And because of stealth-legislation (possibly non-ALEC, but strongly GOP) such the bills in 3-4 states under which food-stamp users will be required to buy only from a list of (GOP) government-approved foods.  (And here, in the states, you will find much latitude for issues-voters to) have at it.

    Why do I say 'raised up' candidates?  Because I mean exactly that.  If I were Queen (and in this thought-experiment I am), I would establish that the Democratic party raise up candidates who are NOT part of the existing political structure, not 'on the bench' as it were.  From whence would I draw candidates?  From Teachers -- especially those who fought for their union rights and lost their jobs.  From Nurses, because nurses are great.  From mid-range union folks who have exercised leadership -- not from the executive levels, but from among the leaders of workers, who do the gruntwork to keep the union going.

    What I would be asking the Democratic party to do, at the state level, is to reach way up into their soft and goopy parts, grab hard, and pull --  turning themselves inside out.  They may not be willing to do this.  But this is one place where The People can use Their Power:  The People can bring their own candidates to the party and say:  we'll vote for them.  (Action step, distributed among states & their subdivisions:  Research requirements for raising up candidates to self-declare; make procedures available online;  consider house-party (and other) venues for discussion of Good Governance, wherein suggested candidates may arise.  And oh, goody:  Petitions!)

    I'm going to sop soon, I promise, after just a few more notes, tossed out.  

    -- ALEC should be battled at the state-legislature level; this would require researching the online databases of their legislative plan, identifying which of their laws have been passed or introduced, who introduced and/or voted for them and using that information as a --yes, I'll say it -- at a litmus test for candidates.

    -- Candidates for Congress/Senate must swear/pledge to take certain actions immediately:  (1) to rescind all existing Campaign Finance laws and replace them with a Fair Campaign Finance law, under which any and all monetary donations are channeled into one general fund, which is equally distributed among candidates; (2) to overturn the Citizens United decision by amending the Constitution say that a 'person' is defined as a 'living, breathing human being'.

    And here's a note for you all, as you begin organizing, whether you use my ideas or not.  You're going to need women.  In particular, you're going to need women of the ages of, say, 40 and upward.  Why?  Women in general-- because we think differently than men,  not having the y-chromosome-generated brain damages that prevents males from thinking wholisitcally.  Women 'of a certain age'?  Because we now how to get work done.  Individually, and in groups, we know how to discern multiple simultaneous critical paths and take the actions steps to get them done.  There are many other aspects of Women's Brains that will be vital if the goal is a Unified Whole composed of many parts that work together smoothly.  So you will have to work at including them.  And you will have to L.I.S.T.E.N to them, and incorporate their ideas.  (I know; I understand.  But Suck It Up.)

    Finally, in closing:  MB (if you're still reading this), there's another way dKos can support " intersectional action" for Good Governance.  In addition to reviewing past articles for the 'Good Governance Ideas', you (all) can take a look at the silo-ization of dKos' 'Groups' function (as kos said you all were planning, anyway) to see which Groups are acting (on various issues) in ways that result in effective action.  If several groups are working on aspects of one issue, they should be brought together (not 'merged', but brought together to meet & discuss online).  And any groups which have developed Effective Means for coordinated action (whatever the issue) should be asked to outline the how-tos of how they do their work.

    Okay, I'm done.  I'm not going to proofread, so my apologies for typos etc.  There are dishes to be done today, and trash to be carried out.

    And PS:  please consider this whole post to be notes scratched on the back of a paper placemat at the diner, over coffee; not a formal presentation, but a think-piece.

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