Skip to comments.Activate Yourself!
Posted on 09/20/2002 5:08:56 AM PDT by backhoe
The following is a Jay-Mo ( Just My Opinion ) of a few things I have noted in replies to others here, condensed in one place,
Towards the end, I'll include some links and comments on what I regard as some of the best examples of on-line activism here.
First off, what is the minimum standard of activism?
Just do it, every election, and at least you can say you had a hand in representative government. If you don't vote, don't complain about the results you see after an election.
Second, never underestimate the power of letters to editors, to sway, persuede, and get people thinking about an issue.
I have actually had people track me down, in person and over the telephone, to talk about letters I have written to the local and regional papers.
Keep them short, to the point, and try to toss in a memorable catchword or phrase, and a little humor.
Study the most memorable letters in your papers, note the word counts, and try your hand at it. You may be surprised at how much weight your words carry.
Third, consider local or regional talk radio. The big national names usually involve long waits and screening by staffers, but the smaller shows are easy to get on, and reach a lot of people- particularly at work and during drive time. The more you do it, the easier it gets to do, and again, you may influence more people than you even realize.
Fourth, there is on-line activism. There are many pros & cons which have been well-addressed, but I will just say that based on my experiences, it is well worth doing.
It has been argued that every one on a board like this is an activist, and I believe that is so.
However, you may wish to send your voice, opinions, links and stories further-- to that end, follow the links within links here:
Ignorance Making you Ill? Cure it!
...for tools, instructions, links, and email addresses to help you.
Finally, here are what I regard as some of the best examples of activism here on Free Republic:
Here is an example I deem "self-authored"-- a dedicated member decides to champion a cause, and uses the resources of the web to do it:
-'The Jeb Bush Nobody Knows'- Part 20: An Open Letter to the FAEA [Endorse Gov. Bush!]--
Be certain to click summer's profile page to see the bookmarks to all the work she has done in this regard.
Next up is "keeping an issue before the public"-- we live in a Soundbite-oriented society, and getting and holding people's attention is critical. If they don't know what you are talking about, they aren't going to think about it at all.
-SEC plans new rules for lawyers ("Enron" Rubin/"Global Crossing" McAuliffe watch- Day 49)--
Along those lines is a different approach- using humor, music, and satire to keep an issue before the public's attention:
-Black X: "Bubba!!" (Indict DNC Chairman McAuliffe...NOW!!!)--
You would likely have never seen this headline:
-OKC/Iraq connection coming up on Fox News--
...had it not been for the dogged work of OKCSubmariner and the help of honway, glorygirl, and several others who investigated and kept this before the public's eye.
An alliance among talk radio, the web, and many disgusted voters helped lead to this:
- GOOD RIDDANCE, REP. MCKINNEY--
While here, a movement is born:
-`Sawgrass Rebellion' Rallies Planned--
And finally, some example of Free Republic independent research at its finest:
-THE DONKEY IS OUT OF THE BARN -- aka democRAT PLAN TO RAISE TAXES--
-GORE AND ENRON--
-DASCHLE HAS NO CREDIBILITY ON THE ECONOMY (aka Daschle has no credibility Period!)--
An afterword-- you may be wondering, "How do I do this stuff?"
Well, it's old and not as well written as I'd like ( a cut & paste of a cut & paste ) but there is information here:
R U new? Some Tips....
After suffering eight years of the Corrupt Clown's rotten reign, it is truly wonderful to watch how "W" sets them up and mows them down time & again...
Thanks. That's what I would figure. I am registered, and I always take my voter card. I wonder why they made it a point to tell me I had to get the office to send me a new card? Our tax $ at work? lol!
During the Take Back Vermont movement the activism I experienced first-hand involved gathering in homes, churches, and town halls. We filled the seats by word of mouth, email, phone calls, or just involving folks in conversation on the street about what had happened to VT politics, namely around the 'Civil Union' issue.
