Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Come Together Right Now

[UPDATE]: Oh my god. Just got invited to yet another progressive organizing meeting next week. C'mon people. Let's get all of these various and sundry groups organized and working toward one common goal. This is ridiculous.


You know, I rarely wade into local liberal politics on my blog because ... well, I just don’t. Who am I to lecture my fellow liberals about how things ought to be done, anyway? I don’t have much to contribute to a conversation like that, so I usually keep my mouth shut.

But something is really bugging me and I’ve just got to speak up. In short: Why are we so scattered? Why did I receive, this weekend alone, not one, not two, but three invitations to organizational meetings of local progressive political groups? And, of course, two of the meetings conflict.

I mean for crying out loud, this isn’t Berkeley. There aren’t that many progressive activists around here. Why can’t we all be on the same page and focus our energies on a common goal, instead of doing everything in such a scattershot way?

This was a constant issue for me last summer and fall during the height of the “town brawl”/healthcare reform madness. I’d get three or four e-mails a day about this rally or that meeting for healthcare reform, from five different groups. And on top of that I was also getting stuff from the local RePower America folks about their town hall meetings and canvassing events, and then I’d get stuff from Nashville Community Organizers about their volunteer needs, and then the Tennessee Democratic Party was wanting me to phone bank for some dufus in a far-flung rural county. And all I could think was: don’t you folks ever talk to one another? Schedule around each other? You know, organize?

I understand that everyone was trying to energize the base and get us active and wanting us to make noise and all, but for crying out loud, when there's two or three or four events a week planned you're sort of watering down the message.

So here it’s February and I’ve got three different progressive groups in the organizing or re-organizing phase, all needing activist/volunteers, and two of them have scheduled their meeting for the same day and time. Again: don’t you folks know about each other? Talk to each other? No?

I just don’t understand why this is a constant problem for us. Do Republicans have this issue? I have no idea, but I'd guess not. I doubt there are a half a dozen different grassroots conservative groups meeting, planning, and basically hoping to get stuff accomplished. Seems like most of that stuff comes down through one or two big groups. But I could be wrong, I’m not on those mailing lists.

Here's an idea: why don't all the various and sundry progresive and liberal and Democratic groups get together in one giant meeting and stage ONE event that covers everything. One giant march on the state capitol, or one big town hall event. Why do we need so many different groups, anyway? How is MoveOn different from Nashville Community Organizers, anyway?

I dunno. It bugs me. It's this week's kvetch.

Trace Sharp has more at Speak To Power ...