In Iowa, the turnout of citizens ages 17 to 30 was at least twice what it has been in the past. The Dean campaign invested heavily in creating the excitement and hope that led to that turnout. Interestingly, this turnout, this change in peoples’ sense of identity–from watcher to change agent–then apparently became a platform for Kerry and Edwards. That is, we helped folks get organized and develop a sense that we own our country. Having developed that sense of empowerment, folks felt empowered to make a personal choice–and not necessarily to vote for the candidate who helped create the situation within which they realized their own power. Hmmmm.
Well, success on one level. We will continue to invest in getting people into the process.
We think our candidate is also the best person to lead this process on an ongoing basis. Our candidate, we think, is the person most likely to keep the process open and inclusive, especially as president. Keeping the process open–or rather, continuing to open the process, is a big job.
Political involvement is the start. But negative messaging and image manipulation continues to be effective. So involvement can be coopted. We need to find ways to improve the information base that people draw on to make political decisions. This is one goal of Channel Dean, RSS feeds launched today. Open media for an open political process.