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Defining Hope and Change With Laser-Like Focus on Congress

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How the Nader/Gonzalez Campaign Plans to Give People the Power to Decide 

The Nader/Gonzalez campaign came together in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club on Election Night to celebrate a campaign that accomplished a lot over the past year and mark the end of another Anybody but Bush election with details on what the people should do next under an Obama Administration.

What was accomplished?

Ralph Nader was on more ballots than ever before (45 states), and he was the lead “vote getter” out of all third party candidates on the ballot.

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The campaign “took a stand by documenting empirically the tyranny and autocracy”of the two party system. This stand involved heightening the American people’s awareness of how liberals and progressives routinely engage in political bigotry during each presidential election.

But, it was more than a campaign to expose the fake populism of the Democratic Party. It was also a campaign that took a stand for 100 million poor people, 1 million Iraqis killed thus far, millions of Afghanis killed thus far, and hundreds of thousands of Americans who cannot afford health insurance who have died or will get sick and not be treated. And let’s not forget people who buy drug prescriptions, oil, and use credit cards, small farmers, and peace advocates.

The campaign stood for them by making the campaign about “17 major redirections” that were backed by a majority of the people. However, because we live in “a country where people who agree with [a presidential candidate] on 17 major ways feel they can’t for [that candidate] because of the two party ultimatum that only one or the other can win,” the American people never were energized or organized into tiny movements to advance these redirections and propel this campaign past single digit percentages in the polls.

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Nader/Gonzalez took on local issues, which is often considered an anathema to the two most prominent parties in America. In doing so, the campaign attracted press to issues, which gave communities greater power to achieve goals or defeat objectives on key issues that would greatly affect the future of those in the community.

The campaign attacked the high levels of apathy and powerlessness across this nation that was a result of the past eight years; it went after the climate of fear and defensiveness that made Americans only want to vote anybody but Bush. And the campaign empowered people so they would stop asking, “What is left for the American people to decide?” and instead get to work making it possible for Americans to have some part in the decision-making process, to have some choice in this society.

I was a proud member of this campaign, and when I say proud, I don’t say it to be arrogant. (This isn’t like I’m a proud American so forget you if you’re from a country that’s not the “greatest nation on Earth.” I say it with the same meaning that Obama supporters mean when they say they are proud to have organized, volunteered, and canvassed for the now first black president in the history of America.)

Where I do my writing, I have taped up on the wall these “17 redirections” which include: single payer health care, ending corporate personhood, cracking down on corporate tax avoidance, shifting taxes, ensuring a living wage, enacting a worker’s bill of rights, repealing the PATRIOT Act, reforming elections, investing in clean energy, reversing U.S. foreign policy which promotes wars of aggression and violations of international law, etc.

I have put this up on the wall to remind me on a daily basis that this is what I want an Obama Administration and his supporters to fight for and not because I want to see these solutions employed but because a majority want to see these solutions employed.

Knowing what I am fighting for---defining hope and change---will give me the civic personality to not be discouraged and demoralized as I fight hard each day but second guess myself and wonder if these solutions will ever be implemented.

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I suggest that other Obama supporters not hesitate to fill the vacuum that Obama created so he could tactically and strategically achieve victory in the election. Do not be afraid of messing up hope and change by emphasizing the importance of real facts or issues (and that includes not being afraid of confronting Obama’s record in the Senate).

Progressives and liberals in this country now have no more excuses. The Obama landslide victory means that whining about Republicans must come to an end and focus on pushing Democrats to enact progressive or liberal policies must begin.

The Nader/Gonzalez campaign and its small group of supporters and dedicate volunteers who stood up to the major political parties and corporate supremacists that support them have been envisioning this moment ever since the campaign began.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com

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