We have witnessed a sustained, "institutional-style" Republican assault on America for the last thirty-plus years. It is "institutional" because it is not tied to one person. Ronald Reagan came and went; ditto for Newt Gingrich; Tom DeLay; two Bushes and the same will be true for the right wing talkers. Fox will be there regardless of the people on the screen. Like Wall Street, these elements will always be there, not dependent on one personality. The right wing has a natural advantage, since it speaks for and advances the corporate agenda; it is funded by global multinationals. The Koch Brothers and their spawn will perpetuate themselves indefinitely.
Since we launched The Norman Goldman Show on September 8, 2009, a few things have become apparent. One is that people are no longer content with talk, they want action! I also have come to feel this way; it is, after all, important to speak out, but it is vitally important to act to save America from a bad fate that many of us see looming.
Thus, we have launched a four-part plan to act to save America.
1) One is simple but very important: Encourage people to run for office. Now, this is not for everyone, but we need to find people, from the pool of us, who can enter the political realm and displace these career politicians who have screwed up everything.
2) The second thing is to have a radio home for whistle blowers; a place where people with knowledge of scandals and wrongdoing (public and private) can leak documents and information to expose scandals. This is a "WikiLeaks for radio" and can be accessed by sending e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org and putting "Radio Leaks" in the subject line. As I said on the radio, I will do my level best to protect the leakers; it helps being a lawyer! Using software like TOR or I2P, people can hide their identities, if they so choose, and leak anonymously. Or, people can use Internet cafes and public libraries (make sure not to leave your real name) to send material. I will fight all lawsuits and subpoenas and gather up other lawyers to fight efforts to discover identities of leakers, of course at no charge. I will claim the journalist privilege and while I cannot guarantee anonymity, if the whistle blowers take steps to hide their identities, I can help as well.
3) The third thing is to use state ballot initiatives to put our agenda before the people. I am tired of waiting on Washington. Something like 24 states have citizen initiative provisions; we should turn the tables on Karl Rove and put our agenda on state ballots - just like Rove did to swell turnout in the 2004 election, with "ban gay marriage" initiatives.
4) The fourth thing is the most ambitious but perhaps most vital: To create or find a quarterback to knit together the progressive infrastructure and get a coordinated message out in the public. Raising money to place billboards by highways ("Tax Fairness Balances The Budget" and "Outsourcing is a Job Killer - Bring The Jobs Home") and running TV and radio commercials constantly (not just at election time) to issue advocate, not candidate advocate, would counter "The American Crossroads" campaign of Karl Rove and his corporate sponsors. We would need an Obama-style base of small donors, plus a group of middle and larger donors to sustain the effort for years to come. I am talking about a constant, relentless effort here - not a one-shot deal. Patience is a virtue.
The group would draw on the disparate pieces already in existence and coordinate them for maximum effect: Placing people on the talking head shows; getting Op-Eds in papers; putting out research for progressives to use and perhaps most important of all, getting a common group of two-word sound bites (like "tax fairness") and pounding away at them just as the right wing has done "the death tax" and "job killing tax hikes".
It has taken the right wing, corporate boys a long time to build their infrastructure. The Koch Brothers funded The American Enterprise Institute; "Freedom Works"; "Americans for Prosperity" and other front groups. We are not starting from scratch - many of the progressive groups exist already; what is needed is a coordinating hand, to work collaboratively with all and get us all singing from the same hymnal.
This will require a broad consensus as to our plan. Internal squabbles are suicide. The right wing has it easy: "Tax cuts" and "no regulation" is what they all agree on. They keep it simple and direct. We need to do likewise.
We need our own "American Crossroads" and have it double as not just media buyer but progressive-group coordinator and coalesce on a simple group of broadly popular economic populist points that will re-define "the center" and attract people regardless of labels and party affiliation. Tax fairness; a balanced budget (by waging war on corporate welfare; waste, fraud and abuse, especially in the Pentagon budget and war profiteering) and creating American jobs by attacking outsourcing and making green technology here, are good places to start.
After the debacle of the 1964 Barry Goldwater election, and the ascension of Ronald Reagan, the right wing has almost completely achieved their long term, relentlessly-focused goals: they have a five member working group on the Supreme Court and they have propagandized the American people so well and so thoroughly that we are all now playing on their turf. They have set the terms of the debate through use of language (curse you, Frank Luntz and bless you, George Lakoff!) and manipulation of symbols (Constitution, American flag and Bible, anyone?). Next up for them is the end of Social Security and Medicare. If we don't do what needs to be done, it will be game over. The end is almost near.
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