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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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Friday, July 11, 2003


the widening gyre

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, July 11, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
The question of "electability" is perhaps our greatest short-term challenge. Part of answering that to Dean's favor is to demonstrate his broad appeal to a wider base than the hard-core left. This is where outreach and principle come into play - to forge a broad coalition, we Dean supporters have to invite and embrace those voters who are amenable to his message. We have had discussion about outreach to Greens before, and we also need to start thinking abouut Libertarians.

Suman Palit is another notable blogger, staunchly libertarian, but also possessed of a pragmatic streak that the more ideological libertarians disdain. It's a very positive sign that he is also looking at Dean and is intrigued by what he sees:

Dean does not appear to have a position paper on SS reform. If the words coming out of his mouth sound like "... must tax evil corporations to pay for selfish baby-boomers.." then I'm out of here. Otherwise, I'm willing to listen to the man, and what other things he has to say..

Why, you ask..?

Easy. I'm by no means a conservative, and by no stretch of the imagination could I be called a progessivist (the new label for liberals on the left). Hawkish Libertarian, if you really want a label to slap over my forehead. Moreover, Bush is beginning to disappoint. He's had his moments, I'll give him that. Shaking up the UN, putting an end to the charade of inspections and no-fly zones in Iraq were both master strokes, and I believe history will judge him as the first President to wrench US foreign policy away from it's Cold War butt-freeze.

I also believe history will judge him as having bitten off more than he could chew.

Iraq is also where Dean is both at his weakest and his strongest. His weakness.. he is boldly and openly anti-Iraq-war. His strength.. he is boldly, openly, and consistently, anti-Iraq-war. That resonates with me at a gut level. I mean, he's got to have guts to stick to an unpopular ground, right..? (Note to leftie-pacifists, an unpopular opinion is not necessarily the right one, the jury will be out on the relevance of the Iraq war to the US for many years to come..!). I admire that in him. I also disagree with his reasons.

(be sure to read his entire post). Of course he is not yet a supporter, but how can we engage libertarians like Suman in a constructive way to address their concerns? Read Suman's entire post and lets address his concerns. We stand to reap a great harvest from the effort.

UPDATE: The conservatives want to yank Bush farther right. Dont misread this NRO article as good news! But it does give us more to talk to libertarians about - the common cause.

gyre, n.
1. A circular or spiral form; a vortex: “rain swirling the night into tunnels and gyres” (Anthony Hyde).
2. A circular or spiral motion, especially a circular ocean current.

bonus points to anyone who correctly identifies the reference (no fair googling...)


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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.