Thursday, February 12, 2015

Painfully clear

We progressives have a problem. On issue after issue, the public is on our side. And yet, every one of these issues is completely and utterly gridlocked in Washington.
Dear MoveOn member,

Hello. This is former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. I'm writing to ask for your help with a groundbreaking new project I'm starting with MoveOn.

I'm going to explain it to you in depth, but just to cut to the chase, I'm also going to ask for money. So before I launch into this whole explanation, here's the link to donate, just so you have it handy.

OK, here's the deal: After the last election, it became painfully clear that we progressives have a problem.

On issue after issue, the public is on our side. Raising the minimum wage. Cracking down on Wall Street. Ending corporate welfare.

And yet, every one of these issues is completely and utterly gridlocked in Washington.

Why? That's a big question, and I know people who have written entire books on it. But one part of the problem is clear: We're losing the message war.

You see, when Republicans pick a message, they hammer on it over and over and over. Obamacare. Benghazi. Solyndra. It doesn't matter what the facts are—conservative thinktanks, the right-wing media, and Republican politicians pick one story and stick to it until it sinks in.

Progressives don't have anything like that kind of media support or message consistency. And that's what we're setting out to change.

Getting excited yet? If so, here again is that link to donate.

The way it's going to work is that we're putting together the most powerful and important proposals to improve the lives of the bottom 90 percent. Proposals that will impact tens of millions of Americans—and are supported by conservative voters and progressives alike.

But instead of waiting for CNN or the network news stations to give our ideas the attention they deserve, we're teaming up with the online experts at MoveOn to bypass the mainstream media and get our message in front of millions of Americans directly.

We know this can work. Because just last week, we created a video sounding the alarm about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a corporate-friendly trade deal that's been almost totally ignored by the corporate media.

In just a few days, the video was seen by THREE MILLION PEOPLE.

Do you know how much it costs to get millions of people to see a 60-second television ad? Our TPP video cost a fraction of that.

If we want to start making progress again on the big issues that matter, we need to change what we're doing. And I believe that together, with this plan, we can do it. Will you chip in $3 help us get this project off the ground?

Yes, I'll chip in today.

Thanks for all you do.

–Robert Reich

Robert Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest, "Beyond Outrage," is now out in paperback. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His new film, "Inequality for All," is now available on Netflix, iTunes, DVD, and On Demand. 

Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Start a monthly donation here or chip in a one-time donation here.

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