I also wanted to quickly highlight another site for politically aware videos: Homeless Nation's Videos.
The Orient Lodge server has been down for a few days. It is fixed and back up. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Some of you have created userids here, but reported probably logging in. Send me a note at ahynes1 at optonline dot net and I can try to fix this.
I'm slowly digging out. More soon.
(Cross posted at Greater Democracy)
For Immediate Release
Contact: Aldon Huffhines, Drew Frobozz, Ruby Glitter
Even before all the votes have been counted from the 2006 midterm elections, progressive political activists gathered at RootsCamp on Better World Island in Second Life to debrief from the midterms and plan innovative strategies to use technology in the 2008 election cycle.
Over the next several days, activists will share ideas and experiences. People interested in actively participating are encouraged to join in. More information is available at http://www.RootsCampSL.org
(Cross posted at Greater Democracy)
This news won't break my heart
It's already been blown apart
I feel like a helpless girl
In this tender troubled world
It’s something I seem to get every November, those Post Election Day Blues. I work my heart off fighting for a candidate and a cause I believe in only to get it blown apart, never to see the promised land.
Oh but the promised land
Is just across another line in the sand
But you know? That is where the hope really lies. I’ve written before about this. Winning isn’t about getting elected, it is about changing the dialog, and last night, Ned Lamont’s victory became apparent. Gov. Dean stood up and spoke out when it wasn’t popular to do so. What did that get him? The DNC Chairmanship, where he started pushing an unlikely idea, the Fifty State Strategy. What an idea, that we should have a vigorous discussion about the direction the country is going in every precinct in America. It was supposed to be a long term strategy. Rebuilding a political party takes years, it takes many election cycles, or so we thought.
Ned Lamont stood up and said, “If Sen. Lieberman won’t challenge President Bush’s failed policies, then I will”. After defeating Sen. Lieberman in the primary, a lot more people started challenging President Bush’s failed policies. The discussions around the dinner tables became a little more vigorous. What happens next? I don’t know, but I do have my suggestions.
While the candidates that I worked hardest for last night were not elected, many others were and there is a lot to be joyful about.
Last night, I was asked about these “Stand up for Change” signs that were all over the place. Someone hadn’t followed the bus tour as closely as some of us. They asked, is that a new leadership PAC or 527 that Ned is going to grow out of his campaign, sort of like how Gov. Dean formed Democracy for America out of his 2004 Presidential bid?
I don’t know, but it fits well with my hope that we all stay together. That was the topic of many of my discussions. One person came up and said, “This changing the world stuff is really exhausting”. Yeah, it takes more time and takes more energy than any of us would really like. We might not even see the promised land, but it is what we must keep on doing.
In the background, the band Black47 played. They started one song with the melody of Skye Boat Song, an all too apt melody for the night. It is about Bonnie Prince Charlie’s flight to the Isle of Skye after some disastrous battles for Scottish independence. The last verse ends with “Charlie will come again”.
So, what about us? At the end of Ned’s concession speech last night, he continued his call for bringing our troops home to the heroes welcome they deserve. He continued his call for sensible foreign policy, for affordable health care for all. He said he approved that message and we all responded, “And so do we”. Yes, the dialog has changed, and it is a good thing. We need to keep the dialog going and the change alive.
Outside, a light rain is falling. Lucy Kaplansky’s song, “Line in the Sand”, which I quote at the beginning of this blog entry ends off with
”I hope a forgiving rain will fall sometime
And wash away that line”
(Cross-posted at Greater Democracy)
I am girding my loins for the disappointment I expect to overtake me on Wednesday. I am not talking so much about one candidate or another that I am committed to not getting elected. I expect this to happen. It comes with the turf. Some of the candidates I’ve been supporting have always been long shots at best.
I am not talking about the need to find a new purpose that will come. I’ve spent the past two years preparing for tomorrow night. I know that when this is over, I will spend some time figuring out what the next cause to demand my attention will be. I know that it will come.
No, my biggest concern is what happens to the wonderful communities of supporters that have sprung up during this election cycle. What will happen to them? How can we hold them together as we go from one cause to the next?
Over the past few years, I’ve been on several panels which have talked about the future of political parties in the United States. What is the role of political parties in the twenty first century? The best answer I’ve heard about why we need political parties is ‘institutional memory’. When I visit friends on the local Democratic committee, they have incredible institutional memory. They remember who is who. They know how to find the people that will get the job done. They are the social networks that existed before it became in vogue to talk about social networks.
On the national level, many of my best friends are people that I met online during the Dean campaign. We have stayed in touch. We’ve used mailing lists, online social networks, and any other tools we can to stay in touch.
The tools have gotten much better over the past few years, and I hope that everyone finds ways to stay involved. Please, sign up for the DNC’s PartyBuilder. Please, sign up for DFA’s DFALink. Please, sign up for OneCorp.
Beyond that, stay involved with national blogging communities like DailyKos or MyDD. Get involved with, or stay involved with local blogging communities like the Soapblox based sites, or those that leftyblogs point to.
Yet if you are reading this entry, the odds are that you are already plugged in, most likely to many of the tools I’ve mentioned. However, you are also probably someone that can influence other supporters, especially those new to politics. Be sure to encourage them to sign up and stay involved in the communities that last beyond campaigns.
So, let’s get out the vote. If we work hard, today and tomorrow, we might be able to lessen the our disappointments about election returns. But let’s also keep an eye on how we hold together the wonderful communities we’ve been part of.