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Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win Paperback – November 20, 2007
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If Progressives are ready to move beyond the Age of W into a winning era, they can start with Stand Up Straight. This is more than a call to arms. This is a battle plan from one of the best campaign minds in America. Bob Creamer takes his readers from values to votes with practical tactics and insight gathered over decades of experience. This book is for players...spectators need not apply. - Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), Senate Democratic Whip --Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), Senate Democratic Whip
If every activist in America read Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight, we could change our country. This book will help bring on the New Progressive Era. It's that good - Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) --Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
Bob Creamer has been at the center of every major progressive political movement in America for four decades. If anyone in America knows how to run and win issue campaigns it is Bob. Stand Up Straight is nothing less than the bible for progressive political activists. - Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change --Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change
About the Author
AUTHOR BIO: Robert Creamer has been a political organizer and strategist for almost four decades. He and his firm, the Strategic Consulting Group, work with many of the country s most significant issue campaigns. He was one of the major architects and organizers of the successful campaign to defeat the privatization of Social Security. He is a consultant to the campaigns to end the war in Iraq, pass universal health care, change America s budget priorities and enact comprehensive immigration reform. His clients have included labor unions, public interest groups, and advocacy organizations like MoveOn.org, Americans United for Change and USAction. He has also worked on hundreds of electoral campaigns at the local, state and national levels. Creamer is married to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky from Illinois.
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Creamer has spent more than four decades in community organizing. His “first serious issue campaign involved pollution and the legendary community organizer Saul Alinsky.” He later joined Illinois Public Action, “the progressive coalition,” which he directed for many years. While at Illinois Public Action, Creamer met and married DSAer Jan Schakowsky. Schakowsky is currently a U.S. representative and a vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). CPC is aligned with Democratic Socialists of America, which, in turn, is part of the Socialist International. The roots of the Socialist International go all the way back to Karl Marx.
The first few pages of Stand Up Straight! include words of praise from many individuals representing groups that make up the Socialist Coalition. These individuals include John Podesta of the Center for American Progress, Heather Booth and Jackie Kendall of the Midwest Academy, Wes Boyd of MoveOn.org, Chuck Loveless and John Cameron of AFSCME, Greg Gazzullo of the Gamaliel Foundation, Roger Hickey and Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future, David Axelrod, Jeff Blum and William McNary of USAction, CPC members Reps. Jim McGovern John Lewis, Andy Stern of SEIU, and Miles Rapoport of Demos.
The partial client list of Creamer’s firm, Strategic Consulting Group (SCG), reads like a who’s who of the Socialist Coalition. These clients include ACORN, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Campaign for America's Future, Midwest Academy, Natural Resources Defense Council, SEIU, USAction, and United Steelworkers Union of America.
Creamer is also a partner with Democracy Partners. Other partners include Heather Booth and Jackie Kendall of the Midwest Academy, John Hennelly, who served for four years as the National Field Director for Politics for the SEIU (he also worked with Creamer at SCG prior to taking a position with the SEIU), Christine Pelosi, who is the daughter of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Joe Sandler, who served as general counsel of the 1996 Democratic National Convention and as outside counsel to the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Democratic National Conventions, and Mike Lux, who has been the CEO of his own consulting firm, Progressive Strategies, since its beginning in 1999. While serving with Iowa Citizen Action Network during the 1980s, Lux was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Given Creamer’s longtime association with the Socialist Coalition, Stand Up Straight! is essentially that coalition’s playbook. Read it to gain a better understanding of the socialists’ tactics and strategies, and then adopt and adapt tactics and strategies that constitutionalists can also use.
First, the work is encyclopedic, yet there is no index. If the reader wants to see what the author, a convicted felon, has to say about the role of religion, well, I guess you will just have to read all 575 pages. And frankly, most of the facts the author presents are simply wrong, from the Confederates losing 60% of the men in Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, to defining traditional American values as "progressive" and the battle being between them and the "values of radical conservatives." Wow! With that statement on page 349, the Progressives are defenders of traditional values -- you know, the ones the Progressives are always belittling and trying to change, but which those radical people who believe in defending the Constitution, individual liberty, and all those outmoded concepts, are apparently (in the author's opinion) trying to eliminate.
In fact, probably most of the book is a compendium of lies, and the value in reading is to understand the strategy of the Progressives to ALWAYS frame the debate in words to their own advantage, even if the characterization of your opponent's position is an outright lie. Lying doesn't matter -- the end justifies the means. Gee, where have I heard that before?
The values of the Progressives given by the author were risible, as every one could be shown to be counter to current Progressive dogma and not supported by Progressive actions in the Federal Government. For example: Tolerance for diversity, innovation and critical thought. But not when diversity means including conservatives, or innovation involves an idea that reduces union jobs, or critical thought that emanates from religion-based morality. The author puts the Progressives on the side of ethical morality, and the radical conservatives as coming from a fundamentalist morality that no longer applies in this day and age.
In the Progressive moral system, the economy must serve the values of empathy for our fellow man, individual and collective responsibility, and competency. Gee, as if the Federal Government had any of those. But there are two primary criticisms of Progressivism the author avoids like the plague: that virtue and morality come from religion where the individual believes there is a higher power than himself (& government doesn't count); and that morality in groups and their collective action is ALWAYS less moral than the morality of individuals. Reinhold Niebuhr said it best: the larger the group, the less the group acts in a virtuous and moral fashion. Or in another context: many Germans were moral Christians, but when forced to join the organizations in the Third Reich, those groups redefined morality. Progressivism suffers from ALWAYS promoting the collective over the individual, assuring organizational immorality, and then eliminates the Christian concepts by teaching young minds morality and social justice in American public schools, cementing them firmly in place in American universities.
The author seems to have put the book together by serially talking to other like-minded individuals (such as Al Gore), then writing several chapters on what that person said. Often the endnotes in a chapter all refer to the same reference, and there is clearly a lack of scholarship. But what should one expect from a book that the author admits was put together mostly while he was in prison.
This work is a "read and weep" book, for it probably accurately portrays America's future with its receding Christian morality and emphasis on ever-increasing the size of government.
However, don't give money to this convicted felon by buying a new copy. Get it used on Amazon Marketplace, and so you will not be putting money in his dirty pockets.
Highly recommend used copies to those who want to know the 'other side' and its strategy, and ideas.
I do not recommend it otherwise.
Buy it for all the political activists on your list.