We educated at these meetings, handed out hundreds of copies of the VT Constitution, huge volumes of prepared packets of info and talking points as well as tips on how to spread the word. Some folks gave money to various pacs or candidates. Some folks printed signs and t-shirts and we all participated in the distribution. Some became Notaries Public and went out registering voters. Some became speakers, others became writers, some organized phone and email trees, and all prayed.
We joined forces to march in the state's largest Labor Day parade just before the election. We prepared voter guides and compiled the voting records of our legislators. On election day we manned the polls, both inside and outside. We stopped at least one voter who was attempting to illegally cast two ballots.
I learned a great deal then, and became a part of a vast network of real Vermonters who still have hope for Vermont politics.
Very much in agreement. TigersEye and I were discussing this in the truck the other day. We concured that in order to reach people who have not come to logical conclusions on their own about the direction of politics in general in these United States, i.e., that we are on the downhill side of socialism and thus of tyranny and the taking away of basic human rights, one must start with where the listener is.
Liberal Democrats are indeed 'Bushophobes.' They have - for whatever reason - accepted as fact that President Bush in particular, and Conservative Republicans in general, are the worst thing to happen to America...ever!
It is difficult, but I have found that by avoiding the terms 'Republican,' 'Democrat,' 'Liberal,' and 'Conservative' in conversation with these folks, and concentrating more on the basic truth of differences in ideology and philosophy, I can at least win a hearing. Without a hearing, without the removal of basic assumptions, I can not reach these hardheads at all. I'm learning. And I am finally winning some hard-fought ground with some folks.
When speaking with Moderates I have found that by avoiding the hotter subjects and focussing on the issues that even middle-of-the-roaders care about, I can get them thinking in more traditionally Conservative ways. One example would be speaking to Moderates about Parental Notification, Partial Birth Abortion, and a Woman's Right to Know versus the Roe v. Wade decision itself.
I've found with "moderates" avoiding hot-button words- a semanticist would call them "loaded"- and cute but irritating slurs ( hitlery! comes mind... ) seems to get a better hearing.
I am still learning. ( :
"Little Big Fraud,"
to judge from the guffawing I used to get even from some on the left. I suppose number two was "clintoon," as many seemed to get the clinton=cartoon character link...
I certainly understand why you feel this way, Grampa Dave. I'd like to go over the reasons why I haven't given up on them:
1) Up until the age of 29 I was a Liberal by default. I was uneducated, really, as a result of the public school system and a liberal college education. I was involved with any cause only for how it benefitted me, myself, and I (even if I claimed otherwise!). My stand at that time on abortion is just one example.
2) There are very few Conservatives in Vermont, as you may have deduced from those we have voted into positions of influence in Washington - Sanders, Jeffords, and Leahy. If I don't find a way to communicate the truth to folks who voted for and adamantly support those 3 socialists, I've banned myself from speaking to 65% of my neighbors.
3) There's always hope with Jesus. He saved me, and I was a goner. I was also a complete idiot. Since He saved me, I firmly believe that He can save them, too.
There is a verse from the Scriptures that occurs to me from time to time, the words of Jesus: "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold." I don't want that to happen to me, regardless of how much wickedness is surrounding me. Evil can not influence me or the decisions I make unless I allow it to. Jesus educated me on the fact that (because the Son has set me free) I am free indeed. I want others to know this great truth.
Some excellent points here. I've been thinking about this particular situation for two or three days now. I've stated before, I believe one-on-one(or even small groups), say, at work or whatever, is the most effective means to convert the "wafflers". Others have stated and I agree, spending time on the radib Dims(socialists) is like casting pearls before swine. We might pick off one now and then, but our time and efforts would be better spent on the less closed-minded.
I believe we could, and probably should, produce as complete a list as possible of comments/positions of Dims/wafflers, and our possible responses to those comments/positions that have been or may be effective counter-arguments. Eg:
Dims are for the "little" people...
