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Change is no simple matter in American politics-a fact that Americans have recently learned well. Elections rarely produce the change they promise. After the vote, power vacuums fill with familiar values, if not faces. Promises give way to fiscal realities, hope succumbs to pragmatism, and ambition concedes to inertia. The old tricks of interest groups - confuse, diffuse, scare - prevail over the better angels of American nature.But populist energy can get change making and change-makers back on the right track.
The key to success, though, says acclaimed consumer advocate Jamie Court, is getting downright mad. It's anger, not hope, that fuels political and economic change. And in 2010 America, anger rules. But it needs to be vectored and focused if it is to succeed in fueling the type of change that the majority of Americans believe in.
If we want that change, the kind that polls show 60 percent of Americans believe in, we need to do more than vote every two to four years or wait for a new president to learn the tactics of confrontation. The Progressive's Guide to Raising Hell is a road map filled with concrete tips and rules of the road that average people can use to force change between elections.
How can progressives get what they believed they voted for? Court, a longtime organizer of ballot campaigns and other initiatives, tells readers how to heat up their issue, take grassroots action, organize their community, use publicity to their advantage, employ internet and social media to build support, and get the change they want.