Here's what someone said to me on Monday morning, after the healthcare vote . . .
"With the Bailouts of 2008, the Stimulus, and now health care, there was a huge army in opposition each time. I could imagine a lot of discouragement regarding our (Downsize DC) strategy."
I understand this reasoning. This very thought dominated my thinking last week. After much meditation, I think we're right on track and things are great. Yes, I seriously do think that, and I'm not being Pollyanna. Here's why...
Our strategy at DownsizeDC.org was never limited to just building the army so big that Congress couldn't ignore us. And yet, even that part of our strategy has worked significantly well, all by itself. For instance . . .
* Direct, public pressure caused many huge changes in the healthcare bill, including the death of the socialist public option
* And my "Babka Unplugged" essay, from late February, details many other recent victories for the pressure strategy
Frankly, I believe discouragement is silly at this point, given how EARLY we are in this process. Moreover, it's important to be clear about something...
* Direct, public pressure on the politicians is merely the SECOND most important part of our strategy
* Direct pressure was inexpensive to implement, so we started there
* The tool we created to foster direct pressure was also useful for public education and recruiting an army
* But our primary strategy, pre-dating the launch of DownsizeDC.org, Inc., was to change the political environment with Operation Everywhere -- our plan to use repetition and advertising to market our message everywhere, every day.
As we penetrated the public debate, our ideas would seem more reasonable and mainstream, just by virtue of their repetition, and this would change not only the way politicians behave, but also the entire culture.
Politicians would be forced to adapt to the changes we'd brought to the political environment, or they would become extinct, replaced by a new breed of principled politicians and political opportunists who would claim to be our "leaders."
This is what YOU need that you don't have: YOU need to be able to make your views heard by everyone, everywhere, every day, and until YOU can do that YOU are going to lose important fights.
This kind of cultural change isn't going to happen overnight. And to be honest, many concerned citizens have wasted too many of their resources on ephemeral candidates and elections, silly events and expensive conferences, and other forms of political onanism.
If DownsizeDC.org had had one million supporters back in 2007, we would've defeated this healthcare bill, in its entirety.
We would've changed the environment, and turned State involvement in healthcare into another one of those "third rails" of politics. So . . .
If you're frustrated by the healthcare defeat, but aren't supporting DownsizeDC.org financially so that our whole strategy can someday be implemented, then expect to be frustrated again and again and again.
We don't think there are any short-cuts to the job that needs to be done.
In the meantime, we've had victories in battle, and we'll have more defeats in other battles. But we're in this for the long-haul, and the fight ends when we say it ends.
We'll win the war, so long as we keep growing. If you want to foster that growth you can start a monthly pledge or make a generous contribution, by check, credit card, or PayPal at DownsizeDC.org's secure contribution form.