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May 28, 2010

Strategic thinking: Common Comments, Our Responses, New Progress

In this Dispatch:

* Two of the most common comments we hear, and the misconceptions they reflect
* How we respond to these misconceptions
* Correcting more than 100 years of strategic error
* What we accomplished last week
* What we plan to do next
* A report on the number of Dispatch subscribers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, donors, and monthly pledgers
* Funding the next increment of progress

Every organization has questions or comments they receive repeatedly. These are two of ours . . .

* Email doesn’t work.
* Writing Congress doesn’t work.

Please take note: Our Educate the Powerful system — ETP for short — doesn’t send emails. Instead . . .

We provide you with a mechanism to fill out the web-forms that members of Congress use to receive Internet communications from their constituents. This bears repeating, because many DC Downsizers are confused about it . . .

* Our system DOESN’T send emails to Congress
* Our system DOES fill out Congressional comment forms on Congressional websites

This means that ETP is a time-saving device. If not for our system . . .

* You would have to visit three different websites,
* one each for your Congressional Representative and your two Senators,
* and fill out 3 different forms,
* just to communicate one message to all of your elected representatives.

In other words . . .

* Congressional offices use web-forms to protect themselves from email spam attacks, thereby creating a need for you to visit three different websites if you want to communicate with your entire Congressional delegation, BUT . . .
* Our ETP system helps you to send one message to all 3 Congressional web-forms with just a few keystrokes and mouse-clicks

Okay, some may say, that’s all very nice, but does it really matter? After all, everyone knows . . .

Writing to Congress doesn’t work.

Our first response to this is always to ask, “Compared to what?”

The alternative we always hear is, “We have to elect the right people.”

We try to NOT laugh when we hear this, but we do think the statement deserves ridicule. After all . . .

Americans who advocate small, limited government, have been trying to elect the right people for more than a century, but somehow the wrong people always get into office, resulting in a constantly growing, increasingly unlimited, federal leviathan.

Doesn’t 100+ years of evidence, all pointing in the same direction, fundamentally shift the burden of proof away from what is doing, and land it heavily, and squarely, on the heads of those who say “We must elect the right people?”

We think it does. In addition . . .

One reason the “right people” always seem to do the “wrong thing” is that they constantly have people pressuring them in that direction. Consider . . .

* The Statist news media is constantly urging Congress to expand the State
* State-funded “experts” from our state-controlled universities are constantly telling Congress that the answer to every problem is always more state coercion
* And special interest lobbyists are constantly sitting in Congressional offices, asking for more favors at your expense

Only one thing is missing from this picture . . .


Or, if you already make heavy use of our ETP system to place yourself IN the picture, then the other thing that’s still missing is . . .

Lots of other people like you!

Think about how that would change things.

What if Congress heard from you, and people like you, just as often, or more often, than they hear from the Statist news media, tax-funded “experts,” and special interests? In fact . . .

What would happen if the statist-media, of whom you are a customer, and university “experts,” whose salaries you pay, and special interests, for many of whom you are also a customer, also heard from you on a regular basis?

And what if it was EASY for you to do all of these things, requiring just . . .

* A couple of minutes per day
* Some keyboard strokes
* A few mouse-clicks
* And pennies per day

Isn’t it obvious?

If you go from being invisible and unheard, to constantly visible and constantly heard, then you might finally start to get what you want. But why should anyone ever pay attention to you if you are always unseen and unheard?

There’s a comprehensive Vision here . . .

* We’re talking about changing the environment, so that . . .
* We’re no longer swimming in an ocean of bad ideas, in which the only answer for every problem is always more state coercion, and where instead . . .
* The preferred solution always involves voluntary cooperation, peaceful persuasion, individual liberty, and personal responsibility

Isn’t it obvious that, if you create that kind of environment, then . . .

* the right people with the right ideas will be more likely to run for office,
* more likely to win,
* and more likely to do the right thing once elected

In addition, the media, university experts, and other organizations, will also be more likely to be argue for you, instead of against you, because YOU have done the work to change the environment, by making what you want seen, and heard, and FELT!

To us . . .

* The standard approach of trying to find and elect the “right people” has always put the cart before the horse, because . . .
* What we really need is to create the right environment, and . . .
* the only way to do that is by multiplying ways to make ourselves seen and heard.

Toward that end . . .

Last week, we told you about the vital software project we’re focused on, called One Sack. This project will, eventually, unify all of our databases (some of them began life with previous organizations) into one unit. We will then begin to attach new software tools to this unified database. These new tools will empower you to be seen and heard by more people, more often.

Earlier this week . . .

We asked DC Downsizers to test the first major component of this project. That test went very well. More than 125 volunteered, and more than 70 have shared their test results with us.

Thank you to the financial supporters who made this progress possible. We’re about to have two of our three databases connected. The next step is to connect one final database, then merge all the records. This will give you . . .

* A super-duper “My Account” page that you will control, and to which . . .
* We will begin to add tools that you will use to change the environment

As of right now, the Downsize DC Army stands at . . .

* 29,661 email subscribers to the Downsizer Dispatch
* 7,222 Facebook fans
* 860 Twitter followers

Of this group of supporters, just over 500 people have provided funding this year, including about 230 monthly pledgers. We need to increase both kinds of support in order to continue making progress.

You can make a one-time contribution, as well as start or increase a monthly pledge, here.

All new pledgers and donors receive our detailed, 16-page strategic Vision.

Remember, your support is our progress. Thank you.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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