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Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:20 AM

The Rebel

“It is absolutely necessary that rebellion find its reasons within itself, since it cannot find them elsewhere. It must consent to examine itself in order to learn how to act.”
-- Albert Camus; The Rebel


One of the areas where those of us supporting Bernie Sanders could benefit from discussing is how we call each take additional steps to advance our cause. Clearly, one of the most important parts of the Sanders revolution is the Democratic presidential primary. We are doing good, up to this point, and have reached the point that we can step it up to the next level.

I do not hesitate to discuss grass roots’ strategies here on DU:GDP. Although I do not believe that many of the forum’s Hillary Clinton supporters read my Ops, that isn’t a factor. As a matter of fact, it would be good for our party as a whole -- indeed, the nation -- if more of our friends who support Hillary were getting more people out to the voting booths on primary days. We all benefit from a large, active electorate …..just as the republican party benefits from the lowest possible voter turn-out.

I’m not concerned that republicans read the Democratic Underground, as Rush Limbaugh recently documented on his hate radio show. And, perhaps especially in primary seasons, it’s possible that a few “trolls” will show up, to try to stir the pot here. I know that a few journalists, including those doing research for the cable television news shows, read DU. More, there are community members who, as supporters of a specific candidate, then contribute to other blogs on the internet; one recently attacked another forum member’s recent OP, then linked to it in an OP, as evidence of how “bad” some Bernie supporters are.

These things happen. And, of course, they become increasingly common, when one side is uncomfortable with how the other side is doing. Politics ain’t a pillow fight. Still, it is a shame that the levels of acrimony are such that it could very well become a factor in November. In my opinion, our party faces the very real possibility of having a split impact the general election outcome, in a manner that could approach the 1972 contest …..when our party’s establishment -- the moderate and conservative Democratic leaders -- preferred to vote for Richard Nixon rather than the party’s nominee.

Now, one of the most impressive thing that I’ve seen recently has been when, no matter the outcome of an individual state’s primary or caucus, many here make yet another financial contribution to the Sanders’s campaign. That’s huge. It is, of course, the millions of “small” donations from common citizens, that allows Bernie to compete with a campaign financed by Wall Street.

Though many may not have the resources to donate money to the campaign, either on a regular basis or at all, there are many other ways to support the movement. Obviously, there are plenty of others here who can recommend options that I might never have thought of. But, because I have had quite a bit of experience in grass roots organizing and activism, I thought that I’d add a few things that I think are important.

To begin with, I believe in a political program that has been largely influenced by my exposure to the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., America’s greatest socio-political theologist. He advocated the non-violent exercise of our constitutional rights and responsibilities. At times, he practiced the art of creative tension-building.

In my recent experience, in a four-county section of upstate New York, most of my efforts have centered around environmental issues. For years -- decades, really -- some of the villages, towns, cities, and counties therein haven had almost exclusively republican representation and rule. In this region, the majority of registered voters are republican; the second largest group is Independents; and last are registered Democrats. Among the Independents, there is a wide range, from tea partiers to Greens to socialist to environmentalists to libertarians.

As some here know, I’ve run a number of local candidates, by combining the local Democratic Party with the Democratic Left. And we won 80% of the elections. We elected, in one town, the first Democratic majority in office, ever.

In the one county where the long-time “leaders” refuse to break bread with the Democratic Left, and instead attempt to cut in on the republican votes instead, they continue to lose 100% of the time. Those “leaders” have endorsed the Clinton campaign.

The most urgent thing we need to concentrate energy on right now is getting voters out on primary day. There’s a lot of ways to help on this, in your state, and even those states around you. Make use of your local resources. The structure of the Sanders campaign is going to be different in various settings. What is available in a city is usually distinct from in a rural region.

Connecting the larger campaign issues with events in people’s day-to-day lives is essential. An example of that could be the poisoning of the water in Flint, Michigan. There aren’t any candidates who will openly say that this situation was okay, because it saved money, while campaigning openly. But, behind closed doors, most of the current presidential candidates favor fracking, and other energy corporation operations that exploit the environment, and poison drinking water supplies. Bernie Sanders is the sole exception.

Here is a link to a report from last week, regarding the drinking water in Binghamton, NY:

http://www.wbng.com/news/local/Binghamton-schools-lead-levels-shut-down-water-sources-370093481.html?cid=facebook_WBNG-TV_Action_News

Our job is to expand the public’s awareness of the connection between this type of situation, and the current election. We present the Sanders revolution as a glass of sparkling clean water; the opposition as a glass contaminated with corporate sludge. When we do so, we can be confident that people thirsting for real change will make the right choice.

In 2012, I wrote a booklet on effective grass roots community organizing. As there are lots of new DU community members active here, I will again provide a link to it:

https://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/226012/1/grassroots-handbook-for-effective-community-organizing

We are in a really good position now …..much better than we might have anticipated, or hoped for. Our opposition will continue to try to frame it as a hopeless battle. This is because, by and large, they have lost hope for a better future for everyone. Our mission is to keep hope alive, and to spread it across this nation.

