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Why has the ACLU recently gained so many members? Read why it’s more than just Trump.
First, a little background:
ACLU, other groups report post-election surge of donations
By David Crary | AP November 15
NEW YORK — In the week since Donald Trump’s election, there’s been a dramatic surge in donations to the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club and other progressive organizations which have pledged to resist any moves by the new administration that would undercut their causes.
The ACLU unleashed feisty fundraising appeals, including one warning that if Trump implemented certain campaign promises, “We’ll see him in court.”
The result, according to the ACLU, has been the largest surge of support in its 94-year history, including roughly 120,000 donations totaling more than $7.2 million.
“We’ll need to build up the most powerful legal organization mankind has ever known to fight for us over the next four years,” wrote HIV/AIDS and gay-rights activist Peter Staley, who pledged on his Facebook page to become a monthly ACLU donor.
The ACLU’s executive director, Anthony Romero, said the infusion of new funds would help in addressing several urgent priorities, including resisting possible mass deportation efforts, protecting the civil rights of transgender Americans, and preventing “stop-and-frisk” police policies from being adopted nationwide.
Since the election, Planned Parenthood has reported an unprecedented outpouring of support, with more than 128,000 people making donations. The organization said at least 20,000 of the donations made reference to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who as a congressman and governor of Indiana has been an advocate of tough anti-abortion restrictions.
“We will never back down, and we will never stop providing the care our patients need,” said Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards.
The Sierra Club said it had registered 9,000 new monthly donors since the election — more than it had added from Jan. 1 until Election Day.
“We don’t feel helpless at all,” said Debbie Sease, the organization’s national campaigns director.
Other organizations reporting major increases in support included the NAACP, the National Immigration Law Center, and major LGBT-rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal. Lambda Legal said it received support from more than 1,000 first-time donors in the four days following the election.
The Anti-Defamation League, which combats anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, said donations surged 50-fold the day after the election.
Another beneficiary of the election results is ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit news organization that produces investigative public-interest journalism.
Richard Tofel, ProPublica’s president and founding general manager, said online donations increased sharply the day after the election, and then skyrocketed after John Oliver — on Sunday’s edition of his HBO show “Last Week Tonight” — urged viewers to support “actual journalism” produced by ProPublica and other outlets.
“There are a lot of people who, in response to the election, feel that they need to take some sort of civic action,” Tofel said.
The ACLU published an open letter to Trump. https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_docuYou can read the full letter here, but a couple excerpts are:
Specifically, you promised to:
– amass a deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants
– ban the entry of Muslims and institute aggressive surveillance programs targeting them
– restrict a woman’s right to abortion services
– reauthorize waterboarding and other forms of torture
– change our nation’s libel laws and restrict freedom of expression
These proposals are not simply unAmerican and wrong-headed. They are unlawful and unconstitutional, and would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, as well as other statutes and international treaties.
If you do not reverse course, you will have to contend with the full firepower of the ACLU at your every step.
Our staff of litigators and activists in every state, thousands of volunteers, and millions of supporters stand ready to fight against any encroachment on our cherished freedoms and rights.
One thing is certain: We will be vigilant every day of your tenure as president. And when you ultimately vacate the Oval Office, we will do likewise with your successor.
Now, here is the real answer to the title question, “Why has the ACLU recently gained so many members?
The Democratic Party long had been the protector of the “common man,” the underdog, the downtrodden, the powerless, the so-called “99%.”
It was the progressive Democrats who brought us Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, civil rights laws, bans on racial discrimination, aids to education, aids to the impoverished, the “Voting Rights Act,” and the removal of racial origin quotas for immigration.
That was the progressive Democratic Party of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson.
That progressive Party no longer exists.
Today, the Democrats are the Party of Clinton and Obama, money-hungry conservatives in Democrats clothing, who have proved to be far more interested in protecting the .1% than in following any progressive agenda.
The current Democrats have been weak against the conservatives’ false narrative that the poor are “lazy takers,” who only want “free stuff,” while the rich are hard-working “makers.”
The current Democrats have lent support to the notion that Social Security and Medicare should be cut and FICA (America’s most regressive tax) increased.
The current Democrats have been weak against the Republican refusal to consider a Supreme Court nominee or the Republican states’ destruction of voting rights for people of color.
The current Democratic Party no longer can be relied upon to fight for civil rights or the less-than-affluent.
The current Democratic leaders are more interested in aiding rich banksters than in lifting the poor.
Progressives believe the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives believe the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
The Democratic Party has lost touch with its traditional progressive base.
And that is why we see the massive influx of membership and money to progressive-leaning organizations like ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and other progressive organizations.
We now have, in effect, a one-party system, with each party caring only about money and power rather than about people.
As a result, America now has elected the ultimate money/power President, a man who plans to chip away at the rights of the moneyless, powerless people the Democrats were supposed to represent.
If you lean progressive, the Democratic leadership will do nothing for you. Democrats have failed the progressives.
Until the Democrats find a strong leader in the Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson mold, you would be better served to join and contribute to the ACLU et al than to support yet another toady-to-the-rich conservative Democrat.
Hundreds of thousands now have made that decision. Many more will join them.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the rich and the rest.
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012
Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.