This election season was amazing in so many ways. Democrats outstripped Republicans in every conceivable metric: enthusiasm, volunteers, newly registered voters, money raised, new donors, seats won... and of course the crown jewel... the presidency.
Not only that, but the GOP is losing its favorite WMD, Word of Mass Destruction: LIBERAL
We're seeing a shift in the story being told about us and the story we're telling about ourselves-- and what it means to be liberal. From the Denver Post:
WASHINGTON — The political weapon cabinet might need restocking. "Liberal," it appears, isn't the lethal label it used to be.
And lets not forget weasels like Palin, Bachman, and Leiberman running from their own attacks on Obama:
That whole anti-American, friend-to-the-terrorists thing about President-elect Barack Obama? Never mind.
We did not just win. We fucking kicked ass. But it is not just as simple as winning elections.
Right now the Republicans are all sitting in their musty little dungeons asking what now.
But we won't always win elections. Remember how long we were out of power. Remember how Reagan's election kicked our ass. How Newt knocked our lights out. How close we came to losing all power in the 2000, 2002, 2004 elections. Remember that after 2001 they were crushing Dixie Chick CDS!
Why? Because we did not have progressive voices and power outside of our elected officials. When Republicans lost in 60s they put all their money and energy to telling the Conservative story. They built think tanks and invested money in talk radio. And they changed the story. They went from having their ass kicked, to dominating American politics for a generation.
They told their story, and we said nothing. They told our story and we said nothing.
Now is the time to kick it up a notch. We can't just win elections. We must win the war of ideas and values.
Again from the Denver Post...
Despite failing to wound those at whom it was thrown this year, "liberal" still isn't a positive word, said Robert Borosage, co-director of Campaign for America's Future, which calls itself "the strategy center for the progressive movement."
"I suspect that the heyday of using 'liberal' as an attack word is over," said George P. Lakoff, a University of California-Berkeley cognitive linguistics professor. "It has pretty much gone out of use, except by conservatives that are attacking people. "
How great is it to have an article about what it means to be 'liberal' and not have the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute trot out their talking points, but instead to have liberal telling their own story!
We need to fund progressive infrastructure so we can tell our own story!
Lakoff founded the now defunct Rockridge Nation which went under this past year......
The Rockridge Institutewas founded with a mission: to teach Americans about the role of values and framing in political debate, and to help progressives equalize the framing advantages enjoyed by conservatives.
Why did it go under? Because no one funded it.
The Progressive Funding Problem: The 1997 Covington Report observed that conservative foundations tend to give large, multi-year block grants to promote conservatism in general. By contrast, progressive foundations tend to give small grants for a short time over a short list of specific issue areas. This results in small nonprofits having to constantly spend a lot of time and effort raising money, and all too often failing to raise enough.
I submit to this community that if just 25,000 of us can raise over 2 million of such a short period, than imagine what we could do over a 4, 8, 10, 20, 50 year cycle.
Imagine if we had the the funds to tell our own story. Imagine being able to tell the truth about that horrible, filthy word:
DKos needs not only an Orange to Blue site, but a Think Blue site, and we need to start funding progressive infrastructure like..
Cognitive Policy Works
Campaign for America's Future
We need people like Lakoff and Borsage out there telling our story and telling their story for them. We need the Palins and the Liebermans of the world saying...
Liberal a bad word? Oh nevermind, not really. Am I conservative? Heavens no! No. No.