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take back america

By       Message Rob Kall     Permalink
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Take Back America

The biggest progressive gathering of its kind  in 20 years

by Rob Kall, OpEdNews.com

all photos by Rob Kall

"We have to have confidence in our dreams. We have to believe we can create a new world."  Dennis Kucinich

Report from the Conference to Take Back America, sponsored by the Campaign for America 's Future, June 4-6, 2003, Wash., DC  by Patrick Abegg

Wes Boyd       and Joan Blades        Carol Mosely Braun, Dennis Kucinich,  

          MoveOn   co founders            Dem Pres Cand.        Dem Pres Cand  

    Ellen Malcom        Howard Dean,           Arianna Huffington        Robert Reich

Head Emily's List     Dem Pres Cand.          Columnist                    frmr US labor Sec

The Conference to Take Back America  was an incredible event You could feel the energy bristling in the crowd. Over 1000 passionate progressive, liberals showed up, all of them  ready to go out and fight to win back the country from the lying, corrupt, Bush regime that has "put a for sale sign on our government," as John Kerry described.   This was not a local Washington DC event. Many people had come from Texas, California, Colorado-- the four corners of the nation. This showing of 1000 reportedly makes it the biggest gathering of progressives in at least 20 years.

And don't think that this was just about the 1000 people who showed up at the event. Wes Boyd and Joan Blades of MoveON represent over 1.4 million Americans and over 2,000,000 people world-wide. John Sweeny, president of the AFL-CIO represents 13 million union members and their 40 million family members. A good number of other union heads (AFSCME, Hotel, Sheet metal, steel, transport,) with members in the millions also attended. Deb Callahan, president of the League of Conservation voters described how her organization and the coalition of other environmental organization she works with have 11 million members. So the 1500 represented enough people, if we can get out the vote, to take back America from the far right radicals who have taken away the pride in being an American.  more....

  Other Media Coverage

Report from the Conference to Take Back America, sponsored by the Campaign for America 's Future, June 4-6, 2003, Wash., DC opednews.com

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky  Remarks at the conference of the Campaign for America's Future Truthout

Democrats' Conference Exposes Split Washington Post


Democrats court liberal activists by criticizing Bush AP

From Screen Savers to Progressive Savior? Wash Post

Liberals to lead fight against Bush Arab Times, 

Right Wing Radio 'Drunks' Decried by Liberal Activists cnsnews.com

Rallying the Left Jules Witcover Baltimore Sun 6/9

  Here's the complete schedule, which lists speakers, their organizations and topics T he leaders who came to talk and share ideas were an incredible mix, a superb blend of grassroots organizers, unionists, heads of orgs like National Organization for Women, People for the American Way, The Sierra Club, USAction, ACORN. , Common Cause, MoveON, True Majority, Working Assets, Win without War, Code Pink, , Physicians for Social Responsibility, Veterans for Peace, DEMOS, US Student Association, Progressive Majoriity, , NAACP Legal Defense Fund,  editors and publishers of The Nation, Mother Jones,  American Prospect, Tom Paine, columnists Arriana Huffington, Eric Alterman, Bill Maher, the founders of what will soon be a major Progressive Media network-- Anita and Shelly Drobny 

Roger Hickey, co-organizer of the meeting said, "Some people have gotten depressed (about the state of affairs with Bush) but more of us have gotten angry and we want to turn that anger into action." This brought a rousing cheer.

Of course the republicans in democrats clothing at the DLC sniped, according to the Washington Post, ""We cannot regain the White House," the DLC said, "if we deepen, rather than rebut, the lingering doubt . . . that too many Americans don't much trust us to protect them against terrorists and other threats to our national security. We're not convinced that your panel on 'Next Stages for the Peace Movement' will reassure the country on this count."

