A Guide to What’s Available Here to All Members of the Public…
…and a Look at Some of the Extra Content that Only Subscribers Can Access & Create
By Al Giordano
The 2016 elections in the United States were ill served by the news media and social media both and the result ended up being against the wishes of a clear majority of voters nationwide. As you know, they were overly influenced by bad actors – both foreign and domestic. And while it has been well-established by the Mueller Report that a Russian government-backed disinformation campaign fomented too many American voters’ belief in falsehoods, inflamed existing racial, gender and other divisions, suppressed voter turnout of key demographic groups and exposed political activists to hacking and other invasions of their privacy rights – the blame cannot be placed on Russia alone. Too many of we Americans allowed ourselves to be manipulated by it.
The truth is that American political factions were already doing most of those harmful things to each other, providing foreigners with an easy roadmap to exacerbate our weaknesses. Our own media was already a clickbait-seeking missile and our own social media platforms had already become vehicles for the persecution, harassment and bullying of people with different opinions than those doing the persecuting. We didn’t need Russia to make us do that. All of that was happening in the United States already.
Organize & Win exists to provide a space that is bulletproofed from that kind of tampering and manipulation, a platform where our subscribers – the grassroots volunteers, small donors and organizers who have always determined the Democratic nominee for president with more than just social media posts, and who are highly representative of each of the key demographic groups in the Democratic coalition (our subscriber population largely reflects the primary voting pool demographics) – are already working together even though many are supporting competing candidates. Here, users are shielded from personal attack, and agree not to engage in it as a condition of being able to comment, because 2016 taught us that that is the only kind of environment where political organizing and democracy can function in a diverse coalition.
Subscribers have access to all the content, but there is also a lot of content available on the front page and elsewhere here for the general public. Here is a quick guide to that.
What Everybody Can See & Read Here
- The daily updated Nomination Feed on the right-hand sidebar with links to the day’s most important and interesting news stories on the 2020 candidates and campaign events. It’s usually updated each morning and sometimes more than once a day when the news is flowing rapidly.
- Our regularly updated “odds” on each candidate’s chances to win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also on the right-hand sidebar.
- Our one-stop shop for links to useful data sources relevant to the 2020 campaign, also on that sidebar.
- The results of our regular straw poll on candidate preferences – there have been five here since last December – through which the wisdom of this crowd has been ahead of the curve each time in telling what would happen next in the contest. Kamala Harris led in the first three. By the second, in January, Elizabeth Warren had pulled into second place and in May – a full month before she began to rise in the public opinion polls – Warren won that straw poll with Harris a strong second place finisher. In our post-debate poll this month Harris jumped back into the lead with Warren still polling strongly. Today, pollsters and betting markets are catching up with what our subscribers saw coming all along. That’s the kind of platform this is: It’s for those who want to know what will happen before it happens – and for those who make it happen.
- The reports and essays you can see in the center column of page one are mostly excerpts from my newsletter, Al Giordano’s América. Sometimes the general public only can read a few paragraphs, others offer longer passages and sometimes we’ll make an entire issue available for free here. Essentially, non-subscribers have to click to find out which is which whereas logged in subscribers see everything including considerable backstage content and each other’s comments on the stories which only subscribers can read.
- Any member of the public that uses Facebook can read and participate on the Al Giordano’s América page there where a screen shot of the daily Nomination Feed links is posted each time it is updated. And I’ll typically post one or two links to current events with some observations on how they shape the campaign going forward. We have the same rules there: no personal attacks or insults against anybody there nor against the candidates and their supporters unless and until they have themselves engaged in those kinds of personal attacks. And we have page moderators (also subscribers) in America and Mexico as well as American and Mexican expats in the Europe, Asia and Australia time zones that monitor the page 24/7 and are not shy about using Facebook’s “hide,” “delete” and “ban this user” options anytime a bad actor shows up and tries to run the kind toxic games they play on other social media platforms. If we haven’t learned that lesson from 2016 – when failure to screen out that kind of negativity drove entire groups of politically active people underground into private discussion areas – then we’ve learned nothing. Through that page many have liked what they’ve seen enough to become subscribers themselves. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/AlGiordanosAmerica/
- That’s a lot of free content for a platform that doesn’t subject you to paid advertising or obnoxious market-research quizzes like so much media does these days. But if you still want more (and if you’re a true political junky like the rest of us we already know the answer to that question is “yes!”), keep reading on what the subscribers get additionally in appreciation for their modest donations to the nonprofit Fund for Authentic Journalism.
