I am deeply concerned by the sorts of emails and hard-mail communications that I have been receiving from you folks. The sense of panic and the sky-is-falling approach toward the November 2014 midterm elections has led me to immediately delete emails and rip to shreds the hard-mail. Let me explain.
If you are going into battle and want to inspire the troops, the last thing that you want to do is to keep telling them that the situation is catastrophic. You want your forces to both understand what they are up against AND you want to inspire them to do more than they might otherwise do because you have a plan that just might succeed. In the case of fundraising, you want potential funders to believe that their contributions can and will make a difference rather than that their funds will be useless since the cause is hopeless.
I am being very blunt. Midterm elections are always difficult for the party that occupies the White House. This is compounded this year (as it was in 2010) by an Obama administration and a Democratic Party that seems less than excited about hitting the Republicans where it hurts: in their racism, sexism and anti-worker bias.
Instead, I feel that we those of us who are interested in progress are treated to are endless suggestions that the world will end on November 4th unless we make X,Y, or Z financial contributions and unless any Democrat gets elected.
What I want to hear from you fundraisers is about winning strategies. I want to hear about how my few dollars will help move organizing and mobilizing teams. I want to hear about the media messages that need to be constructed—and are being considered—to expose the avarice and greed of the political Right.
I am not interested in hearing gloom and doom. Let me put it more directly in case you have missed my point. If you are interested in depressing me, you have succeeded. If you are interested in getting my money, you have failed.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a racial justice, labor and global justice activist, educator and writer. He is the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions. Follow him on Facebook and at www.billfletcherjr.com.