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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

 
Don't Get Mad. Get Even.

by David Atkins

I have to admit that I have nothing to say about the goings on at the GOP's big fluffy convention. That's because I haven't seen any part of it or read much about it. As I type this, I just finished chairing a 5-hour meeting of Ventura Democrats figuring out, among other things, how to spend our money and resources to help win victories in elections including a House seat pickup in CA26, and two State Senate pickups that would give Democrats a crucial 2/3 supermajority in that chamber.

Four or eight years ago I would have been spending tonight sitting on my couch, avoiding the urge to throw things at the television as I watched a parade of soulless hucksters lie and preen for an audience of moral cretins.

Now I don't get mad. I get even. And it feels much, much more satisfying.

I'm sure I'll get lots of feedback from the holier-than-thous insisting that all politics is a sham, that the parties are broken, and that they never watched a moment of the GOP convention and haven't watched it in decades. Or from the people who insist that they're morally superior for not owning a television. And so be it.

But for the rest of you out there, may I offer a piece of simple advice: don't get mad. Get even. These people want to hand over our democracy to the ultra-wealthy and play to the basest instincts of the basest people. We can stop them.

If you have a contested race in your neighborhood, volunteer. Turn off the TV and head out to the campaign or local Dem field office.

And if you don't have a contested race in your neighborhood, contact the campaign of your favorite progressive legislator from outside your district. Barack Obama is always seeking organizers, of course, but if the President is too conservative for your tastes there are always more progressive options. See if the Elizabeth Warren campaign needs help. If you want to limit the role of money in politics, you could help Julia Brownley, who authored the DISCLOSE/Clean Money act to force big donors to disclose themselves at the end of political ads, and who is up against a hard-right Tea Partier named Tony Strickland. Give Chris Murphy a hand against the odious Linda McMahon.

And that says nothing of the full slate of retrograde ballot propositions all over the map, from 2/3 revenue requirements in Michigan to anti-labor initiatives in California and elsewhere.

There are literally hundreds of races out there desperate for people to help them. Most people always assume that there are other people who will do these things. But when you get up and close to it, it's increasingly obvious how limited the manpower to fight these battles really is. Every single person willing to step up to the plate and actually talk to voters can make a huge difference. And it's really, really satisfying.

So this year, don't listen to the lies and get angry. Get even. Get out there and beat these people who so richly deserve it. And then hold the Democrats' feet to the fire to stop them from backsliding every single day after November 6th.

But first, please do get out there and get even. You'll feel better when you do.


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