Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Charlie Grapski running for office

Hey everyone,

Just stopping bye to say Hi - and give an update - busy, busy, busy lately (which is why I have been so “quiet” *grin*.

The campaign is finally OFFICIAL and just now underway. We began collecting petitions to be on the ballot last night. We are now beginning our fundraising drive - and we will have a website up shortly. I certainly hope everyone will stop by and log in … I hope that many of you will be part of my larger “grassroots” team (while we build a local grassroots “model citizens’ army” to EMPOWER the disempowered “subject” into an active and effective CITIZEN).

Oh well - several of you have already expressed your encouragement to this effort - I hope to get you guys a little more involved in time - and expand to others.

I really think Dean and Trippi unleashed a sleeping giant in the last presidential cycle - at a national politics level (with a grassroots movement).

I hope that I can develop - and demonstrate the efficacy of - taking this down to the LOCAL level. We intend to have a number of innovative ideas - as well as to apply the great lessons of our efforts nationally in 2004.

This is a real TEAM effort - I (as the candidate and future representative) may be the center-point of the play and may get the most attention of the media - but its not about the QUARTERBACK (the candidate/official) - its a team effort (remember the them that Democracy is NOT a Spectator Sport … well add to that - it IS a TEAM Sport).

As we all know - no matter how great a QB you have - the team cannot win without also having a good Center, a good Offensive Line, a good Defense, and good running backs and receivers. (Hey - this is the home of the University of Florida Gators - I think the Football analogy can be well understood).

So our objective is to build ourselves into a winning TEAM.


(I hope to hear from all of you - with your ideas and suggestions - I take note of them all - and have really found them very useful and encouraging. Feel free to email me anytime.


Oh - by the way - let me get some feedback from all of you on some of our themes for the campaign.

I don’t like “the way its done” approach - that is the means wereby we preserve and reinforce the status quo - and thus fail to achieve the necessary changes we need.

Certainly I will learn from the elements of WISDOM in the “way things are traditionally done” - but its time to CHANGE THE GAME - and add new, innovative, and better methods and approaches to politics.

But one thing that has SOME wisdom - is the packaging of ideas so as to be easily and quickly attracting attention and gaining understanding. And the related idea of having THREE themes. At the same time - this is also limiting and artificial - and very prone to the EASY way (abuse) - of mere MANIPULATION of public opinion through the rhetorical techniques of the PR/Marketing consultants.

But I do have TWO SETS of three initial themes - that will be developed extensively - and will not be EXCLUSIVELY our concerns - but are two different levels of very important areas that need to be addressed and are, in the case of the first theme, generally ignored and neglected, and in the second set, generally spoken about in pandering promises but never actually delivered in actual policy practice.

So - just in general (without the details) - what do you guys think about these two themes:

SET ONE (getting to the essence of a functioning democracy)
1. Ethics
2. Education
3. Empowerment

SET TWO (dealing with some of the most significant particular policy areas of life outside of the political process):
1. Energy
2. Environment
3. Employment

Yes - two sets of EEE’s!

I appreciate your comments and thoughts - you can discuss them here or email me - and don’t hesitate to analyze them critically. That is how we come to understanding - and eventually - agreement (that is really what being a “uniter not a divider” is all about - not the mere rhetoric of you know who’s spin team).

Sunday, March 19, 2006

From Subjects to Citizens

You guys may know the story about the American Revolutionary Army under Washington.

Early on - things were looking bleak - as Washington camped his troops at Valley Forge. The well-meaning, but ill-equipped army (the real problem however was poorly trained army - rather than just the equipment … which was exagerated a bit by Washington in an effort to get more support from Congress). They were holding on … but the British were dominating - and many thought the effort would eventually fail.

Then - before the French were brought in by Franklin (a BIG boost - not only strategically (diverting the British forces into sending troops down to the Indies - to prevent the WORLD WAR from giving the French an opportunity to take away some of the British possessions) but also in MORALE) - Franklin had an even greater impact.

He went to the PRUSSIAN ARMY (the best then in the world - even better than the other big guy - the British) - and recruited “Baron” and “General” von Steuben.

Of course - this was a little “fib” of Franklin - who knew the “aristocratic” military leadership would not accept someone of lesser status - as he really was not a General or a big Noble - but more of a DRILL SERGEANT (he was actually a Captain).

But von Steuben, who spoke NO ENGLISH, came and DRAMATICALLY CHANGED the American revolutionaries into a world-class army - nearly overnight!

He was faced with a daunting challenge - one that most people would view as futile. How to turn, in short time and with little resources, a rag-tag group into a professional military that could realistically stand up to one of the world’s greatest military powers?

He knew he could not train EVERY single soldier overnight. So he established a MODEL army. He focused on a small group - and trained them into a TOP-NOTCH force in a short time.

The MODEL then was SPREAD throughout the forces.

And thus - we WON our independence!

Well - we have a SIMILAR situation facing us again. Again - facing a tyranical power, again being relatively untrained (as citizens), and feeling disempowered … we have a daunting challenge in front of us - FOR THE FUTURE.

Thus - this campaign will be like building a MODEL ARMY OF CITIZENS. Training us to no longer act like mere SUBJECTS (passive receptors of the policy decisions of OTHERS who rule over us) and into an EFFECTIVE force of CITIZENS (who rule themselves).

That is how we RESTORE our democracy - and REPLACE (and overthrow) our “tyranny.”


(What do you think, by the way?)