Sunday, June 22, 2008

Moveon Gets a Bad Rap

By: Barbara Wright

For those of you who are familiar with only through the media, you might have the wrong idea. The media likes to portray MoveOn as a small bunch of radical lefties taking a swing at the right through contoversial ads like the " Petraeus don't betray us" ad. MoveOn was actually started during the Clinton years and was named for the stance, " censure Clinton and then move on." After September 11th, the ranks of MoveOn grew to more than 4 million members mostly based on the internet. There is no MoveOn office, just a few computers at the home of MoveOn founder Eli Pariser. MoveOn is funded by small contributions of it's members and has used it's funds to create amazing software applications that began to have a huge impact during the 2006 election. MoveOn members can use a calling tool to talk to voters in all corners of the country to get people out to vote and is now being used for the 2008 election to help elect Barack Obama.

There has recently been a change of strategy and on the ground organizing is now in progress. This takes the form of Operation Democracy Councils that are being organized in every city in the country. Once a month these councils meet and plan events to keep the public thinking about our fight to win back the White House and strengthen our Democracy.

MoveOn helps plan events like the Bake Sale we organized this last Saturday at the Farmer's Market. They are always simple events that don't take alot of experience or effort but are fun and inclusive of all different types of people.When MoveOn suggested the bake sale idea, I thought it was lame. It reminded me of the old bumper sticker that said something like " What if schools had all the money and the Air Force had to have a bake sale to buy new jets" It turned out to be a wonderful way to get the message across. There were so many cookies delivered by members that the table was groaning. It was a beautiful day and families and friends were at capacity around the Farmer's Market. When one of the members showed up with ice cream, I thought she was crazy but sandwiched between two cookies, it was a big hit. I met many new folks and it was so much fun that when I had to leave early to get to work, I was sad.

I have come to the conclusion that many people avoid anything to do with politics because they are stuck in the middle of two sides that they see as both radical. Even if the Right Wing tries to portray MoveOn as way to the left, the simple truth is these 4 million plus people ARE the middle. They have just decided not to sit around waiting for someone else to do something about all the problems our country is facing.

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