The Lesson of People Power
By Brigitte Gabriel
Now that the election of 2008 is over, pundits and analysts will pore over the results, looking for trends and insights into what the results mean for our nation’s future. But it doesn’t take a pundit or highly experienced political analyst to point out one powerful lesson of this campaign – the lesson of people power.
There were many factors that contributed to Barack Obama’s victory yesterday. He had a great deal more money to spend than John McCain did. President Bush’s very low approval ratings helped him. The economic meltdown helped him.
But he could have squandered those advantages had he not tapped into the immense resource of “people power.”
It’s beyond dispute that Obama was able to energize and organize a grassroots army. His candidacy mobilized countless volunteers who had never been active in a campaign before. They made phone calls, knocked on doors, passed out literature, registered voters, and turned voters out to vote.
His huge advantage in fundraising helped a lot, but even that can be attributed in great part to tapping into people power. While questions remain about the foreign sources of many of his contributions, there is no doubt that he was able to build a grassroots army of small donors the likes of which no presidential campaign has ever done.
His vast number of small donors is a compelling testimony to one of the informal mottos we have here at ACT! for America – When a lot of people each do a little, together we accomplish a lot.
We have expressed our concerns about how President-elect Obama will handle national security and Islamic terrorism issues, and of course we hope for the best. But his campaign has reminded us of an invaluable lesson – that grassroots people power can change the course of history.
Since I founded ACT! for America a little over a year ago, this is a message Executive Director Guy Rodgers, National Field Director Kelly Cook, and I have sounded over and over and over again. If we are going to roll back the rising tide of Islamofascism, it’s going to require the collective strength of an informed and organized grassroots movement. The kind of grassroots movement countries like Germany, France and Great Britain did not have to resist the spread of militant Islam.
This year we took a big step towards fulfilling that vision for ACT! for America, and I’ll be talking to you more about that next week. Leaders and concerned citizens across the country are recognizing what we have set out to do and how much we have already accomplished.
For instance, counterterrorism expert Jeffrey Imm made the following reference to ACT! for America in a commentary posted today on the Family Security Matters website (Courage and the Long War against Islamic Supremacism and Jihad ...):
“In terms of those fighting against Islamic supremacism, the largest national group that I am aware of is the Brigitte Gabriel-founded ACT! for America national network with over 200 chapter leaders (and this should be noted as a significant accomplishment).”
Our polling data tells us there are many, many Americans who, if adequately informed, share our concerns about national security and the threats posed by radical Islam. Together we must keep our eyes on the goal and not give in to discouragement. We are making progress. We have won some victories this year. We will continue to grow and our influence will grow as well.
But we must do it together. We can do it together. We will do it together. However you personally feel about the election results – angry, upset, fearful, relieved, or delighted – do something. Turn those feelings into constructive action to help us grow.
Tell three people you know about our website and get them signed up for our emails.
Make a one-time contribution or become a monthly Patriot Partner.
Lead or help start a local chapter.
We’ve gotten dozens of emails this morning from people telling us they want to get more involved. You can do the same.
So long as Islamofascism threatens our safety, security and way of life, you can count on me to never give up the fight. You have no idea how comforting it is to me to know that I don’t have to fight this fight alone. Your support, encouragement, and activism mean so much to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We will prevail.