This article ties together several sentiments I have had since the rise of the grassroots movement created by Howard Dean. Robertson refers to it as the second american revolution and I agree. Much has changed in the last two years and most of that change has come in the moderate, progressive, liberal elements of our society. As many have said, organizing liberals is like herding cats. We all consider ourselves free thinkers, not bound by the norms of conservative restraint. Many like myself have been apolitical since the days of Nixon and his corrupt cronies. Turned off by the same feeling Sean reflects in his article, stating, our vote does not count. It took the corruption and lies of bush and rove to awaken in me the sense that I needed to do my share. I have admonished several times in the last few months that we must do more than vote every four years. This is a radical turnaround for me and the same for many people who found hope in the words and deeds of Howard Dean in 2004. Since that time even more have taken responsiblilty for activism and participation in the process of trying to correct and stop the NeoCon Revolution. As Sean mentions, the republicans did not invent the partisan divide and conquer tactics, they just perfected them under Karl Rove and his 21st Century NeoCon Cronies. It will take a continued persistant grassroots effort to counter the effect they have had on our country. The people's media, the blogs will make this effort possible and we must make sure that it succeeds. - fc
Why the Great Experiment is failing
I just finished reading a book yesterday by David Gerrold called Leaping to the Stars. It's mostly just a great action-adventure story, but like nearly all science fiction, it does hit upon some rather weighty issues including the relationship betwen man and technology and the nature of good and evil. In the context of a political science class, he described how the United States had collapsed after three hundred years. It was almost as if he was channeling both Howard Dean and Barack Obama when this book was written in 2001/2002 (first edition was printed in 2002, well before Dean exploded onto the national scene).
When asked why the US had failed, the students responded with a litany of complaints, all of which we're familiar with in some form or another (illegal aliens, liberals, fundies, greed, special interests, etc.). After the students ran our of people to blame, the professor explained the truth in a way that I think will prove to be prophetic.
We are not cogs in this machine, we are it's engineers. We control it with every lever in the voting booth. We guide it with every query to our representatives. We make the machine work for us every time we demonstrate or write letters or work the polls. Only we have the power to make it work more efficiently for all of us. When we forget that we allow others to manipulate it.
That is perhaps the biggest, most important part of Dean's campaign, both for the whitehouse and now as chair of the DNC: he is trying to teach us how to use the machine again. By first reminding us that we do have that power, he is helping to wrest control back away from the greedy manipulators. By reminding us that we're all in it together and exposing the far right's attempts to divide and conquer, he is helping to ensure that the machine is used for good, not evil.
That is what the grass roots movement is fundamentally about. I dare say it is nothing short of a second American revolution, one which, if it is to succeed will result not in the ousting of the Republicans from power by replacing them with someone else, but will result in the reawakening of the citizenry to their true potential. It must result in a renewed understanding of and faith in the amazing machine that is our government and it must culminate in reeducating the people in how to use that machine.
We must begin teaching people how to be active, creative particpants in the experiment, not merely loyal or usable subjects. We must inspire people to see that the well being of each is determined by the well being of the community, that we are only as free and as successful as the least among us and that our government is a tool to designed acheive that. We must rekindle people's faith in the social contract. If we do not succeed in any part of that, the Great Experiment will fail.
Read the rest of this article at : Sean Richardson's dkos diary
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