Peace,
H2O Man

32 replies, 1683 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Rebel (Original post)
H2O Man Feb 2016 OP
NRaleighLiberal Feb 2016 #1
H2O Man Feb 2016 #3
Jefferson23 Feb 2016 #2
H2O Man Feb 2016 #5
malthaussen Feb 2016 #4
H2O Man Feb 2016 #7
sabrina 1 Feb 2016 #13
H2O Man Feb 2016 #17
2banon Mar 2016 #28
sabrina 1 Mar 2016 #29
mmonk Feb 2016 #6
H2O Man Feb 2016 #8
mmonk Feb 2016 #9
H2O Man Feb 2016 #20
sabrina 1 Mar 2016 #30
kgnu_fan Feb 2016 #10
H2O Man Feb 2016 #11
kgnu_fan Feb 2016 #12
mmonk Feb 2016 #14
Uncle Joe Feb 2016 #15
H2O Man Feb 2016 #18
kgnu_fan Feb 2016 #16
Autumn Feb 2016 #19
H2O Man Feb 2016 #21
Arazi Feb 2016 #22
H2O Man Feb 2016 #24
sabrina 1 Mar 2016 #31
Sensitive soul Feb 2016 #23
cyberswede Feb 2016 #25
kgnu_fan Feb 2016 #26
2banon Mar 2016 #27
PWPippin Mar 2016 #32

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:23 AM

1. Sitting on the tarmac at O'Hare with this good read. K & R

Looking forward to getting home.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 10:04 AM

3. Thanks!

Have a safe trip!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:29 AM

2. No more corporate sludge..well said as usual.

At the Oscar's last night one of the winners ended his thank you by
adding..Don't vote for people who are taking corporate money..paraphrasing.

When wealthy people join to help keep that message alive I am ever more hopeful
we'll get there.

Thank you for the OP.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 04:09 PM

5. Right.

I had heard about that at the Oscar's. I like that.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 10:05 AM

4. Poor George McGovern casts a long shadow.

I think, though, that those who would have voted for Nixon in '72 (or '68, if it comes to that) would not vote for Trump in '16: as reprehensible as Mr Nixon might have been (and as psychotic), he was not such a bad candidate, whereas Mr Trump is awe-inspiring in how horrible he is to contemplate. Nevertheless, some might stay home on Election Day, which could have the same effect as a vote for Trump.

However, the Clinton camp seems to be taking a fiendish delight in alienating voters. Again, those voters would not vote for Mr Trump in the GE (presuming him to be the candidate), but they might stay home. The youth vote troubles me for this reason. They were a valuable component of Mr Obama's wins in '08 and '12, yet the Clinton camp appears to have no desire to cultivate them, and worse, seems intent on disciplining them for having the temerity to support Mr Sanders. Supposing that Mrs Clinton does win the nomination, what will happen with those she has treated with such disdain? They aren't fools enough to vote for Mr Trump, but they could well throw up their hands and decide to stay home, and if they do, does Mrs Clinton have enough support without them to negate the GOP faithful, who will dutifully turn out to elect their chosen one? OTOH, some of the more impatient of the supporters of Mr Sanders are also showing a tendency to take out their frustrations with those who support Mrs Clinton by insulting them, as well, and what happens with these people if Mr Sanders is the candidate? We should be in the business of encouraging voters, whomever they want, rather than ridiculing the ones with whom we disagree. Which is, of course, exactly the point you are gently trying to make.

What bothered me about SC was not that Mr Sanders lost -- which was rather expected, after all -- but that so few Democrats made an effort to vote. Mr Sanders has tirelessly repeated that only by a strong-swelling movement will he be able to win. But this is also true of the General Election: whomever the Democratic Party finally decides on will have to muster enough enthusiasm to outnnumber those who would vote GOP. While I do still believe that Mr Trump is an appalling enough candidate to motivate a plurality to vote against him, there is no question that "I'm the better of two evils" is not an inspirational message. Appalling Republicans have won the election before. It is not impossible they could win again.

One other thing that depresses me is this: stipulate Mrs Clinton does gain the nomination, what will be the lesson learned by the Party's candidates and power-brokers? That they were right all along? That their procedures and conduct were the correct ones? That, now that the lip-service and waffling has attained the desired objective, it can all be forgotten and business gotten on with as usual? Somehow, I don't see anyone involved wiping their brows and saying "Whew, that was a close one, we better make some changes." That would mean the candidate and the machine are capable of learning from error. Perhaps, even, they are: but who would see any error in a primary victory?

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 04:39 PM

7. Very good.

My oldest son pointed out something interesting: if Trump is not the republican nominee, many of his supporters would vote for Bernie in the general election; however, none of Trump's supporters would vote for Hillary, should she be the Democratic nominee.

I, too, found the number of people who voted in SC troubling. The outcome was fine with me, as SC is the single state where Hillary is strongest. But the actual total of Democrats was dismal. We all benefit from a large turn-out, while only republicans benefit from the small turn-outs.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 05:17 PM

13. I believe that limiting the debates was DWS's way of limiting the turnout because she

knew that low turnout would favor her candidate. It is troubling that the Front Runner, Hillary to most Dems up to very recently since Bernie began to get some national exposure, is not inspiring voters to take the trouble to vote.

