The One Voice Concept

Nuts, bolts and logisitcs are not my forte. I focus more on vision and broader group dynamics. I am not too eager at shaking many hands, but I can really raise morale when I get to it. So no, I am not all that theoretical. It is just that my specialization is at the big picture level.

I am really proud of the work I have done on the Nepal front. I am really part of the peace process conversations at the highest levels.

I don't live in offline America. I drop off just to socialize, do some grocery, things like that. You really have to imagine the Internet as a new country. The Internet makes multi-tasking more possible. I am more active in Nepali politics today than I was ever before, even more so than I was active when I was back there, before I came to the US for college.

And I am active in US politics, in NYC politics. Recently I have had this outburst of mental activity, and I really feel I have been able to cover some new ground. I almost feel a sense of completion. Yesterday I was thinking for the first time in months, I could really devote some time to my business activities. I felt that sense of completion on both Nepal and America fronts.

DFA is not just another PAC. If it is just another PAC, it is not going too far. So what makes DFA different? I have thought long and hard. I have come up with some concepts.
  1. One person, one vote, one voice.
  2. Total, transparent democracy.
  3. Non-violent militancy.
  4. Face time, screen time.
The thing about all my concepts is all of them are open source. They are not going to descend upon you like a law. People get to pick and choose. People get to modify the concepts for local use. And all of them are subject to an open discourse, starting right from my comments sections.
But I stand by them. I think I have a broad idea of how I would run Dean 2008, if I were Campaign Chairperson. I would have a CEO to take care of the logistics, a CFO to take care of the finances, a CTO for the technology, and a COO for operations. And I would whizz by the competition. That is the kind of confidence my concepts give me. I could do it.

The one voice concept, I have talked about it earlier. The best ideas do not come from committees. And groupthink is the name of a disease. The one person, one vote transparent mechanism has to be in place. Even the best ideas will have to go through that democratic filter, true. But one voice has to be alive. Individuals should freely think, and express and archive those thoughts. The most effective organizations live by the dictum the best ideas could come from anywhere.

On the big issues of race relations, I have already thought out the big thoughts. My approach is highly sophisticated. Policy talk is often inter-related. But then once in a while you bump into white folks at a micro level who say or do or suggest something as if maybe you should go organize a civil rights movement. At that level, I would rather respond in a way that it is they who feel the need to organize a civil rights movement. Or you just avoid them. I don't consider it my personal responsibility to help every Tom, Dick and Harry climb up the social progressive ladder. I don't have that kind of time. They need to be wiping their own noses. When I am politicking, I am in the business of getting votes, like business people are in the business of getting money. It is political entrepreneurship. Race is only one of many issues, although it is a big one as is. Progressives will, simply put, just have to feel comfortable talking about it.

And while I am at it, let me also briefly touch upon Howard Dean. I have often asked myself this question, what makes Howard Dean different? I asked that in 2004. I have asked that this year before I got to meet him. I have asked that while I met him. I have asked it after.

John Edwards is made for TV. Howard Dean is made for the internet. I think that is the difference. Edwards is good with soundbites, and looks good on television. But Dean feels much more real. You can not package this guy, and that is good, because with the new medium of the internet, you could not even if you wanted to. Dean's very appeal is that he is a regular, plainspoken guy. The TV creates a facade, the Internet takes it away. If 2008 will be an internet election, Dean wins, if it will be a TV election, Dean will have to work harder.