San Diego Review October 1, 1996
Progressive Windmills $$$
What progressives have trouble learning is how to build a money stream.
By Dwayne Hunn
Both major parties claim to be gung-ho for education, disgusted by phony credit claiming, and worthy of leading the world’s greatest bunch of citizens. Yet both parties blow their best opportunity, their National Conventions, to educate Americans on the complexities required to deal with world and national needs. Dumb and dumber party conventions operate as though they carry the Holy Grail in their ballyhooed words. Although educational standards have been slipping for decades, most thinking Americans, and many dumbing down ones, know that there is not a pure, quick-fix solution to any major problem. Such fixes don’t exist for a little kid’s problem, why should such exist for 250 million or 5 billion mostly grown-up ones?
Shrinking Convention ratings support the thesis that dumbing down Americans learn more about improving their lives from Coach, Cosby, All in the Family and the San Diego Padres, then from major parties. Is there a fix? Imagine the Teach-in deep-pocketed parties could throw with whiz-bang graphs, flip charts, multimedia portrayals…. the face-to-face, in-party debates that could inject a pulse into claims of “diversity”… the economic analysis that could be graphically argued through portraying the potential effects of differing tax and spending programs…
Could ratings go up with that kind of show? Americans get a little smarter? Bet your sweet bippy. Will that happen? Don’t squander any bippy.
Instead, California’s answer was the Alternative Media Convention (AMC), with 80 progressive groups convening a few streets from the Republican Convention to moan about the state of the world and, in some cases, teach. Certainly what most of those groups had to say was usually more educational and interesting then the palaver of the major parties. Unfortunately, four years from now most of those Progressives will still not be heard outside their choir and some won’t even be around. In fact, some aren’t around one month after the AMC.
What progressive groups have trouble learning, while Republicans have the reputation (often mistakenly) for knowing well, is how to “build” a money stream. Impractical Progressives (IPS) tend to do some research, learn some dastardly facts, shout about them, print them on paper or pixels, demand changes, and then expect the two major, well-lobbied parties to implement the fix. A “fix” is sometimes delivered, albeit usually well greased. And the IPS shout-about cycle begins again, accompanied by a more serious groveling for pocket change to sustain their refrain..
As one who played the non-profit crusader game and now sometimes consults for those do-gooders, I hope Impractical Progressives rub the economic scales from their eyelids and brains. Today’s rapidly changing economic era requires expensive media perception building. It also requires an army of do-gooders, who can sustain themselves economically while fighting for their philosophical dream. If you don’t build a revenue stream into your organization, how do you expect to feed your marching army? If you can’t keep your army together for years, how do you expect to win against savvy, experienced, well-endowed warlords?
Between my AMC speaking engagement on the national initiative process, I spoke to about 24 groups about “building” an Excelent funding raising vehicle. Unfortunately, not many even asked questions that indicated they understood the tricky economic future that faces them and their workers…
The preponderance of statistics claims: The American middle class is working more and getting less. The richer are getting richer. IPS pay attention to your self proclaimed gripes. Then get a life… Get an economic life for your organizations and crusaders, so you can afford the steeds you need to tilt with the windmill. If you can’t or won’t do that, the breeze from fanned greenbacks will blow you away.