The Case for AlterNet
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I'm sure you've noticed how bad things are in America today. The Bush administration has taken us down a path to a radically transformed society. Frankly, soon it may be too late to put on the brakes. It is time to sound the alarm now.Â
Before he is done, Bush will have left the economy in ruins, trashed our rights, created the most glaring inequality since the Gilded Age, abandoned many more people who have no health insurance, and put our courts in the hands of radical conservatives. Just look at a quick snapshot:
- The horror of Iraq continues. Bush's invasion has taken more than 2,400 American lives, maimed thousands of our young soldiers and killed tens of thousands of Iraqis, all at a cost of more than $400 billion. And now there is a simmering civil war situation.Â
- Every day we hear about torture, spying, invasion of privacy, and secret plans for detention. Five of the ten articles of the Bill of Rights protect the individual from abuses by law enforcement; this administration has violated all of them.
- Recently the South Dakota legislature voted to outlaw abortion, even in the case of rape and incest. Bush's Roberts-Alito Supreme Court will hear this case when it comes up.
I'm generally not an alarmist. But we've entered a whole new political reality. In several decades of working in politics and media, I have never felt this angry, frightened or radical. We can no longer just do what we have been doing.Â
So many people tell me they feel angry and depressed. And that makes sense. Today's politics can be bewildering, and shocking. But we must fight the depression! We must remind ourselves how important and necessary our vision is for the future we want for our country, our communities, and our families.
We forget sometimes that that the values we treasure -- equality, fairness, justice, dignity, and ultimately kindness and love -- inspired the greatest moral and political achievements of the 20th century: the civil rights movement, equal rights for women, the right to organize, and the growth of environmentalism. These values make our society strong and appealing to the rest of the world. They are what we are fighting for.
So, let me get down to the basics. AlterNet plays a key role in keeping us connected, providing vital information, letting people know what others are doing. We provide vision and ideas for a brighter future along with the latest horror stories about the radical right, and political corruption.Â We are part of the early warning system. People write us every day and tell us how much they depend on us.
We need your commitment. We need your investment to keep us strong as we compete against the special interests that are feeding at the trough of Republican corruption.
Please make a contribution so we can continue our work -- and then double it. And do the same for all the important groups you fund, especially those working at the grassroots. They need it the most.
This letter is a kick-off to AlterNet's fundraising for 2006. Normally I would tell you about our accomplishments and awards, our new features, our talented staff and our deep dedication. And that's all good stuff. But I'll save that. ( Here's a full report on AlterNet's achievements, goals and vision.)
Bottom line: We need to raise $200,000 from our readers and community in the months ahead. And we want as many of you to help as possible. Whatever you can afford, be it $30 or $500. It all matters. Help AlterNet serve you and the rest of the people who depend upon us.
Please, have a heart-to-heart with yourself and take a stand on what you truly believe. Make a commitment to join us in fighting back. Draw a line in the sand and say: Enough!
Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.