THIS COUNTRY NEEDS YOU NOW-- LIKE REALLY NEEDS YOU! ACT NOW OR WE'RE ALL GONNA GET BOEHNED
I doubt anyone who reads DWT even semi-annually, let alone semi-regularly needs any impetus to go to the mat to rid the country of the scourge of Republican rubber stamp fascism. But for anyone just wandering onto the site, perhaps to see the naked picture of that Republican male prostitute or to see the CSN&Y video, let me give you what my grandpa used to call a little zetz, which I think is like a jolt. The crooked corporate whore who took over from DeLay, John Boehner, told the Moonie Times today that if the Republicans win the Congress in November they will privatize (i.e.- abolish) Social Security. "If I'm around in a leadership role come January, we're going to get serious about this."
One of my oldest friends, Helen, just sent me an e-mail. I won't go in to the long paragraphs about her trip to Milwaukee (including a dissertation on bratwurst and beer and the way people talk up there). "Politics are worse than ever. If the Dems don't take Congress back we're doomed. BushCo will pursue its wish list with a vengeance and we'll be in WW III. Are you coming in for Ned Lamont? The Rolling Stone has a great cover story totally bashing Lieberman-- I perused it at the book store."
Who are the Dems who need to take back Congress? Corporate whores Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel? Individual, financially strapped candidates spread around the country? Or all of us. Helen's dad, Henry, was an inspiration for me when I was a teenager. I didn't always agree with him-- I was all for Alexander Dubcek's Prague Spring in 1968 and he was still stickin' with the Russians-- but he was the only parent of any of my friends worth talking politics with. And Helen is my truest bluest friend, both in terms of being a great pal and in terms of being a dyed-in-the-wool progressive.
Helen lives up in the northern part of New York's 19th congressional district, currently held by right wing rubber stamp Sue Kelly. Helen is one of my only close friends who actually lives where there are Republicans in power. The GOP doesn't even bother to field candidates in my own district (although I did see one house in the neighborhood with a BushCheney sign once). . But is Helen volunteering to work for one of the 6 progressive Democrats running against Kelly? Nope. And I keep asking her to; she calls it "guilt tripping." But if we don't do, who will? Really. Who? It's not going to happen by itself. These fascist are very motivated. They've become richer and richer and richer under Bush and his rubber stamp Congress. If people don't rise up and fight back... well, we certainly won't have any right to complain.
What can you do? You can volunteer for someone running for office. You can run for office. You can engage your friends and family and colleagues in reasonable discussion of the issues (after reading David Sirota's HOSTILE TAKEOVER, of course). You can write letters to the local newspapers. You can donate to a candidate. Every Saturday we do a live blog session with a Democrat (a progressive one, of course; never a corporate shill) running for Congress. Join us over at Firedoglake at 2PM East Coast time. We've raised $140,000 so far, mostly in $5 and $10 and $20 contributions from people as concerned for the future of our country as Helen. I've stopped counting the number of men and women who have told me they wished they could contribute more than $5 but that was all their Social Security check allows them. I've stopped counting. But I've never stopped crying.
Hating Bush and wishing for the Republicans to lose are not enough. Get involved.
UPDATE: A NEW TOOL FOR GRASSROOTS PROGRESSIVES
Today was the national launch of DMTV-- Do More Than Vote, a project to make it easy for people to locally volunteer their time, regardless of how much or how little time they have. DMTV is an easy-to-use menu of local volunteer
opportunities. Each action (e.g., "Work a phonebank" or "Take a bus trip to Pennsylvania") is a reliable, opportunity, with a the name, phone number and/or email of the coordinating organization for the volunteer to contact.
Additionally, DMTV reaches beyond the web: making it easy to print fliers (to connect to less web-savvy volunteers), and offering a telephone hotline (for volunteers who need extra help).
The Drinking Liberally folks started this in NY in 2004 out of frustration with how non-grassroots the Kerry campaign was, a typically atrocious Insider campaign almost exclusively focused on fundraising. DMTV is starting to go national now, having already added San Francisco and Philadelphia. They're looking for feedback and suggestions and help in spreading everywhere. The goal is simple:
to make it easy for people to volunteer by collecting & promoting events from reliable grassroots groups without making potential volunteers search around a lot of websites. They also seek to direct volunteers to organizations that will last beyond one election cycle. Please take a look at their website: www.domorethanvote.org/