Go MainStream

From Mathew Gross, GoMainStream.org, an attempt to revitalize the conservation movement. The organization is a partnership between Robert Kennedy, Jr, Gross, and Bobby Sundeen. From Matt’s email:

We formed GoMainStream.org because more than 90% of Americans hold our values in common — clean air, clean water, open lands — yet 40% think that ”most environmental activists don’t really care about people.“

We formed GoMainStream because the corporate plunderers have hijacked our public lands and the public process.

And we formed GoMainStream because they’ve hijacked our language. They call polluting the air “Clear Skies” — and they call it “development” and “access” when they lock Americans out of the public lands that we hike, hunt, fish and love.

We’re going to change that. And we’re going to change it by building a new coalition from the bottom-up — an organization that helps Americans take action and that works to reframe the debate about the future of our country.

We’re going to do it by connecting hunters fighting to maintain access to elk habitat with suburbanites combating urban sprawl.

Because conservation is not an issue of right or left, or urban versus rural, or red versus blue.

It’s an issue of who we are as Americans.

I think that this sort of action is an important first step in reversing the tide of Newspeak that continues to impede progressive efforts in the US—note the careful use of “conservation” rather than “environmentalism” and the nod toward the Bush administration’s successful avoidance of broad public outrage through careful language use. In fact, the only thing I can think of that I would change in the message is some of Gross’s language regarding “corporate plunderers.” He’s emailing to his base, but we learned in 2004 that if you stir up your base using inflammatory language, they’re not the only ones who end up getting mad. As commenters on my site have noted over and over again, the same fighting words that put a fire in the belly of liberals tend to make potentially sympathetic but conservative-leaning undecideds hot under the collar.