A Short Note

Welcome to the Web Site Formerly Known As LeadOrLeave...

Lead or Leave Wasn't So Great

Darn, this page is old. Really old by Web standards. As in, I last worked on it two years ago. Funny how time flies. Anyway, there's a very fair (two-year-old) roasting of Lead... or Leave, from As We Are that you should peruse if you're wondering what the organization was really like. It is, of course, now defunct.

The As We Are article makes for interesting reading, to say the least. Makes ya think a little, at the very least. Sort of the way John McCarthy makes me think with his Web piece on Progress and its Sustainability: forget the naysayers, and be an optimist about the future! Or like how Noam Chomsky's Archive makes me question all that I think I know. It's great!! Or like how Simson Garfinkel makes me think with his Web pieces in Packet: will computers ultimately liberate our minds or enslave them? Yes, I'm suddenly a big fan of thinking. I think that thinking is good.

If You're Here Because You Want to Be Active in Something...

Good for you! But act locally: pick a single issue that is meaningful to you, and work for it. For example, if you're dying to be active in something student-related, get active in your campus government and/or USSA. If you're dying to be active in general, pick an issue that's near and dear to your heart, and be active in that thing. Looking for suggestions of issues? See my active links list.

Generational Warfare Is Wrong - We Share the Same Biology Regardless of Ideology

Thanks for all the email I've gotten from Web surfers like you over the years! I read every note, even if I sometimes don't get a chance to respond to them all.

One thing the email I've gotten at this Web site has taught me is that it is wrong (and achieves no good end) to engage in generational warfare. We are ALL in this together. Furthermore, there are 80 million American generation Xers subsuming every different ideological, cultural, political, social, ethnic, religious, sexual, and economic community. To think that one organization could speak for all those people is just plain ridiculous; for grass-roots activism, I say you should pick an issue near and dear to you and pursue it.

This Site Was Never Official

Anyway, this was never an official site or anything. Just something I did with my spare time a few years ago. And now? I figure I'll leave it on the Web for the heck of it. Questions or comments on this page should be directed to me.

And Now, On With The Web Site Formerly Known As LeadOrLeave

Lead... or Leave

Lead... or Leave was a large Generation X political organization in the United States, lobbying and consulting in the effort to put generational issues on the national political map. Here I have typed in some tidbits about the organization and the policies it advocated.

Even though Lead or Leave has officially disbanded, life goes on, and we can still be active, though I am not sure what to do with these pages for now. Guess I'll leave them up for now; when in doubt, slack.

Items to Check Out

Democracy is not a spectator sport. The first step toward becoming active is becoming informed. Here are some resources to expedite that process.
Links to Follow

Good Current Places to Talk and/or Surf

Snippets to Peruse

Thirteen Challenges for the Thirteenth Generation

Revolution X by Rob Nelson and Jon Cowan (co-founders of Lead... or Leave) poses the following 13 Challenges for the 13th Generation. The organization is dedicated to addressing these challenges; please see the book for comprehensive strategies toward them. If one of these isn't completely typed in, and you'd like it to be, please email me and I'll do it.

  1. Create Good Jobs.
  2. Protect the Planet.
  3. Control Crime.
  4. Prevent AIDS.
  5. Reinvent Social Security.
  6. Design a Post-Cold War Military.
  7. Make Education Affordable.
  8. Give Equal Rights to Gays.
  9. Help End Homelessness.
  10. Guarantee Freedom of Choice.
  11. Trim America's Budget.
  12. Win Affordable Health Care.
  13. Reform Our Politics.

I'd also like to add an additional challenge: Stop prejudice and discrimination based on race, gender, age, economic class, political viewpoint, religion, sexual orientation, or lifestyle.

While there are many more good ideas than the ones presented here, these 13 challenges represent a good starting point; they are each battles that will be fought over the next decade or so, not issues that will be resolved during one Congress, or even one presidency.

Why Be an Activist?

As a younger American, I care deeply about my future and my country, and I believe that the politicians in Washington do not listen to younger voters. I am registered to vote, and I will encourage others to vote as well, because there are many national issues that matter to me. Jobs. AIDS. Crime. The National Debt. Education. Homelessness. Social Security. Gay Rights. The Environment. Welfare Reform. Health Care. Racism.

I believe that focused activism is the key to creating a better future direction for our country. The problems of today will not go away, so we should confront them now. I know no party lines; I know only that I want these problems addressed. People say my generation doesn't get involved, and it is my opinion that such people are wrong.

Phil Gramm (R-TX) said, "Up on Capitol Hill, we know your generation is in trouble. Do you know why we continue to borrow from your future, racking up huge debts? Because you don't get involved and you don't vote." Well, to Mr. Gramm and any other politician who professes such sentiments, the time has come for a wake-up call. Surprised?

Maintained by Adam Rifkin, adam at xent dot com
Last modified: Thu Jan 22 19:01:55 PST 1998
No, I am not the guy who makes the movies.
This site made RedStar's Page of Net Personalities in April, 1995, and Main Quad's Fired Up in April, 1996.
I make no money off this, so please don't sue me. Have a nice day.
Disclaimer: This page is neither sanctioned by Lead... or Leave nor does it reflect the policies or opinions of Caltech. Fair Use Notice: This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I believe that this not-for-profit use on the Web constitutes a `fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond `fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.