These would be pictures and quotes designed to be shared on Facebook, like the one above. They have proved very helpful in proliferating the message on behalf of a person or a cause. So, I have been endeavoring to put my talents to use in this way.
And with some success. I have created a handful for some candidate campaigns who I support. Sometimes out of the goodness of my heart and sympathy for the cause, and sometimes they're kind enough to compensate me for my talents.
I decided to create and submit one to The Four 2012 campaign, an umbrella group dedicated to fighting for marriage equality in the four states, Maine, Maryland , Minnesota and Washington where the issue will be on the ballot this fall.
When I contemplated what to create, my mind went to a man who has long been a hero to me: Bruce Springsteen.
In 2009, apparently without any prompting from LGBT advocacy groups Bruce Springsteen posted on his website an endorsement of the marriage equality bill the New Jersey legislature was considering:
Like many of you who live in New Jersey, I've been following the progress of the marriage-equality legislation currently being considered in Trenton. I've long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples and fully agree with Governor Corzine when he writes that, "The marriage-equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is -- a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law." I couldn't agree more with that statement and urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now.This was the basis for the graphic I built. I went to The Boss, because I sometimes feel the LGBT orgs over-rely on "usual suspects" of celebrity LGBT advocacy.
Don't get me wrong. I totally love me some Madonna, Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton and Kathy Griffin. Everyday I thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for sending them to Earth to care for me and my people. And they've had a huge effect.
But there is the reality they speak to a particular crowd, and not one where the LGBT community is especially lacking support. Homophobes attending Lady Gaga concerts and Kathy Griffin shows I'm sure are like black people at a Tea Party rallies. I am sure it occurs but not very often.
So, I wanted to focus on someone who might have been a little more surprising, and a quote and moment that shouldn't be forgotten.
Springsteen's career has largely focused on telling the stories of the ordinary, blue collar, working man. He speaks for sort of people whose dreams are not as grand and expansive, but rather more within reach but sometimes thwarted by a imperfect system. And he does it very well, and it has earned him a lot of creditability and respect with that audience. You know, the one some folks might call "real Americans."
I didn't want his statement of support for marriage equality to quietly fade into history. It was a generous and important gift he bequeathed on the LGBT community.
So I created the share graphic.
And the very cool thing, that's making me feel very mission accomplishy, is it appears it getting a lot earned media.
(Continues after the fold.)
Apparently, it caught the eye of someone at USA Today and they fashioned a story around the quote, revisiting the episode from 2009, and about TheFour campaign.
The quote is actually one that Springsteen cited from then-New Jersey governor Jon Corzine in 2009, when the singer endorsed a bill pending in his home state's legislature. Scott Wooledge, who says in his Twitter profile that he's a feature writer for the liberal blog Daily Kos, submitted the Springsteen image and text to The Four 2012.
The organization reached out to Springsteen's people and heard no objections, said Ryan Davis, one of the group's co-founders. Newark Mayor Cory Booker retweeted the Springsteen image today, with a message: "Yes, Bruce truly Rocks!"
And now, it's on Huffington Post, always good for a viral push.
I particularly love that Springsteen is on "our side," (progressives) and always has been. A troll on Facebook said he liked Springsteen back in "Born in the USA" days but not anymore. But in reality, he never really liked Springsteen, he just didn't know who he was.
Conservatives want very badly to appropriate Springsteen, and they try. Running for office Ronald Reagan used "Born in the USA" for a while at rallies until The Boss told him to stop (Reagan did). Bruce knew conservative suck and wanted no part in helping one get votes. You know who can play Springsteen at political rallies? Obama for America.
Just today in fact, according to Obama For America North Carolina chapter on Twitter:
The chorus of "Born in the USA" gives the impression of the sort of facile "let's all wave our 'We're #1!' foam fingers" faux-patriotism.
Alas, conservatives are too stupid to listen carefully to the lyrics and realize the song repudiates rather than affirms their political views. "Born in the USA" rails against careless, thoughtless wars and the shameful treatment that all too often is the experience of our millitary servicemembers and Veterans. The faux-patriotism is used ironically, as an indictment.
Conservative didn't get that then, they don't get it now.
Bruce Springsteen has ALWAYS stood with the little guy against the tyranny of the majority, and against the oppression and exploitation the conservative loons rally around.
His support for gay rights is just another facet of that. It's called having integrity and intellectual consistency.
The marriage equality movement stands on the precipice of a watershed moment in history. As our dear leader Markos pointed out polling shows for the first time we have a very real opportunity to win any—or even all—of these initiatives.
We're ahead, but polls will tighten up as they always do. Opponents haven't yet fully fired up the Fear and Hate Machine 2012™.
So anything you can do to push this over the finish line is appreciated. This would include but not limited to:
- Polling your friends and family. Find out how they are planning to vote. Explain marriage equality hurts no one and just provides equal protection under the law. The longest marriage equality state, Massachusetts, since 2006, actually has the lowest divorce rate in the nation.
- Donate of course. All the campaigns need money to get their message on the air and stay there. Here's the Daily Kos ActBlue page where you can donate to all four, three, two or just one.
- Click here to share the graphic above on Facebook. If you're on Twitter you can always retweet Cory Booker.
Go to it and let's rock it out for the whole coalition in November 2012. Like the Boss says, "we take care of our own," and that would mean everyone, not just 47%.
Update: Corrected, per Mindara. I confused my Springsteen/GOP president dust-ups. Springsteen has clashed with a handful of Republican presidents over the years. Freeper heads exploded in 2003 when he was alleged to have called for George W. Bush's impeachement over the Iraq War.
GOP? The Boss is just not that into you and your values.