In Why Republicans Win, I wrote,
The way out of this is to understand that we need to EDUCATE AND PERSUADE THE GENERAL PUBLIC about the fact that core Progressive ideas and values are good for them. What we are instead doing now is spending a LOT of money on narrow-interest environmental and other kinds of interest organizations that largely talk to the converted. Environmentalists have to combine forces with civil justice advocates, consumer litigation advocates, peace activists, etc. and all together go after the Right AS ONE.
Today, in the Washington Post, there’s an example of what I’m talking about. From the article, A Quiet Revolution In Business Lobbying:
“The chamber is at the forefront of a quiet revolution in business lobbying. Corporate groups now raise big money to advance broad issues, largely to help the Republican president enact his fiscal agenda. That’s a long step away from what trade associations traditionally did: concentrate on narrow concerns while shunning partisan spats.
[. . .] For the 2004 elections, the chamber dispersed 215 political operatives to 31 states, mailed 3.7 million letters to targeted voters, made 5.6 million phone calls and sent 30 million e-mails to persuade pro-business voters to go to the polls.”
Even the narrow interests of the Right understand now — advance the larger cause, and you get what you want because it gets your side in and THEN you can ask for what you want.
We don’t really have lots of wealthy businesses on our side, but we do have a number of well-funded organizations working on environmental, peace, women’s and many other “causes.” The problem is each of these addresses their narrow interest, and talks mostly to their own audience. What is needed now is a pooling of interests, with each kind of organization joining with others who would classify as “Progressives” to advance a united front, explaining to the broad, general public why Progressive values are superior and will benefit THEM, and why they should therefore elect Progressive candidates. We need to take the country back. THAT is how we will save the environment, and protect a woman’s right to choose, and get guns under control in urban areas, and help animal rights, and bring back the right to unionize, and save public schools, and raise the minimum wage, and protect Social Security, and get national health insurance, and all the other things that are so important to all of us. If you are giving money to any of these kinds of organizations you need to understand that your money is largely wasted now, because these organizations are stil largely trying to advance their own narrow interests instead of working together to advance our comon UNDERLYING ideals to the GENERAL PUBLIC in every state. Think about giving money to organizations that work to explain to the general public why they should support Progressive values in general.