Government should be for "all" the people. It is not government's job to favor any group(s) at the expense of others. Restate the commonly accepted phrase: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, followed always by a dictatorship..." -- Alexander Fraser Tytler
My family has always voted Dim.
Understood, but would you consider the possibility the Democrats have changed over time? Is it possible they have moved towards something you would hardly recognize as representative government? Have you considered the possiblilty that Republicans may in fact come closer to your values and beliefs today?
I'm union!And my favorite: Just what is it you like about socialism anyway? ; )
Right. And the workers paradise envisioned by your Democratic representatives is suspiciously reminiscent of other forms of government; NOT a free Republic. Besides, just how long do you think Democrats would coddle unions if unions were to suddenly change their $upport to, say, Republicans???
Anyway, y'all get the idea. Thoughts???
I vote for the person; not the party.FGS
Great! How do you arrive at your decision?
Uh, I read the paper and watch the news...
Depending on the individual, it may or may not be appropriate to allow ourselves a brief rant on the evils of the Propaganda Ministry. You might kinda feel 'em out on this. Otherwise, about the best we can do with this is to throw a few rocks at the media. Plant the seed of incrediblity. I suspect that most of these folks actually leave out another source of information; i.e., they listen to other people that appear knowledgable and informed! That could and should be US.
I can't think of anything more potent for instilling basically conservative values other than marriage or children. And with the battle cry of "you are really a lot more conservative than you think," I gradually swayed her over to the other side...
This is Vermont politics in a nutshell. This is why Bernie Sanders, the (at least he's honest about it) Socialist, will be voted into Congress once again, barring a miracle turnout from Moderates who support Bill Meub, running as a Republican.
Those who vote for Bernie are still in the infantile "me, myself, and I" stage of politics, regardless of their age. They are unwilling (and unable, in many cases, thanks to public school) to discuss the history or the future of Socialism. They only want to know that their welfare check (in all its guises) is in the mail on time.
[Insert heavy sigh here.] We are working on educating them.
This is my hope for Vermont politics, backhoe. It starts with relationship. And that, I have found, means being a good listener first, and being a patient teacher second.
I try to follow the game plan of making a loving, concerted attempt, and, if reviled, wiping the sand of their opinions from the soles of my boots and moving along.
If, however, I am able to get at least one boot in the proverbial door, I will keep working to gain entrance, candle in hand, to enlighten their darkened minds and hearts.
I don't believe in dismissing the kool-aid drinkers out of hand. I believe in snatching the cup from their lips and telling them as plainly as I can that it is poison. If they pick it up again my conscience is clear. They are, after all, free to drink from whatever cup (or trough) they choose. I am trying (in some - albeit few - cases with success) to get them to choose wisely.
But that's just me. Your circumstances may be much different than those we are facing in Vermont politics. If you are privileged to live in a state with few voting kool-aid drinkers, all the better.
I like that one too. It's useful when discussing with a prospective convert the possibility that the Dims have moved off into left field.
How's about this one:
All politicians are crooks...?????
I sympathize. I have seen some of Bernie the Bolshevik's rants on CSPAN; it ain't pretty. I gotta believe that anyone who would knowingly vote for a pinko like Sanders is virtually beyond redemption. How did he ever get a foothold there anyway? Is there an enclave of "Give Us A King" types keeping him in office???
BTW, the quote by Tytler can be parsed a little farther for those that don't make the immediate connection. That being, the public largesse is NOT the government's money; it comes from hard working taxpayers that are doing their dambdest to be self sufficient.
The government should take care of seniors...???
I don't necessarily either, and I do engage in verbal fisticuffs with Dim miscreants from time to time just for the exercise. The die-hards are pretty much hopeless cases IMO, and not worth the effort. They don't want to know the truth, nor do they want to hear about somebody else having to carry their load for 'em. May God look kindly upon them, it's more than I can muster.
I believe in snatching the cup from their lips and telling them as plainly as I can that it is poison.
