Digital Network Army
The Grass Roots Speak
Have you seen the new DNA logo Beetle Blogger is sporting today? What is the DNA? I’d heard about the Digital Network Army through my work with Proposition 8 in California, their email network was on fire and played a big role in getting information out throughout the state, organizing people and keeping people informed. After the election, activity died down a bit on the DNA Network, but recently it’s made a new appearance.
I was able to get in contact with the DNA Team Captain and in my first exclusive interview, he was able to answer a few questions for me.
Beetle Blogger: So, what is the DNA exactly? What do you do? What is your “Mission”?
DNA Captain: The DNA is an organization of regular people, who are dedicated to preserving traditional family values. The purpose of the DNA is to organize, or focus the voice of the people so it can be heard. Alone one voice can get lost in the fray, but many voices speaking out on family issues in a focused way makes them more powerful. We believe it’s important that the voice of the people be heard by policy makers and voters.
Beetle Blogger: And you’re not really particularly religious or political are you?
DNA Captain: Right, we’ve got members from all walks of life, all political persuasions, college alumni, concerned mothers, lawyers, famous people, regular joes, plumbers, people with money, people without money….just basically people who are alarmed about the changes they see happening in the social fabric of the country and want to make a difference. We have a small army of writers, strategists, thinkers and philosophers. The common thread is that they’re all people who believe in traditional morals and family and who are willing to get out and do rather than watch. That’s our power.
Beetle Blogger: I know you have an email network and you basically email chain news and information around the network, but how effective is that?
DNA Captain: Well, it’s very effective. They call the internet the new media because it takes power away from the traditional media and allows the common people to band together for causes. We don’t have to wait to be spoon fed the opinion of the editors at CNN or FOX if we don’t want to. We can go look it up on Drudge or many other places that are popping up.
We’ve got four areas we really focus on:
1. We disseminate news stories–This is our main focus, we are like a homespun version of the Associated Press. When there are stories out there like the Scott Eckern story, or the El Coyote story that are not getting widespread press from the mainstream media, we need to have means to push those stories into the local media outlets, and from there the big guys may pick it up by force of pressure. Our group heard about Scott Eckern being pressured to resign even before he resigned. The DNA helped further a letter campaign in the 12 hours before his actual resignation, and after the resignation we published the information far and wide, submitting news tips to every major media outlet and even local media outlets. Drudge got tips from several of our members and what started out as a very small story is now widely known. Had it been a gay man forced to resign, the media would have spread it and made it national news by themselves, but when a story doesn’t fit their templates, the stories just don’t get reported. We’re helping to change that.
2. We help get the message out so people can be educated on the core issues–with proposition 8, there was a major push by the opposition to conceal the arguments and issues, behind names like bigotry and hatred. Our effort is to be solidly informed on both sides of the marriage issue and then to get the message out. Now that proposition 8 is over, it’s becoming clear that the battle has merely moved from one state to the others. This information needs to be spread throughout the country. If you watch the mainstream media, you get the impression that the only reason to oppose the redefinition of family is based on bigotry, ignorance and hate. That is an untruth that does the entire country a disservice, yet the media continues to put that idea forward and unless people scratch the surface of the issue themselves, they might never know the true issues at stake here. Many of our members are actively involved in writing letters to editors, publishing blog articles and spreading news stories on the fight for marriage and family that illustrate the consequences happening in our community from the attack on marriage and family.
3. We help people to coordinate their voices: because we’re all networked together, we can coordinate our efforts to make sure that newspapers and local news outlets have access to our voices. Our army writes editorials and opinion pieces to keep our pro-family agenda in the public eye.
4. We are able to contact the army quickly! We remain closely connected via email so the instant something happens, the information goes out immediately.
Beetle Blogger: Were you behind the CTA Tuesday sick-out/letter writing campaign?
DNA Captain: Well, not really, but we contributed our part by relaying the information through the network, we didn’t start the idea for the actual sick-out. We spread the information that the California Teacher’s Association was using teacher funds to attack the family and that information went out like wildfire especially through parent circles. A lot of teachers had no idea that their union had voted to spend millions of dollars to fight proposition 8 and 4, both family friendly issues, and the reaction instantly created a furor among both teachers and parents. The backlash of that furor manifested itself in the sick-out effort and the letter writing campaign. The idea was that if the schools became hostile to families and traditional values, the families would be forced to move their children to private or home school situations, which would take money from the school system. The frustration out there was from the image of the schools fighting families. The details on the sick-out came from the grass roots somewhere, but once one of our members picked it up and blasted it through the DNA network, it went like wildfire. In the course of 24 hours news of the sick-out had made it to families all across the state. It is an example of the power these types of networks can have. We don’t have exact numbers, but we know of hundreds of students and parents who wrote letters to their teachers in protest of the CTA’s effort to undermine the family.
Beetle Blogger: So I guess that leads into my next question, how big is the DNA?
DNA Captain: We started out with just a handful of dedicated people, but within the first two months we’d grown to 400 members. Now the membership has extended beyond the borders of California and we’re aiming at becoming a national organization. We decided after the election to initially end the DNA project, but watching the news and seeing the havoc and outrage out there, we realized that it had become a national issue and that there was a need for an organization like this out in the heartland. So, we restructured, added some additional leadership and now we’re back with force and continuing to spread.
You know, the tide is turning out there against gay marriage, but the message has to get out. If you watch the old media you don’t get a clear picture of the detrimental influence the re-definition of marriage can have on families and society. Basic freedoms are at stake when you talk about creating a gay protected class because it crosses the morality line. If people acting immorally is taught as moral and equal, that has a lot of consequences. Now the DNA is not only about marriage, education and freedom, but it is the main focus right now of our organization. As California goes, so goes the nation and so goes the world. We can’t afford to let misinformation color the voters of this nation with ignorance.
That’s basically the message and the purpose of the DNA, to get the message out there so people can see both sides of the issues and make an informed choice.
Beetle Blogger: Now, your name isn’t really DNA Captain right? Who are you really?
DNA Captain: I actually think that’s one of the genius aspects of this network, we encourage anonymity to protect individuals who may be subject to intimidation or danger. No one has to give out names or personal information if they don’t want to, in fact many of our members create new email addresses completely separate from their normal family addresses in order to participate. This is a heated issue and we each want the ability to act and speak freely without worrying about our safety. We’ve seen what the other side does to supporters of traditional marriage, so we set ourselves up this way for protection. The reason I don’t personally identify myself is first for privacy concerns, and second to add stability to the group. We actually have several people who have served in the DNA Captain capacity, so it’s easier to have a title associated with the DNA rather than a specific name.
Beetle Blogger: How do people find out more information or join the DNA?
DNA Captain: We encourage volunteers, professionals, parent groups, friends and family to participate. Have them go directly to our website located at www.DigitalNetworkArmy.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org directly to request admission. Truthfilled. Respectful. Relentless. We can make the difference.