The Progressive's Guide to Raising Hell: How to Win Grassroots Campaigns, Pass Ballot Box Laws, and Get the Change We Voted For

The Progressive's Guide to Raising Hell: How to Win Grassroots Campaigns, Pass Ballot Box Laws, and Get the Change We Voted For

by Jamie Court




Change is no simple matter in American politics-a fact that Americans have recently learned well. Elections rarely produce the change they promise. After the vote, power vacuums fill with familiar values, if not faces. Promises give way to fiscal realities, hope succumbs to pragmatism, and ambition concedes to inertia. The old tricks of interest groups - confuse, diffuse, scare - prevail over the better angels of American nature.But populist energy can get change making and change-makers back on the right track.

The key to success, though, says acclaimed consumer advocate Jamie Court, is getting downright mad. It's anger, not hope, that fuels political and economic change. And in 2010 America, anger rules. But it needs to be vectored and focused if it is to succeed in fueling the type of change that the majority of Americans believe in.

If we want that change, the kind that polls show 60 percent of Americans believe in, we need to do more than vote every two to four years or wait for a new president to learn the tactics of confrontation. The Progressive's Guide to Raising Hell is a road map filled with concrete tips and rules of the road that average people can use to force change between elections.

How can progressives get what they believed they voted for? Court, a longtime organizer of ballot campaigns and other initiatives, tells readers how to heat up their issue, take grassroots action, organize their community, use publicity to their advantage, employ internet and social media to build support, and get the change they want.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603582933
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date: 08/27/2010
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.96(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Jamie Court is president of Consumer Watchdog, an award-winning, nationally recognized consumer advocate. He is also the author of Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom…And What You Can Do about It and coauthor of Making A Killing: HMOs and the Threat To Your Health. Court helped pioneer the HMO patients' rights movement in the United States, sponsoring successful laws in California and aiding them elsewhere. He has also led major corporate campaigns to reform insurers, banks, oil companies, utilities and political practices. He is a regular commentator on National Public Radio's "Marketplace" program and on the Los Angeles Times op-ed page. He currently resides in the Los Angeles area.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

1 The Art of Change 1

2 Ten Rules of Populist Power 15

3 Rousing Public Opinion in a New Media Age 44

4 Building Your Own Populist 2.0 Platform 60

5 Getting the Affordable Health Care You Voted For 75

6 Taming Arnold: A Blueprint for Confronting the Audacity of Phony Change 105

7 Direct Democracy: Using the Ballot Measure to Get the Change You Want 128

8 The Road to Cheaper and Cleaner Energy 144

9 Bringing Wall Street Back Under Control 165

10 Stopping the Wars and Reinvesting in America 180

11 Making Your Opinion Count 185

Notes 199

About the Author 211

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