Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Progressive Political Religion: No Place For Superpowers

The spectrum concept is a powerful concept, and it can be used to create a near permanent progressive majority. You map the electorate on each issue, 1 to 10. So 5-10 is 60% of the electorate. You are trying to get them to vote for you. One person's map might not agree with that of another. And candidates might differ on exactly what position to take to get all of 5-10 to vote for you.

And you make the 1-4 feel like you have really really heard them. You have listened to them and you have understood what they have to say and why. This makes for a compassionate progressive. You are being respectful of the fact that in a democracy, a voter, no matter how wrong, is still rightly entitled to one vote. All votes are equal. Your ideology does not, should not, determine the weight of a vote.

Barackface: Health Care As A Spectrum
Barackface: The Spectrum/Dialogue Concept Is Key To Power
Barackface: The Spectrum Concept: Wide Applications

So mapping is step one. Positioning is step two. What position can someone running for office take to get the 5-10 to vote for them? And it is not like there is only one issue. There are a host of issues. Your positions on one issue might make you lose someone who might agree with you on something else. So you have to account for that. Mapping might be great material for the brains, the intellectuals, the pollsters, the think tank types. But positioning will be best done by the professional politicians, people who go out there and shake hands.

So there is the spectrum. And then there is The Matrix that is an ideal. It will not take shape just like I have outlined. But in a scenario when near everyone is online, The Matrix will come alive. The democracy will become almost direct. I don't think the political offices will go away, there is no replacing humans, but all the offices will become fundamentally transformed.

You introduce democracy into a country with a Big Bang.

Spread Democracy

Then you introduce the spectrum and The Matrix, if the country is online enough.

Basically what you are doing is you are building political infrastructure. Political, and social, and economic infrastructure. A state, any state, a country, any country, a government, any government, is but a tool to building that political, social, economic infrastructure, the goal always being to benefit the individual.

Money is not everything, money can buy you bed but not sleep, and they say the best things in life are all free, but money just so happens to be a big, big chunk of all policy talk. And so, to keep things simple, I am going to put a dollar figure on every human forehead. That is how much money that person makes in a year.

The progressive goal is to acquire power to build the political, social, economic infrastructure so as to make the dollar figure go up on every forehead.

It is about the individual. It is not about this or that country being a superpower. If all of humanity were engulfed in a one person one vote arrangement, there would be no superpower at all.

So, no, I am not someone plotting to have America replaced by India and China as superpowers. I am a progressive. That is my political religion.

I think the spectrum concept is particularly well suited to handle social issues that have been the trickiest for progressives generally.

I am going to work much more on the Democracy Spreading Mechanism (Spread Democracy). It was forged through work on Nepal's April Revolution 2006, with some collaboration, but it failed me during the Burma protests, primarily because I just did not have the network and the penetration that I had with Nepal. In Nepal's case I had managed to penetrate all the political parties, top human rights NGOs, and diaspora organizations. This Democracy Spreading Mechanism (Spread Democracy) is the weakest link in the chain right now. I think I need to define it more, and add ways to measure readiness level. For example, at what point do you finally call people out into the streets? Too early, and you fail, like in Burma. But then there is also such a thing called too late.

In The News

Obama cannot beat Republican attack machine, says Clinton Guardian Unlimited She presents herself as a battle-hardened veteran, having weathered whole books full of smears, innuendo, half-truths and unfortunate facts. ........ The possible lines of attack against Obama are already being rehearsed on rightwing websites and talkshows. A claim on InsightMag.com - owned by the Unification Church - that he had attended a radical Islamic madrasa as a boy, was repeated on Fox News and other conservative outlets. In fact, the primary school Obama went to for two years when growing up in Jakarta, Indonesia, was a state school with a largely secular curriculum.
Barack Obama targets southern barbershops Telegraph.co.uk
Clinton, Obama shake up politics of identity
Reuters 40 percent of blacks in South Carolina are likely to vote for Clinton ..... Obama scored well among women in Iowa and around 40 percent of blacks in South Carolina are likely to vote for Clinton ...... No black candidate has been elected to the Senate in the U.S. South for over a century, a fact seen as evidence that black candidates are at a disadvantage in a region where the legacy of slavery and racial segregation remains visible. ...... the Democratic race has turned assumptions of the role of race and gender in presidential campaigns on their head and helped energize the voting base .... the Democratic nominee in 2004, John Kerry, won just 30 percent of the white vote in the south
Momentum turns toward Obama in SC Chicago Sun-Times National polls may show Hillary Clinton slightly ahead of Barack Obama .... In New Hampshire, an Obama win was mistakenly predicted. ..... Obama's heady win in Iowa and his close seconds in New Hampshire and Nevada ...... No one cares about the Rezko issue outside Chicago ..... Young is a "has-been," one of the old guard of civil rights workers whose hard struggles have become just history book anecdotes for the younger African-American generation that has embraced Obama as an icon of change. .... Obama now leads among African Americans in South Carolina by 64 percent to Clinton's 20 percent.
Clintons lying about Obama's Reagan remark Baltimore Sun
Bill Clinton raises eyebrows as campaign surrogate for his wife
The Canadian Press Obama made it clear he was going to hit back. ..... "This has become a habit and one of the things that we're going to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he's making statements that are not factually accurate."
Pitbull Bill - the 'other' Clinton revelling in his return to the fray Guardian Unlimited It has come down to Obama versus Clinton in the key southern state of South Carolina - but the Clinton that Barack Obama is up against is Bill, not Hillary. ....... At Lizard's Thicket diner, beside the Columbia highway yesterday, he let his breakfast of omelette and grits grow cold. He was enjoying taking questions from reporters far too much to care about food. After weeks of Hillary and Barack Obama being top of the news agenda, he was the story. ...... Arguments were inevitable in politics, he said. "This is a contact sport." ...... as he put it, the First Laddie ...... he took time to work the room ..... The Clintons have a reputation in Washington for ruthlessness. Their research team has spent a year digging through Obama's background, examining in detail his upbringing and, more specifically, his voting record while a senator in the Illinois legislature. ....... negative campaigning, no matter how often the public claims to dislike it, is effective ...... Bill Clinton is a brilliant and intelligent politician who makes no chance remarks: it's all deliberately worked out.
Obama Offered Dance Test for Clinton The Associated Press
Bill gets some shut-eye at MLK day event Boston Herald

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