Speaking of poison, how about:
A woman's right to choose???????
1- Do you think people who commit truly heinous crimes... like murder, rape, and molesting children... ought to suffer severe, certain penalties?
2- Do you think that governments- like families- should in general not spend more money than they take in?
3- Do you think the military needs to be big and strong enough to protect American shores, and American interests abroad?
If you answer "yes" to each of these- Congradulations! You are an Honorary Conservative...
In practice, of course, I varied the questions somewhat, sometimes substituting a First or Second Amendment question, or even something else entirely apart from the Bill of Rights.
Love it! I can see how it could be adapted to different scenarios also.
You've probably heard this one from clueless Dims, at least those that still have a few synapses firing, but more frequently from wafflers:
What's wrong with our justice system; how come hardened criminals keep walking?
Liberal judges put in place by liberal Dims. You want equal justice under the law; vote for candidates that will appoint justices dedicated to defending the Constitution and the rule of law!
Oh my! ROTFL!!!
I was handed a miraculous opportunity to address this very issue with countless middle-of-the-roaders and liberals yesterday while at the LifeChain in front of our Statehouse. I was interviewed on camera and gave my personal testimony of abortion. The reporterette was very much on our side, which was a huge surprise to all of us, and a great encouragement when we saw how she presented the story on the 6pm, 11pm and website news. Because my real name is used in her article, I will not post a link, but here is one quote she used: "Women aren't getting all the facts and aren't making informed choices. They're making choices based on very difficult circumstances and, in some cases, based on lies." I also had the opportunity to speak to the issue of Parental Notification, which the reporterette, bless her dear heart, pointed out was passed by our Republican House but held up by our Democratic Senate.
From what I understand, Bernie took part in Communist meetings on the Goddard College campus, in Plainfield, VT, behind locked doors back in the 70's. There were a couple of large communes started in VT at that time as well.
Goddard college is now aging, ailing, and bankrupt, and I say, Praise the Lord! The town of Plainfield is still full of commies, but as far as I know the communes were a bust. As you know, Bernie is still in office.
...Parental Notification, which the reporterette, bless her dear heart, pointed out was passed by our Republican House but held up by our Democratic Senate.
Another great eye-opener for the wafflers; I'll have to remember to use it:
Were you aware the public school must get parental permission to give a student an aspirin, but may instruct, nay, guide that same student in obtaining an abortion???
That will hit some wafflers in the bread basket!
Appropriately, question #1 is: Generally, do you tend to trust or distrust government's ability to solve problems?
This is where the dividing line between Liberal-Socialist Democrat and Conservative Republican-Libertarian cuts closest to the heart, IMO.
How a person answers that one question reveals volumes about his or her philosophy of life, society, government, and religion. How a person answers that first question will determine how they answer all the others. An astute observer, knowing a respondent's answer to question #1, will be able to surmise every other answer after that.
Either one acknowleges, cherishes, and remembers that one is in fact free, or one willingly concedes his or her freedom to Authority. There is no middle ground.
Thank you for sharing that quiz, FGS!
Very funny! The President of VT Right to Life told me that there are more and more media houses and reporters on the Right side all the time. It amazes us all, but I believe it is inevitable considering the millions affected by abortion. Statistically, it would be impossible for those in the media to not have witnessed in some way the dregs of the abortion industry.
While there are and will always be those with calloused hearts who will never admit the truth though it knocks hourly at the gate, there are others, a growing number continually, who see and have the courage, as well as the conscience, to admit the truth.
Every seed we plant in the hearts of the hardened may not bear fruit immediately, but each seed has a chance of sprouting. One plows, one plants, one waters, another reaps the harvest. This is why I don't mind scattering seed on what appears to be fallow ground.
Just do it, every election, and at least you can say you had a hand in representative government. If you don't vote, don't complain about the results you see after an election.
A "to the wire" bttt
Excellent resources here & advice - THANKS!!
A one-time ping to something worth reading (and things worth doing...)
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