A while back I wrote:
Sometimes lately – since Bush v Gore – I imagine I’m looking at current events as if I am a future historian, tracking the record of “what happened” – sort of like how we now look back at Germany in the 30’s, trying to understand how it happened.
Some important words over at Daily Kos today:
What to do? First, spouting off in the blogs and staying engaged and informed, trading opinions and sharpening arguments, and conceding an opponent’s well-made points is healthy and good for all of us. It helps us find common ground where possible and identify issues that bother all of us. People who read and participate in blogs or get their news significantly from the Internet may be better informed than most. This doesn’t make us better than others, but it does give us the opportunity and responsibility to do something more than complain amongst ourselves. Yes, it means writing, faxing, or emailing your elected officials to let them know when you deem an issue to be important. But take the time to build an email mailing list and fax numbers made up of key US senators or representatives. What good is getting mad today about the GAO decision and your fears about the 2003 version of the Patriot Act if you don’t fire off a quick email or fax to these office holders about it? First off, they will be surprised to see that folks are paying attention. Secondly, although it may feel as if your message won’t make any difference, the experience of the right-wing media Wurlitzer of the last two decades shows that a small group of well-informed people who keep the heat up and gradually spread the effort around can convince officeholders and the media that people are paying attention to something other than the establishment spin.
Third, you should also have similar email and fax address books for the key people of your local newspaper(s) and TV stations, and just as importantly, the national writers, editors, and punditocracy. It is in my mind more important for the media to hear that today’s developments bother a significant group of folks, because in the absence of such dissent, our largely lazy corporate media won’t bother to hunt out dissent from the masses, and left to their own devices will return to the conservative establishment spin that is being fed to them at the Beltway cocktail parties and White House events. I have first hand experience at seeing several reporters and national columnists gradually change their coverage and tone on an issue when they see that people are paying attention and sending in emails and faxes challenging the spin being handed to the reporters at the government briefings. It may not happen overnight, but it can and does happen. The media will pay attention to well-informed opposition and those who are willing to stand up and make a reasonable opposition argument.
Fourth, instead of feeling alone with your concerns, join groups on issues that interest you so that you can network, obtain more information, be a better lobbyist of the media and officeholders, and build local networks of like-minded people. Even if many issues are of concern to you, there are many groups you can join for little money on a wide variety of issues that need you, and can allow for you to be heard by the local media.
There’s more so please go read the whole Daily Kos piece.