Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Open thread...talk back here about "We the People".


Chris Bryant said...

One of the problems with "We the People" is that we the people without money don't have a lot of input into the process.That's a problem for the Democratic party because too many people get the idea that the Democratic party doesn't care much about them.It's true to some degree;the terms of the discussion in both parties are defined by those who have money.
How many poor folks get to go to a Democratic convention?I'd like to see the average income of the delegates to our last convention.Of course,I remain convinced that the Democratic party is far better for the poor and working people than the Republican party;still,while many people claim to speak for the poor and the working class,those people usually are not poor or working class themselves.

Chris Bryant said...

My post yesterday was inspired largely by my reaction to Bert Smith's loss in the CD5 primary. Bert's campaign was hurt by it's lack of money but there's more to it,I think.This is a complicated topic but I think to some extent Bert and his supporters{of which I,of course,am one}thought of ourselves as a grassroots campaign of the people versus the powerful and I think also that we were less representative of the people than we thought.To a great extent we represented "we,the progressive Democratic activists" and not the ordinary rank and file Democrat.Now,I think Bert sincerely wanted to repesent the people but my point is that with 37% of the vote,Bert,almost by definition,did NOT represent the people and I think Bert and the rest of us may neeed to think about what we can do in the future to reach those poeople.Bert said a few times,as I recall,that he is a "social liberal and a fiscal conservative" and I tried to point out to him that the working class swing voters tend to be exactly the opposite.At this pointI'd like to say that I'm no fan of David Hunter and I have my doubts as to his credentials as a "man of the people";I really doubt he's the kind of populist I prefer but at the same time I recognize that with 63% of the vote he would seem to have been the people's choice;I suppose I'll vote for him come November.A point here is that Bert's unwillingness to make more efforts at fundraising is,in one sense,a kind of elitism;a little hubris,if you will:A feeling that "one man and the truth equal a majority";a feeling that we're right,so we don't need to raise money because the people will recognize the truth in time and vote our way.Obviously,it didn't work.The essence of what I'm saying is:it's not always so clear what "we the people" want and those with money still influence the process more than those without it but the Democratic party needs to think much more about working toward a system that rewards "those who work hard and play by the rules."
Easier said than done but that's the direction we need to go.