ISBN: 9781603582933 Year Added to Catalog: 2010 Book Format: Paperback Dimensions: 5 3/8 x 8 3/8 Number of Pages: 232 Book Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Release Date: August 25, 2010 Web Product ID: 533
Also in Politics & Social Justice
The Progressive's Guide to Raising Hell
How to Win Grassroots Campaigns, Pass Ballot Box Laws, and Get the Change We Voted For
"I've often said, 'First we will elect people who we can talk to into positions of power, and then we will hold their feet to the fire so we get real change. This book is the manual for holding Democratic feet to the fire."
—Howard Dean, former Chair of the Democratic National Committee and Vermont governor; author of Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform
Change is no simple matter in American politics—a fact that Americans have recently learned well. Elections rarely produce the change they promise. After the vote, power vacuums fill with familiar values, if not faces. Promises give way to fiscal realities, hope succumbs to pragmatism, and ambition concedes to inertia. The old tricks of interest groups—confuse, diffuse, scare—prevail over the better angels of American nature.
But populist energy can get change-making and change-makers back on the right track.
The key to success, says acclaimed consumer advocate and president of Consumer Watchdog Jamie Court, is getting downright mad. It’s anger, not hope, that fuels political and economic change. And in 2010 America, anger rules. But it needs to be vectored and focused if it is to succeed in fueling the type of change that the majority of Americans believe in.
If we want that change, the kind that polls show 60 percent of Americans believe in, we need to do more than vote every two to four years or wait for a new president to learn the tactics of confrontation. The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell is a road map filled with concrete tips and rules of the road that average people can use to force change between elections.
How can progressives get what they believed they voted for? Court, a longtime organizer of ballot campaigns and other initiatives, tells readers how to heat up their issue, take grassroots action, organize their community, use publicity to their advantage, employ Internet and social media to build support, and get the change they want.
Jamie Court’s Five Steps For Creating Change:
Expose: Exposing new information about opponents—facts that conflict with the image they put forth in public—shows how out of touch with public opinion they are.
Confront: Confronting our opponents on the battleground of our values creates a debate, an unfolding drama, over popular values through which a campaign can be won.
Wait for the mistake: The goal of all advocacy is to force our opponents’ mistakes, which gives us the ability to shame our opponents and force them to either do what we want or lose more power.
Make the mistakes the issue: If your opponent is ashamed or sorry, he will adopt your proposals or negotiate in good faith. If not, repeat steps 1–3 to force more mistakes and gain more leverage.
Don’t let go: Persistence often turns up the key lead, connection or exposure that tips the campaign your way: keep your teeth in their tail until they agree to your terms.
Book Trailer by Brave New Films
About the Author
Jamie Court is president of Consumer Watchdog, an award-winning, nationally recognized consumer advocate. He is also the author of Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom...And What You Can Do About It and coauthor of Making A Killing: HMOs and the Threat To Your Health. Court helped pioneer the HMO patients' rights movement in the United States, sponsoring successful laws in California and aiding them elsewhere. He has also led major corporate campaigns to reform insurers, banks, oil companies, utilities and political practices. He is a regular commentator on National Public Radio's "Marketplace" program and on the Los Angeles ...