Bill CollierThe American Freedomist
It says in Proverbs, “let another man praise you and not yourself”, or something like that.
There are many conservative groups and causes out there, some of which you may not even be familiar with. Some of them may be nothing more than a guy or gal in their living room with a $7 server, as Ralph Benko quoted from Patrick Ruffini (READ Ralph’s book for FREE, http://www.thewebstersdictionary.com/).
I have been privileged over the past 3 months to have met many of the top conservative internet activists by phone or in person and have been privy to some interesting meetings where individuals shared their knowledge of best practices as well as their stories and I have learned quite a bit about who these people and what they are about.
The bottom line is that the conservative community is waking up and shaping up, our leaders and friends, and potential new leaders and friends, are coming to realize that while we need to match what “the left” has done in terms of impact and making the most of the internet, our approach is not going to be the same. For instance, we are not going to rely on or ask for millions of dollars from a few rich donors who may then have the power to call the shots and we are not keen on a top-down approach in which only a FEW at the top get all the power and recognition.
The conservative community is self-organizing, even if it may not be apparent to all of us, and we seem to be in a “Valley Forge” moment. Our Von Steuben (he trained George Washington;s troops in Valley Forge) is not one person: we are being trained by necessity and by folks like Erick Erickson, Ralph Benko, Erik Telford, Eric Odom, Chad Everson, Paul Collier, Emily Zanotti, Scott Graves, Neil Stevens, Stephanie Davis, Patrick Ruffini, Robert Bluey, and the list goes on.
What you may want to know, as a conservative, is WHAT IS OUT THERE…..
What is out there?
Most of us don’t just focus on one thing, many of us have our OWN thing, be that a blog, a newspaper, a BlogTalkRadio show, or group or project of some kind. In addition to our own thing, we often get involved in other blogs, groups, and projects.
The purpose of my “Diary” on Red State is going to be to promote YOU, your blogs, projects and groups, by telling my readers, not only here but on my other blogs and groups, about who you are, what you are doing, how and why you are doing it, and how and where others can get involved.
You can GET MY ATTENTION by writing to me at [email protected] and giving me your contact information. I only write about blogs and organizations if I have spoken to the owner or one of the key leaders in person or on the phone. I am a big believer in person to person connections and before I can recommend anything or anyone I want to know WHO they are. My PUBLIC business line is 717 503 1645. Please leave a message and please call during business hours (9-5)remembering I live on the EAST COAST.*Here is a partial list of some of the groups, blogs, and etc. that I am “tee’ing up” to write about:*
The Dontgo Movement– Eric OdoamAmericans For Prosperity– Erik TelfordThe Samuel Adams Alliance- Samsphere– Emily ZanottiKeystone Conservative– Ethen DemmeThe Project Meridian Foundation– Nathan WilsonThe Websters Dictionary– Ralph BenkoThe Grizzly Groundswell– Chad EversonFort Hard Knox– Jenn SierraRed County– Scot GravesMichigan Taxes Too Much- Jason Gillman Sr.RedState (of course)- Erick EricksonBlogtalkRadio Heading Right– Elizabeth BlackneyCrystal Clear Conservative– Crystal WeeksThe Blackstone Report– Dean Chambers
What am I up to, you might ask?
My specialty is not technical, it is PEOPLE; making connections, building networks, and getting things DONE. I don’t care who does it or who gets credit for it, I care that the job gets done.
What JOB is that?
The real JOB we need to do is:
Create news sites and investigative articles that uncover connections, causes, and potential effects and THEN get this vital news past the media filter through mutual promotion and other methods
Create information networks that offer articles and news to other news blogs, that can coordinate information and Intel Gathering, and that can support online publications
Create effective networks of people who connect online, by phone, and in person not only for political action and cooperation with with other groups, but to share ideas and best practices and for fun, interesting, and entertaining social interaction
SHADOW the politicians, the media, corporations, and organizations and HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE to the standards of freedom, justice, the Constitution, and the public interest
Encourage and SUPPORT local people in their efforts to apply our conservative values (limited government, individual sovereignty, a free market, a strong national defense) to LOCAL issues and encourage local people to gain control over their local political party at the precinct level
Encourage and support multimedia newspapers that are locally-focused in small communities or smaller neighborhoods within major cities that act as a WacthDog, Advocate, and Resource and thereby EARN permission by local readers to PERSUADE them (I call this “Street Level Information WAR.”
Continue to encourage meetings, by phone conference and in person, amongst conservatives who are engaged in the above activities and seek ways to support and help one another while encourage NEW people with new ideas and different approaches to step up, provide mentoring and assistance by the more established activists to the new people
My own “dream” is to create a Christian Fraternal Society that takes the idea of a “church” as a worship center and transforms it into a Church as a Community Center with a strong emphasis on evangelism, holiness, mutual support, assurance, and accountability, biblical literacy, participatory worship, being the salt of the earth, and occupying whatever SPACE we have an opportunity to occupy (including political, social, cultural, and economic space).
*As for groups I am not a leader within but I support, these include *Sampshere, DONTGO, and Americans For Prosperity. I believe these three groups are “others focused” in that they SUPPORT and improve LOTS of other writers, bloggers, and groups and they have a simple but effective PLAN that WILL WORK!
My present focus is on a project I am presently seeking collaboration on, which is a project I am doing with my twin brother, Paul Collier: “The American Freedomist Movement.”
The AFM has three main elements-
The American Freedomist Network- this includes American Freedomist Radio and the purpose is to connect writers, media teams, promotions teams, and the like to develop a support network that will mentor and aid local multimedia newspapers that can then connect to the AFN as well as other information networks like The Grizzly Groundswell or DONTGO, sharing information and using their information.
The American Freedomist- this multimedia national daily newspaper is evolving out of our “blog”, The Freedomist BLOGand will include “sections” such as News Scope for international intelligence, Midnight In America for US Political Intelligence, The Upadarian (you-pah-dare-ee-an) Voice for Christian news, bible studies, and article on creating Christian community, the 57th State for commentary on US politics, and STATE Digests for each state as we add State Publishers.
The Freedom Congress- this is real simple: we are going to SHADOW elected officials at the Federal Level and organize people around “State Town Meetings” run by a “Shadow Governor” to act as Shadow Delegates (Senators and House members)and to vote on Instructions, Remonstrances, and Queries which the “Freedomist Party USA” (a Non-Party Party) will hand deliver to Washington DC. Our initial GOAL is to recruit at least 100 TOWN MEETING members per Congressional District plus at least 500 in “vulnerable” districts where a few votes can change an election outcome. JOIN the Congress HERE
*NOTE: The American Freedomist Movement is not a conservative only movement, it is focused more narrowly on structural issues aimed at transferring power from “Washington and Wall Street” to individuals, private associations, and human scale communities so that 80% of everything that happens locally is decided by local people for local people through direct participation.*I am also a founding member of Field of Dreams Communities, a network of over 1,000 online clubs, groups, and etc. on Yahoo, MSN, Google, and now, as we move these groups, NING. This network has been around since 1999 and was founded by John Graham, a former General Manager for Minor League Baseball Teams (the field in Bull Durham is the field of his first team).
Of all of my projects, the Freedom Congress is both the most important and the one that I would ultimately like to see be “owned” by a group of collaborators as well as its members.
KEEP coming back to this diary for more updates on all the great developments in the “rightosphere”. Also, look here for announcements about interviews with the leaders of these awesome efforts where you will have a chance to CALL IN with your own questions.