Like many others, I received an email from the DNC asking me to help them in their opposition to Bush's Social Security privatization plan. While my personal opposition on this issue is strong, I chose to give this request for funds a pass and, instead, to write the following email.
Dear Democratic National Committee
I received an email from you, the subject of which was "Stop Bush Cold on Social Security." In it you asked me to contribute "seed money" for "the most extensive, far-reaching, and effective grassroots issues campaign America has ever seen." You also mentioned that you were "counting on [my] active participation and [my] strong financial support."
The problem I have with this request for funds is the absolute "top-downness" of it all. You ask for my money and tell me you will soon give me a "fact sheet" to hand out. But you completely fail to ask me what I think or how I feel! You want my money and my sweat, but you don't give a damn about my heart or my mind! Nowhere in that email was there the possibility of communicating with you other than to contribute, to subscribe or to unsubscribe.
In case you haven't noticed, grass grows UP, not down. I am part of the grassroots of the Democratic Party, but I expect more from my party leadership than to have the occasional load of manure heaped on me.
For example, if you had listened to the grassroots, every single Democratic Senator would have stood with Barbara Boxer in challenging the Ohio election results. They would have stood in solidarity against the confirmation of Condaleeza Rice.
I don't know who will be selected to chair the DNC for the next four years, and I have no power to influence it either. But if it isn't Howard Dean, I despair for my party and my country. The single most important thing he did to inspire his legion of admirers was to not only talk to them, but to listen as well. It wasn't easy. There are a lot of us. But he did it. And we felt empowered as a result.
The DNC (and the DLC even more so) has lead this party to the "center" for 20 years or more. From inside the beltway, you may not have noticed, but every time we have leaned to the "center" the other guys have shifted further right. Today the most extreme right-wing thinkers in America are in power, and the Democratic Party has completely lost touch with its power base on the left. It doesn't bode well, boys and girls.
I won't be contributing to this effort. I'll write letters to my elected representatives as well as to my friends and relatives. I'll talk to my friends, co-workers and acquaintances. I'll do my own damn fact sheet.
If you want me to pay, you are going to have to let me play. Include me in the conversation or leave me alone!
(Mr) Jackie Minchew
5607 S. 2nd Ave
Everett, WA 98203