If one person uses one phrase from this letter to help one other person understand that the United States is on the verge of a revolution--or even if one person's mind is slightly changed--then I'm doing my job.
F.A.N. is sending this letter tomorrow to every Democrat in the U.S. Senate. Next week we'll hit the House. We may even address a less partisan version to Republican congresspersons.
Dear Democratic Leaders:
We are the grassroots, the netroots, the people who support the party and its candidates with dollars we can ill afford, time we don't have, and energy carved out of the limited fund that must also serve our families, our jobs and our households.
So we're busy. And we're tired. We're taking time once again to say something to you, and we hope very much that you'll hear us. We'll try to be brief.
The Democratic Party and our elected representatives have taken our support and used it in a game of give-and-take politics that the neoconservative administration has rendered irrelevant and obsolete. They are busy systematically dismantling the Constitution in favor of rampant corporatism. Democrats seem to have been busy conserving political capital.
It's time to stop. If we can see that, surely you can. Every time a Democratic member of Congress votes in favor of a Republican bill, amendment, or nominee, the Republicans score another point in their game of eliminating all opposition.
We--at least 49 percent of all Americans--are the opposition. Your job is to represent us. Not big banking concerns, not corporate billions, not Wall Street: Us. The people in every state--Red, Blue, or Purple--who believe that America can be "strong at home and respected in the world" only if it honors its working people, its families, its communities, its environment, and the rights of all Americans.
So here's what we ask:
Be the opposition. Vote consistently, and always, against Republican-sponsored bills, amendments and nominees that represent corporatism, bigotry, and environmental degradation.
--No Democrat should have voted to confirm Alberto Gonzales, because no Democrat should condone torture, of any kind, under any circumstances.
--No Democrat should have voted for so-called "tort reform" because to do so is to say that American citizens have no right to seek redress when they are victimized by corporate greed.
--Every Democrat should have spoken out clearly against the bankruptcy bill, because every Democrat should oppose the lifelong debt purgatory this awful legislation will impose on those Americans least resistant to predatory lenders.
--Every Democrat should be vocal in opposition to privatizing Social Security. A favorable stance on this cynical program shows complete disregard for the American worker.
Now, we want more Democrats in Congress, and we understand that turning away from major contributors who may fund your next campaign might cause you to lose your seat. But we no longer accept that as an excuse to vote with the party and administration that are destroying everything that makes America great.
Be a Democrat, or watch your grassroots support wither and spring up under someone who will. Speak out as a Democrat, or watch the expanding power of open-source journalism be turned against you. Vote as a Democrat, or be voted out of your office.
Expect your fellow Democrats to stand firm as well, all the way down to the municipal level. Lend your power and support to those who uphold the Democratic Party platform. Discipline those who don't, and work against them if they persist. Act as if each of you represents all of us, because you do, now more than ever.
As Thomas Jefferson wrote at the founding of our nation, "When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government."
Some of our representatives have firmly opposed the abuses and usurpations of the current administration, and we salute you. We pay attention. We will keep paying attention. We are standing up against the terrible decline of what America stands for, and we are watching for you--all of you--to do the same.
And yes, we're signing our real names.