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Challenging the Conservatives: Let's Go Viral

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It is now time for progressives to shift the mission. While not
abandoning the work of talking amongst ourselves, we are now called
upon to challenge the conservatives.

We're to go after them at this auspicious time. It's more
auspicious now, when the evil spirits of the right are expressing
themselves in the pure negativism of opposition than when, during the
Bushite years, they possessed the levers of power. It's time to
call them to their senses, and call them to the better angels of their
nature. They are our countrymen; we are in the same boat as
they. The future for all of us depends upon their healing.

And it is time for us to make what, in another context, is called "an intervention."

Is it not the case that, until now, virtually no one on our side has
been talking to "other side"? Keith and Rachel and many others
have done good work in exposing the follies and evils of the right (and
continue to do so). But they are talking to US, their allies, not
to the people who are being led astray by Rush and Glenn and the rest
of the Republican/right-wing manipulators.

On my radio show in Virginia, I've been talking to THEM. And now,
after a period of time when I really struggled with the task, I feel a
sense of clarity and solidity in this mission of "Challenging the

I am finding myself drawn now, naturally, to writing messages that are
addressed to that right-wing audience. In another context, I'll
relate more about my own journey to reach this point. Here, my
purpose is to enlist you --you who also see the darkness, the peril, the
perpetual lying and fear-mongering--in this new campaign.

It's almost five years since I thought we should be launching a
"prophetic social movement" so that, by "skillfully speaking the moral
truth," we could enlist the good people on the right as "allies" in the
struggle against the evil that had seduced them. The trance state
proved more powerful and thus impenetrable than I expected. And
the mission became instead one of speaking amongst ourselves, keeping
the fire of moral truth burning amidst the immoral darkness then

But now the time has come to attack that darkness where it still lodges in the minds and hearts of our countrymen.

The task will not be easy; the change will not come
quickly. America will not be healed, however, without confronting
this darkness. Our politics cannot become healthy so long as a
third of Americans are under the sway of the hateful lies that the
powers of the right use to manipulate their followers.

Here's the strategy by which my small efforts --and those of
others--might become mighty enough to affect this battle of Good vs.
Evil in America in our times: THE STRATEGY IS TO MAKE THESE
can work this way:

1) Come up with constructive ways of challenging the followers of
the right. That's what I've been trying to do with my recent
writings (such as "Slaves to Ideology" at and "To the Good People
on the Right: This Is Not How You Deal With Disagreements in Your Own World, Is
, at").

2) All those people who read and see constructive possibilities in such
challenges can then use email to broadcast them out into the

3) These challenges can be composed and offered up by anyone.

4) The place where the rubber hits the road is in the Inbox of
conservatives that we know how to reach, and whom we judge appropriate
for us to challenge. (Appropriateness is a call everyone must
make on their own, whether to send such a thing to members of the
family and/or to friends and/or to neighbors.) So all of us would
make these judgments and send out these emails, in the belief that
--OVER TIME-- this effort will help bring us as Americans closer
together --with our politics not being a form of war, not being
dominated by the spirit of lies and fear-mongering--and will help bring
America out of the darkness.

5) In addition, making this process viral would mean
people --like you who are reading this--also sending these missives out
to people who are already allies, with the encouragement that they,
too, think about what conservatives they know how to reach, and whom
they judge to be appropriate to challenge in this way.

If all this is done with the highest conceivable level of success --if
this process goes completely viral out in the blogosphere--the result
could be that every follower of these right-wing manipulators who also
gets email will be challenged in these ways.

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. He is the author of various books including The Parable of the Tribes: The (more...)
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Since 2004 campaign I have seen how bloggers do no... by Margaret Bassett on Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009 at 3:42:50 PM
that a sort of cease fire may be brought about by ... by John Sanchez Jr. on Thursday, Oct 15, 2009 at 7:01:33 AM
I'm not sure how this "cease fire" gets brought ab... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Thursday, Oct 15, 2009 at 8:49:14 AM
since the most pressing problems we experience in ... by John Sanchez Jr. on Thursday, Oct 15, 2009 at 9:08:25 AM