This is my first post on the Thom Hartmann message boards and is in response to the interview with Peter Ferrara from Hour 2 on 4/11/2011. I was listening to this episode on my MP3 player at the grocery store today and while shopping began to share Thom's anger at Peter Ferrara and the deceptive talking points he was attempting to push on the show.
At the check out counter, I was preceded by a middle-aged woman with a cartful of groceries. As she was checking out, the cashier asked the woman if she would like to donate to the March of Dimes with her purchase. The woman responded with a rant about how she would never donate to the March of Dimes because they "support abortions". The cashier was speechless. I felt bad for the cashier, who had no means to defend herself, given her duty to treat the customer with respect. I found it especially frustrating because I doubt the cashier had anything to do with the choice of "March of Dimes" as her corporation's selected charity, yet she had to put up with customer complaints as if she did.
Now, I am fairly unfamiliar with the March of Dimes and its causes, but the combination of Peter Ferrara's comments and this woman's senseless ranting inspired me to action. While at first I had no intention on donating to March of Dimes with my purchase, I decided to donate $5 in reaction to this woman's lack of civility. The fact is, however, I don't want to stop there.
These events gave me an idea for a bigger cause, which I have tentatively titled "The Sanity Pledge" (Another idea for a title was the "Money where YOUR mouth is Pledge"). The idea behind this is as follows: As a pledge supporter, if you find yourself in a position where you encounter a person spouting hateful, deceitful, or irrational speech/behavior, make a small donation to a group that opposes that person's viewpoint. While this is unlikely to bring about change on an individual basis, if we could spread this idea nationally, there are potentially millions of donors who would be contributing to organizations to combat the hateful and deceptive speech that has been overtaken America over the course of our lives. Were this movement to become viral, I believe it could be significant.
This message board is the first place where I have posted this idea, and have considered creating a Facebook event page or something that would allow people to "sign up" and pledge with me. I am currently a busy college student without great financial means, so I don't have the time and resources to put a lot of energy into this, but I'm curious what other people think and if this movement could become a reality. Ideally, this idea spreads and becomes a "national movement" that lasts through the upcoming election cycle or even beyond. My next move on this issue will be based on your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and give me any feedback you have. One item of particular concern to me is what to call the movement ("The Sanity Pledge" / "Money where YOUR Mouth is Pledge"). I see pros and cons to each side but know that branding is pretty significant to whether this thing succeeds or fails.
Again, I welcome any feedback. It would be especially interesting to see Thom's feedback to this idea, but I know he may not have the time to see this.