    Sheldon and Anita Drobny       Sen Jonathan Edwards    Kim Gandy

   Co-founders Anshell media       Dem Pres Cand        N.O.W. Pres

Sen Jon Corzine          rep Jan Schakowsky   Sen John Kerry Katrina VanDenHeuvel

NJ Senator                        IL congresswoman  Dem Pres Cand   Editor The Nation

Bill Moyers gave what Lynn Williams, former president of the United Steel Workers Union, said was the best speech he ever heard in his life. I agree. You must either listen to or read it when it becomes available (that is promised soon.)  It brought me to tears and touched my heart numerous times. This was no unbiased TV report. Moyers was receiving an America's Future Lifetime Leadership Award. He gave an impassioned, partisan patriotic, talk that every American should hear, describing how in the 1890's the Populist party ran on a platform that opposed corruption, corporate influence and in so many ways, could have been adopted verbatim for our times. Back then, the robber baron railroads were the big businesses that were despoiling government. He called it the period train robbery. By 1910 the Populist party was gone, but, Moyers said, If political organizations perish, their idas don't. In the following years many of their  ideas were adopted as laws. Moyers said that Karl Rove bases his of his own self on Mark Hanna, who "manufactured McKinley. ".... more coming I have to do some transcribing.

Bill Moyers said,

"I'm just as puzzled as to why, with right wing wrecking crews blasting away at social benefits once considered invulnerable, Democrats are fearful of being branded "class warriors" in a war the other side started and is determined to win." (text from commondreams.org transcript)

But he has not given up hope in business people, saying, "I don't want to believe that in this class war we have lost the businessman and rich people.

He talked about the challenge of such a complex nation as ours, that "It was from the same womb of government and justice that both tramps and millionaires are made."


The most important message of the take back America Meeting:

We have 17 months to get Bush and the Republicans out of office. We need to look at our lives, our money and do all we an, more than we 've ever done before to make sure that Bush is not in the White house after the next election.  

There were a lot of messages, and simultaneous multiple track panels, so it was impossible to take it all in. Here are some of the messages I did get.

I'll be adding comments to this page and links to other articles about it.

A president who pushes tax cuts for millionaires while ignoring teacher layoffs is turning his back on america 's future.

Robert Borosage

The arc of history is long but it bends towards justice.

 Martin Luther King

Polster  Stan Greenberg

The country is evenly split, but becoming increasingly polarized

Republicans are winning on these issues:


Clear direction

Unified 95% of republicans wil vote for pres.

Principles and values.

 68 to 29% want more spent on domestic programs t han on tax cuts.

Biggest failing of  Dems is not having challenged the tax cuts since day one.

Bush versus any dem is 52 to 48%

WES Boyd moveon.

When we fight we get stronger.

It 's about leadership. Every time they demonstrated leadership, their mailing list goes up.

"The primary way to build trust is to consistently fight for things that people care about.

We need to stop playing defense

Ellen Malcolm Emily 's List  (early money is like yeast) largest pac

16 million women who voted in 1992 did NOT vote in 1994

there 's too much focus on the next election . WE don 't focus enough on the future. The problem is the mandate is to win the enxt election. If democrats invest in TV election ads instead of building a donor network, then we lose out on hard money dollars.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

WE have to do it more and louder and better and faster.

Referring to the judges Bush is appointing, "I want sustained, angry loud activity.  (supporting filibuster) telling republican legislators too.

On Bush attack on the environment: Some things we may be able to reverse, but extinct is extinct.

That God is a republican is a guiding premise for this administration.  Their god happens to be homophobic and antichoice.

Don 't take it when they attack dissent as unpatriotic. Call them liars.

Chellie Pingree Pres common cause

It is a wonderful time to be in Washington to be one of the good guys because the bad guys are so bad.

John Sweeney, Pres AFL-CIO

13 million union members, 40 million family members

DeLay says unions are a clear and present danger to the security of the US, that unions are obstinate..   We are indeed obstinate. Our greatest attribute is we refuse to give in or go away. We are obstinate about freedom, about losing rights, privacy, health care, educationi, decent jobs and free choice to join a union.  Support for unionis is at its highest since 1967.

Robert Reich.

On tax break for the rich: The definition of being rich is you already spend as much as you want.

This is trickle down economics. It 's really trickle ON economics.

After Reagan and Bush we had to come with a great pooper scooper to clean up 12 years of republican economics.

Every time you hear republicans talk averages, watchyour wallets. Chaquille Oneal and I have an average height of 6 feet.

Seriously ... we 're in a global economy. It 's going to trickle out.

Wade Henderson Exec Director Leadership Conf on Civil Rights

Driving up deficits is designed to limit ability of gov to protect rights, environment.

