• You misunderstand.  Yes, I said we need to put real money into studying how to counter the effectiveness with which the Right is reaching people.  And yes, that is a communications problem.  This is PART of what I think might be a solution: helping the public to understand the actions of Progressives and how they benefit them.  We DO need to understand how to reach people because Progressives have better solutions and people need to know that.

    But I don't think there is any single solution to the problem of the Right's attack.  OTHER think tanks should be studying policy solutions.

    And beyond the development of badly-needed think tanks there are many other things we need to be doing.

    But I don't quite get from what you wrote HOW you would be making a difference in people's lives and what actions you are advocacting.

  • Commonweal Institute focuses on language, messaging and strategy, and reaching out to the general public to reinforce understanding of and respect for Progressive values.

    CAP is more of an issues organization.  They are Washington-based with a legislative focus.  This is also badly needed.

  • "And yet, to me, this solution is not by itself the key. First, I don't think we will ever have a Wurlitzer like the thugs do. It just is not our way to develop a fascist propaganda machine. Nor do we really want to do that."

    I agree.  And looking at this I would say we need to build the kinds of think tanks that will study questions like this.  

    Question: how do you counter the Right's media machine and propaganda?  Answer, you gather psychologists, linguists, etc. along with communications specialists.   You survey the available academic and commercial research, and then you study how to respond.  It might take a year...

    Of course, then you DO it.  That matters, too.  :-)

    Believe me, the Right done this kind of deep research.  But this kind of thing takes money.

  • I left out a very important resource that deserves your contributions: Media Transparency!  They did some of the groundwork that enables people to understand how this network operates.  Go take a look.
  • Send $100 to Commonweal Institute, Media Matters, Center for American Progress, Rockridge Institute...  Seriously, if everyone reading this sent $100 to Commonweal it would make a very big difference to them.  They're a small start-up.

    Put yourself on the mailing list or newsletter list of each of those.  

    Just as important, as more people learn about how this group has taken over the Republican Party, and who they are, and how they work, it starts to maske a huge difference in teir ability to pass their lies into the "public mind."

  • I'm saying that Commonweal is ONE such organization.  They are a new organization with the goal of reaching the general public with carefuly crafted messages promoting progressive ideals.

    The Right has literally hundreds of organizations.  One mistake that we should avoid is thinking we can set up one or a few "do-it-all" organizationsd and thereby solve the problem.

    We need TWO things to happen.  One is for existing Progressive organizations to work together and start bringing a unified, coordinated Progressive message to the general public, tying underlying Progressive ideals to their own organization's mission.  The other is to build new organizations - lots of them - that are designed to advocate underlying Progressive ideals to the broad general public.

    (I have done some of my research for Commonweal, and worked there as a Fellow.)

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/archives/cover/2002/cover0308.html
  • on a comment on More on the Retreat over 9 years ago
    Well, that's much of the point.  All expenses paid, including your entire family.  Then, warm and snug in that atmosphere of gratitude, come the presentations.  You are surrounded by the converted.  Everyone in the room snickers each time the speaker makes a joke about those old-fashioned lefties who the State to be responsible for everyone...

    It doesn't take long.

  • on a comment on More on the Retreat over 9 years ago
    "our Congressional leaders (Reid & Pelosi)encouraged him!"

    This is not accurate.  They have both made it clear that they do not have a favored candidate.

  • on a comment on Ideological One-Party State over 9 years ago
    Judicial Watch relied on Federalist Society judges to rule in their favor.  The same judges will just throw everything out that doesn't conform to the goals of the "conservative movement."  That's why they're so adament about getting their judges in.
  • The Trust Fund owns US Government Bonds, which are backed by a promise to pay, which you call "an accounting gimmick."  If you look at the money in your wallet, these are "government notes" - also nothing more than promises to pay - to use your words, another "accounting gimmick."

    So Social Security's bonds are worth the same as the money in your wallet is worth.  Either the government stands behind its promise to pay or it doesn't.  And if it doesn't, nothing any of us owns is worth anything.  Not our houses, or land, or anything else.  The proof of ownership for all of this is also pieces of paper backed by US Government promises.  Or, in your words, "accounting gimmicks."

    Also, all the money that we exchange with other countries is worthless, too.  That is also "accounting gimmicks."

    FYI Sec 4 of the 14th amendment to the Constitution of the United States says "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

    So, saying that the 2018 problem is a Social Security problem is like saying that your next mortgage payment is a bank problem, and they'd better reduce their expenses so you won't have to pay it.

  • comment on a post Payolagate: The tip of the iceberg over 9 years ago
    Well, we can certainly MENTION Commonweal.  :-)

    For people who are intersted in learning more about how the Right has managed to build themselves up to this point where they dominate our country's media discourse and politics I have put together this at Commonweal:  "A collection of links to articles, reports and resources for learning about the right-wing movement, its history, how it is funded and how it operates"

    And, something just put up at Commonweal - not by me - some concrete suggestions for building a Progressive infrastructure to counter the Right's organizations.  See this page.

  • comment on a post Payolagate: The tip of the iceberg over 9 years ago
    It's probably a good idea (IRS regulations) to point out that I didn't  do this as a Commonweal Fellow.  They don't financially support my blogging, either.  
  • I believe you may be looking for "$1 Billion for Conservative Ideas" or "Why do Progressive Foundations Give too Little to too Many?"

    I have put together a fairly comprehensive collection of what I have found online on this subject at Commonweal's collection of links to articles, reports and resources for learning about the right-wing movement, its history, how it is funded and how it operates

  • Yes, yes, yes!  Don't underestimate the enourmous influence of the Right's think tanks.  This is what all the researchers looking into why the Right is successful are saying.  They exist OUTSIDE of the election process but they greatly influence how we vote - what we understand to be the issues, what we know about the issues (like "Social Security is going broke"), what we accept as underlying values and ideology...

    If we examine the Right's network of organizations and what they do and how they work together we can see a framework for developing our own.  But I want to add that one the the reasons for their success is just the quantity as much as the quality.  Number of organizations, quantity of output from them, nuber of operatives they employ, etc...

    A Commonweal Institute report on this just came out, focusing on how the right pushes school privatization and written for teacher unions but applicable generally.  It is online here.  It calls for building advocacy/communication think tanks.

    An earlier report, describing how the Right is pushing tort reform is available here.

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