Reflections and advice from Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation.
Resist the temptation to be lured into partisanship and electioneering for candidates – except for very rare instances where the candidate is truly outstanding.
Keep working on issues – and be proactive in raising issues, even if mainstream news media and candidates are not paying attention. Your real audience is the general public.
Keep linking issues with the public’s concerns and values. Educate the public about your issues, and show how supporting your issues will help the public. When politicians are on the wrong side, expose the politicians’ errors, and win the public to your side.
Reach out to the general public. Don’t talk only with people who already agree with you.
Expose what the government – and politicians of both parties – have really been doing.
Expose their violations of public values, public virtues, and the public interest – and promote policies that support public values, public virtues, and the public interest.
Expose the Republicans’ extremism and the Democrats’ complicity – and politicians’ corruption and catering to special interests – but do this in a way that also affirms how your stances on the issues support public values, public virtues, and the public interest.
Show how the US’s arrogant and violent foreign and domestic policies are actually weakening US national security, bankrupting our economy, hurting the environment, and corrupting our best values. Offer alternative foreign and domestic policy proposals that would be good for the US and the world.
Study the concept of “framing” and “re-framing” issues. Practice what you learn.
Boldly strategize long-term goals and incremental steps toward them.
Proactively organize support for progressive values and goals. Be proactive in articulating, publicizing and practicing your values and the kind of world we want to create.
Plan and carry out events and activities that will set a new agenda for society – and that will catch people’s attention and make news.
Recognize that there are two kinds of “conservatives.” (1) Libertarians are likely to oppose wars, excessive military spending, invasions of privacy, etc. (2) Traditional moralists. Devise different strategies to appeal to each of these two groups – and other strategies to appeal to other constituencies.
Many people are cynical and distrust what the government tells us. How can we harness that skepticism to undermine the government’s propaganda without making the public distrust our alternatives also?
Support principled third parties and third-party challenges to mainstream candidates.
Support alternative news media.
We are working for long-term changes, so we must persist! The right wing certainly does!
War and other forms of violence just don’t work. Military “solutions” only make problems worse. David Dellinger said: “Just as it would be stupid to plant weeds and try to harvest vegetables, so it would be stupid to encourage the lies, conscription and murder of war, and hope to produce democracy, freedom and brotherhood. War is a Trojan horse from which emerge, at home, the enemies that destroy us.”