Sunday, March 12, 2006

Taking Back America, Part 2

In the first entry in this series, I told you that the first thing you can do in the process of taking back America is to accept that it is dead, killed off by neoconservative policies, electoral fraud and lies. I also told you that it is important to remember that it will take years to take back what was once America.

Now, this is a depressing thing to have to accept, because it implies that America is damaged beyond all hope of immediate repair. That we on the left are already defeated. And in a sense, that is the case. But that is only for the short term. This is the next thing you can do--to remember that the first entry in this series applies to the short term, and not the long term. If I thought there was no hope of taking back this country, I wouldn't be telling you what you can do to help that process along.

If you need some hope to cling to, fear not, for here it is.
MARCH 10, 2006 (COMPUTERWORLD) - The state of Maryland stands poised to put its entire $90 million investment in Diebold Election Systems Inc. touch-screen e-voting systems on ice because they can’t produce paper receipts.

The state House of Delegates this week voted 137-0 to approve a bill prohibiting election officials from using AccuVote-TSx touch-screen systems in 2006 primary and general elections.

My earlier entry was not meant to completely disillusion you, but to get you to accept the reality of the situation. Because you cannot hope to solve a problem unless you realize and accept the full scope of it.

Which brings us to the inevitable questions; okay, so America as we knew it is gone, what do we do about it? And where do we begin?

This is where I come to the point of this entry in the series.

Shouting out your frustration, or typing it out on a blog, isn't enough. Neither is writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper (an indication that you keep informed about what is going on in government, which is definitely good), or voting. Not that these acts aren't fine and dandy; they are. But in a country with a representative government, these acts are not nearly enough. Especially in today's environment.

So, if you haven't done so already you'll want to start attending ward club meetings for your local Democratic Party, or independent party if the Democrats are a turn-off to you. Every party that has any presence in a municiple community has party ward clubs, in which members of the local chapter of the party (I'll use Democrats from here on out as an example, but feel free to apply your political party of choice to this) meet to discuss what is going on in the community, the region, state and nation vis-a-vis politics, and how their lives are affected. Most importantly, they are good for formulating courses of action.

If you're not sure where your ward club meets or how to join, ask your city councilperson, or other elected official from your party. They usually meet once a month for a few hours, so it isn't a huge drain on your time and energy. And any ward club worth its salt will feed you, so you won't miss dinner at any rate. Once you've joined, you can take part in the discussion and also learn more about the political process. You'll also get treated to regular visits from candidates for office, which can be a bore sometimes, but it's important to know who is running for what, and what they have to say; it'll help you determine whether or not to support them.

The key here is that you become active in politics and in the workings of your community. Without at least this level of participation, then a truly representative government does not truly exist. So my suggestion to you is get up off your couch, and start looking for a ward club to join if you haven't already.

At some point, you will want to become even more active. This you can do by running for political office yourself, but that I will save for the next entry, which will probably be tomorrow evening. Until then, take the time to read and re-read this entry, and let it sink in. Take care, and until next time STAY INFORMED!

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