Money, Message, Organization
Dean's got a great idea. The Democratic Party should seek to be funded solely by small contributions. That is the best way to get money out of politics short term.
$10 a month by a million people is $10 million for the party. Two million people is twice as much. We do have that many core supporters. They just are not roped in and organized yet.
One word: progressive.
One phrase: People Power.
Message is something you work on constantly. What will sound great today will have become out of date in five years. The basic theme will still be democracy, but the presentation will have to change.
This is not a top down mechanism. For the message part, the organization is a cloud. The best ideas could come from anywhere. That is one phase of it, when you are still trying to figure things out. But once you have figured it out, there has to be discipline. We will have to have talking points. We will have to learn to stay on message. We will need a rapid response mechanism. (The One Voice Concept)
I wrote my first draft of a proposed 10 point program. (2006: When DFA Could Really Grow) Everyone is welcome to write down their own 10 point program. By the time we are ready to go out to take back the Congress, there should be only one draft left, the final draft of a 10 point program.
Here is my first draft of a five point program.
- Balance the budget by having the top 5% pay 40, 39, 38, 37 and 36 per cent respectively.
- A clear exit strategy for Iraq such that US troops get phased out and Iraqi troops step in. Proactively spread democracy the progressive way to win the War On Terror.
- Universal health insurance for all children. And health care reform to introduce the market forces in the health care sector. You measure that by the adoption of information technology by the sector in all aspects of its operations. Bring the costs down for everybody.
- Universal, quality, well funded public education, replete with testing but not limited to it or by it. Federally funded scholarships for the top students in all public schools to be able to attend private schools. Expand college financial aid. Collaborate with the private sector to make textbooks available online for free, ad-based. Collaborate with the private sector to introduce ad-based, free, universal wireless broadband.
- Campaign finance reform, electoral reform. End voter intimidation and fraud.
This is key. Money and message flow out of a sound organization. I think we need to be thinking something akin to corporate mergers. I wonder if it is not time to merge DFA into DNC. As someone said last night, we have the top, and we have the bottom, now let's go get the middle.
But even if we don't merge, we need to work in synergy. There is this thing at the DFNYC site that I really dig. People can list events. And it all gets displayed in a chronological order. There has to be this one place online where all progressive events get listed. Hosts can decide if they should be open or closed or whatever. I think last night's meeting was great.
Do events, blog events. I can not emphasize this enough, especially for New York City Dems. Turn it into one big reality show, because there is an audience out there. Otherwise we spend too much of our time preaching to the converted. Like I say, blog the echo chamber and it is no echo chamber no more.
Organization is an ongoing challenge. We will perfect it as we go along.