March 28, 2010

SO LAST WEEK READER RYAN BLEEK WROTE, asking what he could do to fight big government plans, given that he lives in an uncompetitive Congressional district. Various readers chimed in. Here’s some advice:

From a reader who asks anonymity:

I would say to Ryan (yesterday, 10:18am) that he needs to volunteer to go door-to-door on a close House campaign during the final weekend before the election, and preferably through election day. Knock on 500 doors a day, be willing to face opponents with good cheer and a smile, get great exercise. Putting feet on the ground en masse is the best way to show that we’re serious about changing our political leadership. I’ve done it four times and it’s often hard but definitely worth it.

It worked for Scott Brown, who got thousands of volunteers coming in this way. Reader Eric Cowperthwaite emails:

I sent email to my two senators in Washington State. This is a fairly blue state and those seats are probably considered “safe” for the Democrats. I think that’s no longer true, but it’s time to make sure they know that. So, I told them that I will be donating money to their opponents, volunteering for their opponents and voting for their opponents. I told them it is because of healthcare reform specifically. And I reminded them that democrats lost in Massachussetts before this bill was passed.

If everyone reading your page who is in “blue” or “purple” territory writes their democratic senator or representative that will send a big message. If half of us follow through, that’s an even bigger message.

Reader George Bednekoff emails: “I would lobby for term limits. Even fairly loose term limits of 12 years for the House and 18 years for the Senate would insure that congressmen in uncompetitive districts would get replaced periodically.”

Lynne Hulbert writes: “Scott Brown had a system where you could make phone calls for him from anywhere in the U.S. using your cell phone, most likely, since most people have free long-distance calling on their cell phones. I did it, and the system worked very well. Judging by the results, that might be one way to help in districts outside your own. I live in Arizona and called for a guy in Massachusetts, so there is no limit.”

And Lynwood Wilson emails: “Campaign against your local Congress critter regardless. Donate to his opponents. Even if he wins in spite of your efforts the strength of the opposition may worry him and affect his votes. And you might beat him. Who expected us to win Kennedy’s seat (sic) in Mass.?”

Another reader emails: “I live within 100 miles of a Dem congressman’s district in my state. He voted against the bill. BUT…before the vote I called his office and informed them I will contribute to his opponent if the Democrats pass this. AND I told them I will drive the 1 1/2 hours to help his opponent knock on doors, stuff envelopes, answer phones, get out the vote….whatever it takes to defeat him. As a clincher, I told them I am unemployed thanks to his party’s policies. I’ll have plenty of time to devote to his opponent.”

I think the most important lesson is to stay engaged, and don’t be silenced.

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