Friday, September 15, 2006
I left Eureka at 2pm on Wednesday, headed to Santa Rosa. It took almost four hours to get to the Round Table Pizza where the Progressive Democrats of Sonoma County were holding their regular meeting in a private room. Many thanks to Anna Givens who was kind enough to invite me as the keynote speaker. The best thing about this group is that I didn't encounter one person who didn't get it. Nobody raised concerns or challenged statements like "there is no basis for confidence in reported election results," or "as long as people are jailed without charges and we are not presumed innocent, we are not Free People." This made my job easier. This may have been the most in depth and lengthiest talk I've given focused almost entirely on A Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution (.pdf).
Several years ago, when I first became politically active, my main focus was on evaluating how we choose our goals. That hasn't really changed, though I've developed various concepts and phrases that now provide guidance for making better choices. I began my presentation Wednesday night by saying I have a top line and a bottom line. The top line is that we need to look at how we choose our goals and if we do this using the concepts I'm about to share then the bottom line is that Peaceful revolution is necessary, NOW!
Among the concepts discussed, I suggested that wisely chosen goals, when achieved, should accomplish the following: create an immediate tangible impact or change; create a ripple effect with repercussions on the long-term big picture; and influence the balance of power between We The People and the government.
We talked about the two components of ruthless honesty: reconciling what we say we believe with how we act on that same information; and differentiating false alternatives from genuine alternatives.
I described and gave examples of some of the memes, though I think I neglected to refer to them that way. The emphasis was on "least you can do" and "what would be better?"
The Voter Confidence Resolution was a good way to tie this all together. It is a ruthlessly honest document that says current election conditions ensure inconclusive outcomes, provide no basis for confidence in the results reported, and assume rather than seek the Consent of the Governed. What would be better is to implement the platform of election reforms contained in the resolution. While that won't happen all at once, the least we can do is reject the charade. That step builds toward the bigger goal of hand counting the ballots to reach a verifiable outcome we can accept. And that goes toward the even bigger goal of preventing power and authority from being bestowed upon a candidate claiming an office that was not properly won or even contested. Put another way, this is part of how we are withdrawing the Consent of the Governed.
It was a very lively discussion with a lot of Q&A. The topics I initiated took about 30 minutes while the dialog ran another entire hour. The questions led to answers that introduced many other Blueprint (.pdf) topics I hadn't yet brought up. We dealt with inherent uncertainty, the Cold Civil War, intentional divisiveness, the rift in the perception of reality, municipal civil disobedience, and more. If these terms are new for you, please read the Blueprint.
As usual, even when a gig like this seems to go well, my "what would be better?" instinct presents ideas for improvement. In the near future I hope to create some PowerPoint slides that will help streamline my presentation, also bringing it more consistency. I might even narrate some really brief comments that could be recorded and posted with the slides online. In addition, I recently compiled the last 2.5 years worth of local news coverage of election issues into a scrap book. I may try to create a virtual version. Already in progress, Voter Confidence Committee member Ruth Hoke is doing a comparative analysis of the coverage documented in the scrap book. We are aiming to have a serious critique ready in advance of next Thursday's media accountability forum ("Media Talkback").
So it took me about 3.5 hours to drive back to Eureka after my few hours in Santa Rosa. I had hoped to line up Bay Area appearances on the same trip and spend a few days down there but it didn't come together. Meanwhile, when I returned, I realized the ultimate motivation for being willing to make this trip anyway. Along with "Peaceful revolution is necessary, NOW!" I have a message for people in every town I can visit: "psst...the peaceful revolution is on...pass it on." There is just no way that people are not ready for it. They just don't know how to begin or that others have already begun.
* * *
A Blueprint For Peaceful Revolution (.pdf) was first published in the GuvWurld News Archive on 9/22/05. It also appears as the final chapter in my book, We Do Not Consent. Download a free .pdf version of the book or visit http://WeDoNotConsent.blogspot.com to buy a hard copy.
* * *
Click here to find out what California City Council has the Voter Confidence Resolution on its next agenda.
* * *