Re: Something to mull over

On Thu, 2004-11-04 at 18:53 -0600, Holly wrote:

> You knew I was going to have to say something sooner or later after
> “Black Tuesday.” I was in such mourning yesterday that I didn’t want
> to talk to anyone…today, I am on a roll. My first next step, let’s
> get active agenda item is the press. I am sure as my thoughts collect
> and the mourning fog lifts, I will share (Spam?) other ideas including
> my suggestion to stop doing business with any establishment that had
> Bush/Cheney signs in their windows or yards. And tell them why you are
> no longer doing business with them.

I cannot disagree more with this tactic. While it may provide a temporary lift to you to carry out this kind of protest, there are a couple of problems. One, who amongst us has kept tally of such offending businesses? Two, do we really want to live in a society wherein expressing one’s political views imperils one’s business? I would find this to be a deeply chilling environment, especially living, as we do, in a majority stupid country. I certainly would not want to face discrimination because I placed Kerry/Edwards signs on my front lawn. Reminds me of an entry from David Letterman’s Top Ten list tonight, “Revoke tax cut for 55 million American’s who voted for Kerry.”

If you really feel so passionately about this, then think of a more constructive, not destructive approach. For example, I have long lamented the fact that to conduct business in this city and state, one must belong to business organizations which take, and fund, political positions at odds with my own. Holly your, and my, company is a member of the Milwaukee Area Chamber of Commerce. That business group, along with the national parent organization and the statewide Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, pours huge amounts of money into the Republican campaigns, as well as school board races in Milwaukee (and elsewhere) and other causes which we find reprehensible. How can you threaten to boycott local businesses for advertising the owner’s political beliefs when your own business is a member of groups like these? I think that the more beneficial course of action is to spearhead the formation of progressive business groups, ones that would provide the same networking opportunities to the many business people out there who must hold their noses every year as they renew membership in a right-wing organization which is fundamentally at odds with their own political persuasion.

> The first thing I think we can all do for ourselves as “elitist,
> LIBERAL DEMOCRATS,” (that’s what the enemy Republicans calls us and,
> heck, if that’s what I am then I wear that label proudly. I’d rather
> be that than a religiously brained-washed, rednecked, zealot…anyway
> I digress), is to digest, and encourage others to digest, and support
> alternative press. Stop watching Rupert Murdock’s right-wing agenda
> propaganda filled media machine and dive into the following…
> (The New Republic)

In a similar vein, I received this message tonight from a Howard Dean/Democracy for America/etc. group. I think that your views are remarkably close:

> Subject:
> We Lost – This is what We Must Do
> Date:
> Fri, 5 Nov 2004 01:54:17 -0500
> (00:54 CST)
> Ok so Bush is back in power. I think most people that this email gets to will
> agree that the mass media played a definative role in this outcome.
> After the War in Iraq “ended”, surveys found that 60% of the US population had
> misconceptions concerning the war. And this is not just an initial war time
> shock situation since 49% of Americans continue to believe Iraq had actual WMD
> or a major WMD program(programs on International Policy Attitudes).
> If we want to have a progressive society we need a news media network that
> informs our citizens, and provides a free flow of information. In many ways we
> already have it with the alternative media. The problem is that the general
> public does not know about the alternative media. In my opinion we should
> start right this second to support and build the alternative media and do our
> best to push it into mainstream consciousness.
> I have recently started an organization who’s entire objective is to build a
> portal to the alternative media and promote it to the general public. We are
> just getting started now, our website was just launched today at
> – We are only now building momentum but we are building
> partnerships with other alt media organizations to help us accomplish this huge
> and important task.
> So anyone who gets this email, we would love to know what you think of this
> project – email with questions and comments.
> If you believe in this project please sign up for small monthly donations if you
> can –
> If you want to support this project in other ways you may join our grassroots
> support team at:
> If we work together we can build a better media system, and a better society.
> Please pass this on to anyone who you think would be interested in this project.

I applaud the new found voice of Americans all over. We all had the wind knocked out of us, and it has taken a day or two for us to regain our voices, our sense of humor (black tho it may be) and try to find a compass to guide us forward into the next course of this relentless campaign.

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