What Subscribers Can See, Read – and Do! – Here
- Subscribers receive a .pdf version of each issue of Al Giordano’s América in their email boxes. Started in 2015, the newsletter doesn’t come out on a regular schedule: I only publish it when I have something meaningful to say. That’s so far been 85 issues in the past four years – 15 this year already!
- In Election Years, subscribers receive my detailed general election projections and in presidential years I provide them prior to every caucus and primary. That’s a lot of study and work but I enjoy it. In 2016 they accurately predicted the winner in 47 of 54 state and territory contests in the Democratic primary. In 2018 via the newsletter I projected that Democrats would pick up 40 US House seats from Republicans. That’s exactly how many they did pick up. Back in 2008, via the blog then known as The Field, my projections enjoyed the same rate of accuracy (I had published, in September of 2007, an essay in the Boston Phoenix outlining Barack Obama’s path to the nomination and the next 14 months were mainly about chronicling much of what could be seen coming in advance). Some readers remember back in 2003 and 2004 through my now-defunct blog Big, Left, Outside blog, I projected John Kerry to win Iowa and New Hampshire at a time when almost every pundit and political reporter was telling people it would be Howard Dean. I’m not a psychic or time traveler, please no. I sometimes get it wrong like everyone else (I did publish an issue in October 2016 on what would happen if Trump won, and had been warning it was possible since April 2016 in my University of Wisconsin lecture about Donald Trump, but I did not project him to win and nobody other than a few gadflies who wanted him to win was saying he would either). I have reported or been a campaign worker in every contested Democratic presidential primary since 1976 when I left high school for months to volunteer full time for Senator Fred Harris’ presidential campaign in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York. My projections don’t come from a crystal ball but from careful revision of the available data on the demographics of each state and Congressional District, polling, field organization and a lifelong study of human nature: We humans are very predictable in the end and politicians even more so. One can tell what they will do usually before they do it. Through the newsletter, I share with subscribers the results of that research – down to how many delegates I project each presidential candidate to win in every Congressional District. Those of you who’ve been to those rodeos with me know from experience and it’s why many of you are still here.
- Subscribers can comment on every newsletter and post on the site, but only after each has declared agreement not to attack or insult anybody else using the site. Not even once have we had to remove a comment yet for any violation of that agreement! This may be the only civilized political comment section on the Internet! And we are going to keep it that way. You’d be surprised how much that elevates all conversations. Subscribers – and only subscribers – can read each other’s comments – they appear backstage along with other goodies behind the subscriber curtain.
- On June 27 and 28 many of the subscribers came to our virtual debate watch party here, made hundreds of smart, well-informed, politically experienced and often hilarious comments real time while the debates were happening. We’ll do that again on July 30 and 31. If you subscribe by then we look forward to having you there, too.
- Subscribers can vote on our regular 2020 Democratic Nomination Straw Poll: the next one will begin after the upcoming second debates July 30 and 31. That way we’ll have a quick snapshot at how the grassroots volunteers and small donors who drive the nomination process were impacted by the debates. And we get that info faster than most of the media organizations who are still polling out in the field by the time we’ve done our own secret ballot head count.
- Subscriptions are annual with each calendar year to donors of $70 to the nonprofit Fund for Authentic Journalism and existing subscribers get offered two stages of discounts. In November they’ll be able to renew for 2020 for just a $50 donation. And in December they can do it for $60 including via a 12-month $5 monthly pledge. A lot of our subscribers on limited incomes prefer doing it that way. I also have accepted barter of products and services from some and have given away some scholarship subscriptions, too, which also helps keep the subscriber pool reflective of the demographics of the wide Democratic coalition.
- Those subscribers who prefer to read the newsletter online rather than the .pdf version, once logged in to Organize & Win, can do that, too. (Others like to print out the document and read it on paper, which is how I like to read, too.)
- Subscribers receive invitations to special events from time to time: In 2016 we held a GOP debate watch party for subscribers in a small fishing and beach town on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera. And when I’ve traveled in the States (I’m a Bronx-born US citizen who has spent most of the past 22 years next door in Mexico) we’ve held social gatherings in Washington, DC and New York to which they were invited, as well as to the free 2017 Organizer’s Training we co-hosted in New Rochelle, NY for 70 subscribers and Westchester County Indivisible members. It’s a good bet that as 2020 heats up we’ll provide more opportunities to gather in person.
Ready to subscribe? Here’s the link to donate to the nonprofit Fund for Authentic Journalism on PayPal and once you do that you can register your account here and we’ll approve it right away. If you have any questions or comments based on what you’ve read here contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And thank you for reading this far. Hope to see you backstage in our spin room for the debates later this month and at all our special events going forward and to learn from you here, too.
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