December 5, 2008



Link up with the
Obama White House

by Jim Hightower

If the sweeping vote for change on Election Day is really to bear fruit, We The People must be the ones who nurture it. We can’t just crank back in our La-Z-Boys. That's because the business-as-usual crowd is waiting for Obama in Washington: Wall Street bankers, the war machine, 13,000 corporate lobbyists, recalcitrant Republicans, weak-kneed Democrats, the conformist media and others. These insiders intend to shape his presidency in their image, stifling the people's demand for real change.

We have to be the counterforce pushing insistently, vociferously from the outside. Who’s “we”? You and me — determined citizens, working through our personal networks, public interest organizations, progressive media outlets, the netroots nation, unions, community groups and other connections to grassroots activism.

The good news is that Obama intends to open a democratic channel that'll run from the countryside right into the government, using the two-way electronic pipeline of the Web to link you, me and a mass constituency directly to Washington decision-making. He used this online relationship effectively in his campaign, turning what’s known as netroots nation into a prodigious political force that organized locally in every state, raised a massive amount of money, bypassed the conventional media and coordinated its own actions.

This remarkable tool is now going inside. It'll allow Obama and a core list of e-activists, that already number more than 10 million people, to communicate back and forth instantly, without having to go through the filters of the media and lobbying groups. One of the top Internet staffers for the president-to-be has already notified the activists that “The community we’ve built together is just the beginning.”

If you want to plug in to this grassroots self-government network, the digital link-up for the transition period is www.change.gov.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work — and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown— visit www.jimhightower.com


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