Wade Henderson Exec Director Leadership Conf on Civil Rights

Organizing progressives is like herding cats.

Wade Henderson Exec Director Leadership Conf on Civil Rights

You can 't have bipartisanship when one side is playing hardball and the other side is playing softball

Wade Henderson Exec Director Leadership Conf on Civil Rights

Both Bill Moyers and Wade Henderson quoted Groven Norquist 's remark that Bipartisanship is like date rape.

Arriana Huffington

While those on the right who talk about morality are obsessing over oral sex, BillMoyers talks about morality and focuses on the immorality of an administration that is giving billions to the rich, while in the dark of night taking away 3.5 billion dollars from almost 12 million children


Media is suffering from attention deficit disorder

Bill Moyers

I don 't understand why the democrats are afraid to be labeled as fighting a classw war that the other side has already started and is winning.

Tax exasion; brazen abandonment of responsibility to America.

Monopoly over the dissemination of ideas is evil.

Civilization happens because we don 't leave things to other people.

1892 populist 

If political organizations perish, their ideas don 't

Right is using Jefferson 's words to describe the rape of America as a consensual date.

On corporate influence

If anyone is going to own the politicians, it might as well be the people

The people have a right to gov that promotes their safety and happiness.

The tension betweent he haves and have- nots is built into the human psyche.

Ideas have power as long as they're not frozen into doctrine. But ideas have legs.

Howard Dean

We 're going to put our flag inn the middle of where people ought to be and bring people to us.

We need to repeal all of the tax cuts.

Foreign policy consistent with American values.

Don 't ask about strong national security until you stop drilling in Anwar and start talking about reusable energy.

The best way to beat the republicans is not to be like them --it's to stand up against them and fight.


"The way to get elected in this country is not to be like the Republicans, it's to stand up against them and fight."

Everyone of us is responsible for each other.


Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, was quoted by CNSnews.com in an article covering the conference: 

"Rupert Murdoch(owner of FOX) [and his] cronies" are "stifling our messages and keeps our messages from being heard, and when we get them out, they are drowned in a sea of lies."

Gandy described her experience when she found herself seated at the table next to  Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, host of The O'Reilly Factor, at this week's Congressional Correspondents' Dinner. "As I looked over at him at the next table holding court, I thought of the fact that there are literally millions of people who get their news from Bill O'Reilly, [They] actually think that he is telling them the truth about what is happening in the world.

"They get their perspective on the world from The O'Reilly Factor and from Stupid-borough Country,  uh ( oped.com comment: she jokingly corrected herself)...Scarborough Country," referring  to MSNBC's Scarborough Country, hosted by former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough.

She also commented "I love the way they us (women) "special interest"  (when we're ) 52% of the population.  and she added,

"Haliburton's not special interest." and finally,   "The biggest special interest is the media itself."

In another article on the conference, writen by

"I 'm proud to be left, but I 'm tired of being left out. "

Ralph Neas people for the American way

Schoolyard bullies

IT 's time to play hardball, to go to the mat.

Everything we fought for is in serious jeopardy.


Former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun

Criticized  Bush administration for failing to capture terrorist leader Usama bin Laden "all the while pandering to fear to keep us at war until the elections are over."

"This administration is using our pain out of 9-11 as a smoke screen for an extreme political agenda."

Dennis Kucinich

My very first act (as president) will be to cancel NAFTA and the WTO.

This war was wrong. This war was fraudulent and we must expose this administration.

Someone suggested that Saddam Hussein is  a weapon of mass destruction, and I say, That's fine. They can't find him either.

"Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction"
"Homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction"
"Joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction"
"Poor health care is a weapon of mass destruction"
"When government lies to the people, that is a weapon of mass destruction"

They want to plan now for world war three

Commenting on the star wars weapons budget: "We gotta make sure our kids can pass a test,, but not our weapons systems"

We must create a world that is free of nuclear weapons.

it's time for us to rejoin the world community.


Create a department of peace. You may say that I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one, john Lennon said.


It's time for us to draw on our capacity to evolve.


It's time for us...To make war itself archaic. We have to have confidence in our dreams. We have to believe we can create a new world.



Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 


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