CALL TO ACTION
The following social program is danger of being destroyed:
If you or someone you know have plans to grow old in this country, please go immediately to Frameshop for advice and motivation.
Failure to save Social Security will result in a rapid return to poverty and debt amongst the elderly in this country.
Failure to fight for Social Security will lead to the total dismantling of all remaining social programs and the destruction of health, welfare and environment for generations.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Frameshop is open.
[Typically, Frameshop is a place to discuss langauge and it's meaning. Today, it's a meeting space to discuss and launch a plan of action. --JF]
Plan of Action
Many able-bodied mechanics already stopped by Frameshop to help repair the Con phrase "Personal Retirement Account" (PRA). Feel free to take another look at that discussion, as it was helpful. Now we need to act. Here is my suggested plan:
- Flag problem words
- Craft a clear message
- Focus dKos diaries on message
- Launch message to press contacts
- Target message at government
- Amplify message to the public
- Follow up
Time frame: I suggest we think of this project as taking one week.
Currently, Ohio is dominating the diaries. That's understandable as a senior member of the House of Representatives (Conyers) is now leading an initiative on this subject.
By this time next week, let's make sure the diaries are tipped more towards talk of saving Social Security.
Getting the fight for Social Security into the press and the public eye will be Frameshop's holiday card to America.
Make no mistake: George W. Bush is going to use Christmas to sneak in a Social Security proposal. Let's make sure that everyone in this country is prepared.
1.Problem Word List
I suggest that we stick with this very short list of problem phrases:
- Personal Retirement Accounts
- Social Security in Crisis
All these phrases are based on the Con logic that good people manage their own money, while bad people need help from others.
This is wrong.
Progressive logic states that good people help each other by contributing to the well-being of community and by looking after those in need.
To save security we should:
- Stay calm (don't throw out the baby with the bathwater)
- Stop wreckless government borrowing
- Promote a culture of savings
- Invest in the US economy
2. Our Message
I suspect that many of you will choose to craft your own message. Frameshop mechanics are headstrong and independent.
Here's a starting point:
TO: Editor, Senator, Concerned Citizens
RE: Bush's War on Social Security
Ordinary Americans, weary of terrorism and a bad economy, now face a new threat: George W. Bush's war on Social Security.
They say a sucker is born every day. Don't be fooled.
Social Security is not in such an immediate crisis that it will soon collapse. The crisis is the attack on Social Security by George W. Bush.
Privatization will not "help" Social Security. Instead, it will cost taxpayers trillions. We should not dig ourselves deeper into debt to pay for George W. Bush's scheme to privatize Social Security.
Instead, we should strengthen Social Security by reducing our debt, promoting a culture of savings, and investing in US schools and businesses.
"Personal Retirement Accounts" will not help seniors live a better life.
Instead, they will force seniors to expose their hard-earned savings to the risks of predatory markets, heaping windfall profits on wealthy Republican donors.
Instead, we should manage government spending, reduce our national debt, and invest in our economy.
Say "No!" to George W. Bush's "Personal Retirement Account" proposal. A President who spends us into debt, then blames it on our seniors, should not be trusted to manage our future.
If Bush wins his war against Social Security it will bankrupt our children's future.
Insure this country's future; fight for Social Security .
3. Focus the dKos Diaries
My suggestion for diaries on this subject are as follows:
Monitor All Bush Language: The language in the War on Social Security may shift over the next few days/weeks. All eyes on the media. Let's split up. On average, we have at least 50 people who stop by Frameshop. IF everyone reads one or two sources, we should be able to keep track of the language. No need to post a huge , long analytical diary. Just flag the language as it's being used, where it's being used and what's wrong with it. Keep the phrase "Bush's War on Social Security" the focus of the postings.
Post LTEs and places to send them: We need everyone to pool their government and media contacts to get this message out. Many of you have good contact lists. Start posting diaries that direct people to the memo (above) and where/how to get them out. We need House Rep emails, friendly editors, and responsive reporters first. Next, we need to get this message to local community leaders. Your pastor or rabbi has email? Get it out.
Stay Positive: We want some of that energy in the Ohio protest for this effort. We need it. Don't write inflamatory diaries attackign other Kossacks in the name of saving Social Security. Be conciliatory. Try to attract one other person into this fight, then two, then five. A unififed dKos diary movement will be powerful. Remember out timeframe: by this time next week, we want this issue to dominate the diaries. It won't happen in five minutes. Give the Ohio fight it's space, too.
Sell, Don't Yell: The best way to get this message out is through patient, deliberate repetition of our message. Bullhorns won't work. The average age of most dKos diarists is probably around 25. To be heard by seniors, we must sound smart and passionate, not angry and rude. Be persistant during the Holidays.
4-6. Launch Message: Government, Press, Public
Ideally, we will get this message out to every single Democratic member of Congress, every single Democratic state rep, and every Democratic municipal rep. Next, we hit every sympathetic press outlet. I think our key target should be Keith Olberman.
After Olberman, we take it to the kitchen table.
Getting this in the public eye/ear will require personal email and taking an agenda into holiday conversations.
It's OK to lust for a Sony Playstation and still want to talk about saving Social Security. We are all human. But it's not OK to squander your holiday visit to your family by not spreading this message at the kitchen table. And it's not OK to spend all of your time at home hiding out in dKos. Take the message and spread it face-to-face.
Then, report back on every level of this work. My most productive diary work to date was at home during Thanksgiving.
7. Follow Up
We will regroup in a week to see how things are going.
Now get to work! I mean, "Please" get to work...
Update [2004-12-15 21:47:51 by Jeffrey Feldman]: A very helpful suggestion from Paul Rosenberg in the comments: