Wednesday, August 10, 2011
5 Ways Common People Can Compete with Corporate Cash
Corporate cash has flooded into our democracy and political system ever since Citizens United broke the levee.
Billion dollar corporations are using their monetary muscles to plaster your TV with smear ads about Democrats and make your $20 donations irrelevant and unable to compete with their infinitely deep pockets.
As a result, the GOP controls the house, governorship, and most statehouses across America.
Let's face facts...money talks... And in politics, it's heard loud and clear.
And now that they've got the power, they are going after any and every group that donates to Democrats in an attempt to weaken the Democratic Party through it's donors.
Most notably, they are waging a full on war against labor unions. I believe this is for two reasons. First being that unions bother their corporate donors with demands of worker's rights, better wages, benefits, and silly stuff like that. Second, unions are the top donors to the Democrats. In a country where money wins elections, bringing down labor unions means bringing down the Democratic Party.
This is nothing new, politics has always been a game of money and special interest, sometimes getting around to doing what the public asks.
The difference now is that republicans are tired of playing the game and are going in for the kill.
You and me don't have millions of dollars to compete with the corporations that aim to rule America because being rich and successful in it is just not enough, but this post isn't about that...
This post is about what we do have and how we can use it.
I don't know about you, but I still believe in the human soul and spirit. I realize that while money is power in our society, it is still just an object. Money is only powerful because of the meaning we put behind it.
Money can buy a lot of things, but it can't buy me and it can't buy you.
We as people have more power than money.
And here is how we prove it...
1) Make Your Own Political Ads
GOP groups use corporate cash to flood the airways with negative ads to smear Democrats in an attempt to sway voters. They spend millions to make sure the ad is ran in the area of interest all throughout the day.
You can do this as well for next to nothing.
Of course you can't afford to buy ad time on major networks, but that's okay... we have another tool. In fact, you're on it right now...
The Internet is one of the greatest ways to get a message out to millions of people. So why not make your own ads and advertise on the Internet?
Making and editing a video is simple. Many computers these days come with easy to use editing programs like like Imovie, etc. If not, you can find or download decent program for relatively cheap or even free.
You can even do this without filming with a camera. Most political ads are just edited footage and voice overs anyway. You can find footage of candidates, events, news clips, and debates all over the Internet. Just be creative and have fun!
Who cares if it looks a little raw or organic, people will understand and some will even like that style. Besides, message and substance is more important than quality.
Then post it to YouTube.com and/or other video sites and start advertising it on your twitter, facebook, etc.
And there you have it! You just made a political ad that has the potential to be seen by millions of people!
I know this may seem small compared to million dollar campaign ad buys, but many people are now famous from the Internet and many viral videos are now more famous than some TV shows. You have a chance of your video going viral and really making an impact.
Overall, I think most political ads are kind of lame, redundant, and boring anyway. I would love to see what everyday people can do with a little creativity. Make the ad you would want to see.
And even with all their money, they can't control the Internet....yet.
So make a video supporting your favorite candidate, issue, or cause!
If they are going to flood our TVs with their ads, we can flood the Internet with ours!
2) Not a Boycott... a Boycott Movement!
Corporations are giving republicans unlimited amounts of cash from their company profits.
One effective way to limit that is to stop giving money to the corporations that fund republicans. The less they make, the less they can give. Or God forbid they may even get the hint that their customers don't like what they are doing with the money they give them and stop... but don't hold your breath.
Boycotts don't work most of the time because they are never formed into a movement. People scream boycott all the time and then never do anything about it other than not supporting that business.
To effectively boycott, you must stop buying from that business and inform others on why they should join you and what better alternatives there are. Treat it like a political campaign. Advertise and build a case against your target.
Also, try and keep it to one target at a time. Keep it simple, stupid. One simple target to boycott. Too many will overwhelm and cause confusion. Stick with one and hammer on.
Along with this, "buycott" or support businesses that do support your causes.
Corporations make their money from you. You have more power over them than you think.
3) GOTV: Tap the Group No One Else Does, Non-Voters!
I know, this is standard protocol in any election.
But my point here is about improving on this.
The Democrats and their groups/orgs have some of the best ground game in the world. We destroy republicans in this department. However, due to the tidal wave of money, we have to step it up a notch or two.
