Thoughts on a Movement
My underwriter buddy Britt Blaser is continuing to pound out some righteous bits:
My concern this Presidential election cycle is that the free trade of ideas and their stakeholders may be as threatening to politicians as to entrenched commercial interests. That's why I've established the Free the Internet Contribution page at Dean for America. Dean is the only candidate with a vested interest in a free and open Internet, so he's the only candidate we can trust to defend it against the establishment.
That's what it is, friends. My man Howard Dean is set to raise more money this quarter than any other Democrat has ever done in the same period, and it's being done largely on the backs of small contributions; average size hovering around $100.
Imagine the implications here. I was taking the train today with some people on their way back from an anti-occupation protest, one fellow with a "tired of being fucked by politics?" button depicting hot Elephant on Donkey action. While I don't take that stance, I do see where this kind of frustration comes from. If we can maintain the momentum and growth of the Dean campaign, we'll be well on our way to making that particular brand of apathy obsolete.
There was one protester who had to borrow a couple bucks on the BART to pay his way out -- part of the eccentricity of that particular mass-transit system -- but most of the sign-carrying folk were well attired and had an air of material comfortability about them. So I wanted to ask them to get their hands dirty and buy a share of the process, but I didn't; too tired. But I wish I had. This time around everyone's a tycoon if they want to be.
And if you don't have the cash to spare that's allright too; you probably have time and friends and a spark of ingenuity. In spite of how easy it is to imagine a massive populist war chest -- just a million people giving a thousand each -- the likely reality is that Dubya will be able to outspend anyone. The difference is going to be made up by soul; by volunteer hours and word-of-mouth advertising; by human-centric processes happening over bi-directional networks, both personal and packet-switched. The difference is going to be individuals who've awakened to their agency in the process and who are exercising their right to be participants, to be producers of politics and not just consumers. The difference will be you and me.