You and I have some power. Sure we may not be world leaders, and sometimes it feels like our only voice comes during election time.
But we really do have power. And I am asking you to use it.
The message has to be sent to BOTH Democrats and Republicans that this election was about specific memes and issues. Obama won partly because of what Obama (and most Democrats) stood for and Romney lost partly because of what Romney (and most Republicans) stood for. The specific values and issues that made President Obama a more appealing candidate for America than Romney need to become a clear message to all politicians about what most Americans want.
We can drive these messages home. Seriously, we CAN make these messages unforgettable for both parties. Join be below for a tour of key themes that made a difference and how you and I can carry them forward into 2013 and beyond.
MESSAGE 1: KEEP YOUR MITTENS OFF BIG BIRD!
The Republicans hit MANY sour notes this year. I should note that NONE of them were new, but somehow they were particularly obvious about them this year and Americans realized more than ever that Republican "values" are seriously at odds with American values.
This in a very visceral way was driven home by Romney's "Kill Big Bird" meme. This is not unique to him. Almost ALL Republicans want to kill Big Bird. Romney was just stupid enough to put it in terms everyone could understand. And people did NOT like it. I said at the time and I stand by it...whatever mistakes Obama did or did not make in the first debate, the long term take home message was that Republicans wanted to kill Big Bird and Sesame Street. Well America LOVES Sesame Street and many of us grew up on it. And study after study shows that Sesame Street improves school performance. So there is no real downside to supporting it! Yet Republicans want to kill it. Well America said Hell No to that.
Well, let's remember DEMOCRATS know the value of Big Bird and Sesame Street:
Of course Fox News and Muppets have NOT gotten along:
And Big Bird teaches us that bullying (like Romney was known for) is not a good thing:
But the REAL reason America loves Sesame Street is that it ROCKS:
MESSAGE 2: DON'T PUT WOMEN IN BINDERS!
Okay. I really think this item should be bought all over America and should become this holiday season's top selling item. I am not selling it and I don't know who is, but if it became a top selling item this year, it would send one hell of a message to Republicans who want to put women in binders...and who apologize for rape, of all things! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??? Show everyone you won't be kept in a binder.
Women won big this year, though the playing field is still far, far from even. New Hampshire led the way more than anywhere else this year, with now every major top office in New Hampshire filled by women.
But I think the thing we can best do to show Democrats and Republicans that women's rights is NOT something you fuck with, is to support Planned Parenthood. For millions of women, Planned Parenthood represents the kinds of freedoms over their own bodies that Republicans are so hostile to. I have a friend who is a major fundraiser for Planned Parenthood and he tells me the Komen fiasco sent people flocking to him in droves to support Planned Parenthood. That is wonderful. But that needs to be sustained. Republicans have to learn that you mess with women's rights at severe peril, and I think strong and lasting support of Planned Parenthood right now sends that message loud and clear. Let's give Planned Parenthood some of their best fundraising EVER from now into 2013.
MESSAGE 3: LGBT IS ALL AMERICAN
Republicans and many Blue Dog Democrats tell us LGBT is a losing issue. Well that was decisively disproved last night. LGBT rights won big last night complete with pro-marriage equality initiatives doing respectably and our first openly gay Senator, Tammy Baldwin, elected (let's remember many in-the-closet gay Republican Senators have been elected before, but to the detriment of LGBT rights).
For the first time in a national election LGBT rights came off about as mainstream as you can get. Almost boring. Which is fucking HUGE progress. It SHOULD be boring. Marriage equality should be along the lines of "well of COURSE it is okay." And this election took us that much closer.
I think it's time the Human Rights Campaign became as mainstream and powerful as any lobbying organization like LCV, NOW, NAACP, NRA, whatever. Let's just stop thinking this is going to hurt us and let's do the right thing. Support the Human Rights Campaign.
MESSAGE 4: THE 99%!
This was all about the 99% pushing back against the attacks from the 1%. They have the money but we have the numbers...by far!
First off, I want to invite everyone to join me in participating in Kiva.org's micro loan program, specifically for ]
US">US businesses. What better way to "=US">invest in America than through Kiva.org? I have been investing through Kiva for several years now. It is an amazingly good feeling. My 8 year old son is now doing it as well and loves it. Please join us.
Second, let's remember that the big bucks the 1% get mostly come from us!!!! Yes, how you and I spend our money can often support the very attacks the 1% make against us. For example, the Koch Brothers own Gergia Pacific paper goods, so when you purchase the following products you are actually funding the Koch brother's attacks on YOURSELF.
So boycott these Koch Brothers products:
Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
Vanity fair napkins
Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes
No one on dKos should ever purchase these items because they support the very people we are fighting.
Of course beyond this moving your money can further take your money away from the 1% who attack you and your rights.
I also want to focus on unions. This last few years have seen a huge Republican attack on unions. Of course unions are the foundation of working and middle class America. The backlash has to really SLAM Republicans on this issue.
I have two suggestions. The first and most obvious is to get involved with your local AFL-CIO chapter. I would LOVE to see the Republican attacks on unions become as good a union recruiting tool as Komen's attack on Planned Parenthood became for Planned Parenthood.
But I also have been plugging for some time doing political pushback in the four states Republicans spearheaded their anti-union efforts: Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. We have to make sure the backlash against the Republican anti-union efforts in these four states continues and continues big time. Back in 2010 and 2011 I pushed hard to support political efforts to fight Republican anti-union efforts in all four states through this Act Blue Page. Let's keep that fight going into 2013 and beyond. If they consistently lose big in these four states (and they have been!) after pushing their agenda so hard, MAYBE they will start realizing that they can't attack America's unions with impunity. If nothing else it unites progressives and unions in a strong coalition.
ALL of these efforts are ways YOU can push back against the 1% and their efforts to subvert America's democracy.
MESSAGE 5: IT'S THE CLIMATE, STUPID!!!!
Mayor Bloomberg and Governer Chris Christie both helped drive this message home at the end of the campaign this year. Which puts these two moderate Republicans ahead of one of our big Senate winners this year, Heidi Heitkamp, who has leaned towards global warming denial. So we need to send a message to BOTH parties that NOW is the time to focus on global warming. Actually 20 years ago was, but better now than waiting even another year.
There are three ways you can help here (well, MANY ways, but three big ones).
First off, help create the market for green energy. This is one of the most important things you can do ever. My wife and I have been buying all wind power (in reality creating credits for building new wind generating capabilities) for about a decade. You can join us by finding a green energy option in your state.
Second, support scientific organizations that are pushing political solutions to global warming. Two such organizations are the Union of Concerned Scientists and, more recently, National Center for Science Education (which started out focusing on teaching of evolution). These two organizations are slowly educating politicians on climate change. I am hoping Heitkamp gets a visit from them soon.
Finally, there is one organization that I think is really kick ass...it helps Native Americans heat their homes with solar energy. This is critical for poor communities with problems heating their homes in cold winters, AND it supports our solar industry all in one action. The organization is Trees, Water, People through their Tribal Renewable Energy Program. This is a wonderful way to support alternative energy while helping Native Americans, one of America's most neglected communities.
So let's spend the next few months driving home the lessons of this election. If thousands of people participate in some of the above actions, it WILL be noticed!