You Can Win A Free WAR, INC DVD-- And Support The Election Of What The GOP Calls "The Most Liberal Candidate In America"
The first time I saw John Cusack's brilliant film, War, Inc., I immediately thought it would be a powerful statement for Democratic candidates to use in their campaigns. A none-too-subtle, albeit uproariously funny, exposé on the corporatization of war-- the ultimate in war profiteering-- my hope was that candidates would see it as a tool to engage in a discussion of the tragedy of Iraq. I asked John if Blue America could offer a screening to any of our candidates and he was as enthusiastic as I was. Most of the candidates I approached liked the idea but thought it would work best if John came along. John has been filming in China and he wasn't available to shuttle between congressional districts but the candidate who showed the most enthusiasm, predictably, was the one who has spent years and years fighting war profiteering in real life, Florida's Alan Grayson.
Alan would have loved to have put Cusack's celebrity to work for him as well as anyone, but he immediately understood the value of War, Inc as a powerful organizing tool. He took the screener, rented a movie theater in Orlando's Fashion Square Mall and held two standing room only "teach-ins"-- basically opportunities to see the otherwise unreleased movie followed by discussions of the war and of the corporatization of government functions. Cusack on Meet the Bloggers last week:
This morning Alan explained why War, Inc is such an important movie and why he was so happy to use it in his campaign:
A political campaign is all about mobilizing the support of people who feel the same way that you do. You can do it with a speech, a symbol, a policy statement, an ad, and now... a movie.
Because I've fought war profiteers for years now, I recognize that the war effort in Iraq has been mangled by corrupt government contractors who care only about making a buck. I can say that to people myself, but John Cusack has done something better than that-- he has shown it to people, in his movie War, Inc. It is the "Catch 22" of the 21st Century, showing how thoroughly perverted war becomes when it is "privatized."
John graciously allowed us to show this film in a movie theatre in Orlando, as part of our race for Congress. And it was a major event. Certainly, no one in Central Florida had ever had a campaign event like this before. It was promoted and reviewed by our daily newspaper, and in other media. We packed the house. We raised money for the campaign. And most importantly, we brought together and mobilized people who are, shall we say, not too happy about the war in Iraq, and want to do something about it.
Political campaigns are constantly changing. Howard Dean introduced political campaigning to the Internet. Barack Obama showed how to fund a national campaign through small donations, without PAC money. And now John Cusack has shown how a film, a creative work of art, can be a means of recruitment, fundraising, solidarity, entertainment and learning in a campaign. Thank you, John.
Last week the movie was released as a DVD and DownWithTyranny has a dozen to give away to the first 12 donors who make a contribution of at least $30 to Alan Grayson's campaign at the Blue America ActBlue page.