Monday, October 25, 2004

The Three Pillars

  1. Democracy: Towards The Ideal Of One Person One Vote, In America, All Over The World, And Also As A Principle In International Relations. (a) If you get rid of the electoral college idiocy, if you seriously do campaign finance reform, if you can get major voter registrations drives, if you can get out the vote, if you can fight modern day attempts at disenfranchisements, if you can turn DC into a state. If you can run grassroots campaigns. If you can wisely and transparently spend the big money raised from many small contributors. Howard Dean did not lose in Iowa and New Hampshire. He lost right after. Someone who had raised more than 40 million dollars declared there was no money to go into the subsequent primaries! (b) It is only through a total global spread of democracy that the progressives can earn real gains. And that spread has to be non-violent for the most part. Indigenous movements that get global support. (c) Rule of law within nations, rule of law between nations. Market globalization is going ahead full speed. Trying to stop it is a disservice. The right thing to do is to engineer a political globalization. If the market is electricity, democracy is magnetism. Together they make beautiful electromagnetism.
  2. The Market. Corporations can go astray, they can go corrupt in parts. But overall I go with the Fortune magazine characterization that corporations are one of the greatest human inventions ever. It is important to counter corporate abuse, but it is even more important to "get it" when it comes to corporations. Market mechanisms can be harnessed to solve many societal problems. Economics is like physics: you ignore it at your own peril. Progressives can not afford to be economic illiterates. Money compares to words and mathematical symbols among the greatest tools for human communication ever. The progressive has to be market friendly while at the same time staying on guard to market and corporate excesses. Heck, the progressive can help engineer democratization within corporations. Dean sorely lacked on this front. He got carried away by the "left" on this issue to an extent. Progressives need to be dreaming up the corporations of tomorrow, not blanket demonizing those that exist today.
  3. Social Progress. This might be the trickiest, but to me personally, this is the most important. People who can dazzle you with their acumen of grassroots political organizing tend to be callous when it comes to the mechanics of social progress. Too often we see it in black and white and dismiss those who disagree with our positions, instead of seeing ouselves as the vanguard of social progress who need to educate the rest by going to their level, and then bringing them along. Instead of demonizing the homophobes, perhaps part of our efforts should go into understanding their mental mechanisms to see what change might be possible. This is not a call to not focus on political victory. Most people will not change their minds: they simply will have to be defeated. But we need to be more sophisticated, and not let our enlightened stance on social issues scuttle the rest of our common sense approach to mainstream governance issues. This is a call to be compassionate progressives.
Howard Dean 2004

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I have written up a very long essay about the medical liability insurace crisis on my personal blog. It deals a lot with some local issues in Connecticut. I've received some feedback from people on Democracy Forum and I hope more of you will take the time to read and perhaps comment on.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

When Web Hosting Is No Longer A Problem

We had the Dean Issues Forum that morphed into the Democracy Forum, and then the site came down. I think we had a wonderful thing going on, certainly a great group. I think we need to rescue that. What we had going on was not something cooked for just one election. It ought be an ongoing thing. And so I have taken the initiative to start this blog.

I am going to invite all members on the mailing list. And the hosts on specific issues might want to launch their own separate blogs, all of which would be linked to from this blog.

There. Web hosting problem taken care of. Invitations were sent out to the following:

"Aldon Hynes" "Bob Jacobson" "Arthur Smith" "Ben Ebenhack"
"Charlie Grantham" "Cheryl Fuller" "Chi Oji" "David Baker"
"David Brannan" "David Doty" "David Monroe"
"Gabe Wachob" "Hilary Sullivan" "Howie Mandel"
"James Neal" "Jamison Colburn" "Jessica Korman"
"Jim Ware" "Joe Bruemmer" "John McCarthy" "John Mounce"
"Jon Lebkowsky" "Jonathan Halverson" "Lyn Millett"
"Marc Montefusco" "Mark Orth" "Michael Kent Nguyen"
"Nancy White" "Paramendra Kumar Bhagat"
"Paul O'Hanlan" "René Wood" "Rob Dickinson" "Rob Fowler"
"Robert Beltran" "Seth Baum" "Sidra Vitale" "Susan Meehan"
"Tom Green"