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Getting fed up

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Often people feel detached from an ability to affect politics and even the political discourse, even among highly informed political junkies and blog readers. It's hard to get a big megaphone, and it's especially hard to see your work have any effect. But it can be done, and increasingly "regular" people are moved to attempt to have an impact.

I recently came across a group called "American Respect," and I highly encourage you to check out their site. It's a non-profit -- not a 527 or PAC or political group -- that was formed because of the shared view of a group of private citizens that the Iraq war is "the most urgent and consequential event in our lifetime" and that current U.S. policies increase terrorism.

Pretty sensible conclusions, and the group is extremely unique in that it doesn't accept contributions, isn't soliciting "membership", and simply asks that people be informed on these issues and engaged in debate and discourse. Virtually everyone who reads blogs does these things, of course, but this group also apparently has the resources to reach "mainstream" (and "low-information") audiences: they've placed full-page ads in the New York Times, Roll Call, and The Hill, again just asking people to read their materials and be educated and engaged.

The kicker: the group was way ahead of the curve on this, and published their first NYTimes ad in 2004. Their essays are here and here. As the current administration continues to ignore -- flout, really -- the will of the American public, I suspect more and more people will want to be active in the conversation, and this is certainly an interesting way to do it.

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