Democracy Begins At Home
Now I value democracy quite a lot, and I do think that it has been a nice by-product of an insanely expensive and ultimately unwise invasion of Iraq. Unwise because it will eventually result in a nuclear Iran, which we could have forestalled had we not invaded Iraq chasing after the chimera of Weapons of Mass Destruction there.
But Saddam Hussein is deposed and the Iraqis had a successful election. Hooray. That's really all that needs to be said, and I said it here.
There is much more to be said, however, about the state of democracy in America. Howard Dean has just said something significant about it to his own followers on the occasion of his triumphal march to occupy the DNC chair:
I have been talking to individual members of the DNC for weeks now. This has been one of the most public races for party chairman in a long time. But it's still been a campaign of person-to-person contact. It reminds me of campaigning in Vermont. You talk to people where they live, attend town meetings and respect their role in our democratic process. This race has been very different from the type of national campaign where TV ads and pundits do the talking, leaving real problems and real people on the side.
That's one of the things we need to change. We will do a better job understanding people's problems and a better job communicating solutions that reflect our values if we talk directly to the people. That is what all of you have done so well and that's what we need to keep doing. Growing our party from the ground up in every neighborhood.
Real democracy. With real people. Doing real political things rather than merely ranting on blogs. Like giving money:
In 2000, 8 percent of those who voted for George W. Bush said they had given money to Republicans, while 7 percent of those who voted for Al Gore gave to Democrats. This year, a post-election survey found that twice as many Bush voters (16 percent) had given. But the Democratic side tripled its rate and overtook the GOP, as 21 percent of Kerry voters gave to Democrats at various levels.
The Washington Post, February 6, 2005
(Hattip to Chris Bowers at My DD)
Now I'm not inclined to pry into the financial affairs of my acquaintances, but I really do wonder how often my friends in the conservative blogosphere actually gave money or really participated in local Republican politics in the last election, as I did in local Democratic politics. Did they even give any money and legwork at all for the national party and its White House champion?
Or are they merely content to trumpet opinions of the following kind:
What Cicero seems not to realize is that the Left does not support democracy and in fact is inimical to it. So right off the bat the question assumes that the Left and the rest of us have a common regard for democracy that is not actually there.
I already suspected that Jordan indeed said what he was accused of saying, and that he meant every word it. As an anti-war liberal who hates Bush, he probably wanted to say the most shocking thing he could think, that Bush's warmongering military was trying to squelch freedom of the press by doing away with the press. When I first heard about Jordan's statements, I could almost picture him saying it....The bigger issue is CNN's anti-military, anti-America coverage to begin with. Eason Jordan is just a cog in the machine....And to get to the bottom of it, to push for congressional hearings, letter-writing isn't enough. It will take more blog swarms like this to finally crack Big Media's wall of silence and show people what the founders really meant when they wrote these words: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech..."
La Shawn Barber
Anybody here believe that Kurtz didn't receive a single question about Easongate today? I sure don't--I sent half a dozen of them myself. You're a coward, Howard. Your silence, your outright stonewalling in failing to even mention a developing story about one of your bosses isn't just deafening, it's damning.
So, it seems that all of the stunning work being done by Captain Ed and Hugh Hewitt and LaShawn Barber and Roger Simon and so many others will be for little-to-nothing...unless this tape turns up...and I would bet that the thing is roasting merrily on a fire, or sinking into an ocean, even as you read this. Dirty Harry sums it up best, and bitterly.
How about it, guys? Did you work to elect a county commissioner, like I did? Do you even care about any other issue facing this country than the one or two which are your own private hobbyhorses?
There's a real debate, in a real democracy, going on out there about the future of real people, who will be retiring in the future. About the Social Security System and a pattern of policy that will shape whole decades of America's future.
A real debate. Democracy in action. How come I see so little on your blogs which is part of that debate? Out here on the Left we have plenty to say about it. Out here on the Left we do believe in democracy enough to actually participate in it.
Democracy begins at home. Democracy is what you do with your freedom to participate in the political process. You are what you do.