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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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Wednesday, November 03, 2004


A true majority

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, November 03, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
The partisan Left, as is its wont, is collapsing into self-recrimination, accusations of disloyalty, and ideological puritanism. This even before we know for sure whether John Kerry actually won! But I am reminded of a wise saying:

"Luminous beings are we, Luke - not this crude matter." --Yoda

I do sincerely hope that the "lets burn the cities!!" crowd gets fed up and moves to Canada if Bush wins. The problem is always your in-house extremists - they taint the message and undermine your respectability.

Right and Left mirror each other - except that Right has their own media. But if we had ours too, would we be any different? not when the inmates scream like howler monkeys about revolution when the democratic process doesn't break their way.

It's time to start approaching the problems of this country from a pragmatist, not an idealogue, perspective. It's time to wrk to build a true majority, that can genuinely reach across the aisle, not pin our hopes on ekeing out a narrow margin from an ever-vanishing pool of undecideds. While an ever-increasing pool of non-participants - esp the youth vote - get pushed farther and farther away.

While young voters split among Bush and Democrat Al Gore four years ago, 56 percent of voters aged 18-29 preferred Kerry Tuesday, according the CNN's exit polls. But even though more than 1.4 million new young voters registered to vote in this election, the youth block comprised roughly the same percentage of voters that it did four years ago, according to Associated Press exit polls.

We need to follow the path of Howard Dean - bring people into the process and be more inclusive. Reach out to the confederate flag pickup crowd and the NASCAR guys and build a robust majority that can win with a mandate in both the popular vote and the electoral college.

We need to end Democratism and Republicanism as our rallying points. 2004 was their last gasp. Sorry to say it, but is as much a dinosaur as the DCCC it butted heads with. What did we achieve? More polarization, not unity. For all our critique of Bush for being a divider, what has our "side" done to counter? nothing. Instead we have pursued the same track.

An electoral victory that hinges on GOTV is fundamentally flawed. Bring the message, bring the policy, bring the civility - and the voters will come.

And yeah, Nader cost us this election too, if you look closely at the returns in the swing states - including Ohio. Why? Because young people really do believe there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the parties. And in one sense, they are right.


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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.