Brian Hill: Grassroots and left vs. right


Richard Moore

One more posting before I pack for the trip...

From: "Brian Hill" <•••@••.•••>
To: Si
Subject: What is Grassroots?
Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005 23:06:25 -0800
Organization: Institute  for Cultural Ecology

Hi Si;
I heard you on KPFA today so a friend and I came over to
Freight and Salvage for the show.

Would you agree that grassroots and poor people are pretty
close to being the same?  Aren't poor people the majority
in the US?  According to voting records (which are most
likely tampered with somewhat) about half of the people
that vote are Republicans and half Democrats.  So, doesn't
this mean that there is a grass roots right as well as a
grass roots left?  Like truck drivers, small farmers,
 ranchers, loggers, fisherpeople, miners, small biz
people, non-union office workersŠ vote Republican very

If the poor voted against the rich there would be clear
grassroots victories almost everywhere.  The poor are
split down the middle - poor Democrats and poor
Republicans, the two grass roots.

Have you ever asked why poor people vote Republican, when
we lefties know that  the struggle is rich against the
poor?   Don't you agree that poor people that vote
Republican are ignorant - they believe the TV, they are
faithful and trusting of their government and church?  I
know many grass roots right people.  Rednecks out west
here are a pretty good approximation of what the grass
roots right.  They are honest, hard working, trusting,
faithful people that believe in community and want to
protect their environment for their kids.  They are so
trusting that they believe the propaganda/lies that are
perpetuated by the corporate right.

If we look at the whole right wing of the US it consists
in my view as the grass roots right and the corporate
right.  The corporate right makes up lies about the left
which the grass roots right, which is largely uneducated,
still believes.  I see the corporate right, the ruling
classes, as screwing their own children - the grass roots
right.  The corporate right lies to the trusting/faithful
grass roots right by telling them how bad the left is -
commies, enviro terrorists, immigrants, welfare classes,
unemployed, criminalsŠ..  These lies create the essential
polarity the corporate right needs to polarize half the
poor people against the other half - grass roots right and

But, in order to have a polarity it takes more than the
corporate right lying to the ignorant but trusting grass
roots right, part of the left - the liberal left - must
accept the challenge created by the corporate right and
implemented by the faithful grass roots right as racism,
sexism, homophobia, terror-phobia, anti-abortion,
anti-welfare, anti-enviro, anti-civil rightsŠ.  Part of
the left must stand up to the racists, homophobes, and all
the anti-groups.  This I call the liberal left, the
yuppies, the corporate funded enviro groups like the top
ten enviro groups, the educated professionals that work in
offices - the hypocrite lefties.  They are quick to oppose
the anti-groups which are organized by the corporate right
and implemented by the grass roots right.

Can you imagine what would happen if the grass roots right
realized that the rich classes they have trusted and
looked up to have been consistently lying to them so that
they could get half of the poor people fighting/voting
against the other half?  These rednecks would burn
Washington, DC.  As far as voting is concerned, the grass
root right and left would unite, the majority, the poor
would unite and corruption wouldn't stand a chance.  The
new day we work and hope for would happen.

So, I think if liberals could reverse their polarized
stance and, instead, look for common ground, like focus on
how the grass roots right is being lied to by the
corporate right, and begin allying with the grass roots
right, the majority - the poor - would soon vote together
for democracy and well balanced life.

Do you have any songs about how the poor right is being
duped, or any about how the progressive left could make
friends with the grass roots right, the poor right - how
the struggle is not right against left but rich against
poor?  Remember when Willie Nelson said, 'I grew my hair
long just to see what the rednecks would say'?  His
concerts are attended equally well by the grass roots left
as the grass roots right.

I spend a lot of time trying to create alliances between
the two polarized grass roots people of the US.  We are
the majority, we just don't know it yet.  Please keep me
on your grassroots list.

And, thank you for your work and dedication.
Brian Hill
Institute for Cultural Ecology

Hi Brian,

Thanks for copying me on your message to Si.

I think you are doing very important work, and I wish more
people would catch on to this concept of 'down vs up'
rather than 'left vs right'.

This particular message of yours is obviously intended for
lefty audiences, so I forgive some of the comments you
made about those on the right, e.g. being 'ignorant'. I
assume you were trying 'reach out' to someone else's

As regards who is deceived by the media, my own view is
that those on the left are influenced at least as much as
those on the right. Liberals are the majority, despite
what Diebold reports, and it is at them that the primary
media channels are aimed. I suppose the handiest example
is the issue of 'conspiracy theories', which most liberals
have been programmed to derisively reject, despite
whatever evidence might exist. What could be more ignorant
than that?

As regards the issue of left and right working together, I
come up with a slightly different emphasis than you
express in your message. You are suggesting a kind of
coalition, drawn together by being 'not rich', and able to
become a majority voting block. I certainly support
efforts in that direction, and any successes would open up
interesting political possibilities.

For this kind of coalition to begin to form, presumably
beginning in the grassroots, that would mean that folks
from the left and right would need to begin communicating
with one another - entering into dialog. If productive
dialog can be encouraged among grassroots folks from the
left and right, I think there are much deeper
breakthroughs to be sought, than simply collaboration in
the political process.

I think of 'grassroots' and 'community' as being more or
less synonymous. If the left and right are dialoging
together in the grassroots, that means they're dialoging
in their communities. The potential here is not simply to
agree to vote for some candidate, but to awaken a general
sense of community empowerment, a sense of 'we the people'
in the community. Not simply to break free of the trap of
two-party politics, but to break free from powerlessness
as isolated individuals and factions. More than that: to
break free from hierarchy itself.

best regards,



"Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World"

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