Money cannot knock on doors and win over voters with information and charm.
Money cannot sit down with our friends, family, community, and talk about the issues that are important to us and get them interested and active.
Money cannot call voters and have a person to person conversation about why they should vote.
Money cannot walk into a voting booth and make a choice.
Only we can do these things.
It's our obligation to everything we stand for to get more people involved, expand our ground game, and win elections the good old fashioned way.
We must take our fight to main street and make our case to the people who are most harmed by conservative policy. We must also go beyond that. We need to go into the streets that have been forgotten. The places of economic and social ruin. The places most people are afraid to walk down at night yet never question why it is this way.
We must go to the places in our communities most harmed by republican policy and recruit for our cause to turn it around for good.
While making sure voters vote is greatly important, I feel we must also focus more on expansion through informing and turning on non-voters and the under informed.
Too many American aren't interested in politics and don't care. Even though politics effects their lives and sometimes for the worst, they feel there is nothing they can do about it and don't bother. Republicans thrive and even win on this apathy.
Without being preachy or pushy, we must try to turn on those who feel this way and do not vote. We must make a case to them on how politics effects their lives and that they can do something about it.
The more registered and informed voters, the higher the turnout.
This is why republicans fight hard to suppress the poor and disenfranchised from voting. This is why we must make sure they vote.
4) Don't Just Write Your Congressmen, Write the Corporations That Own Them!
Many people write their congressmen to express their thoughts and concerns about issues or their performance. Rarely do people ever write the corporation that funds their congressmen.
The truth is, you as taxpayers pay your congressmen only so much money a year. Corporations give them much more than you do to enact policy to fit their needs, not yours. Sadly, the corporation's needs and wants are heard over yours because they gave your congressman ten times more than you do.
As they say, money talks.
We can change this by electing congressman that will actually serve the public interest and cannot be bought, but until then, we can call and email the corporations that bought our congressmen. Since they want to have such a big hat in our political system, they can deal with hearing our concerns as well.
We can tell them that as customers, we don't like what they are doing with the profits they made from us and we will be happy to take our business elsewhere if they don't stop.
You know what they say, the customer is always right!
Might as well cut out the middle man.
Since the whores in congress listen to their pimps over us, we'll just take it up with the pimps.If they want to buy our democracy, they are going to have to listen to us bitch and complain.
5) Run for Office: If You Want Something Done Right, Sometimes You Have to Do it Yourself!
I mean... why not?
So you didn't go to a great school. So you don't have the best track record on Earth. So you don't own any nice suits.
Screw it! If you think you have what it takes, run for office! The worst thing that can happen is you'll lose.
This may seem bold, but hear me out...
You don't have to run for president, senator, or even congressman. Start small. Run for your local city council, run for mayor, country clerk, treasurer, etc.
At this time, people in general are tired and fed up with politicians. Maybe it's time that people who are not politicians run for office. Most politicians try to run as your next door neighbor or the common man candidate. Maybe your next door neighbor should just run?
Most people who have aspirations or dreams of running for office and have great ideas never do because they feel that you must have a perfect track record, have gone to Harvard or Yale, and have lots of money to run for office. So they feel intimidated and never attempt it. While these things do help, I see a clear advantage to not having this.
While your opponent is going out of their way to convince their constituents that they are just like them despite being a millionaire and that they can relate to their problems despite having none of them, you are the real deal.
You can tell your constituents that you have trouble paying your bills, just like them.
That you work everyday for a paycheck, just like them.
That you buy gas everyday and pay house payments, just like them.
That you know what it's like to go without health care and without a job, just like them.
Call me a dreamer, but I think this message and real people running for office would be welcomed with open arms in a country that is growing more skeptical and frustrated with Washington every day.
One of the best ways to stop the corporate takeover of our democracy is to elect people who still have principle and morals that cannot be bought. If that's you, you should step up. You'll only live once.
Besides, we are more effective working on the inside than protesting on the outside.
These are just a few effective ways we can fight back.
It's ironic that the Supreme Court ruling that allowed unlimited corporate cash into our democracy is called "Citizens United" because that's exactly how we will beat them... the citizens will unite.