October 1, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
From the article Big $$ for Progressive Politics in The Nation:
Between 1972 and 1999, conservatives created at least sixty new organizations with mission statements modeled after that of the Heritage Foundation, a radical think tank at the time of its founding: "free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense." When pollster Celinda Lake asked a group of white Midwestern swing voters in 2004 what conservatives stood for, most of them repeated those catchphrases. When she asked the same question about liberals, half the voters responded, "I don't know."We have to start thinking past each election, and start thinking long term! We should be talking today about how we plan to win the 2008, 2010 and 2012 elections, which groups we need to reach, what they need to understand and appreciate about the benefits to THEM of progressive values -- and how we're going to get them to vote.
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OK. Here's a question for the exam. What are progressive values? The advantage to Right Wing has is that it's spent the last 30 years spelling out its values and objectives in simple terms everyone can understand. The progressives assume everyone knows what their values are. Presumably those values exist and are still something more than just opposition to right wing propaganda.
I found the article very disappointing. Apparently there's enough money, but the big-money people won't put it into media. And a lot of the money people want to control the message (usually by keeping it centrist-Democrat and cautious), and for that and other reasons there will not be a strong message.
The money people seem to have a unique combination of self-doubt, self-centeredness, arrogance and cluelessness. They don't trust the people on the ground to know what needs to be done, but they really have no better idea themselves.
One institutional solution would be to get rid of the consensus coalition structure and just have each individual commit to spending a certain quantity of money as he or she wishes. If each donor chose his own groups, there would be a diversity of activities funded, not all of which would be agreeable to everyone. And that would be a good thing!
This is another example of the committee-meeting bureaucratic caution which strangles the Democrats. The Republicans really are more entrepreneurial.
Core Progressive values: Democracy and community.
Posted by: Dave Johnson at October 2, 2006 6:58 AM
Funny, a few of us were discussing that very thing this morning during a get together for our wonderful Congressional candidate.
The idea is to build our central committees, and I think that we should start teaching party members what is needed to run a campaign so that there is a larger pool of well versed volunteers who can pitch in wherever it is needed.
Posted by: grannyinsanity at October 2, 2006 11:46 AM
We also talked about increasing our presence in the community. We will have to learn how to have visible fun in public or something like that.
Posted by: grannyinsanity at October 2, 2006 11:55 AM
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