by Rob Kall, editor, OpEdNews.com June 12, 2003
this column was inspired by remarks made by Kim Gandy, the President of N.O.W., at the Take Back America Conference, on June 5, 2003 (A superb conference worth attending that will occur this year, 2004 on June 2,3,4. )Seventeen months. (make that five months and a few days) That's how much time we have until we find out whether the US has been completely taken over. One of my readers suggested that we could have a Bush in the Whitehouse until 2016-- 2016! --with Jeb replacing George. I don't want to, can't and refuse to imagine the next thirteen years of my life under the shadow of a radical right wing governance.
At 52, (53) that would take me past my 65th birthday. This is a nightmarish vision. So I am doing everything I legally can to insure that a stop is put to the morally reprehensible, unethical, unfair, corrupt, criminal policies of the current administration. And you should too. The next 17 (five) months offer an opportunity you've never had before. You know in advance that there is some hope that you can contribute to removing the right wing from the Whitehouse and maybe from the Senate too. This is your chance to do more for your country, for the world, for your family and yourself than ever before.
The question are, what can you do? What have you done today? How passionate are you about committing to fighting to make the change happen? How big a change in your life are you willing to institute? You know that the assault on America, on democracy on the working and middle class is nothing less than a full blown pearl harbor attack, a declaration of war. Will you sit passively and cooperate like the vast majority of Poles and French did during world war two?
When Bush sent our young soldiers off to war, I felt sorry for them, knowing in my heart that Bush and Powell and Rumsfeld were lying about biological weapons, about nuclear weapons, about missiles, about connections with the AlQaida, about the connection between Saddam and the WTC 911 attacks. Lies that were sending our young men to face death, to face exposure to radioactive ammo... and the hate of the occupied Iraqi people. But those soldiers, many of whom had signed on with the military not to fight, but to dig themselves out of poverty, bravely faced their duty. Now, we know they were pawns, duped by the Bush regime as much as the congress was.If you're reading this, you are probably older than these soldiers. You may have never served in the military. But your country needs you now, perhaps more than it ever has before. And to make it harder, there is no overt draft, no clear, declared call to duty. But you know that the country is in desperate times. It is besieged on multiple fronts-- attacked by corporation and multinational entities that want to destroy our government-- the body that protects the weakest among us, that protects our shared assets-- the commons resources of nature, the ones we've built as a nation. They would use legal and political trickery to steal and or corrupt our minerals, our airwaves, our educational systems, our water, our lands, our energy resources.
We are being attacked viciously in a class war in which the greedy wealthy are attempting to reinstate a feudal society in which workers barely scrape by, with no rights, no recourse to democracy, justice or even freedom. One of the leading men of influence among the Bush cabal is Grover Norquist. His attitude towards government is to shrink so it is small enough to put in a bathtub so you can drown it. This is our government. The one that we used to depend upon to provide education, security, road maintenance, environmental protection, economic stability and responsible stewardship.
As Bill Moyers has said, "we are fighting a class war that the other side has already started and is winning."
And you have been drafted!
If you are reading this article, then you've found your way to a left wing, progressive, liberal source of information. Maybe you are already a convinced member of the choir. Maybe you are recently former republican who is ashamed by the actions of a government that's put itself up for sale, a presidency that is not screwing one White House aide, but rather, is screwing millions of children, tens of millions of Americans, and billions of citizens of impoverished third world nations. Or maybe you are a democrat who has supported the war, having been fooled by the fraudulent lies that Bush and his cronies used to trick our nation and the handful of other nations that followed us into a morass that has proven.
Irregardless, you are at a point today where you must face the fact that your life as you knew it is over. You have been drafted. Fate, life, circumstances.... they have al come to a screeching halt. Look around you at your world. It is no longer the same. You can evade the draft, but it won't be due to ethical reasons of conscience. Because this is an ethical draft that is calling upon you to do more than you ever did before politically, as an activist. You don't see yourself as an activist? Neither did I a few months ago. Don't see yourself as political? Hello!! Your life, your future has already been indelibly changed by laws that the Bush cabal has passed, by radically right-wing judges who have already been approved to lifetime jobs, where they can, on a daily basis favor corporations over humans, radical right wing perspectives over what we would see as fairness.
You have been drafted and you need to respond to the call. But it is not as easy as being crafted by the government. You have been drafted to act and there is no specific building where you go to sign up. The first thing you have to do is educate yourself. Sign up for some of the mailing lists that will alert you to opportunities to notify your legislators of your opinions. I've contacted my legislators more in the last three months than I did the whole rest of my life. Sign up for news mailing lists so you know what is going on in the world-- like the OpEdNews.Com mailing list, MoveOn.org and True Majority (If you are a publisher with a mailing list, or action enabling website please let me know and I'll evaluate yours and consider adding it to the list, p articularly if you publish this article on your site. We all need to work to share resources. There is not enough communication between organizations.)
But don't start there. Get angry and tell your friends and family. Don't let them stay blissfully ignorant. Get active at a local level. Join the Greens and insist that they get behind the democratic candidate. Join the local Democratic party. I learned that our local people didn't even have a web site, so I'm going to help build it.
Commit to your "enlistment" by allotting time every day, every week to taking action. Network your butt off. Expect your significant other to be annoyed, maybe even downright irate at times because of the level of your commitment (or enjoy the lessing of a partner who joins you in your passion.)
Become a recruiter. Yes. This is disorganized. Yes we need a whole new kind of leadership, since the democratic regulars have FAILED at recognizing both the immediacy of the need to act NOW and the readiness of progressive Americans to stand up and fight back, to stand up and fight for the rights American soldiers fought to defend. Expect frustration and chaos and confusion. But if we pull together, the leadership will emerge. The structures we will need to channel our anger, our energy and our willingness to sacrifice as recruits defending Democracy and Freedom and the integrity of our nation will develop. And it will happen soon.
We need progressive think tanks that are working hard on positions and policies and strategies for taking back the country from the far right-- strategies that will recruit both Democrats and Republicans to fight for justice and fairness and a return to the ideals built into the constitution by the founders. You need to support those think tanks now, and the presidential candidates you can get behind now, and every month until the elections. Read more about think tanks. Understand how the right wing think tanks like Heritage Foundation, PNAC, CATO Institute, etc. work. Volunteer to help a progressive one. Send them money. Tell all the people on your -mail forwarding lists to do the same. Did I mention to send money. The Right wingers have billionaires who put up millions. The left is just starting to draft and recruit its own billionaires. The American Majority Institute is a new think tank, to be headed by John Podesta, funded to the tune of $10 million and apparently guided by the middle of the road policy of the DLC and DNC-- the most ever for a progressive think tank. But we need five or ten more of them. The Heritage foundation receives over $25 million a year. This is not hard to reach. If some of the people who held on to their dot com wealth kick in, and celebrities speak wi th their wallets, and if you... give every month... then we can do it. We can build the WAR MACHINE we will need to take on the enemies of democracy who are encamped in the white house, retching their vile corporatist vomit on the altar of freedom. (and I am pro business-- just not rapacious over-reaching, humanity damaging business.)
Congratulations, new recruit. Sorry. We don't have a uniform, not even a bumper sticker.. yet. Now get to work. If you want me to let you know of opportunities to make a difference, or if you have any ideas drop me a line.
Rob Kall email@example.com is editor/founder of OpEdNews.com. This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached. Over 100 other articles by Rob Kall including a series of articles on the need for progressive policy promotion think tanks.