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November 27, 2006

Daily elections?

Here is today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

Congress is treading water while the lame ducks wait to be replaced by new ducks. Meet the new duck, same as the old duck. Meanwhile . . .

The rest of us are digesting that turkey we just ate and flocking to stores for Christmas shopping. Am I out of bird references yet? Not quite. There is also the continued . . .

Flight of the albatross. We owe it to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” that the albatross has become a metaphor for carrying a burden. We are burdened by two albatrosses — our government and our political system. Neither work, but both fly on and on.

The public sent Congress and the White House two big messages earlier this month. 1) We don’t like your corruption. 2) We don’t like the “war” in Iraq. The politicians heard both messages loud and clear, but then . . .

Three weeks passed. Now these messages are already being forgotten. The Democrats are focused on raising the minimum wage and finding news ways to NOT make any concrete proposals about Iraq. Is this what all the fuss was about?

Should it really surprise us that the Big Election turns out to be “storm and fury signifying nothing?” After all, the politicians have nothing to fear for another two years now, so its business as usual until then, and after “then” too, as the bi-annual process repeats itself repetitively

There is something fundamentally wrong with a system in which politicians receive loud messages from their constituents only once every two years, and then promptly forget those messages three weeks later.

We need a system whereby politicians hear loud messages everyday, and by which they are made to feel fear everyday. Then, there can be no forgetting. Elections, in a sense, would happen daily, issue by issue.

Did you vote November 7th? Did your vote send a message? Was the message heard? Will it be remembered? Or is it already being forgotten after a mere three weeks? Did your vote change anything? Or will it merely be used as justification for everything the new Democratic majority wants to do?

Did your vote discourage the politicians, or encourage them? Or was it mostly irrelevant to what will happen next? And how does all of this make you feel?

Do you feel lethargic? Is it the tryptophan from the turkey you just ate, or the burden of those albatrosses you still carry, or the hangover from another anti-climactic election? And what shall we do about it? Shall we go to sleep, or . . .

Downsize DC always has two down periods. The first is during the Summer. The second is between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. It’s even worse after an election, as everyone suffers from post partum depression. Can it be different this year? Would you care to drink some coffee with us, do some jumping jacks, and get the blood pumping again?

What happens next always depends on what happens now, because the present paves the way for the future. The future we see is one in which Congress constantly receives messages it cannot ignore or forget. The future we want to create is one with a daily storm and fury signifying SOMETHING, in which our proposals are seen, heard, and FELT by everyone, everywhere, everyday, and where the politicians feel like that are facing elections constantly. What kind of present can bring about that kind of future?

We have 4 days left in November. We could, among other things, meet our fundraising goals for the fourth month in a row for the first time this year. We could also exceed that goal for the second month in a row and spend the balance on advertising. Both accomplishments move us closer to the future we want. Only $2,835 is needed — about 12 cents per subscriber to this list. You can make a donation or start a monthly credit card pledge HERE.

I apologize if this message seems long on art and short on content. We need some coffee and some jumping jacks to get us moving again. But move we will. And we hope you are ready to move with us. Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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