The rebirth of Democratic Politics

Are we seeing a rebirth of Democratic politics in the United States? I think so, I believe so, and I will do all I can to help make this happen. I’ve been reading Robert Putnam’s, Bowling Alone : The Collapse and Revival of American Community. His portrayal of the collapse of American community, especially as it relates to the political process is disheartening.

Yet more recently, The Pew Internet & American Life report on The Strength of Internet Ties provides a more promising outlook. “The internet and email aid users in maintaining their social networks and provide pathways to help when people face big decisions”. One such big decision can be deciding to become involved in the American political process.

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Ned Lamont at Norwalk DFA Meetup

Originally uploaded by Aldon.

Thanks to David Stevenson, here is one of the pictures from Ned Lamont's visit to the Norwalk DFA Meetup

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The Lamont Local

(Cross posted at My Left Nutmeg)

Yesterday, I had the honor of being Ned Lamont’s driver as he went to the Greenwich and Norwalk DFA Meetups. It helps that my wife is helping out in Ned’s campaign office and that she is also helping run the Greenwich Meetup.

Greenwich hasn’t had a Meetup in quite a while, and various people wanted to get the Meetup going again. There were probably about fifteen people that showed up, and Ned gave his proto-stump speech. He spoke about being a newspaper reporter up in Vermont when he was young, and learning to ask the hard questions. He spoke about building his own business and how he had to use those same questioning skills in building the company and he spoke about how our elected officials have not been asking the sort of questions that needed to be asked at the start up of the Iraq war or during confirmation debates in the Senate. He was well received, but I needed to whisk him off to the Norwalk Meetup so there wasn’t a lot of time for discussion.

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The Dream Dozen

Last night, I tried to keep Alito’s confirmation, the death of Coretta Scott King and the impending State of the Union address in perspective. So, Kim and I watched an episode of West Wing from the DVD set I got her for Christmas.

It got me thinking, what will everyone do when the final season of West Wing is over. Commander in Chief never caught my attention, and I’m told it is going off the air anyway. What to watch?

Well, it seems to me that we need a new series, “The Dream Dozen”. It could pick up where The West Wing leaves off. It could mix in a little bit of the reality TV shows, whether you are thinking American Idol or The Apprentice. It could add in a touch of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Desperate Housewives, and maybe even a touch of House for flavor.

Where have you gone, Will Rogers?

(Originally published in Greater Democracy)

Did we lose something bigger in 2004 than the election? This thought has been nagging me a lot recently as I work with various people gearing up for the 2006 elections. Leading up to 2004, there were so many people who had been told that they have the power, that they could go out act on their own without asking permission from some campaign, and it would make a difference. I went ahead and organized a flash mob 3000 miles from my house.

In May 2003, Joe Trippi wrote, ”The other thing that is needed -- is a campaign organization that gets it -- or at least tries to get it. One of the other reasons I think this has not happened before is that every political campaign I have ever been in is built on a top-down military structure -- there is a general at the top of the campaign -- and all orders flow down -- with almost no interaction. This is a disaster. This kind of structure will suffocate the storm not fuel it. Campaigns abhor chaos -- and to most campaigns built on the old top-down model -- that is what the net represents -- chaos.”

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