Big Tent Movement

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Over the past 9 months millions of people in America have become aware that
they can use their computers to access the political process that governs
their lives. They opened an electronic door which now cannot be shut.

Their candidates did not prevail, and the resident in the White House
during the next four years will not be a blogger, or even understand
what blogs represent. But a growing number of voices are calling for
some sort of ongoing effort to encourage and develop the awakening consciousness
of political empowerment stirring in the land.

Dave Winer suggests a “Rational People’s Party” which doesn’t nominate
candidates:

Let’s call it the Rational People’s Party, or RPP. We’d meet every month
to talk about local and national politics, to start new weblogs and meetups,
to broadcast our ideas and invite political leaders to pitch themselves.
If they wandered off-topic we’d ask them to get back on track. If one
broke a campaign promise, this would appear on a public list, for every
local RPP chapter to access. Think of it as a nationwide caucus system,
that’s ongoing, and has a good database and lots of weblogs.

Hear, hear. However, calling it a “Party” starts out with the wrong
message and plays into the existing conventional terminology. People
will hear it and associate with “fringe party, green party, Black Panther
Party”. Plus, at least for us, there is the secondary association
of “Par-tay” and an unfortunate memory of once belonging to something
called the Party Party back in college.

So we favor “Movement”, which is what we want to see in the status quo,
in the political process, and in the information distribution business.
And of course we will not nominate candidates. But we reserve the right
to endorse, to advise, and to oppose candidates on a case by case basis.

However first comes a long and arduous look at ourselves, figuring out
if there are any principles worth fighting for universal enough
to attract the great masses of people needed to create real movement, followed
by the hard work of getting organized creating the analog and digital
infrastructure necessary to allow it to happen. Stay tuned…

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