The Challenge - Dedication to Revitalizing Our Democracy

After the debacle of the 2002 mid-term elections, I began to talk about how the right-wing Republicans had rebuilt their party starting in 1964 after the huge Goldwater loss. It had taken them 38 years of brick by brick building but they pulled out a big win and they had the structure and organization and vision to continue. I began to see that progressive Democrats would have to do the same and that we would each have to dedicate a portion of the rest of our lives to this task.

Many people working together with similar ideas about this revitalization enabled the Democratic-leaning organizations to achieve relative financial parity and the beginning of structured grassroots organization for the first time in decades. 

Yet we still lost despite all the money, all the new energy, all the expectation and hope.

In the cold aftermath, along with the confusion and anger, there remains a resolve that has the potential of becoming that dedication. If it coalesces properly, that dedication can carry us to a new national majority. To pull it off, we need to re-capture the national conversation, focus it on the real values of progressive democracy and use it to create a moral consensus. This will require a common understanding of our core democratic/progressive values, a willingness to listen to and dialogue with others of varying political persuasions and an ability to frame the discussion to focus on the real issues.

It will also have to be driven by a conviction that this all matters.  It is conviction that will drive our ability to remember how to individually and collectively learn and relearn to do those things we need to do to revitalize our democracy and recapture the national discussion. We have left these tasks to our Party and elected officials and we know now that it was not sufficient. Many more of us have to be and remain involved.

So, I issue a public challenge. As a new writer on a new progressive political blog, I ask, "Are you willing to dedicate a portion of the rest of your life to rebuilding democracy in this state and in this country in whatever way best suits you? Are you willing to work with others to make that happen and not leave it only to the leaders? Are you willing to build the influence muscles that allow you to be successful in this endeavor?" 

For my part, I've taken on the task of chronicling that rebuilding in this state and nudging it forward in whatever ways that a measure of public recognition via this blog and a predilection for bridge-building and networking gives me. I will be focusing a lot on the revitalization of the Democratic Party in this state because, flaws and all, I think it is still our best vehicle for advancing a progressive agenda. To that end, I am beginning by interviewing the candidates for Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party and will be posting their thoughts about the revitalization of the Party here over the next week. 


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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Allen published on January 13, 2005 8:55 PM.

Our Very Own Republican Noise Machine is the next entry in this blog.

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