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  • Writer's pictureMartin McSweeney

Time for a new approach

After four years of delinquent government in which only the rich benefited, there was real hope of change in 2020. A chance to do better, return to integrity, social responsibility and hope.

After the disastrous management of Covid 19 which caused the unnecessary death of so many Americans, the American people turned out in record numbers to deliver their judgment on a felonious president. In true Trump fashion, he failed to respect the will of the people and tried everything he could to cling to power. In short, he 'broke' America and has never accepted that he lost 'bigly'.

Historically, countries tend to move on from rogue leaders, as normality is restored and the new party of government begins to rebuild trust and work for the good of the nation. However, in this case, the reprehensible behavior of the Republican Party has persistently thwarted efforts to move on. Decades of work infesting state legislatures has enabled the Republicans to engage in minority rule, as they use state laws to circumvent federal legislation, all with the help of a bought and paid for Supreme Court.

In 2020 the guardrails barely held. The shock to the system by a man that has no moral compass along with the complicity of so many lawmakers, has challenged the very foundation of democracy in America. The Biden Administration has faced an unparalleled onslaught of obstruction, division and misinformation from an opposition that pays no regard to the welfare of the American people, instead focusing on the pursuit of power.

In the last election cycle, social media became the most powerful propaganda tool in American political history. The former president became the first president in US history to abandon the press briefing room and use an unregulated media channel to deliver his message to the American people. With the help of Fox News, he created the perfect state propaganda machine that set the standard for other feckless world leaders to follow. Trump is without doubt a vile human being with no morals, sense of responsibility, or loyalty to those who elected him. What he is not, is the fool some would have you believe. He has spent decades ignoring the rules and taking no responsibility for his abhorrent behavior. Once he had the keys to the Whitehouse, he took full advantage of the power to further enrich himself, regardless of the cost to American families. He did that in no small part by using Twitter and social media to poison the minds of millions, effectively creating the biggest cult in American history.

He was so emboldened by the lack of any attempt to hold him to account for his actions, that he felt he could incite an insurrection to hold on to power. Make absolutely no mistake, had he felt he could get away with imposing martial law he would have. The really worrying thought is, despite his catastrophic impact on US politics, the Republican Party is quite prepared to let him have another go and that is terrifying.

It's against this background that Dems find themselves under100 days away from further potential chaos that could render them even more politically impotent. This administration has achieved much in 2 short years but sadly it has found itself unable to convey this to the American people. This has undoubtedly put them in a position where the GOP is in constant control of the narrative. They know that the way to mask good news is to create division and chaos by constantly creating noise that masks out the positive, by pitching Americans against each other. They then double down by creating fear of the 'other'. They know that fear sells. It's an age-old tactic used by despots, kings and emperors to keep the people in line and if you add God to the equation, it becomes even more potent.

In response to this formidable campaign marching towards authoritarian rule, a small group of digital activists came together a little over four months ago, to take a serious look at how to embark on a long-term countermeasures campaign to fight the cancer that is the GOP. One thing is clear, there is no quick fix, no magic bullet. It will require a concerted long-term investment of time and effort and to that end, the team has committed to a ten year plan, as our contribution to the preservation of democracy.

This is not about investment in federal races, it's about going back to basics and rebuilding from the ground up. The Democratic establishment has paid little attention to state politics, and this has led to the political catastrophe America faces today. We are where we are and there is little benefit in looking backwards. Forward out-of-the-box thinking is what is required and is the reason Dems For Action was born. To understand how we could be effective, we needed to understand what work was already going on and find a way not to duplicate effort, but to complement existing good work with some fresh thinking.

This week, I hope we can not only introduce you to the team, but also to the thinking and the process that has taken us from where we started to where we are today. We would like to share with you our vision to make a difference through a carefully considered strategy that will deliver success to candidates, help regain control of state and local seats, and help Dems mitigate the rampant march to authoritarian rule. We are under no illusion that this is anything other than challenging, but we believe that with careful thought and planning we can deliver success.

In our opinion, the key to this success is embracing technology and delivering effective media content that makes candidates relatable. We believe that we can appeal beyond the base to the 'persuadables'. And that by building a network of grassroots partner organizations, we will create a coalition willing to ensure every one of our candidates benefits from the hard-learned experience of those that have spent years in the trenches of political warfare.

If you want to find out more about who we are and the values we hold, please take a moment to look through this website and get a better feel for the organization. I look forward to continuing our conversation throughout the week to give you a better understanding of where we are going and when. Let's catch up tomorrow.

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