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March 30, 2010

Strategy: Skipping steps won’t work

It’s the end of the month . . .

We set an important record this month, but before I tell you about it, I want to talk about strategy. Some of the basics of the Downsize DC strategy are starting to become popular. But there are lots of things we’ve figured out that most people still don’t get. For instance . . .

Americans are still fighting the healthcare bill. That’s great, but . . .

More of this should have been done before the bill passed.

Instead, many are only raising their voices now, or waited until near the deadline to act. Better late than never, I guess, but it would have been more effective to strike sooner. The pressure must always come early, and then continue until the politicians submit. This means . . .

We must overcome the human propensity to wait until deadlines loom.

Achieving that kind of discipline requires strategic conviction. That’s why we write about strategy, so that more people will become convinced, and adopt the needed discipline.

In addition, the pressure we exert must come from all directions. Some people are starting to see the importance of this, but in a sub-optimal way. For instance . . .

* Some people have started protesting at the homes of members of Congress. But . . .
* Wouldn’t it be more effective to have a constant flow of citizens meeting with the staff at the local Congressional field office, before Congress votes on a bill?

Likewise . . .

* Didn’t we also need to pressure the media about why we opposed this bill?
* And didn’t there need to be lots more advertising than there was?

And finally, sadly, far more people have applied pressure in opposition to the Democrats’ bad bill than on behalf of positive reforms that would have restored consumer controlled healthcare.

If we want to win, positive proposals must start to motivate us even more than negative opposition.

Hope must begin to trump fear and anger.

The above lapses are things we account for in our strategic plan, The Downsize DC Vision, which you can read here.

Its a plan that doesn’t skip steps, or neglect crucial things. It is NOT, therefore, a get-powerful-quick scheme.

It’s understandable that people want to skip steps, attempt shortcuts, and look for magic bullets, but get-powerful-quick schemes are just as unwise as the get-rich-quick variety. They don’t work and they waste time. Look around . . .

A lot of popular strategies haven’t worked. Indeed, easy popularity usually indicates that time and money are about to be wasted. That’s one reason we’re taking a road less travelled. Even so . . .

We understand that strategies must be explained and sold, just like other kinds of ideas. We also realize that this takes time and repetition. Tom Paine said it well: “time wins more converts than reason.” We know that, given time, our strategic ideas will take hold, generating the support they deserve and need. But until then . . .

There is you, and the rest of our current Army. We can only accomplish what you will support. As of today, with one day left in March, you have . . .

* Recruited 198 net new DC Downsizers this month, bringing the Downsize DC Army to 29,500 plus
* Registered 508 new people to use our Educate the Powerful System — 245 more than last month
* And sent 91,190 letters to Congress! This is a new all-time record.

Not only is at an increase of 28,950 over the number of letters sent in February, but it’s also 20,657 more than the previous record! And it’s part of a recent growth trend. Five of our six best months for letters sent have come since October. 

Congratulations. These are good results — good because our growth can only be incremental with the kind of budget we have now — less than $200,000 a year. Doing more requires more.

The best way to achieve more consistently is by starting a monthly pledge. You can do that here.

Or, you can make a one-time donation using the same secure online contribution form.

Your contributions are our budget, and our progress. 

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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