September 13th, 2010

A Few Thoughts on the Netroots (Now With Most Recent Final Fundraiser Update!)

by Philip Baruth

Let’s pull back from the campaign for just a second, and remember what’s at stake here. There’s the meat of the issues, of course: closing Vermont Yankee and making sure Entergy bears the cost of decommissioning; piloting single-payer so that everyone is covered and small business is freed of the health-care burden; igniting job growth with investments in high-tech infrastructure, and educating a 21st-century workforce to fill those new jobs. But there’s also the idea that the internet can move these ideas, and candidates who are passionate about them, up from the grassroots and into the centers of political power. Move them directly, without waiting for permission, or sanction.

That’s the netroots: committed people sitting at computers who are tired of things changing slowly. People who are tired of a systemic lack of transparency and openness in government.

Those principles have defined this campaign, and you’ve funded us from the beginning, funded us directly through Act Blue, rather than having your dollars routed through two or three central committees. Just your politics and desire and ideas routed directly to this campaign.

Simple and beautiful.

And we’ve provided you with an unprecedented amount of transparency, in terms of what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how we can better incorporate your ideas. You know, the way Democracy is supposed to work, but typically doesn’t. Direct communication, rapid change.

But in order to cross the finish line, the netroots works (or doesn’t work) like any other group: the push can’t stop before we cross the finish line. We’re about $1800 away from our last fundraising goal, and that’s all slated to pay for actual ads in actual local newspapers. It’s money that’s designed to translate the digital into the three-dimensional, which is where the votes still are.

And it’s crucial. This race is winnable, no doubt. This campaign can be a success story for the netroots here in Vermont, here in the early days of the 21st century. Click here if you can help us make it happen today. And then we’ll make it happen on November 2nd. Oh yes we will.

Late Update, Wednesday, 6:30 am:

A good day yesterday: we’re now just $1150 shy of our goal. We’ll need you most in November, no doubt. But second only to that, we need you most right now. Thanks to all of those who’ve given this time out, and especially those who have given for the second or third time.

It defies physics, but you’re both our rock and the wind beneath our wings.

Later Update, September 22, 7:16 am:

Now lacking just about $700 to finish off this last online drive. It’s funny: you get so used to it over a year, people contributing via Act Blue, that you stop seeing it for the miracle it is. People decide they want to join the effort, they click a few buttons, and their contribution is in the campaign bank account.

Automatically. Safely. And without intervention by any central committee or organization. You to us, in support of the ideas we share. Bam. That’s a thing of beauty.