June 30, 2006

The "Had Enough?" Campaign

Last week on Daily Kos, a personal protest and conscious raising action was proposed by cheeselord and then carried out by etherapy with some interesting results.

The campaign is simple -- let people know you've had enough:

Just imagine it. You're just an average Joe. Maybe you've voted before, maybe you haven't. You probably have some kinds of opinions about "the issues," but chances are you're neither a fundy wingnut nor a revolutionary communist. You probably don't pay much attention to politics. Maybe you vote the same way your parents did, or for the guy who had the better commercial (So and so eats babies? Better not vote for him...)

Anyway, you're walking to work, where you get paid dirt. You're thinking about your daughter, whose fourth-grade teacher works a second job as a waitress. It's a hot summer day, and, though you might not believe the lefties completely, it really does seem to be getting hotter every year. Your mom has trouble paying for her medicine. Oh, and you're worried about your younger brother in Iraq, but you try not to think about that. You probably shrug it all off, though--that's just the way things are, right?

Eventually, you stop at an intersection and press the little button to cross. As you do, you glance up and see a little sticker on the pole. It's simple, black and white, and it just says "Had enough?"

eTherapy took cheeselord's idea and applied it to the money she used for shopping.

Thanks to cheeselord, http://www.dailykos.com/..., I was inspired to start my own "had Enough" campaign. Beginning quite modestly, I took all of the bills I had, 15 of them in varying denominations, and wrote, "Had Enough? - Vote Democratic" in indelible pen.

What she's found it that it is a great political conversation starter that provides her a way to talk with people about the importance of the upcoming election.

Next try. I went to buy some gas. Used a twenty and a ten. The guy in line behind me saw it first. "Ha...that's pretty good...did you do that?" "Yeah," I responded. " I had to do something. Bush is driving me crazy."

We chatted for a few minutes. His issues were wages, tax cuts for the rich, tuition costs ( his daughter just graduated) and gas prices.

I am amazed by how easy this is. And how effective. That was yesterday. Two political conversations that I never would have had otherwise.

Here's one of her encounters on day two:

Paid for the carwash, and the clerk just looked at the bill. I smiled broadly..."I've had it. I can't stand Bush's policies anymore. This is my personal protest." The cashier, a young man in his early twenties, looked at me like I had two heads. But then, after a pause, he said, "My brother is in Iraq. My mother cries all the time. I wish he would come home." "Oh, God, how awful for all of your family," I said.

"Yeah...I hate that "f...ing" Bush. "Well, I replied, I'm working to do everything I can to see that the Democrats get elected and end this war. I hope your brother stays safe and comes home soon." He had tears in his eyes as he handed me my change and walked away. I must admit, I had tears in my eyes too.

And she's found that this personal campaign to make a political statement is quite powerful even when people don't agree:

I've had few negative responses. Mostly indifference if they don't react positively. I suspect because they are in Customer Service positions and have to be polite. But, it doesn't matter really, because the bills are still "out there."

So here's the challenge to all of us. If you're already doing this, post and let us know what's happening, positively or not.

If you're not doing this, join us! I am so convinced of the positive impact this can have. If you're like many of us, we read the diaries here and want to get involved, end our feeling of powerlessness....well, here's your chance.

Maybe you've wanted to donate to someone's campaign, but can't afford it. Well, you CAN afford this. We all spend money anyway. Let's make it have an impact.

Had enough?

Can you imagine what the statement would be to this corrupt and dangerous government if throughout the country the money all started to state: "Had Enough?" It could give voice to the millions of Americans who really have had enough and provide a mechanism to reach all kinds of people that hadn't really made the connection from the bad Bush policies to the uncertain times they are living in and help set their reaction. And every week it could be used to talk about the latest outrage committed by the Bush administration and the corrupt Rubber-stamp Congress. Imagine, when you are paying for your goods, you could regal the clerk with the latest news about Rep. Jerry Lewis or the fact that Bush's first pick for Homeland Security, Berni Kerik, has just been indicted for bribery for gifts he took when he was the head of the NY Police and then ask why are so many of Bush's appointees crooks.

Yes, it's time to make the administration and the rubber-stamp Congress realize that we've had enough and that the day is coming when they will be held accountable. And this is a simple, yet powerful way to help get out the protest vote.

Posted by Mary at June 30, 2006 07:52 AM | US Politics | Technorati links |

The had enough campaign is all we need to counter the repubs usury society

Posted by: jr at July 1, 2006 12:46 AM