Old ways are deadSubmitted by laissez faire on Sun, 01/31/2010 - 13:50
As a high school project in the late 70s, I volunteered to work the phones and stuff envelopes for a mayoral candidate. Now, those old ways of spreading messages are dead and we shouldn't cling to them any longer.
Why don't we realize this? It was the RP run for president that transformed candidate fundraising after all. Groups are unnecessary when individuals have knowledge of their own direct access. Even the best advocacy groups like DownsizeDC aren't necessary if one would simply write their own personal messages to their congressional reps, and make personal calls as well.
Rallies serve their role to congeal and ignite the ignitable, but millions of independents see rallies as noise, dredging up unpleasant memories. We won't change who they are, we must try other methods.
Contributions to worthy candidates can and should be done individually. Whether volunteer or paid, local or national, the staffs of groups like C4L perform non-critical duties: email updates, press releases, research and support of candidates and issues, then more email updates for us, asking for money to being the cycle anew.
Even meet-ups can have neglible value, we have lived it, we know.
I appreciate those in the movement who are using new, individual, non-organized tactics. Writing comments under USA Today, WSJ, Washington Post articles is one method. Cogent, concise remarks that invite new thinking for the reader, recognizing that people love to buy on their own terms, they don't love 'being sold.'
Example: "We've put too much stock in the economist, John Maynard Keynes, who said we need to spend our way to prosperity. It's not working. Suppose the Austrian theory is right? Government should stick to what the Constitution said it should do, not more." When we make comments like this, it invites new thinking.
Politicians say making the sausage doesn't appeal to the electorate, yet how many of us here watched have watched C-Span clips of committee debates, floor votes, floor speeches.
The family and I are heading out now, much more to write, but the moral of the story is consider that effective participation in our democratic republic has changed and it's not changing back. Act as if forming a group, writing by-laws, electing officers and holding meetings matters less now than it used to. Because it does.