MoveOn held about 600 "Potluck for Progress" meetings all around the country yesterday. I attended one in Mountain View, CA. Here's what I learned:
Nobody was happy with the results that Obama has achieved -- e.g., the economy, the wars, global warming, etc.
MoveOn's goal should be to ensure that we have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Money is corrupting the integrity of the political system. Beyond public financing of elections, we need a constitutional amendment to restrict the amount of money that corporations can use to influence elections and public policy. This is because corporations have a fiduciary duty to act in their own interest, and not in the public interest.
The Democrats should be more like Republicans in having a simple, unified message. For simple, think Ronald Reagan. Unified means we speak with a single voice (think "echo chamber") rather than 20 points of view.
Having a progressive version of Fox News would be a big help in getting our message out and molding public opinion.
We should be pushing for passing great public policies, not great compromises that don't solve the problems we need to solve. People thought that the long-term plans for solving our top issues should be in writing so they can be seen in their entirety and validated.
Politics is the art of the possible. But if you create great policies and spend time educating the American people on why those policies are great, you can change what is possible.
The most important thing that I observed is that there was no excitement at all about the policies that are now on the table.
Therefore, these loyal MoveOn members didn't work the phone lines for the mid-terms because there was nothing to fight for.
If Obama had great long-term plans for global warming, energy independence, growing the economy, etc., then people would have a reason to fight and get active.
Without an agenda of great policies, how do you expect people to get motivated?
I asked everyone if they could tell me what Obama's plan was for growing the economy and competing against China, etc. and ensuring jobs are not sent overseas -- beyond the stimulus.
Nobody could tell me what Obama's long term economic plan was. Nobody!
That's our top issue. Can you get excited about no plan -- not even a known process to develop a plan for the most important issue facing our nation today? I sure can't. Can you?