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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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Saturday, November 29, 2003


Dialog with Dan Darling

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, November 29, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Dan Darling is a blogger I highly respect. He has extensive experience writing about and analyzing Islamic fanatacism, without a trace of anti-Muslim sentiment. His writings at Winds of Change.NET about the war on Terror have always been informative and thought-provoking (even when I disagree, it's educational). And he is also a devout Catholic who welcomes, as I do, the influence his beliefs have upon his domestic political opinions.

He also probably won't be voting for Howard Dean - and in a post on his blog written as a response to comments at mine, he lays out the primary reasons why. In a nutshell, he finds Dean's comments that southerners vote against their economic interests to be unconvincing and condescending. He also has specific gripes about Liberalism as a whole (mainly driven by his religious convictions).

I'm highlighting it because while I doubt there's any point in trying to convince Dan to vote Dean (or for him to try and convince me to vote Bush, despite the fact that he and I share almost 99% of our religious-driven social concerns), I do think that dialog on these issues is critical. Not to win over voters per se, but to ensure that the perceptions of voters who disagee with Dean are still represented and have their views taken into account when President Dean takes office.

The promise of Dean's candidacy is that policy and facts, not ideology, matter. As many have pointed out (most recently, David Neiwert in a must-read essay titled "The Political and the Personal"), civil discourse is impossible under GOP rule. But what is the point of Democratic rule if discourse and debate remain closed?

So let's try and make a good faith response to Dan's points. Here's our chance for dialog with a principled opponent. It should not be wasted.


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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.