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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003


The $50 solution

posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, October 07, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Over at Open Source Politics, Jeff Alworth makes a pitch that is very familiar to the Dean grassroots:

I could give the example of a certain governor from a tiny New England state whom six months ago everyone had dismissed as impossibly marginal. That was, until . . . well, you get the picture.

We all know that money has corrupted politics. It has skewed national elections so that those who win are those who can attract the biggest spenders. It has aced out the little guy and put the democratic process at an arm's length -- held at bay while wealth and business attend $2,000-a-plate dinners. Good Democrats are at a loss about what to do: You can't beat money without money, but getting the money means drifting from your agenda.

In 2000, 50 million people cast a vote for Al Gore. That's a lot of people; put them together and you have mustered a force of enormous wealth. My proposal: Give fifty bucks to a political campaign.

Let's say Bush shakes the wealthies' coffers to the tune of something in the neighborhood of $400 million this election season (a reasonable ballpark). In order just to match this total, only 16% of Democrats would have to pony up a U.S. Grant -- and that assumes they only give fifty, and that no other groups give a dime.

Let's face it - the only way Bush can get re-elected is to buy the votes. When people are polled about the issues, they lean heavily Democratic. But put a half-billion dollars of fear and hate on the airwaves, and pretty soon people start to shape up and vote GOP. However, if this is countered by a popular movement of the people, and if these people have pooled their resources, they become the power brokers. Politics following the people. Imagine.

We Dean supporters don't need to imagine - we are living it in real time. And of course, there's a direct correlation between the way the Dean campaign has embraced this idea early on, and its ensuing success. We at Dean Nation lead the pack, having raised almost $25,000 for the campaign thus far. But there's so much more we could do!

Forget $50. Imagine if each of us committed to just $10 a month. That's three lunches at Taco Bell, or coffees at Starbucks. That's one Chipotle burrito with guacamole and chips. That's half a tank of gas.

We, Dean Nation, could contribute $30,000 A MONTH to the campaign.

We have set our goal much, much lower, Right now the Dean Nation Team goal is at $30,000 - we are aiming to raise an average of only $5,000 a month. This is a modest goal but it's certainly the least we can do.

We must boot Bush. We can't expect that Bush will boot himself - or that the special interests, whose pockets are far deeper, will recuse themselves. Bush has unlimited funds. We must enable Dean to fight back - to give him our voice with our support and lend him the strength he will need if we are to prevail.

This current Administration sacrifices national security for political payback. It rebuffs our allies and then is forced to send genocideal Serbian troops to Iraq. It pursues ideological domestic policies, designed to "starve" the federal government and destroy the social safety net. It has embarked upon a course of imperialism whose bill will come due to our children and our children's children. It has brought us closer to the darkest fate that can befall any democracy.

What price is too high to save ourselves and this nation that we love so dearly? A nation that has been until now a beacon to the world?

$10 a month - or $20 - or even $50 - is a pittance. And in these days of a weak S&P 500, it is the best investment any of us can make. Join us and let's raise $5,00 a month, every month, until that great day in November 2004 where we send Bush back to his poseur ranch and we can take our country back.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.