There must be something extremely frustrating about being a public opinion pollster: they constantly have a grasp on the pulse of the American people, yet they are typically uninvolved in actual activism. One would think that informing Americans where others stand would send ripples into our political fabric, and conscientious representatives would conduct policy accordingly, but this often isn’t the case. Sometimes getting the word out simply isn’t enough. When it comes to issues of national security and foreign policy, Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor Pat Caddell and GOP pollster John McLaughlin had grown tired of merely charting what Americans are thinking and decided to get into the business of empowering them to act.
With perpetual Middle East war, a potentially nuclear Iran and North Korea, and China rapidly becoming a superpower, the stakes have grown too high. “There is a specter of decline about this county,” Caddel said in an exclusive interview for Big Peace, “the anxiety level is very great.” It was this sentiment that compelled the two gentlemen to launch SecureAmericaNow.org, a nonpartisan, grassroots effort to organize the American people to keep the pressure on the politicians in power, whom the founders of the network belive cannot be saved without increased citizen involvement.
Their objective is to “make this political class pay attention to the fact that the American people are much further ahead than the politicians are and sensing they are losing this country,” Caddell said. “We asked in a survey,” McLaughlin tells Big Peace, “‘Barack Obama is committed to a policy of outreach to the Muslim world, knowing this do you think the policy has increased or decreased the security of the United States?’ Fifty-one to 23 [percent of] the people say it has decreased versus increased. The people are way ahead of [Obama] when it comes to these issues.”
The network will feature polling data, research, op-eds, social networking, and other information that will help foster a greater national dialog on the security and foreign policy issues that are negligently ignored by our political class and mainstream media. They used a well-attended CPAC panel as a launchpad for SecureAmericaNow.org and to raise these issues. On the panel, Caddell expressed utter exasperation with the media and political class for not making the story of Everybody Draw Mohammed Day creator Molly Norris front and center on the national stage. Norris created the idea last year in response to Comedy Central refusing to air an image of Mohammed on the South Park (Comedy Central had allowed South Park to depict Mohammed in 2001). It was reported that Anwar al-Awlaki had put Norris on a hitlist, and, as we reported at Big Peace, Norris has since gone into the FBI equivalent to the witness-protection program. In other words, she no longer exists. Yet this outrageous tale was largely absent from the American conversation. “That absence tells you everything you need to know about what is wrong with the dialog,” Caddell said.
During the interview, McLaughlin and Caddell cited other examples of politicians and media elites failing to react to the will of the American populace. One of these issues is that over three quarters of the American people want to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weaponry and 80% believe Iran would give nukes to terrorists if they could. Americans want to act, yet the current administration has taken a passive approach to Iran. Also seemingly lost from the public discourse is that David Cameron, the leader of our closest ally, Great Britain, noted in a public address that multiculturalism has failed (not to mention that France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel agree), yet the American media and political class largely ignored this striking repudiation of a core liberal tenant. Cameron’s sentiment was simply not simpatico with the narrative the American media has created to support post-1960s liberalism.
But what is truly inspiring Caddell and McLaughlin to take up their virtual muskets is the endemic dearth of common sense that’s engulfed the media and our elected officials. Caddell cites the Ground Zero Mosque quagmire as evidence of that:
The prevailing ideology in this county is common sense. You had Hispanics, African-Americans, women more than men, a majority of Democrats opposing [the Ground Zero Mosque], and all the while being told they are bigots. The political class in this country–it’s outrageous–the whole country is ahead of them. War is too important to be left to generals; security is too important to be left to diplomats and the political class.
Indeed, and that’s why we’re pleased to welcome SecureAmericaNow.org to the neighborhood. Check out the website today, which is still under development and should be fully functional in about a month. Follow them on twitter and facebook, sign-up, and donating is easy. Caddell and McLaughlin expect meet-up groups to begin soon so that you’ll be able to organize your own grassroots activism from the SecureAmericaNow.org website.
“American decline is a serious issue that’s to be addressed in the next election,” Caddell said. “We’re raising issues the American people want to discuss.”
“This is a grassroots place where people can join up and begin to do things to force [national security and foreign policy] issues into the debate.”