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May 15, 2009

Are You Serious?

MEDIA NOTICES: Downsize DC President Jim Babka will appear on two radio shows this weekend, one today (Friday), and one tomorrow (Saturday). Check below his signature to learn how you can tune in.

Quote of the Day: “Two roads diverged in a wood. I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Subject: Are you serious?

I hear it all the time, in the emails that flood my In-Box and on the radio shows I do. Everyone thinks we need to replace our current Congress with better people. I always have the same reaction — “Are you serious?”

What would it take to get even ONE “good person” elected? You’d need . . .
* A good candidate
* A great campaign
* A ton of money

And you’d still probably lose because incumbents have powerful natural advantages. But even if you did win, one politician can’t pass or repeal laws. You’d need . . .

* Hundreds of great candidates
* Hundreds of great campaigns
* And hundreds of millions of dollars to get them all elected

But before you could even even begin to acquire these things you’d have to build a HUGE list of supporters from which to recruit your supposedly good candidates, and from which to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars you’d need. But there’s a problem. Several problems actually . . .

* If you’re trying to do this through a political party many people won’t want to join you because they don’t like the partisan label you’ve chosen
* Many more people won’t like some of your supposedly good candidates as much as you do
* And many more won’t want to join you because either you or your candidates favor some position that’s a deal breaker

But it gets worse . . . 

* The campaign finance laws limit how much you can raise from your list of donors
* You must report your contributors to the government, thereby intimidating some large donors who will fear retaliation against their business interests by the incumbents you’re trying to unseat

So, even with a huge army of donors you’ll have a hard time raising the money you need. It will be like trying to fill a swimming pool with a teaspoon. But let’s say you overcome these obstacles, after decades of hard work (because that’s how long it will take). You’re still going to be frustrated  . . .

Most of the supposedly good candidates you elect will turn out to be bums. They’ll get to Congress and start behaving like the old gang you worked so hard to replace. This is almost inevitable, because . . .

The system is designed to work that way!

All politicians, even YOUR politicians, have huge incentives to say yes to special interests, to trample your rights, and to give away your money. After all . . .

* They get an ego-boost from saying yes to special interests
* They also grow more powerful by saying yes, NOT by saying no
* They’re spending you’re money, not their own, so saying yes is easy
* Their new special interest friends can replace you as their source of funding and votes
* And now that they’re in office they know it will be hard for you to fire them

This means you’ll have to start the process all over again, finding new supposedly good candidates to replace the people you thought were good before. Either that, or . . .

You’ll have to find a way to control the people you worked so hard to elect. But, assuming that’s possible, why didn’t you just do that in the first place? Why didn’t you just skip all the time, pain, effort and expense of electing a new set of bums to replace the old set of bums?

Given these realities, why don’t you take the road less traveled, by doing things in reverse?

Instead of recruiting a huge army to replace the existing Congress, recruit that army so you can PRESSURE CONGRESS to do what you want. After all, public pressure brought down the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union, as well as forced Red China to change its ways. It ought to be even more effective here in the United States. Better yet . . .

You lose nothing by taking this approach, because the army you build to apply pressure could also be used to elect a new Congress later, if necessary. Plus, doing it this way means . . .

* You don’t have to convince all of your supporters to agree on the same partisan label, or the same group of candidates
* Your army won’t even have to agree on all the issues — individual members can pick and choose the issues where they want to apply pressure

This is exactly what was designed to do. And it’s working . . .

* We’ve won 18 victories so far
* We’ve helped to gain new co-sponsors for important legislation
* And our army is constantly growing

The Downsize DC Army now stands at 25,329 members

* We’ve gone nearly 33% of the way to 26,000 members in just 15 days, whereas before it took us 176 days to get from 24,000 NET members to 25,000 — our growth is accelerating
* We grew by 48 new members yesterday, and by 980 so far this year

But we’re very far from doing all that we could do. Much more rapid growth is possible. We know how to reach hundreds of thousands of people who would like what we’re doing, especially things like the “Read the Bills Act” and the “One Subject at a Time Act.” But we need YOUR help to reach them.

How fast the army grows grow really is up to you. Increased recruiting requires increased funding. It requires more monthly pledges and one-time donations. We’ve structured our organization so that we can make progress with monthly pledges as low as $5 a month. That’s just 17 cents per day, but please consider doing more if it fits your budget.

If you can start a monthly credit card pledge to help fund faster recruitment please tell us on the secure contribution form if its okay to publish your name here . . .

NEW MONTHLY PLEDGERS IN MAY: Nancy Kovar, Ryan Ackroyd, WM Michael O’Brien, John C Houghton, James Alan Speedie, ONE unlisted

Or, if you’d prefer to make a one-time donation, please let us know if its okay to publish your name here . . .

NEW ONE TIME DONORS IN MAY: Bruce N. Liddel, Ernest P. Eusea, Chris Reulman, David Anthony, Christopher T Wagner, Thomas Sartwelle, Jr, FOUR unlisted

Be serious about causing real change. Build a huge army to gain what you want. Do it by taking the road less traveled.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army. (Check below my signature for an error correction, and to learn how you can hear my upcoming radio interviews). Don’t forget to start a monthly pledge or make a one-time donation.

Jim Babka, President, Inc.

ERROR CORRECTION: Our Tuesday Dispatch mistakenly reported that the federal government now funds the majority of state spending. However, our basic points remains the same, because the feds have become the SINGLE LARGEST source of funds for state budgets. This gives the federal government tremendous leverage to control the state governments, which was our point. We regret the error.

MEDIA NOTICES: Today (Friday), Jim Babka is scheduled to appear on “Straight Talk w/ Jerry Hughes,” starting at 3:05 PM Eastern. Details can be found on the blog.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Jim Babka is scheduled to appear on Martha Montelongo’s show on KION 1490 in Salinas, California starting at 11:30 AM Pacific. Details can be found on the blog.

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