“Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism.”
That’s what we told conservatives when they tried to shut us up during the long 8 years of the Bush presidency. The phrase will still apply after we congratulate Barack Obama on his election victory and look forward to the dawning of the Obama Era.
I almost voted for Ralph Nader, because Nader comes closer to embracing my policy priorities than Barack Obama does. Most gallingly, Barack Obama acted to reject the Constitution and Americans’ civil liberties this year when he voted for the FISA Amendments Act. I did end up vote for Barack Obama because I concluded that an Obama administration would at least be receptive to my concerns, while a McCain administration would be hostile to them. But having voted for Barack Obama I feel the obligation to make it very clear that my vote is not an endorsement of his agenda. That’s why I’m trying to organize a presence of dissent at the DC Inaugural Parade. That’s also why I’m starting up a new website called I Voted for You, But….
I Voted for You, But… is intended to be a resource for independent progressive activism in the coming Obama Era in two ways. First, it provides a forum on which people like me who have voted (or will vote) for Barack Obama but have concerns can air them. As the collection of Obama voter caveats and dissensions accumulates, people can search through them by date, by keyword, by author’s state, or by a variety of other pieces of information that caveat writers can volunteer (or withhold). As soon as the website gets more than 50 contributed caveats, we’ll add RSS feeds so that people can incorporate these caveats into their websites based on keyword, date, author’s state of residence, and so on. The bottom line idea: here’s a way for us to write and promulgate criticism.
But life isn’t just held online. So here’s the second way we can use the website to get active in the real world: you can also submit information to a parallel database of information about upcoming activist events you know about: marches, rallies, demonstrations, sit-ins, civil disobedience, and so on. You can search through the database to find actions in your neck of the woods, and as soon as we get a few more actions added to our collection we’ll have RSS feeds available for these activist events, too.
The ideal is that you can use the website in two ways: 1) you can visit I Voted for You, But… to read others’ thoughts and learn about social movement actions that you might want to participate in. 2) you’ll be able to incorporate others’ writing and activist notices into your blog or website about a place (ex. Tompkins County Liberal) or a subject (ex. Pro-Choice CRAB).
This is a brand-new website, and I mean that literally: I just finished it thirty minutes ago. I’m sure there are some rough edges, and I could use your help finding them. Please visit the website, try it out, participate if you like, and above all tell me what you think about it, either here or on the I Voted For You, But blog or discussion board. Feel free to tell me I’m completely barking up the wrong tree; if so, could you point me in the direction of the right tree? Thanks.