Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Bulletin

We've already established that MySpace is a double edged sword, but let's talk about bulletins. Namely the few and far between that are worth reading.

The following is a bulletin reposted by an artist I admire a lot, Mr. Chet Zar. Though the original author of the bulletin is obviously of left wing alignment, ignore that. In my limited knowledge of the world, I've gained the sneaking suspicion that political parties just fuck things up more than they already are. That is why I invite you to read something I found intriguing, and form YOUR OWN OPINION rather than jumping on your own favored bandwagon (a woman who called me brainwashed before I offered a single opinion during a train ride home almost a year ago comes to mind). So come on, think outside the TV shaped box now and then. I'd like some input on this. Whether I hate it or love it is unknown to you, and also irrelevant. Agree or disagree, here it is.


MoveOn's Plan to Win Congress, One Vote at a Time
An Opportunity for Change

Our country is headed in the wrong direction, but this fall is the best opportunity we've had in several years to turn it around.

It's a dark time. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer; the deficit is through the roof; the climate is warming but our energy policy has been written by oil companies; our basic democratic traditions, from the 4th amendment to the separation of powers, are under attack; we're spending billions each month on an occupation that's killed thousands without making us any safer.

Our body politic has been wounded, and as long as right-wing Republicans control all three branches of government, we can't even stop the bleeding. MoveOn members have voted to pursue clean energy, universal health care and democracy restored as our core positive agenda. But this kind of progress is difficult to imagine as long as Republicans maintain their lock on power in DC.

That's why our goal is to win control of Congress, so we can begin moving forward on the issues that matter.

The Outlook for November

That won't happen overnight. But this fall, we have a chance to take a big step forward, to win a bunch of seats or even take the House entirely.

Why are we so optimistic?

Public frustration with the mess in Washington rose this winter to historic levels, and has been largely stable since then. The Republican Party is split over civil liberties and immigration. Polls show disapproval with Congress is higher than it's been since 1994, when Republicans first swept to power. The number of competitive congressional races has jumped in the last year, and Democrats' advantage in Congressional polls is as great as the lead Republicans enjoyed in 1994.

In this context, it's possible to imagine a tipping point election where Democrats sweep into power, just as Republicans did 12 years ago. In fact, experts say it's increasingly likely.

(Of course, simply electing Democrats won't solve our nation's problems, but once we've helped get Democrats into office, we'll push hard to make sure they live up to their promises and fight for progressive causes.)

Voter Turnout Is the Key

It can happen. Whether it will depends in part on what we do.

This election will be all about turnout. Congressional elections generally have much lower turnout than presidential elections, and pollsters expect this fall to have even lower turnout than usual. In this context, the winner will be the side that turns out its base.

Getting people to vote can be as simple as getting in touch with them, reminding them what's at stake in the election, and making sure they know where to vote. But to do this, you need people. Person-to-person contact by energetic volunteers is far better than direct mail, computer-generated "robo-calls" or TV ads.

The good news is, we have people—3 million motivated MoveOn members from coast to coast. If we can tap into this enormous well of potential energy, we can get enough voters to the polls to help defeat the Republicans.

The Plan

Our plan is to organize the largest grassroots phonebank in nation through Operation Democracy, MoveOn's network of local volunteer leaders. Between now and Election Day, MoveOn members from New York to New Iberia will make over 5 million phone calls into 30 highly competitive congressional districts plus selected Senate races . We'll use cutting-edge technology to connect volunteers with progressive voters who might not otherwise vote. We'll talk to enough people to change the outcome in some of these very tight races.

At the beginning of the program, we're going to use a new technique to increase the efficiency of our calls. We'll call voters in target districts and ask them a few questions. Based on their answers—and some high powered statistics—we'll be able to tell who is likely to be progressive and who isn't.

In October, MoveOn volunteers will call millions of these targeted progressive voters to talk about the importance of the upcoming election. Then, in the 4 days before the election, we'll go back to these voters to remind them about the election and make sure they know where to vote. And finally, on Election Day, we'll make sure they get to the polls.

And the best part is, this works. We tested this method in the April special election in California's 50th district. The result: our calls had a greater impact, per voter, than any volunteer phonebank ever measured! And we'll continue to use experimentation and technology to increase our effectiveness.

The key is to make lots of calls. We'll need 50,000 MoveOn members, making over 5 million calls from home, from phone parties, and from MoveOn offices. If we can do this, we'll make contact repeatedly with over 20,000 voters in each of our 30 target districts.

We can't get that many people involved by email alone. That's why we're deploying 100 skilled field organizers around the country. They'll help volunteer leaders in their area recruit MoveOn members to join in as Phone Volunteers, and then support those Phone Volunteers throughout the campaign.

Our efforts alone would be enough to swing a number of close races to Democrats. But fortunately, we're not alone—some of our most important allies are also working hard to make sure progressives vote (and, where possible, we'll be coordinating our work). On November 7th, these efforts will help Democrats win a bunch of seats--or even take the House entirely.

But this doesn't end in November. That's why, even as we get voters to the polls this fall, we'll be building for the long term. By the end of the campaign, we'll have a vibrant progressive infrastructure in cities from coast to coast that can focus on holding the new Congress accountable, electing more progressives, and winning change from the ground up.


Anonymous said...

We're in a time that we cannot afford to be complacant.


Your job is to follow the Commander in Chief. My job is to monitor the Commander in Chief.

jentard said...

i was looking at your archives. can't believe you've been in the army for almost 2 years now...crazy. it was good to have you home, even if you don't remember all of it!!

S said...

So maybe I missed the point of this post, but are you telling me, yet more people are going to start assaulting me with unsolicited phonecalls?! There is nothing that makes me less likely to support something than unwelcome harassment to do so. I feel dirty just reading that. Bath!