FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bring Democracy Back to the Democratic Party

by JONATHAN M. FELDMAN

Hi Steve,

I am a bit confused by these email messages I keep getting about the Democratic convention.  Could you please clarify them?

First, I heard basically nothing from the administration in terms of direct email contact for a few years. Now, you are going back to the “grassroots”?   A cynical observer would conclude that you just want the voters’ money and votes and didn’t worry about directly igniting the base in the interim.  Please clarify the two to three year gap.

Second, you tell me that: “On the final day of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, President Obama will take the stage in the Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, to accept the nomination of the Democratic Party as president with tens of thousands more people by his side.”  I am sorry but I am a bit old-fashioned.

I think that the Democratic Party can’t just give the President its automatic nomination— without the President winning sufficient delegates.  Have I missed something?
Democracy is about getting votes, not about coronations, right?  Isn’t that why
we had the American Revolution?  Is the Democratic Party now bored with democracy
or what?  Sorry to sound rude, but I believe that President Obama is a candidate for a nomination. If you have decided to give him the nomination already, then don’t write me or contact me because you have already left me out of the process.

Third,  you say that you  “asked for [my] ideas on how to make the 2012 Democratic National Convention the most open and accessible in history and your thoughtful
responses made it clear that success depends on people like you being a part of the process.” But if you gave President Obama your nomination already, clearly I am not “a part of the process.”

Fourth, your write me about a suggestion which reads that  “the convention has room for
more than just delegates to attend.”  In other words,  let us be spectators at a live event
rather than spectators on television.  Then you conclude, “ideas like these are reminders  that this convention is about more than political rituals and confetti falling from the rafters.

It is about empowering Americans to be part of the solution and demonstrating  what is best about our democracy.”  I’m very sorry Steve, but that is a total non sequitor.
How do you define “empowerment” and “democracy”?  It seems like you mean
that you are a spectator at a live event rather than one on television.  Frankly,
that is pathetic.  If you really wanted my input, then you would send me an
email about the rumor that President Obama will appoint Larry Summers to the World Bank to serve as President there again.

I would then tell you that Larry Summers is in the pocket of Wall Street bankers and the financial elite, a group that has totally screwed over the American public and robbed them of billions of dollars and now owns several politicians in Congress (well, some think the majority of Congress and the presidency, or at least a big part of it).

Steve, if you want to understand empowerment and democracy, I suggest that President Obama and you start talking about what Thomas Jefferson once said.   I quote now from Jefferson:

“The elementary republics of the wards, the county republics, the state republics, and the republic of the Union, would form a graduation of authorities, standing each on the basis of law,  holding everyone its delegated share of powers, and constituting truly a system of fundamental balances and checks for the government.  Where every man is a sharer in the direction of his ward-republic, or some of the higher ones, and feels that he is a participator in the government of affairs, not merely at an election one day in the year, but every day; when there shall not be a man in the state who will not be a member of some one of its councils, great or small,  he will let the heart be torn out of his body sooner than his power be wrested from him by a Caesar or a Bonaparte.”  —Thomas Jefferson, quoted in Richard K. Matthews,The Radical Politics of Thomas Jefferson, Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press, 1984: 82-83.

After reading this quote, you will see that the problem is that the Democratic Party has forgotten what small “d” democracy is all about. Please go back to the roots of this country.  Try to figure out how to promote accountability and citizen involvement “every day” as Jefferson says, not just when you want money or votes every four (to two) years.

Sincerely yours,

Jonathan M. Feldman
U.S. Citizen and Voter

Jonathan Michael Feldman is the principal convenor of The Global Teach-In, a trans-Atlantic network of communities that will hold teach-ins on April 25, 2012 to address democracy networks, green jobs and planning, and alternatives to the established financial system: www.globalteachin.com

More articles by:

Jonathan M. Feldman is a founder of the Global Teach-In (www.globalteachin.com) and can be reached at @globalteachin on Twitter.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

July 26, 2017
John W. Whitehead
Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind
Pete Dolack
Trump’s Re-Negotiation Proposal Will Make NAFTA Worse
George Capaccio
“Beauty of Our Weapons” in the War on Yemen
Ramzy Baroud
Fear and Trepidation in Tel Aviv: Is Israel Losing the Syrian War?
John McMurtry
Brexit Counter-Revolution Still in Motion
Ted Rall
The Democrats Are A Lost Cause
Tom Gill
Is Macron Already Faltering?
Ed Kemmick
Empty Charges Erode Trust in Montana Elections
Rev. William Alberts
Fake News? Or Fake Faith?
James Heddle
The Ethics and Politics of Nuclear Waste are Being Tested in Southern California
Binoy Kampmark
Slaying in Minneapolis: Justine Damond, Shooting Cultures and Race
Jeff Berg
Jonesing for Real Change
Jesse Jackson
The ‘Voter Fraud’ Commission Itself is Fraudulent
July 25, 2017
Paul Street
A Suggestion for Bernie: On Crimes Detectable and Not
David W. Pear
Venezuela on the Edge of Civil War
John Grant
Uruguay Tells US Drug War to Take a Hike
Charles Pierson
Like Climate Change? You’ll Love the Langevin Amendment
Linda Ford
Feminism Co-opted
Andrew Stewart
Any Regrets About Not Supporting Clinton Last Summer?
Aidan O'Brien
Painting the Irish Titanic Pink
Rob Seimetz
Attitudes Towards Pets vs Attitudes Towards the Natural World
Medea Benjamin
A Global Movement to Confront Drone Warfare
Norman Solomon
When Barbara Lee Doesn’t Speak for Me
William Hawes
What Divides America From the World (and Each Other)
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?
Chandra Muzaffar
The Bilateral Relationship that Matters
Binoy Kampmark
John McCain: Cancer as Combatant
July 24, 2017
Patrick Cockburn
A Shameful Silence: Where is the Outrage Over the Slaughter of Civilians in Mosul?
Robert Hunziker
Extremely Nasty Climate Wake-Up
Ron Jacobs
Dylan and Woody: Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
Dan Glazebrook
Quantitative Easing: the Most Opaque Transfer of Wealth in History
Ellen Brown
Saving Illinois: Getting More Bang for the State’s Bucks
Richard Hardigan
The Media is Misleading the Public on the Al-Asqa Mosque Situation
Matthew Stevenson
Travels in Trump’s America: Memphis, Little Rock, Fayetteville and Bentonville
Ruth Fowler
Fire at Grenfell
Ezra Kronfeld
The Rights of Sex Workers: Where is the Movement to Legalize Prostitution
Mark Weisbrot
What Venezuela Needs: Negotiation Not Regime Change
Binoy Kampmark
From Spicy to the Mooch: A Farewell to Sean Spicer
Wim Laven
Progress Report, Donald Trump: Failing
Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Kevin Zeese
Green Party Growing Pains; Our Own Crisis of Democracy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Red State, Blue State; Green State, Deep State
Paul Street
“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet
Anthony DiMaggio
Higher Education Fallacies: What’s Behind Rising Conservative Distrust of Learning?
Andrew Levine
Why Republicans Won’t Dump Trump Anytime Soon
Michael Colby
Ben & Jerry’s Has No Clothes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail