Thursday, November 17, 2005

kickoff content

from Howard Dean's call:

we have done a great job so far and need to build on the success of the past election. the key to succeeding is going to be 'doors.' in order to take back America, we are going to need to engage in a national grassroots campaign, get to know our neighbors and talk issues through the year. this is the key to building a voter base. because really, there are no red states. all states are purple. and because all states are purple, we have the opportunity to swing them.

[some talk about Democracy bonds and a slightly scrambled reference to 'the mother of all lists']

it is going to be hard but we have to work hard if we really want to take back the country.

we will do better in 2006. we need a Democratic House and Senate. sure, we can't make the president sign our legislation but we can keep him from making America worse.

our focus points:
we need to talk about our values and principles because 'most people think we don't have any.'
1. 'bring honesty back to government'
2. we need a strong national defense system that tells the American people the truth
3. we need to focus on jobs
4. uniform, universal health insurance with a balanced budget
5. strengthen public education

when asked how to repeat the success seen in Colorado in other conservative states and maintain it in Colorado (by a CO caller), Dean said:
1. pay for organizers in all states
2. really we haven't anything to tell Colorado--you are the ones that did it. but we agree we need to get rid of Marilyn Musgrave
3. need to defend things we believe in.

we need to more succinctly define our "alternative, positive, proactive agenda," to reduce our 5 focus points to 10 word, one sentence messages. we need to build the Democratic Party, 'neighbor by neighbor, precinct by precinct.'

after Dean's call, we basically agreed America has become an embarrassing disaster and that we need to fix that. we agreed that we need to engage younger voters better and better utilize volunteers throughout the year.

the problem is, nothing was done or said that takes a concrete stab at changing anything. the only discrete actions suggested were to buy Democracy Bonds, e.g., give the DNP more money, and to print business cards that you can hand out to random people you interface with in daily life.

personally, i don't think giving the DNP more money is intelligent. so far they have done a crappy job organizing and leveraging interested volunteers, which should be the work force. before they pay more people, they need to learn to best use the people they already have willing to work for free. 'but isn't most of the money for use on ad campaigns?' i hear you query. like we really need more television ads, more junk mail, more sixth degree of separation recruitment. throwing money at the problem, instead of addressing the problem, is not a solution.

the reality is that the DNP could marshall a formidable army of volunteers of all age demographics if they could grow and maintain a spine. as for ads, there should be less ads. it is not a relative largesse of ad dollars that led to the Republican win, it was the fact that almost no one in America feels engaged and cared for by the DNP.

i can't imagine why this is so.

i mean, it is not like the DNP sold out American laborers and farmers by shoving through 'free trade' legislation that has caused more problems than good in more nations than ours. oh wait. but hey, they have stood by women's rights. oh wait. human and civil rights? umm. social programs backed by fiscal responsibility--e.g., big government but without the pork? Feingold? just Feingold?

anyone sense a trend? the DNP has sold out almost their entire party base to try and capture the centrist, 'soft' Republicans. accordingly, the only people foolish enough to believe they can be trusted are elderly loyalists 'afeard' of third party politics. everyone else just sees them as the [marginally] lesser evil.

if the DNP stopped defending the piddly square foot of plank remaining to it, reclaimed all the planks it has tossed in the compost and started aggressively challenging the opposing viewpoint, Democrats would win in a landslide. check the polls. the spread between Dems and Independents is rarely more than two points, while the Repubs often float 40-50 points away. if the Independents, whose values are similar (based on polling and less negiotiable planks like that of the Green Party), can be mobilized, the war is won. to do that, the DNP needs to believe in things, act on those beliefs (even when not immediately 'sexy' or 'hot'), and stop apologizing for having ethics. this is where the message is. not in some overpriced, underlistened 30 second TV ad. all the ads in the world won't do a lick of good as long as the 'product' for sale is rotten.

if the DNP can get a clue and do the right thing, that makes the news and the news makes history. it is by seeing the message lived in daily life, in local organizations and in the news, that voters are opened to the truth. that should have been the damn message of the phone call--content on how the DNP is going to maintain a spine and live the talk.


that said, i really should point out that i met some cool people, and that we are working on our own plans to do things better locally.

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