Launching Groundswell 2.0!

Launching Groundswell 2.0!

On Tuesday night, the President said, “The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote.” We now begin the long, hard and beautiful work of reaching out with compassion to those whose vote differs from ours, holding our elected officials accountable, and turning our convictions into ACTION.

In this spirit, I’m excited to announce that Groundswell is launching an open-source social action platform that equips people to channel faith & calling into action – and run their own campaigns! We just launched the site in beta, and I wanted you all to check it out before we were official! If you have an idea to make your community, your school, your local playground, church, synagogue, religion, or your planet a better place, here is the tool!

Why is Groundswell evolving into a platform that equips YOU to run your own campaigns? We’ve just endured the most expensive and divisive election season in recent U.S. history. Many times, we saw religion used to tear people down – but I saw another story unfolding about faith in America. Together tens of thousands of people – Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Humanist, spiritual and seeking – joined together to organize for the dignity of all people. Take a look:

What could we accomplish in the next four years if we empowered people to continue to participate in our democracy beyond election day? How could online tools help leaders and communities build power in local and national campaigns — on religious pluralism, LGBTQ dignity, climate justice, women’s reproductive rights, and more? Rather than running the campaigns ourselves, we’re interested in what could happen if we put the tools directly in the hands of the people. Check our new platform – and let us know what you think!

2 thoughts on “Launching Groundswell 2.0!”

  • Organized little fish chase down big fish

    I love this graphic, I just gotta smile.

    I did just see this on interfaith activist Valarie Kaur’s website — but that doesn’t matter: it makes the statement so well.

    Let’s just say they’re not going to “eat” the big fish, like a school of piranhas — they’re going to “persuade” the big fish…

    This afternoon, Lynne and I were going over an article by Joseph Stiglitz in Vanity Fair. I’m no economist, but I don’t like control by a tangled knot of elitists at the top of the world tree, and there’s no doubt the world economy is under their thumb — or somebody’s thumb. The Stiglitz article goes through these issues again, but does it in a way my little and overcrowded brain can understand.

    Go see the movie Lincoln — and consider its theme of team of rivals — and then think about Stiglitz’s theme: Of the 1% by the 1% for the 1%.

    Here’s the opening graphic from the Stiglitz article:

    Here’s the thing we gotta think about: what does this word “organize” mean in today’s context?

    Here’s the reason it’s complicated:

    There are hundreds of issues we are facing — and we little fish are arguing about all of them, and we just don’t know what to do — so we throw rocks and call each other names. Or we sit down and play nice for a week — and then go look for more rocks.

    The huge challenge we are facing is: organizing a truly moral/ethical force for what is truly good, in a context of extreme/absolute social and ideological diversity, where “the right thing to do” is only obvious in a few cases.

    When Rosa Parks would not sit in the back of the bus, that was clear-cut moral high-ground. But what should the America people do about immigration or abortion? There is no simplistic moral high ground on those issues. We’ve got to work out those questions very carefully, with a lot of knowledge and a lot of respect.

    We need powerful new tools and concepts, that help us overcome this huge fragmentation — or we are going to remain scattered little fish trying to stay out of the way of big fish, or living in a kingdom they rule.

    We’ve been looking for such organizing principles since we wandered in the door here at Shared Purpose — most of us through the Coffee Party.

    I was over on an Annabel Park Facebook page yesterday, looking at a new project she is doing about “Divided America”. Ok, that’s the tragic empirical fact right now — but we can’t let it be heart-breaking. We’ve got to respond with a healing force, with sufficient primal and universal power that it can work through all of us — regardless of what we “believe”, and only asking of us that we act with humility and respect.

    And this idea I was seeing voiced on MSNBC today — that the Obama election means that the progressive left can flex their muscle — is just a formula for more inflammation. We don’t need a conservative brand of simplistic moral self-righteousness — and we don’t need a progressive brand of simplistic moral self-righteousness. Obama walks a very fine line some times because he knows this; very much to his credit, he won the election with minimum pandering, and he generally maintained that well-centered balance that nobody likes very much but that keeps us all alive…

    What we need is a brilliant conjunction of right and left — as all the little fishes learn to like respect other — and respect each other’s skill sets and knowledge-base. We need something like EJ Dionne’s call to a balance between community and individualism (that Martin Bashir has been echoing on MSNBC). We need his “long consensus” — maybe as informed and inspired by a rising spirit of universal understanding.

    So — to Leon’s point — about electing a Mason — well, I’ll look into that. Maybe the answer to his question is FDR? My understanding is that it was FDR who commissioned the pyramid/all-seeing eye on the one-dollar bill — that so many conspiracy theorists want to see as the eye of the one-world-government banking-super-elite Illuminati…

    My understanding of American history is that many or most of the signers of our original documents — the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence — were Masons — of some ilk. I’ll have to check into that.

    But the real point is simpler. It’s not Masons we need — though that might help — but a true authentic universal moral/ethical foundation and vision of creative unity in the context of diverse community.

    We need to organize the little fish — the little fish of 3,797 different species, from 238 different countries, speaking 7,982 different dialects, and inclined right now to argue bitterly among themselves about 1,427 critical issues facing the USA, doing this in 295,096 separate local conversations, 127,903 of which involve states rights, personal freedom, and independence from uncle bigfish sam.

    Moral self-righteousness aint gonna get us there. We need profound cool and low-key balance — and a universal ethical framework that facilitates this in a way that can be popular and easy to understand.

    Little fish of the world — let’s get in-sync. Let’s figure out HOW to get in-snyc. And then — really friendly-like — let’s persuade the big fish that they really do have more fun when they share…

  • As Oscar Wilde put it, democracy is “the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.” The essence of democracy is not just collective participation in decision-making, but also the apparatus to force decisions on everyone whether they voted for them or not. If we make our ideal a miniature version of this—“direct democracy”—it will never deliver the freedom we desire. We have to dream bigger, looking back to how our ancestors did things before they were ruled by kings, and around at all the parts of our lives that are still free from top-down political control.

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