Dear Jane plus FDL bigwigs:
This is the first installment of what I believe will be a 3 or 4 part series. This first installment is hardly worthy of the name – it’s more of a teaser. I hope to write the first installment this weekend.
However, I want to set the wheels in motion, now, because, in the immortal words of my nephew when he was 5 years old, “I’m getting OLD!”. As a society, we are mostly on a downwards trajectory, and while some things have gotten better, here and there, there’s more that have gotten worse. And lots of rotten things have stayed more or less the same! To make deep changes in society for the better, in our lifetimes, we need to be both patient, as well as aggressive. However, the “patience” part is more about results, not effort or the need to be timely and proactive.
In a nutshell, I’m going to argue for FDL to be more aggressive in using it’s platform to challenge power. And that will be mostly by facilitating political organization, not by increasing it’s readership or quantity or quality of information. I’m going to argue for FDL to embrace New Progressive Alliance (NPA), as well as the Full Court Press (FCP). (See also this link.) I believe (though I could be wrong) that FDL has a sufficient degree of independence from the Democratic Party to make that possible.
I’m going to lay out a rough roadmap for FDL to facilitate the rapid growth of the NPA. (Well, at least a variation of the NPA.) This would engender a positive feedback, and lead to the growth of FDL. The latter is not the main goal, but a “nice to have”.
For now, I’ll quote the end of my recent comment in What Progressives Do (part one of two)
This is somewhat off topic, but it’s a damn shame that FDL does not support NPA. FDL did not support the FCP, either. I saw a video of Jane Hamsher at NN11, and I’m thinking “Well, 11 years of political blogging, and what has it gotten us, in terms of solid political gains?” Russ Feingold out of a job, and Denis Kucinich taking a dive on Obamacare? Even Jane plus FDL seem too captured by the gravitational pull of the Democratic Party to do much more than orbit around the DP. I have to wonder whether Jane, et. al., are actually bothered by that. And if they are, do they really think that just improving the blog and relying in ever more information presentation is going to change things?
I’m with Denis Rancourt (up to a point), when he says, “Truth will not set us free.” IOW, “Information is not power”. Yes, solid information should be more widespread, from beyond the blogosphere to the unblogged masses. HOWEVER, EVEN THE WELL-INFORMED READERS OF BLOGS LIKE FDL HAVE NOT, IMO, DONE MUCH TO FORM AN ORGANIZED POLITICAL FORCE. (NPA is an exception, sort of. It’s too soon to tell what NPA will develop into, but in any event, the lack of support by FDL is symptomatic. NPA has developed in spite of FDL lack of support, not because of FDL support. Of course, we appreciate the benign tolerance. )
Speaking of tipping points and lowering political inhibition thresholds, perhaps one route to rapid growth is to get FDL on-board, provisionally, with the following “civic value proposition”: Dear Jane: if NPA can get at least minimalist candidates plus volunteers for at least 20% of the district in the US, will FDL at that point embrace NPA?