aclu priorities survey for 2015 (and my responses)

AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION. The name causes reflexes of loathing in conservatives, despite the fact that the ACLU has done more for their belief in individual rights than all the consercative political operations in history. I just received an email from the American Civil Liberties Union requesting that I fill out their ACLU Priorities Survey.

The introduction stated, “As the ACLU prepares for the challenges of the coming year, we need your ideas and opinions. Your individual responses will remain confidential but, in aggregate, will be tabulated and shared with our teams as they craft plans for 2015.”

Of course I filled it out and submitted it.

Part 1: Fundamental freedoms

The first question was, “From your personal perspective, which of the following fundamental freedoms is most in jeopardy right now?” My options were:

•  Privacy

•  Voting rights

•  Racial justice

•  Reproductive freedom

These were followed by a box/field marked “Other.” I selected this option and wrote, “Economic/occupational freedom.”

Part 2: Hopefullnesses

This was followed by another statement: “On each of the following issues, please indicate how hopeful you are that the ACLU can make genuine progress in 2015.” Five choices were given:

•  Reining in out-of-control government surveillance

•  Ending racial profiling and holding police accountable for excessive use of force

•  Winning the freedom to marry in all 50 states and ending employment discrimination based on sexual orientation

•  Protecting women’s access to birth control and keeping abortion clinics open

•  Turning back voter ID laws and other voter suppression tactics aimed at vulnerable voters

My options were Very Hopeful, Somewhat Hopeful, Not Very Hopeful, and Not Hopeful At All. All my selections included the word “Not.”

Part 3: Effectiveness

This was followed by a question: “How effective do you think each of the following strategies will be in helping the ACLU protect civil liberties in 2015?” Four choices followed:

•  On-the-ground organizing and mobilization efforts
•  Getting our message out via traditional and new media platforms
•  Legislative advocacy efforts
•  Lawsuits and legal action to challenge civil liberties abuses

My options were Very Effective, Somewhat Effective, Not Very Effective, and Not Effective At All. All my selections included the word “Not.”

Part 4: Other thoughts

Finally, there was a box/field that stated, “Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share with the ACLU?” And I typed this into that box:

“All organizations that support liberal or progressive causes should consider informing their members that the vast rightwing conspiracy is very real. That those members should think of people who vote for rightwing political candidates the same way that those people think of liberals: as personal enemies and enemies of the State—even if those voters are completely unaware of the role that they are playing in stripping us of privacy, voting rights, racial justice, reproductive freedom, and economic/occupational freedom.”

Ain’t gonna happen, but it needs to . . .