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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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Monday, March 22, 2004


Democracy for America's specific aims

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, March 22, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
The o-blog has updated with a clear list of the specific goals of DFA v2, reformulated in a much more direct manner than previously:

1. First, Democracy for America will be committed to strong, sustained grassroots involvement in the democratic process. Today, half of Americans don’t even bother to vote. People see what the problems are, but they are cynical about the system and prospects for change. Only through acting will people recognize the power they have to change this country.

2. Second, Democracy for America will be committed to promoting an America where candidates and office holders tell the truth about policy choices and stand up for what they believe. The era when politicians equivocate about matters as fundamental as war and peace must end.

3. Third, Democracy for America will be committed to fighting against the influence and agenda of the two pillars of George W. Bush’s Washington: the far right wing and their radical, divisive policies, and the selfish special interests who for too long have dominated politics.

4. Fourth, Democracy for America will be committed to fighting for progressive policies, like health care for all; investment in children; equal rights under law; fiscal responsibility; and a national security policy that makes America stronger by advancing progressive values.

I think that the ranking overall is correct, though I don't see #2 as something that is more of a consequence rather than a goal. There's no way to force politicians to run for office, but those who choose to run are filtered by our votes. So if we can give people the facts they need, the resources they require for their own fact-checking, then problem #2 will correct itself.

That brings me to my main point, which is that DFA is not going to the internet-centric vehicle that most pundits predicted, The internet is just another medium, and will be used to great effect. But for a centralized and open resource that people can use to fact-check their elected pols, right now the best we have is Google and the blogsphere, which is woefully inefficient.

What we really need is an open-source version of Lexis-Nexis!


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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.