Monday, July 16, 2007

The State of the Grassroots is Deplorable and Our Political Parties Share the Blame

I'm working today with a friend trying to better understand how to use my new iMac. The audio for this clip comes from my original preface to the proposed Grassroots PLAN. I eventually changed this preface in the draft that I submitted to the committee, and I published that PLAN on this web-site on June 1.

The bad news is: the state of the grassroots is deplorable. Overall, the grassroots -- all voters and all potential voters -- is scandalously uneducated and misinformed, and shockingly unprepared to contribute to the success of our democracy. Our democracy depends on the wise actions of an educated and involved citizenry, so, the state of the grass roots should be a matter of concern to every citizen who cares about our system of government.

Much of the blame for the current state of the grassroots belongs to the major political parties. Both parties have failed to invest in authentic citizen education and both parties have failed to implement structures designed to meaningfully engage and empower the grassroots. Now, both parties increasingly are being rejected as simply well paid marketing agencies that work as advocates for powerful interests.

The good news is: the state of the grassroots defines a key issue that presents our party with a powerful opportunity. Clearly, the party that acts most effectively to educate and empower the grassroots is the party that best serves our democracy; it is the party that earns legitimacy. Today, it seems clear, within much of the grassroots, both parties are seen as illegitimate. The party that acts to improve the state of the grassroots will find that voters of all persuasions will support such actions, and that such actions will confer new legitimacy to that party. The party that acts as the party of the grassroots will find new and enthusiastic support from unexpected quarters and, over time, will be the party in ascendancy.

The goal of this Grassroots Plan, therefore, is to show how, in this 2008 election cycle, we can effectively act as the party of the grassroots.

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