That doesn't bode well for the GE. We know that national polls do show that Bernie beats all of the Repub candidates while Hillary loses or barely eeks out a win over some.

And that raises another question. Wouldn't it make sense for the Dem Party to get behind the candidate who CAN win?

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:08 PM

17. Oh, yes, definitely.

DWS is a corrupt human being. Her two positions as a representative of the Democrat Party is an obscenity. And those are among the nicer things that I think about her.

By the time people become entrenched in Washington, DC's culture of corruption, they view themselves as (an important) part of the larger establishment. That establishment fronts for the 1%. Their machine -- which includes the corporate media -- will not willingly allow an insurgent to capture the White House. They view that White House as something the Democratic and republicans compete for, and are comfortable with most presidents from either party.

But we are going to change that.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 1, 2016, 12:36 AM

28. This!^^^^^^10000!

 

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 1, 2016, 01:43 AM

29. Yes, we are going to change that. It has to be changed, the WH does not belong to them, it belongs

to the people, or used to. As DWS she is now facing a primary challenge from an excellent Bernie Democrat, Tim Canova who I think can rid us of her presence in Congress. Though I'm sure she has a nice lobbying job lined up should she be dismissed next Nov.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 04:32 PM

6. Recommended.

I would also advise people here download the booklet as it is very informative.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 04:43 PM

8. Thank you!

While not many people have considered using the booklet, those that have used it report finding it helpful.

More, were could do some simple exercises as a group here, and see how it is possible to influence the corporate media -- even if it is limited to one morning show making mention of the topic we chose.

Revolution can be pleasant to participate in, especially in terms of group efforts.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 04:48 PM

9. Yes. Common cause and community are rewarding

in many ways and helps level out the lows.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:17 PM

20. Exactly.

There's nothing like it.

I remember back in 1992, going out after work with a group from the clinic. As it turned out, none of my co-workers had ever done this type of thing. We started going through the low-income neighborhoods in our region, and engaging in voter education & registration.

We know that our larger opposition does not encourage the registration of poor people. They will rant about "free stuff!" and similar errors in thinking. This allows us the opportunity to engage in a little counter-punching, and explain that it is actually allowing tax-payers to have a voice in how their money is spent. People really would prefer to invest in public education, for example, than in gifts to Wall Street, or rebuilding the infrastructure of other countries that the US has been bombing.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 1, 2016, 01:45 AM

30. That sounds interesting. Not sure the Corp Media can be influenced by the people, but it's worth

a try.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 05:00 PM

10. Rebel....


Trevor Hall LIVE "Rebel" Boulder Theater Colorado


A song for the afternoon.... for you H2O Man!!!

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 05:07 PM

11. Thank you.

Music is an important feature of the festival of life. And you have excellent taste in music.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 05:15 PM

12. Thank you, H2O Man!

Music is food for our soul....

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 05:23 PM

14. +1

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 05:30 PM

15. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, H2O Man.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:09 PM

18. Thanks, Uncle Joe.

I'm looking forward to March!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 07:02 PM

16. Good read for this evening...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:11 PM

19. This is wonderful. Thanks for this.

"they have lost hope for a better future for everyone." Truth right there.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:19 PM

21. Thanks, Autumn.

I appreciate your kindness.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:24 PM

22. I'm in this to the end. Today I phone banked (again)

as I will tomorrow and the next. Saturday I will canvass

Our opposition will continue to try to frame it as a hopeless battle. This is because, by and large, they have lost hope for a better future for everyone. Our mission is to keep hope alive, and to spread it across this nation.


Exactly!

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Response to Arazi (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 09:53 PM

24. Thank you

for all you do, Arazi! Your post makes me very happy!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #24)

Tue Mar 1, 2016, 01:52 AM

31. They are trying to depress enthusiasm already and you are correct, it is our job

to keep hope alive and we will.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)


Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 11:07 PM

25. Recommended.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 29, 2016, 11:13 PM

26. kick

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 1, 2016, 12:32 AM

27. Kickin' & a Recken' This one Up!

 

LOVED the clean glass of water metaphor, and so appropriate in this context literally as well as figuratively. Thank you so much for posting this very inspirational post.

I hope younger and newer forum members will read, take note, let it perculate and use it as a primer/template/tutorial/organizing tool.

Thanks again!

You know I'm a big fan.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Mar 2, 2016, 05:57 AM

32. Thank you for another pertinent and encouraging OP.

I wish you and my father, Roger Tubby, could have met. You'd have liked one another. He ran "inside the Blue Line" and as far as Watertown in NYS for Congress in 1974. He did very well for a Democrat in such a Republican stronghold, losing by only a few percentage points. He lamented he hadn't made it to just a few more factory openings, that that might have made the difference.

We're into March, with Bernie and the rest of us having done well on Super Tuesday. Today, my husband and I will be cheering, mingling and energizing at a Bernie rally in Portland, Maine.

Marching onward!

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