Talking Back to the Right
A guide for community activists

Brecher, Jermey

Publisher:  Z Magazine
Year Published:  1996  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX11816

The right's enormous success in framing the American public debate is based not just on isolated issues, but on in overall definition of what the debate is about. The purpose of this guide is to suggest ways that progressive community-based advocacy groups can reframe the right's definition of the debate-ways that can connect with deeply-held Values and understandings of the American people. It is designed to help advocates frame their views for the media, develop educational programs and materials for their constituents, and talk to their fellow citizens in meetings and informal discussions.



For hundreds of years, Americans and other people all over the world have been fighting to establish democratic control over kings, corporations, undemocratic governments, political machines, and other uncontrolled centers of power. They have used all kinds of means-community organizations, political parties, unions, government, even revolution-to assert the power of the people.

That struggle for democracy continues today Giant global corporations increasingly dominate the peoples, economics, and governments of the world. Meanwhile conditions of life for most people are deteriorating. That is why people are organizing to get the power and resources they need for their well-being.

Today the people are forced to fight against the global corporations and the one percent of the population who control the lion’s share of power and resources. They are fighting to make governments accountable to the people, rather than the bought-and-paid-for servants of corporations and the rich.

Some of those who oppose democratization are afraid the people will take away their wealth and power. Others want to impose their own views and values on those they disagree with. A “dismantle-democracy” movement-dubbed conservatism or the right-seeks to weaken the tools the people use to assert their power. It attacks government, unions, and community-based advocacy groups. But communities are organizing themselves and joining together to fight back and to create a decent future for themselves, each other, and the planet we all must live on together.

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