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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

"The fight goes on..."

If you need encouragement and ideas--and we need both of those at this juncture--check out The Fight Goes On: Progress Report Readers Write Back

It's a collection of the post-election responses sent in by readers of The Progress Report (the newsletter of the Center for American Progress). There are numerous ones that I'd like to quote. Here are three:

  • "If progressive ideas and individuals are going to have any hope of turning America around and back towards the center, we have to set out a 10 to 40 year plan to change the minds of Americans and to create a climate in which progressive ideals will become paramount in the minds of Americans. It will be a slow and long battle. If conservatives could stay with their agenda for 40 years then we must be prepared to do the same. There will be small victories along the way and events might conspire to give us the opportunity to make dramatic inroads but we have to begin a constant drum beat in the same ways that conservative have done in the past and will continue to do so in the future."

  • "Election evening, I felt so angry, frustrated, and disappointed in our country. I had so much energy that I wanted to channel to change, but was too angry to figure out how. The next day, I found myself sharing my feelings and beliefs at work in a way I hadn't before. I was able to talk with Bush supporters without either of us getting escalated, just informed. I decided that in the next four years, I will communicate with others what I read (since I know most don't read your emails (sorry!) or the many books out there on the lies of the Bush administration) in a calm informative way, to teach them what I've learned. I won't wait until 6 months before the election or shy away from conflict. I also plan to be very active politically throughout the year, writing letters and calling my legislators, not just assuming others will do it for me. And finally, I have pledged to give more money to environmental groups and be more environmentally conscious since I know the current administration won't!"

  • "Dear Progress, You are doing a great job on issues and research. But there's a real need for personal connection and identification, some might call it emotional intelligence, among progressives. The evangelical community is growing, especially in the suburbs. They answer an emotional need among our fellow citizens by providing a caring, supportive community with many of the services--schools, child care, elder care--that government also provides. They choose the religious-based service because they are part of a community that reinforces their feelings.

    We talk about statistics and issues. They talk about love, redemption and salvation. We have to find a way to connect with them, and we can't do it in the conventional ways of argument and debate. In my view, we should make a personal, emotional connection with that group and they aren't all in the red states.

    I'm saddened that progressives too often ridicule and put down the evangelical community. It's very hard to persuade someone you don't respect. I have serious differences with them, but I fundamentally understand their yearning for a supportive community. One bridge that could be helpful would be the revive the talk about family leave. Another would be to begin a conversation about granting partners legal standing to visit hospital patients.

    Go for the gut. Make them feel the pain of their positions, and offer acceptable alternatives. Hope this is helpful."

Many many more are posted here.

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